Arriving In Singapore
I am back in the northern hemisphere (just barely)!
Aside from the absurd 4:00 a.m. shuttle pick-up (compounded by the fact that my 8:15 flight was listed as a 9:15 departure when I got to the airport, supposedly on account of daylight savings time--which meant I easily could have slept in and taken a later shuttle) the trip from Perth to Singapore was quite pleasant. The woman at the check-in counter not only got me an aisle seat, but put me in an otherwise empty row so I could stretch out and be comfortable. The Singapore Airlines service was excellent, with good food and a choice of periodicals on board the plane (a rarity nowadays); I digested the latest issues of The International Herald Tribune, Newsweek, Time, National Geographic, and Conde Nast Traveler.
Upon arriving in Singapore, I cleared immigration and customs quickly and took the train into the city to Orchard Road, the shopping district and the location of my hotel. The walk from the station to my hotel gave me the impression the whole city was one big shopping mall, but I think that's a function of this particular neighborhood. Still, there were a range of shopping options, from the "flea market" feel of electronics vendors to upscale department stores.
One other thing: it's incredibly humid here. Australia was warm, but never got as humid as today in Singapore is. It just started pouring, so maybe things will get more comfortable once the rain breaks.