I might have been to almost 200 countries and entities worldwide, but my dear old Singapore still bears many surprises for me. One evening, ET and I drove around the tip of Sembawang and Seletar Air Base. This is a traffic-light area full of huge leafy trees and grand olde colonial black and white houses. We cruised along narrow side lanes with names such as Kenya Crescent, Durban Road, Canada Road, Lagos Circle, Montreal Drive and Cyprus Road.
We found ourselves at the sleepy Sembawang Park, a short stretch of beach and a seafood restaurant gorgeously named Beaulieu House. Families armed themselves with fishing rod on a protruding platform, with the sandy shores of Johor, Malaysia near enough as though you could throw a stone and hit someone over there. To the West were rigs and ships-in-progress of the Sembawang Shipyard. Were these soon to be found in the stormy North Sea, the samba-washed Brazilian Atlantic Oil Fields, or the new lights of Boom Town Luanda, Angola?
We passed by a sleepy mosque, the last of the kampong mosques that was once found across this island. We headed for the Seletar Air Base, once a sleepy remnant of British colonial air force network, now being converted into an international aerospace industrial park. Aircraft hangars and sleepy bungalows dot a landscape with street names such as Edgware Road, Picadilly Circus, Bayswater Road, Hyde Park Gate, Maida Vale and Oxford Street. What a day!