Sunday, December 26, 2004

Malls & the Eight Hour Layover

We got back from Singapore a couple of days ago. Happy Christmas!

So I'll refrain from an extended description of every last thing we did in Singapore (All 5 regular readers of this blog will remember, with pain, the posts about Europe and wince). I reserve the right to post about Singapore in the future, but I'll try to keep it associated with interesting photos I took while there.

So I'll just post a couple of thoughts about Singapore right now before moving on to the annual review of the past year. Maybe I'll even have some resolutions!

Two of the things Singapore is known for (at least in my mind) are the shopping and the airport layover. If you've ever travelled to India you may be quite familiar with the 8-hour layover. I never really gave this much thought until this trip.

By coincidence, a couple of our friends stopped in Singapore for 8 hours while we were there. So we picked them up from the airport and took them to a few spots where they could eat some great food and get an idea of the shopping. While taking them around, I realized that this is exactly what the Singapore government wants and this is exactly why the 8-hour layover even exists.

Think about it. Travellers going to other countries don't think anything of this layover. They don't think they're visiting Singapore. In fact, they're really just visiting India or some other country in Asia. But the reality is that in their short stop in the country, most people will spend at least a few bucks that they weren't planning to spend. Whether it's on food or shopping, Singapore still wins. Our friends spent over a hundred Sing dollars in just a few hours. If every transit passenger spends just S$10 while there, it's a huge plus for the country. And the government doesn't even need to convince people to visit the country, they've just had the national carrier schedule their flights to encourage people to spend a few hours looking around.

And as far as the shopping malls go? I'm convinced there are so many malls in Singapore because of the heat and humidity. Seriously, why would anyone wants to spend time in the oppresively thick air when they could stroll around the comfortable confines of one of the thousands to shopping malls? Hong Kong seems to be the same way.

So next time you find yourself stuck in the Changi Airport in Singapore waiting for your next flight, think about what the government wants you to do. Shop and eat.

1 comment:

Henry said...

Lucky you missed the quake - I hope all is well with her family there.