Millennium Mom

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The tropics of Singapore

What a shock it was to exit the airport in Singapore...I think the last time I felt the heat and humidity like that was on my honeymoon...boy are we close to the equator. The weather in Seoul was about 40 degrees, in Singapore it is closer to 90. Most would celebrate that change, but those who know me know I don't like the heat, and dislike air conditioning even more. Despite all my R&D colleagues telling me all the time you can't get a cold from temperature change, it is a virus and it comes from germs, I get a cold from temperature change ALL THE TIME. So, while I am not wearing my winter coat here, I am wearing a blazer or sweater everywhere I go, and then die of heat when I walk outside :)

The island is great. For those who don't know where Singapore is, essentially it is in Southern Asia, North of Indonesia, and South of Malaysia. It is a tiny island (I would get maybe 25-30 miles wide by 20 miles high) with about 5MM people living on it. There is a bridge connecting it to Malaysia. The gov't keeps a short leash is is fantastic at driving growth. There are SO MANY cranes here building buildings, all high rises to house people or companies. They incent companies to come here with big tax breaks (hence why P&G moved it Asian HQ here about 7 years ago).

They also make sure it is a great place to live. You probably heard about the American teenager who got caned (spelling?) for using graffiti while he lived here. There is no gum allowed in the company (just ends up on street), you can get the death penalty if you are caught with large amount of cocaine or heroine, alcohol and tobacco are REALLY expensive (think $15 for glass of beer) because of extremely high tax rate. They check your gas levels before you leave the country to ensure you don't buy cheaper gas in Malaysia when you go there. Yes it is a bit big brother, but people who live here LOVE it because it is safe, clean, growing economy and easy to live.

There are SO MANY malls, everywhere, but not like US. But they are about one city block, by one city block, and about 5 stories high. From the high end designers (people are really rich, so lots of high end shopping and nice cars) to Zara and others. The food is very diverse because the population is diverse, so you can get any type of food you want - a burger, pasta, pizza, Korean, Italian, Sushi, Indian and so forth. We have some free time tomorrow before flying to Vietnam so hoping to see some more.

I have been able to talk to Arnie and the kids everyday which has been great. We are now 13 hours ahead so my morning is their evening and vice versa. Not sure why I am up now, got up at 6:30am after going to bed at midnight (had a 3.5 hour leadership team call...yuck), but I just couldn't sleep anymore. So I cleared out email (they all come in while I sleep as it is daytime in US) and now get to blog.

I hope everyone's holiday parties, shopping, plans are going great.
I need to do some in China to make sure I am all set, and then of course the last minute dash before we go to NY like every year :)

Finally, yesterday was my dad's 66th birthday. Of course I think he is the greatest dad EVER. It was great to hear his voice, and even better he arrives in Cincy tomorrow with my mom, so my kids get to have a week with Grandma and Papa...doesn't get any better than that.


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