Some problems at the border saw us fail to reconnect with our coach. The protocol at most border control points is that one dismounts (with luggage) from your transport “schlepp” across to have your passport and luggage checked, then pick up the coach on the other side. Unfortunately, for us this did not happen. The coach either went back the way it had come or failed to do a head-count and went on without us, much to our chagrin.

Fortunately there was a Shuttle Bus service which took us to the nearest underground…..and this was our first indication of how slick, modern, and professional the Singaporean environment is. Simply everything is doable with elegant efficiency.

Let me say at this juncture that a number of travellers, both back home and those that we met said that they were fairly ambivalent about Singapore and its ultra clean and sanitised environment. I would like to demur.I loved it. Everything works….people don’t throw rubbish on pavements or spit in the very theatrical way  that we had come to expect most everywhere else, there’s no graffiti, laws are respected. Overall it is a very sophisticated society that is welcoming, providing a variety of stimuli, be it artistic, artisanat, business orientated or simply tourism. We actually came across the Singapore National Gallery by happenchance.

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Singapore National Art Gallery is a must for anyone wanting to see any of a plethora of exhibitions that display there during the course of  a season. Whilst we were there an exhibition of some “world famous” paintings were on show. “Starry Night” Van Gogh,…”Les joueurs de carte” Paul Cezanne, and others by Gauguin. “Les Joueurs de carte” sold for $250,000,000.00 in 2011!

A landscape in which the starry night sky takes up two thirds of the picture. In the left foreground a dark pointed Cypress pine tree extends from the bottom to the top of the picture. To the left, village houses and a church with a tall steeple are clustered at the foot of a mountain range. The sky is deep blue. In the upper right is a yellow crescent moon surrounded by a halo of light. There are many bright stars large and small, each surrounded by intense swirling halos. Across the center of the sky the Milky Way is represented as a double swirling vortex.

Mega Bucks!

Starry Night will be also rather expensive. However, this just gives the reader a little indication of the quality of the works on display. Should one have any artistic inclinations, be they active or simply observational, this is the place to go.

There is undoubtedly a sense of dynamism, vivacity and progress in the atmosphere around Singapore. Definitely worth a visit even, as in our case only briefly. We had to leave after three days to catch a plane from Kuala Lumpur back to the UK to spend Christmas with our progeny.

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