Economic recession is slowly but surely making its way to this part of the world. Anyone who thinks the economy is doing fine and dandy is probably a liquidator, lawyer, government minister or on pot. Zen, my usual basket case tells me that PSA has been cutting back on her hours because less big vessels are coming in. It's also visible in the airport where you notice a smaller number of big jumbo jets.
Then, of course there is the proverbial view of the economy in the red light district. You get girls at the high end of the business telling you that the "White Man" no longer seems willing to pay - one Thai girl outside Orchard Towers (Four Floors of Whores) says, "I think it must be because of the economy." And true enough, if you take a trip down to Geylang Lorong 6, the hang out for old ladies from Batam and office peons, you'll find that it's filled with Caucasians. If ever there was a sign of the times.
I, in the mean time continue to struggle to find a living. Grand new projects are coming to a standstill but then again, I suppose this calls for one to discover a bit of creativity in how one creates income. This has, for example, been a year when I've discovered barter trade. I'm surprised that I've not resorted to this earlier - cash is a very scarce commodity in Singapore's "One Cheque" economy (there is actually no money in Singapore - everyone awaits the government to write out a cheque for some project or other) and so there have to be other ways of getting by.
Will be heading off to Hamburg for Christmas. Going on the 18th of December and won't be back til the 9th of January 09. It's always nice to pay Europe a visit and spend time with the family. This trip will be particularly important because Lee, my first step-father, will be in Germany too. It's been 10-years since I last saw him and I'm looking forward to spending time with him. It's because of him that I learnt that the qualifications of fatherhood are not necessarily biological. I won't go as far as a business partner of mine who calls his dog his child, I think it's Lee's example in my life that makes me try to give love and affection to the little fart in Vietnam . Yes, this trip to see a man who has made so much difference to my life is a long time over due and I look forward to it.