Postcard from the edge

I don’t have too much to say about Singapore at this point. I have been working the whole time I have been here, and my physical location in town is fairly far from anything fun to do so my days here have been (and look likely to continue to be) quite sterile and travel-neutral. You know, that funny thing that happens when every hotel room looks the same and it is hard to tell where you are at all. The fact that the electrical outlets are British-style makes it even harder to remember where I am, and the food is similar to the sorts of things I normally eat (the vegetarian diet being easiest when lots of Thai and Indian cuisine are included).  I guess this is the good thing about expat life; one is quite easily adaptable to new surroundings when travelling.  Living in an unfamiliar country makes it easier to travel to even less familiar territories.

There are thus two things that are unique to my Asian travel experience, both of which are making me miserable, and either of which I would really love to be able to change but suspect I am stuck with.

  1. Cold showers. Yes, when you step outside it feels like a sauna, but when I wake up stiff in my tiny (single) hard bed with only one pillow, I really could use a nice warm stream of water on my shoulders.
  2. The utter absence of coffee. I would literally pay ten times market price (maybe even more) for a Starbucks latte this morning!

Today is day two of my four full days here, then another travel day and back ‘home’ to the UK. I can’t wait; this world tour is finding me weary. Of course, this is only leg 2/3 and the UK stay will be only around 24 hours this time before the last leg of the trip, Italy. At least I can just about guarantee that I will be able to find good coffee there!

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3 responses to “Postcard from the edge

  1. Oh you poor thing. I’ve been to Singapore twice and never been deprived of either coffee or hot showers… unlucky. (I’ve also never had scary cab drivers there… doubly unlucky).

    My suggestion: keep you eyes open for signs that read “kopi” – it’s Malay for coffee.

  2. I’m trying to remember who wrote a story I once read about the “psychology of addiction” conference during which the caterers ran out of coffee, resulting in near-rioting by the participants thus deprived of their fix…

    You’re not a poor thing, as Merry would have it; you have a problem, at least according to http://www.r-a.org/i-caffeine.htm. Then again, you might be enjoying your naturally sleepy self. Or switch to tea. The mind boggles.

    I am capable of schadenfreude. There’s my fearless moral inventory.

    But I do feel for you, too.

  3. notfromaroundhere

    There’s fighting words there…
    From http://www.cosic.org/questions-and-answers

    Q: Is there any evidence to support the claim that coffee drinking is not addictive?

    A: Yes, research was published in 1999 (Nehlig) that showed caffeine did not act on the brain areas responsible for reward, motivation and addiction in the same way as amphetamines and cocaine.

    Q: Do any ‘official’ bodies acknowledge that coffee is not addictive?

    A: Yes. The American Psychiatric Association states in its manual that caffeine does not meet those criteria associated with drug abuse. Unlike the pattern of progressive increase in consumption associated with drugs, the level of caffeine consumption easily remains static over long periods of time. Furthermore, individuals reducing their caffeine intake do not exhibit those symptoms of withdrawal that are characteristic of drug dependence.

    Also see
    http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro99/web3/Howard.html

    I am NOT addicted to coffee, I just like it!!! And prefer to start my day with it rather than with that darned British tea.

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