Singapore

Another big city, an urbane Hong Kong; I liked Singapore. We didn't have long enough to experience everything, money also played its part but overall I appreciated what I saw.

It was a clearly defined and efficient city. Sky scrapers were present but not on a Hong Kong scale. The elegance of Marina Bay Sands epitomises the image Singapore are trying to project. It is potentially isolating, as Joe said everyone on the underground is glued to their smart phones and the endless malls bring an alienating feel to the streets. Modernity has sacrificed some character and charm which isn't a problem for the locals but diminished it in my eyes. It is provocative through its ideals making it noteworthy but not endearing.

The botanic gardens were a brilliant antidote to the metropolis. Beautifully kept and deftly designed; I spent an afternoon exploring the area. They were definitely worth a visit.

Less cultural activities included Nandos and a 4am viewing of the European Cup Final. Chelsea players bringing it to the biggest stage once again. I'd also like to take this opportunity to clarify a few common misconceptions about football fans outside of Europe. As a result of stringent empirical evidence, I can safely say that Chelsea are the dominant player in the worlds fake football shirt market. Even in Asia, Chelsea had 3 times the presence of United. City may as well not exist and Liverpool were a distant third.

Our long haul flight to Uganda with Qatar Airways lived up to our high expectations. Five films were seen: Chronicle, The Book Of Eli, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Young Adult and John Carter. Jason Reitman has never disappointed and EL&IC merited its Oscar nomination. The rest were a bit mediocre except for the start of Chronicle.

Uganda has been enlightening so far, not in all the ways that I had expected. I will bring thoughts soon.

Singapore Botanic Gardens