Fish out of water – Or maybe in water?

November 27, 2007

portions originally written Oct. 12th, 2007

It’s truly amazing I can fly for 17 hours and still feel at home. Everyone speaks English, the stores are the same (well, high end, Bvlgari, Gucci, Burberry, Fendi everywhere – it’s like a large Santana Row or Plaza), the food is fairly similar to the Bay Area. The world is indeed becoming flat.

Commercials are the one difference I’ve seen. Here people of every race, countries all over the world advertise. Pretty different from our white-bread world where “diversity” means you throw in a hispanic or two because the buzz in marketing is they are a very large and growing minority with disposable income. Though, I’m not sure if it should be called diversity or capitalization. I guess there’s a fine line…

The Qatar commercial was the one that was playing when this ran through my mind. It would never have run in the US. An Arab man and his son are skipping stones in the water. It goes on to promote business in Qatar… suddenly I find myself wondering where Qatar is and feeling as dumb as the Americans who can’t find South Dakota on a map.

It is clean here. I had this realization while riding the cable car over to Sentosa Island and noticing with the construction they were trying to keep pollution out of the ocean. Once we arrived at Sentosa Island we decided to stick around. We went to see the statue of the merlion and were able to watch a wonderful short film explaining how this symbol of Singapore came to be – the stylized animation was awesome.

Seoul was also a nice airport to visit. Clean, nice design, wonderful lighting. And the airlines are nothing like the US. They’re effificient and still know what customer service is. Take for instance – we boarded 5-10 minutes late. They were apologetic – unlike the US Airlines that tell you to be happy they got you on a plane 4 hours late. Gee – that trip home at Christmas is going to be just wonderful.