Before Singapore’s elections of a couple of weeks ago, I spent time trying to figure out what was going to happen and how it worked. In U.S. elections, votes are cast on numerous issues. Citizens vote on multiple representatives from the municipality up to the federal government. In California we were annually bombarded by propositions born from an active electorate and an incompetent government. But from what I could tell, each Singaporean was only choosing his area’s member(s) of parliament (MP). And as I dug in even more, I saw that some were not even choosing that.
Just over a week ago Singapore finished its first general elections in five years. I enjoy politics here nearly as much as I do in the states. Singapore is a strange country. It is mostly democratic. And its elections are a fun subject of my occasional consideration. My host country does not protect the speech of its citizens and guests, so entries like this will show deference to the law by omissions. I think I have a handful of election-related thoughts to jot down. We will see how many blog entries arise.
This morning I woke up at 5:30 AM to prepare for my first competitive race in Singapore, which was also my first competitive race ever. The event was the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run and I jogged the 10k course. Even in the early morning the heat was brutal. And the streets were mobbed by novices. But I will get to that shortly.
At an unpredictable frequency a small newspaper is slipped under the front door of my Singaporean residence. This paper, titled “Today”, covers a variety of news items on Singapore that I mostly ignore. But the front page of the edition laying on my floor after my return from Australia caught my attention: “How loyal are Singaporeans?”
I have been living off of the contents of three suitcases in early May. The rest of my life’s possessions are coming over from the US this week. They are to be delivered to my new place on Monday. But since I seem to living comfortably now, I am really beginning to question what the heck I need all that crap for?
I have learned more about Singapore from its taxi drivers than the rest of the islands inhabitants. This morning I struck up a conversation on gambling in Singapore on the ride to work. The driver’s experiences confirmed a long time suspicion of mine.
I recently discovered the amazing Singapore taxi system. I have visited no place in the world whose taxis were as efficient, clean, fast, and cheap as this.
It has been a little over 24 hours since I touched down at Singapore Changi airport. My flight arrived a couple hours late thanks to a cabin pressure failure that sent us back to Tokyo shortly after taking off. But I am now safe in my new temporary home and fighting the jetlag as I get ready for my first day of work.