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Pam’s ministry is in Singapore and Cambodia at the moment. We’re not exactly sure why the Lord chose to locate us in Kuala Lumpur. I did apply for a position in Singapore, but God chose Malaysia for us. Perhaps it is because KL is just about equidistant from those two endpoints: it is 5 to 6 hours travel time all told in either direction. It is also in the middle of those two extremes in terms of living standards: we can afford to live in KL, and we could not afford Singapore.

Through sheer dumb luck (I’m just teasing a response out of you. You know that, right?) my exam schedule gave me an extended weekend off, provided I worked like a little beaver on the marking. Since marking is one of those activites that is best done in an agony of intense activity, I finished in just under nine hours. Mission accomplished we headed for Singapore once again.

Once in your life you should visit Singapore, if you are able, just so that you can see that it is possible to build a city that actually functions properly. Recently voted among the top twenty ‘most livable’ cities (http://beaulotus.blogspot.com/2007/10/singapore-is-17th-most-liveable-city-in.html ) it is, in my humble opinion, much better than it is ranked by this Euro-centric magazine.

Its moniker is The Garden City, and unlike its American counterpart, it lives up to its name. Everywhere there are parks and greenspaces, and some of them, like the park in the east end, are just enormous. We spent three hours walking through it on Saturday, and didn’t get anywhere near the end of it. We did, however, get to a little cafe overlooking the lagoon watching waterboarders scoot around the lake on a cable wire device that provided the thrust of motorboat without either the noise or pollution – a typically Singaporean solution. The chicken wings were great, and the ‘show’ was very entertaining.

But even more impressive are the sidewalks. Understand that we live in a city where sidewalks are an afterthought at best: thin, broken brick affairs that endanger and discourage pedestrain traffic. As a result nobody walks in KL, and the narrow roads are impossibly clogged with cars. By contrast in Singapore the roads are wide, there is a clear verge between the road and the sidewalk, and another wider verge between the sidewalk and the buidings. Practically every verge is planted with graceful trees that provide shade and enhance the charm of the streetscape.

It is said that Napolean did more to transform France with his edict to plant trees on every French roadway, than any other decision he made. Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s visionary founder, has done the same for his country. We love the end result. Ok, so we can’t afford to live here; it is still awfully nice to visit for the weekend. And yes, we do appreciate what KL has to offer and are grateful to be here.

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