the five-day forecast predicted five days of 40% chance of precipitation. thunderstorms. little boxes with sketches of white clouds and ominous yellow lightning bolts coming out from underneath the puffiness. so rain it did. off and on. on and off. sheets of rain all morning, then sweltering sunshine the rest of the afternoon. nice day for a stroll through the botanic garden or a ride on a bumboat, then right after lunch, thick dark clouds burst like a fat water balloon got pricked by a needle. welcome to singapore.
and singapore loves the rain! all the trees in singapore, that is. there's a reason why some people call it singabore. that's because there really is nothing there. but what's so great is that singapore makes something out of nothing. they create festivals, they build performance halls and museums, they highlight their short history, they make beaches, they put up zoos and animal shows, they promote what little culture they have etc etc etc. so they build it and they come—tourists, that is. and the biggest thing they built is the marina bay street circuit for this month's first-ever nighttime formula 1 race. the excitement is palpable. go, lewis!
back to the trees. singapore is just as hot as manila, if not hotter. they're closer to the equator, you know. but all those trees cool the city down considerably. walking becomes a pleasure when you're shaded by lush foliage. there are patches of trees all over the city. these are trees whose only function is to be trees—that is, to provide shade, supply fresh oxygen, and clean up the city's polluted air. the beautification is a nice bonus. they pick what type of trees to plant based on what type of birds they'll attract. so you're surrounded by nature in the middle of the city. so pleasant.
even the airport has trees. the middle of the departure area has an orchid garden, complete with benches and koi pond. but did you know they have a sunflower garden as well? look for the sign that says garden, go up to the second floor, step outside, and you'll see a huge viewing deck with an actual sunflower garden. pretty, isn't it?
this has got to be the best smoking section we've seen yet.