Two years ago, when I was just starting out with my website, I
got an interesting email from Singapore. A young lady there, who was interested
in traveling to Russia, wanted my opinion on how safe it would be for her. I don’t
remember what I wrote, but it was something on the lines that Russia was fine if
you were street smart, just like any other big city in the world.
Two or three days later, I received the most scathing
flame ever, from a Russian who was mad at my interpretation of his country.
He and I went around a few times, and I even posted part of his missive on my
site. It was not until a month later that I learned the reason for his anger.
Seems the Singaporean was his girlfriend and my website had her scared.
Luckily, it all worked out in the end. Shu’ai went to Russia
with Alex, and enjoyed her time, though as a Singaporean she did find a few
things shocking. Russia is not even close to the cleanliness, efficiency, or
wealth of her island nation, and Russians didn’t seem to grasp even where
We kept in touch (I even sent her Flat
Jon), and when I landed in Singapore, you know what I did. I
dropped a line to Shu’ai, and we spent a Wednesday night drinking on Boat Quay
talking about Singapore and Russia. We didn’t do too much drinking though, for
Singapore has some of the highest alcohol taxes in the world. A small bottle of
beer will set you back at least $5, which doesn’t work too well on my limited