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Saturday, October 17, 2009

A weekend in Singapore.

I was in Singapore recently for two weeks on work assignment, although I have been there on numerous occasions, I will be staying over the weekend this time.
The word Singapore invokes perception of a country which works like clockwork where all things happen because they are planned and are implemented with enforcement. As the only non gum chewing nation in the world as far as I know (sale of chewing gum for non medicinal purposes are prohibited) and the apparent obsession with self flushing public toilets, it does reinforce the perception.

Interesting sculpture seen along Orchard Road and on the way to the National Museum.

When I am there I worry whether I am breaking some laws that I am not aware I am breaking. My perceptions are surprisingly even shared by an American friend that has never set foot on this island nation, he has jokingly told me to make sure my tie is straight when I am there.

The 121 years old National Museum.

But one thing I must say, the discipline regime does pay off by having public roads, shopping complexes and public parks that are in immaculate conditions.

Landmarks in Orchard Road.

Everything generally is predictable, bus arrives on time, things happen as it should be, nothing much is out of place.
Although I have met rude taxi drivers and seen cigarette butts on the ground it was more of an exception rather than the norm.
Places I went during the weekend are the National museum and the unavoidable tourist shopping haunt Orchard road. Having no intentions on this trip to spend on sigthseeing, the places I went to are as far as the hotel shuttle will take me.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Curiosity got the better of me again and I was wondering what these plants with bright colorful leaves I often see in gardens, homes and occasionally in the wild are called, where they come from, how many varieties are there and so forth.

Well, I found out they are called Caladiums. With their pointed shaped leaves and attractive stunning colors, splashed in shades of green, white and red, they make excellent ornamental plants in the porch or room as it thrives well in shaded areas.

These tropical plants which are very well suited to our local hot and humid climate are native to South America.
Caladium comes in many varieties of various size leaves and colorful patterns.
All parts of the plant are poisonous, the poison is caused by the presence of Calcium oxalate crystals and Asparagines, a protein found in the plant.

Common Caladiums often seen are the Bicolor variety, I found five of this variants growing in my small garden itself.