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             . . . . Rapport from Tasmanian, Australia

Our Singapore Holiday

Singapore to us always appears to be a country undergoing continual change. This was our fourth visit since 1974 but the third visit was 14 years ago.
Ms. Connie Tai ensured that our ten days were fairly busy especially our first day which was a Sunday. After being met by Connie at the hotel and confirming arrangements for the next day we started with a leisurely breakfast. The pace gradually quickened as off we proceeded in a taxi to a Tamil Language Competition where the children gave impassioned recitals in the Tamil language. The performances were enhanced by the delightful costumes that parents had obviously spent many hours preparing. Equally rewarding was to see the support by parents with their proud beaming faces as their child gave their oration.

We then proceeded to a meeting of the K
reta Ayer Stamp Club to meet committee members. Meeting so many hospitable people at both places made it a humbling yet memorable day indeed. Towards evening we had a brief visit to the Singapore Flower Show before having the first of many meals with Connie. A little local knowledge gave us a week of new culinary experiences. We like our food and had anticipated a week of exotic flavours for which Singapore is known. We were not disappointed and thanks to Connie and her friend Felicia we visited many food courts and restaurants that we would never have found by ourselves.

After several guided trips to various shopping centres or areas of geographic or cultural significance we were gradually tested to see if we could negotiate the Metro system with our
'chaperone' close behind. Singapore must surely have one of the best transport systems in the world, certainly the cleanest and fastest we have experienced. We frequently compared this with our first trip in the hot and humid conditions of the early 1970's.

We have lots of photos to be downloaded, sorted and filed which will keep us busy in the hot summer months when even in our native Tasmania one should stay out of the sun.
For anyone enjoying orchids, Singapore is definitely the place to visit. The Flower Show was a sheer delight and to put the
'icing on the cake' a visit to the National Orchid Gardens is a must. To experience the density of the generated mist soaking in the 'cool house' was a highlight with Gaye and I trying to out do one another spotting orchids secreted away among the ferns and mosses.

Other highlights included a night out at the Night Safari. To see animals active and so much livelier than during the warmth of the day was a real delight.
Coming from an island state where at best the economy could be described as sluggish and to view the scale of reclamation and construction occurring on Sentosa Island never have we seen anything comparable.

In summary this would have been the most enjoyable of our four trips to Singapore in no small way due to the friendship extended by the people we met everywhere.

Graeme and Gaye Chequer
September 2008

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