Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bugis Square, Singapore

When I asked at the front desk of the Miramar Hotel, what tourists like to do in Singapore, twice now they've told me "Bugis Square".  It's apparently a favourite shopping place and hanging out place for Americans mostly.  DSC 0021
I awoke at 7 am, prayed and meditated, facing the east, wondering if facing the east is what one still does in the east.  Of course, it's where the sun arise and man has before all other gods, 'worshipped" the "Sun".  Thanks to Constantine, a Sun Worshipper himself, we got Sabbath as Sunday rather than the normal Saturday Sabbath of Israel.  I know at sea and in the wilderness, as close as man comes to our early ancestors, I love the sun's rising, as it dispels the night when beasts, like large cats, with their night adapted eyes, have advantage over man.
There's a Starbucks, where I'm sitting, across from a McDonald's here.  I took a double decker bus, #51 from my hotel on Havelock Road, to the new bridge road and eventually to Victoria Road.  There's a mixture of English names and Chinese and Malyasian names throughout the city. I first noticed this on the tram where English names like Lavender mixed with asian names like Xe. I would definitely benefit from a course simply in 'pronunciation' of asian words as my mind seems to shut off when it encountered odd spellings, simplifying it to a personalized 'pidgin' english that no one can comprehend.  However is X at the beginning of an Asian word pronounced?
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I had wanted to people watch. The shops aren't open yet.  The women are generally so well dressed, poised, fashion conscious, heels, co-ordinated, slim.  There are occasional slobs, overweight, sloppy dressed, but they're fewer here than in the west.  The men are more likely to smoke. There's a proliferation of iPhones and samsung tab phones. Everyone, even walking, is busy inputting data with thumbs.  Earphones are the haute courture of the young running as high as several hundred dollars while starting at $5 or $10.  Not only does the latest version of phone and type distinguish but the ear phone accessory is a status definer.  The women seem to show a lot more attention to brand with each wearing or carrying something decidedly 'designer.'  It's probably just that this is a 'younger' culture.  We're older in the west and less affected by trends.
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I've no real plans for today. The major tourist places I wanted to see I actually saw yesterday in a whirlwind of walking, The Riverwalk, the harbour, with Marina Bay, and the Sky Park of the Sands Hotel, then Chinatown and Changi Prison and Chapel. I even made mass at St. Andrews Anglican Cathedral.  Today my feet hurt.  I almost went for a swim at the Miramar Hotel but decided I'd rather be out on the street people watching.
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I've just been talking with a couple from Africa. She's moslem by her dress and asked if she minded if her husband took a picture of her beside me. I've been taking pictures of people, perched her with my laptop, and Nikon, so I could hardly refuse.  I'd actually taken a picture of her earlier. She reminded me a bit of Whoopi Goldberg. She said her English was only a 'little bit'.  She told me she was taught high school and seemed to understand that I was a doctor.
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This position is great for watching people but not so well concealed for surreptitious photography. I do miss my telephoto. I hope no one feels that I'm stealng their souls.  That caused a horrible row in Morocco when I was photographing there until I learned that it was a way to collect money from tourists.  I should have noticed that it was only the hustlers that seemed to take offence.  We're all on camera today. Even now a satellite may be passing over and photographing me now that the clouds have cleared away and we have a lovely blue sky.

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I have a young woman patient who agreed to let a man photograph her nude. She's now concerned that these erotic pictures might be distributed.  That's naturally concern with indiscrete photography and the net.  I loved the name of the American politician who got caught sending less than conservative photos of himself to women, Mr. Weaner.  It's likely that this issue with 'modesty' or 'privacy' will evolve to something else with the next generation. Maybe we'll all be nudists. I can't see laws protecting individual 'image' in the market place.  Look at all the trouble that celebrities have gone to without success dealing with the paparazzi.  Certainly the various spy agencies aren't about to pay compensation for their intrusions  which they realistically justify on the basis of 'security'. The whole issue of 'facial recognition' software would be defeat by moslem face wear, mardi grass or the mollies of old.  What will follow then will be costume and easily applied fascial masks which will allow anonymity.  The Kings and Queens of old were noted for their various disquises to get away with dalliances and mingling with their subjects unnoted.  No doubt Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have a tale or two of their use of disquise to move about without entourage.
Kinokuniya was a great English and Asian book store in the Bugis Square.

Walking about further I'd find out that Bugis Square is not just this lovely mall but across the street is the open air market which extends for blocks.

There are also other shopping malls though this was definitely the most uptown of all the ones I was in. 
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