Last spotted in San Francisco, USA on March 28, 2003, 1:23 pm
Who is he? Where is he going? Where has he been? David Barrett / Quinthar
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Like many large international cities, Singapore has neighborhoods centered upon distinct cultures, one of which is Little India. I picked this second-floor Indian haven for its huge buffet and hip music, both of which were very tasteful. As my hunger abated the music grew, and the entire restaurant converted into a late-night dance club. Try as I might, however, I couldn't get any play from the ladies that night.

I only know the barest details of Buddhism, and I definitely don't understand how the fundamentals map to present day practices, but I highly approve of the temples. The large, old building is opulent but not flashy, sacred but congenial. Unlike the churches with which I'm more familiar, in their solemn and inspirational forms, these temples are more like a large family's living room - people stream in and out while children scamper about in a chaotic scene. If a Christian church were the equivalent of mail order, a Buddhist temple is the supermarket. The energy of the place isn't just within, it's all around. A large and somewhat gaudy altar is presided over by a golden Buddha, surrounded by electric candles and countless pots with smoking incense sticks. Flowers are scattered haphazardly around, thousand-Dong bills stuck between the stems and pedals according to some inscrutable pattern of ritual. Beneath the altar is a large square carpet, a thick red spongy thing that a baby scampers across - wear... [more]
Inconceivably, the best seat in the restaurant went continually unused: a balcony table overlooking a busy corner. Rectifying this gross injustice, I spent many hours drinking malsala tea and Tiger beer in equal proportions while watching the workers mill about after a hard day.

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