Ahad, 20 Mac 2011

Final Notes from a Great Island (Singapore)

Reading travelogues is great. It always different based on the writer's experiences. Sometimes we also learn a lot about other peoples custom and cultures through it. For me, reading travelogues also help us not only to understand the place described by the writer but also made us understand the writer itself. The writers point of view always introduced us the writer's mind.


It is interesting to see Singapore from Humphreys's point of view. He honestly writes everything in his head. From over praising the toilet till excessive condemn of certain places. He reveals the good and the bad side of Singapore through his writings. I appreciated his honesty and this value made the book is one of a kind.

The Toilet

He talked a lot about toilets in the book. Some of the stories made us laughed. Some will make us impress. One of his favorite toilet was situated in National Orchid Garden which was described precisely in his book.

" The toilet boasted freshly laid tiled floors and ceilings that were cleaner than most hawker centre tables. Tropical plants adorned the three individual basins and every immaculate toilet and urinal had an automatic flush. Not only the toilet provide a welcome respite from the rains, its open concept, a familiar feature at Singapore's parks, made it breezy and cool. I would live in here. Do not come to the Botanic Gardens for its rainforest trees and free Symphony Stage shows, come for it's toilets."

The Dogs

After being chase by dogs, he wittily write this:

" I reached the conclusion that Singaporean dogs do not like me. Every dog I had when I grow up in England treated me benignly. They wrestled on the floor with me and occasionally farted in my face when the chance presented itself. But they were generally harmless. Around the quiet coastal towns of Singapore, however, myopic stray dogs appear to confuse me with a 6-foot bone."
It is indeed funny.

The end

The book is well written till the end. It really touched me when I read the last paragraph of the book. He write about his feeling of leaving the country.

" I knew I was not just leaving a great island. It was much more than that. I was saying goodbye to the best 10 years of my life."

Living for years in a foreign country where everything is so much different, the peoples, the building, the weather however made him attached. It just happened. This is what we called as life. I smiled.

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