President of Singapore

Feb 2, 2005

On a morning walk today, we chatted with the President of Singapore about CharityFocus, the India trip and of course, Singapore. :) It turns out that he goes on this walk on the beach, with just one unarmed bodygaurd and is super friendly!

Singapore is an interesting country:

  • Cars are 3x the US price, with all the duty. And every ten years, the government forces you to junk your car. So Singapore streets look really rich!
  • Audio CD's are sold for $2 on the streets. Probably pirated copies. :)
  • For about $500/month, you can have a live-in, 24x7 maid in the house from anywhere in the world.
  • Speaking of 24x7, there's a 5 story, 3 block Indian mall that's open 24 hours a day. Just in case you want to buy jewelry at 3AM. :)
  • It's true. Forget chewing gum, many streets impose $500 fine if you bring food and drinks!
  • Public transportation is totally awesome. Simple, clear UI that San Francisco should take serious lessons from.
  • Thai coconuts. I wasn't impressed. :)
  • 8% of Singaporeans are Indian, largely South Indian. And Tamil is one of the four national languages!
  • Weather is humid, muggy and nothing to get jealous of.

Oh, and if you've arrived into town via Singapore Airlines, you're already in a good mood -- 60 on-demand movies, 216 full audio albums, lots of leg room, great food and awesome service. Now, if they only had Internet access. :)

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"Service doesn't start when you have something to give; it blossoms naturally when you have nothing left to take."

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