It’s Christmas time in Singapore and like everywhere else in the retail world, the trees and lights are up. Temperature wise, December and January are the mildest months of the year. It’s the rainy season which means that it almost always rains in the afternoon and most definitely rains when you plan for an outing. In between the rain the air can be heavy with humidity but sometimes, when the wind is blowing right and the sun is dappened by the clouds and the previous night’s rain has cleaned the air, the season is wonderful.
Christmas is a big thing in Asia. I suspect that it’s because of the lights. While the fuel crisis of the nineties and the eco-green themes of the 2010’s have the Western world in a perpetual state of conservationalism, the Asian world spends energy with wild abandon. AT no time is it more apparent than at Christmas. In Beijing all the trees are strung up with LEDs and entire hiways sparkle with fairy lights. In Hong Kong all the office buildings have synchronized night lights and the harbour looks like a showcase of giant Christmas boxes. In Shanghai the Bund waterfront is brighter than normal with shimmering buildings and pounding strobe lights. In Singapore the main shopping strip on Orchard Road shines with reds and blues and skyscraper high Christmas trees.
It’s a wanton, fiscally questionable and ecologically irresponsible abuse of electricity. But its a magical thing to see.