Don't get me wrong I like my tech. I ought to, it is a big part of how I earn a living. I am a champion of things digital, having moved 2,500 of company employees (consuming more than 6 million sheets of paper annulally) from paper manuals to digital. I prefer to use digital books, music, movies, photography, and more where ever possible. I love my iPad and iPod, but when it comes to phones I am quite backward.
To the amusement of most of my work colleagues I have held on to my old work Nokia phone circa 2006. I know all of the advantages (and disadvantages) of smart phones, but the truth is there is nothing so urgent in my life, work or private, that I can't achieve with my old Nokia - it lets me make and take calls and send and receive texts. In addition, 90% of my time at work is spent at or near my desk, which has desk phone (which does not have a battery that runs flat) with a land line. On top of that I have recruited staff capable if thinking for themselves and more than able to deal with any issue that arises if I am not around.
I may be in the minority, but I struggle with this cellphone obsession and the need to be constantly connected. I remember an absurd sight a couple of years ago in a restaurant in Venice, just a couple streets away from St Marks Square. It was a great little place, full of atmosphere. Beside us was a table of four twenty-something Taiwanese tourists all sitting there, glued to their screens. Their meal arrived and they all took photos of their food then back on the texts. They hardly spoke to each other at all and left a little while later, leaving most of their meal on the table.
On another occasion, in another (very upmarket) restaurant, in another country, I watched a young couple come in and sit down for what was probably intended as a romantic evening. Immediately they were on their phones. They looked up to order their food, then back to the phones. Really romantic eh?
Why am I thinking of this? We have come up to Singapore for a few day to celebrate her-indoors' birthday and yesterday, as we sat in a queue at the Singapore Zoo, I watched one of the workers as she answered one cell phone, texted on another, while the walkie talkie barked out instructions to her. While it was a wonderful example of multi-tasking, but I am just so glad my life is not that urgent.
I haven't been to Singapore for eight years and never on leisure. What a wonderfully hot and diverse place this is...but oh so expensive!
We have had some great food (not much wine though since a decent bottle in a restaurant costs $150 plus...thank goodness we brought four bottles with us), and covered most of the tourist type activities. The one military point of interest was the Battle Box in Fort Canning Park.
This was the command and control centre built 9 meters beneath the ground on Fort Canning hill and was the post from which General Percival directed the battle for the Malay Peninsula. Up to 300 men worked in this facility. They have done a great job of preserving the place with mannequins replicating the functions associated with many of the rooms - the comms room, the aircraft plotting room, Percival's command room, and the surrender council. There are also some nice (short) video presentations about the operations in the far east.
Each of the rooms was designed to be sealed, but in this tropical location, without the air-conditioning that they have today, it proved so hot and stuffy that they had to cut holes on the doors to allow airflow. For anyone visiting Singapore it is a very worthwhile place to visit, and not overly crowded - our group was only six people with a very knowledgeable young guide called Jerome.
Just a couple of days left of the holiday then it is back home and back into the painting, since a parcel of Great War Crimeans is enroute to NZ.