In Singapore – since yesterday. Outside temperatures are comparable to a warm Swedish summer day, but inside temperatures are so cold that I need to wear a jumper. ACs are really in full action here. Two days ago we returned to Phuket, from where Koy and Pare left for Bangkok. I stayed in a hotel close to the airport, because I had to leave early the next day for Singapore.
The reason for travelling to Singapore was to meet Rita, who is professor in geological engineering at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, and to discuss with her a possible future joint project.
We had not met since our short meeting in Stockholm in June 2009, but we immediately recognized each other in the hotel lobby. We discussed at length a possible joint project, which could involve past climate change and hazard reconstructions. Indonesia has so many crater lakes of different age and in different settings that could form an excellent archive for assessing shifts in precipitation/drought, ash fallout, landslides, and earthquakes.
It was raining heavily when I arrived in Singapore, and the news reported also flooding in Malaysia. My plan was to take a train back to Bangkok through Malaysia and southern Thailand leaving tonight, but the reported flooding made me a bit alert.
Therefore I passed by the train station earlier during the day to get my tickets and to check the situation and was told that all trains were cancelled to Kuala Lumpur … and it would not be sure when they would start running again. So what to do next? Take a bus instead? I decided on skipping the trip through Malaysia and to find the earliest flight back to Bangkok: tomorrow afternoon. Despite the rain, I went for a long walk in Chinatown where everything is being prepared for Chinese New Year. People were busy buying food, sweats and presents for the upcoming celebrations.
Now I am now enjoying the view from the 19th floor of my hotel over the Singapore skyline. What a difference it is compared to the islands and the countryside we had visited in Thailand. Shopping centre after shopping centre and in between some patches of manicured greens!