As we descended through a thick pack of clouds, the airplane shook violently due to the thunderstorm below. The night was pitch dark but sometimes the black clouds became visible as thunderbolts moved from cloud to cloud. This morning at 6 am local time I arrived in Singapore for three days of R&R before I head off to Melbourne for the fifth World Conference of Science Journalists.
Even upon entry of this small Asian state one is reminded of the stringent laws, like a $1000 fine for biking through an under-passage or the death penalty for drug trafficking. But these harsh laws have also made this a safe state where crime is something you only watch on TV. Indeed, the whole atmosphere seems to be one where several different nationalities and different religions live side by side in peace and share equally in the prosperity. A secret envied by most Western countries nowadays.
Having been ruled by the British originally Singaporeans drive on the left hand side of the road and everyone speaks English, it is the language that is the common denominator for all the different cultures that make up this city. Although I must admit that English with a thick Asian accent is a little hard to understand at times. But the friendly smiles and polite nature more than makes up for this. And so I have been slung into Singaporean life and landed softly.