Thursday, July 22, 2004

My Favourite "Hotel"

My Favourite "Hotel"

People like to say Singapore is soulless; I choose to see it as a five-star hotel. Who cares if a hotel is soulless? I want good quality, efficient and hassle-free service. One doesn't need to worry about a single thing: the plumbing works, the sheets are clean and soft and hotel staff is at your beck and call. Just dump your dirty clothes into the laundry basket and your shirts will be crisply pressed, arrayed neatly in your walk-in closet, when you come back from work at the end of the day.

Of course, at the end of your stay, the whole affair will burn a big hole in your pocket. But that's OK; you're on business, and as long as you can conduct your business without having to worry about anything else, you are happy. That's why all multi-nationals set up their regional offices here. It's a no-brainer.

I have been here in this hotel-country called Singapore for the last two days. For the past three weeks in Jakarta, I've thinking whether I should stop by in Singapore for a day or two to catch up with old friends--my SIA ticket allows me one stopover without additional charges. I thought, why not. I missed Singapore: I miss the clean boulevards, Borders bookstore, the super-efficient MRT service, the trendy crowd at Orchard Road and the tanned and sultry women that strut the sidewalks.

It has been one-and-a-half years since I last came here and what a joy it is to read a hardcopy of the Straits Times again--still the best quality newspaper in the region.

The other reason why I want to be here is to be able to complete writing the report for my Indonesian project. I reckoned that I needed another two or three days of relative isolation to think and write. What better place than this air-conditioned island?

I know too as a Maxis subscriber, I get free wireless Internet access from Starhub hotspots all over the island if I roam on their network. So I have been working for the past few days from the Coffee Bean outlets at Funan IT Centre, Wheelock's Place and now, Boat Quay. I noticed that I'm so productive working from these outdoor cafes that I think I'll consider coming here a lot more often to work.

I'll never call Singapore my home because I don't feel an affinity with its people. But I love this country--it is one gigantic hotel, and I am one happy guest.

No comments: