Leaving Michael waving at the hotel window is hard. He’s heading back home in the morning and I’m on to Indonesia through Singapore. Customs is a breeze getting out of Vietnam, here they x-ray the bags but there is no one looking at the monitors. Oh well.
Reading the International Herald Tribune on the plane, news from the outside world — The Pope has died, millions mourn. That Teri person has finally passed (what WILL they talk about on Fox News?). If I were tri-lingual and could push a broom, I can get a job for 1/3 more pay than I could pushing a broom elsewhere at the new Disney World in Hong Kong. One item I can’t read. Literally. It has been crossed out of the paper with a black magic marker. I hold it up to the light and can figure out by reading the fringes that there’s been some kind of protest by Buddist monks in China that the Vietnamese govt. doesn’t want me to read about. That’s not cool. Having seen censorship and propaganda in all kinds of packages (did someone say Fox News?), I can say this is a new one on me. Quaintly old fashioned in a modern news age.
I’m still hung up on the fact I couldn’t get a custodial job at Disney in China since I can barely pretend to be multilingual if there are pictures on the menu as we dip into the sky above Singapore. Lighted ships are lined up along a lenghty channel disappearing into an infinity point to my right, too many to count. Customs is a wave toward the taxi queue. Pretty lax for a country that still believes in caning and enforces the death penalty for drug possession.
Into the taxi and I feel at home again — high rises, highways, people traveling in the same directions in the same lanes — what a concept! I am met by one of my hostess teachers from Duri, Caroline, who takes me for a walk around the hotel. Across the street is Borders, next to Gucci and McDonalds. We talk about the lax security at the airport and she tells me that chewing gum is also against the law in Singapore. Little note for those traveling — no gum, but Caroline assured me I wouldn’t get arrested for the Tootsie Roll in my pocket. Whew.
But basically, I would say you will have more problems with airport security flying from Cleveland to Buffalo than from Vietnam to Singapore.