Having lived, worked (J ) and been at school (both Mac and I) in Singapore means we all have shared and separate lives there, friends and a familiarity that allows us to relax. Having spent some very memorable childhood years in Singapore in the 70's I have a warm affection for this island so small it could fit snuggly into our own lake Taupo. Despite it's incredible metamorphasis since then it still has the ability to transport me back to the days of simple printed sundresses and hot peanuts wrapped in a newspaper cone with a smell or a glimpse of days gone by.
As the parents of a teenager Singapore offers a sense of security that allows him to enjoy a significant amount of freedom that he doesnt get in Phnom Penh and wouldn't get even in the relative safety of New Zealand. Where else in the world can a 15 year old catch a movie, a bite to eat and the last bus or train home just before midnight without the fear of being mugged/ stabbed/shot at etc. The incredible public transport system allows him to, with the tap of a card, and for less than a skinny cappuchino at Coffee Bean, trip the light fantastic from one end of the island to the other.He met friends for frogurt, took a trip to his old school gate, rode the cable car, hung out on the beach, caught a movie or two, ate subway and chicken curry and roti, bought his luggage allowance in books and remembered to check in with us once in a while.