You can now buy chewing gum in Singapore.
This may not seem particularly newsworthy, but, see, you haven't always been able to. Singapore has a veritable horde of oft-quoted, eyebrow-raising statutes: drug trafficking, for example, famously warrants the death penalty. You're also liable to be slapped with a hefty fine for not flushing a public toilet, and don't even think about importing "gun-shaped cigarette lighters" (drat!).
And then there was Michael Fay...but he might very well have deserved it.Given this cultural milieu, the chewing gum thing isn't all that surprising. Gum was banned in this country a decade and a half ago, reportedly in response to miscreants sticking their masticated mementos on the sensors of the nascent Mass Rapid Transit system's train doors, causing crippling, nation-wide delays. As with all things Singaporean, though, the ban had been bandied about in discussions for nine years prior. Let me tell you—those among us who lived in this country in those mastic-free days were forced to make do with Mentos, and massive amounts of hawker food.
Beginning in 1999, things began to change. That year, the US and Singapore entered into negotiations for a free-trade agreement (aptly named the "US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement"—or USSFTA—which doesn't roll off the tongue nearly as well as NAFTA once did). The negotiations, however, ground to a halt in 2003 over two very weighty, globally important issues.
1. The War in Iraq, and
2. Chewing gum.
There are no posts. Why not be the first to have your say?
We are two physicians who spent a year travelling the world in 2007-2008, and repeatedly return to West Africa to work with Mer…
I write this post with the unsettling knowledge that I'm firmly ensconced as part of the problem. And I have no real solution to offer.
Augustus was dressed in black when he walked into the admissions tent. Odd, since we were not in New York City, but then who am I to comment on Monrovian fashion?
I have mentioned ward church in a few posts in the past, but I've never really written about it. After today, I must.
So... We're writing this from Bishkek, where our plan was to stay a single night and then to head out to Issyk-Kul, the world's second-largest alpine lake (second only to Titicaca, whose very name can never be surpassed).
Three days on Isla del Sol, in Lake Titicaca; natural beauty and Inca legends
Differences in daily life between Canada and Peru
Iquitos: the largest and most popular jungle destination in Peru
Madrid's Festival of San Isidro has morphed from a religious procession to a full scale arts festival