Monday, September 28, 2009

Day 4 and Day 3

It's Tuesday morning in Singapore. We've basically been pretty lazy. Hanging out at the hotel, some pool time, both catching up on reading and relaxing.

On Sunday night, we watched the F1 race on local TV. We probably saw more than the folks who paid a lot of money to see it at the course. Really impressive. Not only a night race on city streets, but the race went under a couple of freeways as well as under part of the stands. You know now by now that Hamilton won the race, leading all the way. As with a lot of sports, the information we got watching on TV was probably much more than the people saw live. Quite a race. A big event in Singapore and glad we watched so we could talk about it with people.

Yesterday morning, we went to the National Museum. A lot of what you would call pop art. but a very interesting exhibit on local food history including an outline of the history and origination of all of the spices. Had no idea that, until the Portuguese brought peppers here from South America, there were no hot chili peppers in Asian food. So we have the Portuguese to thank for Szechwan food? Pretty amazing. But also learned a lot about many of the other spices that caused this area to be called the Spice Islands in the middle of the last Millennium.

After that, we joined Fionn Hyndman for lunch at a British Pub called the Penny Black. We first met Fionn at the iMedia Summit in Hunter Valley Australia where he talked about his testing on attribution protocol. I wrote about this for MediaPost Metrics Insider. Fionn always has good ideas and thinking about where our market is going and it was great to get a perspective on the business in this part of the world prior to heading up to iMedia in Phuket Thailand next week. Actually we are going up on Wednesday (tomorrow) but we're going to spend a few days R&R prior to the conference.

After lazing at the pool in the PM, we had dinner with Ann Burgraff Rowell and her husband Chris. Chris works for Oracle and Ann is a web advertising consultant here in Singapore. Very good food at IndoChine along the Singapore river. Great Pan Asian food in a very beautiful setting. Funny, one of our favorite restaurants in the Pacific Northwest is IndoChine in Federal Way.

I don't think I posted a link of the Shangri-La that we are staying at so here it is. Our room is in the Garden Wing, overlooking the pool. Highly recommended.

Heading out into the day in Singapore. More later today or tomorrow when we get to Phuket.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day 2 and Day 1

Caught up with sleep (11 hours!) and had a swim in the pool.

Karen took some pictures yesterday that I hope to upload after breakfast. I love the breakfast at the Asian fine hotels. Here they have a station for everything. Custom made omelet, lots of fresh fruit including
papaya, cantalope and lots of other melon, many kinds of juice, fresh pastries, cheeses, smoked fish, something from every type of breakfast cuisine including Japanese, Scandanavian, two Chinese stations (deem sum and congee), two Indian stations (yoghurt and traditional) and others.

After breakfast yesterday (day 1), we took a walk down Orchard Road,
noted for shopping. Just about everything you could imagine from very high end (think Rodeo Drive or 5th Avenue) to bargain electronics and everything in between. We ended up at the Long Bar in Raffles.
Never been there and glad to have finally made it. Had
a gin (Tanquerey) and tonic and a draft Heinken. The Raffles is archtypical colonial British enclave. Great architecture. The bar was classic.
See picture at the right. The picture up above is me after a couple of drinks at the Long Bar.

We were kind of tired from the long trip so did not do too much else yesterday except for dinner at the Shang Palace in the hotel. Which was ok, but not great.

We are staying at the Shangri-La in Singapore. In the garden wing. With a balcony overlooking the pool. All of the balconies have bougainvilleas streaming off of them and it is quite a side. And the gardens are beautiful with huge plants of all sorts.

We came in the middle of race season and tonight is the Singapore Formula 1 race. Preceded by the Aston Martin, BMW and other races this PM.
I think it is the only night race on the circuit. That, combined with the city streets makes it unique. Lots of race fans around and about.
This picture here is looking down on part of the race course from a hotel bar. Speaking of cars, I could not believe the number Ferraris and Lamboghinis on the street here. There does not seem to be any recession at all in Singapore.
Time for breakfast. More later.

Here are a couple of more pictures from yesterday. The inner court at the Raffles and the front of Raffles.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Getting Ready

Just 2 more days and we will be on the plane to Singapore. Karen McFee, my wife and partner in all things (including Mediasmith) and I will be visiting Singapore, meeting with friends and some industry associates, shopping and eating and generally enjoying Singapore. Karen is an excellent photographer so we will be posting photos along the way. After Singapore, we'll head to Phuket for eleven days, including some time at a wonderful spa and the end purpose of our trip, the iMedia Agency Summit in Phuket.
Check back here for more info.