Blog from Singapore

Posted on 10th November, 2009

Well here I am in Singapore again. The place has changed a lot since I was here two and a half years ago. One of the changes is a bit of a shock to the system it’s the exchange rate from Pounds to Singapore Dollar. I got just over two dollars to the pound. It is now much cheaper to buy electronic goods in the UK than in Singapore.


The people that only go to the tourist areas are finding that they are well over budget within hours of arriving. There are still bargains to be had if you know where to look and it is well worth chatting up one of the locals to steer you in the right direction.


I have had a trip to the Serangoon Gardens area and although there are extensive changes it is still recognisable if you remember the old days. There has been resistance by the locals to the ubiquitous high rise flats and the only real differences are the normal changes you would expect. The cinema no longer exists and a new building is under construction in its place ( who knows it may be the first high rise building).


John Gabriel is the Camp Commandant of what is left of RAF Seletar. He very kindly escorted my Son and myself round the old places that I remembered so well. Not only did he show us round but he also collected us from our Hotel, brought us a dinner and then returned us back to our Hotel. We managed to get a few nice photos, including one on the balcony next to my old billet.


The RAF treated us Engineer Lads as the poor relative and I have taken it as sort of boost to moral that the final Military occupants Seletar are Engineers of the Singapore forces and it will probably be Engineers who see out its last days.


As for the rest of Singapore, Some of the buildings that I considered new (30 years old) have already started to be knocked down to make way for even larger and newer buildings. I don’t think I have ever seen so many shopping malls in one place before.

It looks like little India is going the same way that Chinatown and Bugis Street went with the old being bulldozed to make way for the Ultra new.


During this trip I have managed to link up with Gareth Davies and also with Keith Thomas both with their wives. Gareth is here working and Keith is passing through on his way to Bali.


Gareth looks quite well although the flowing locks of hair have been replaced with a close cropped hair cut and he looks a lot leaner than I remembered. Keith has not changed a lot from the reunion in February.



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