No. I’m still travelling both for work and for pleasure. It’s just that this blog is neglected. I repent and promise myself again to get to writing. Taking up from April, the next big journey after the walk round Arundel was to Singapore for my work. Despite the horribly long air journey, I enjoy Singapore. The warm, damp air reminds me of Seychelles, where wife and I spent our earliest married years. We took our firstborn at 9-weeks old and our second son was born there. After the air, that similarities end. Singapore has a reputation for being a controlled society. The end result is a clean, crowded, safe-feeling, prosperous, and–yes–regulated society. A Swedish colleague and I walked from our hotel into town to eat. The traffic flowed, drivers obeyed traffic signals. The pavements were crowded with young people looking healthy, well off and enjoying themselves. We heard that the Christian church in Singapore is thriving. I’m glad that the prosperity is being moderated by spiritual growth. Materialism, like a nuclear reactor, needs moderating with other, spiritual influences to avoid melt down. Local TV was fun. In Thailand once I saw a cooking programme on preparing rats. My stomach turned when I saw a dozen tails hanging over the side of the wok. In Singapore I was caught up with a TV soap whose daily tensions grew in the fertile soil of loves gained and lost, flirtations with dishonesty and manipulation, a son watching his father regret infidelity and longing for his parents to be reconciled. I was sorry to leave.
In 1971 my first extended time outside UK was in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, for 5 months before I returned home to get married. July can be cold at 5,000 feet elevation, so my memories include woodsmoke, jacaranda and the dark silvery song of a nocturnal bird. Bathing one night in the concrete floored bathroom I met a moth with a wingspan of 6-8 inches and curiosity to match. I don’t think my light was shining that brightly.
In May 2007 all I saw of Nairobi was the airport en route to Mombasa, down on the coast. Actually my group was staying north of Mombasa in an ocean-side hotel drenched with seasonal rain. The wind was quite high, the Indian Ocean breakers roaring constantly as they hit the reef edge. My room had mosquito nets, thank goodness, as Mombasa is close to the equator. Surprisingly, the lizards were nearly as bold as the moth.
One afternoon a tribe of monkeys moved across the compound atop the palms. I was amazed to see one leap several metres, landing on a much lower palm branch on his next tree. Clever or stupid? Reckless or finely judged? He made it, so it’s your call.
Old Mombasa was fascinating, even on a rainy late afternoon after a visit toBaraka FM, a station servingboth the Christian and Muslim communities in the name of Jesus Christ. From their offices there’s a great view over the shipping lanes.