Soliloquy in an International Cloister

Watch your step as Brother Lawrence takes you inside the monastery walls of a five hundred year-old international order. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wish you had ignored your hormones and joined the monastery.

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Location: Rome, Italy

11 February 2008

Singapore again

I am back in the Singapore airport—hour 5 of a 10 hour layover. Unlike my layover here last week, this time I have no access to a frequent flyer lounge. Bummer! This has to be one of the nicest airports in the world. The fact that I am writing this on a freely available computer with Internet access should give you an idea. They also have freely available massage chairs, among other free amenities. If one has a little money, you can take advantage of lounges with recliners, showers, manicures, massages and a gym. There is even a transit hotel, where you can rent a room for as little as six hours.

Although it is nice, I feel that I have explored every lounge, restaurant and duty free store that the airport has to offer. As a vacation destination, I really cannot recommend it.

The one week I spent in Indonesia was quite interesting. Northern Sumatra, where I was, is home to the Batak. The highlight of the trip was a visit to Samosir, which is an island in Lake Toba. That is, it's an island in a lake on an island in the ocean. Samosir was considered a sacred spot for the Batak. I was heard that any non-Batak who managed to find the island would be killed to prevent him from revealing its location. Luckily for me, that is no longer the AAARGH!

Ha ha. Just kidding!

Anyway, the Indonesian government has been trying, somewhat unsuccessfully, to market Samosir and Lake Toba as a tourist spot. It really merits greater attention. The lake is beautiful, and the government has gone to great lengths to keep it clean. Since it lies at a relatively high altitude, the climate is quite pleasant. Samosir itself is like a museum of Batak culture—with tradition homes and the distinctive tombs of their celebrated ancestors. Now, if they would only improve the road from Medan.

I normally avoid acquiring souvenirs on my visits, except for a few postcards. For one thing, fitting two or three weeks of necessities into a bag that can be carried on the plane leaves little room for souvenirs. This time, however, I made an exception and picked up a nice stomach virus to remind me of my visit to Indonesia.


Blogger Moobs said...

I was in that airport recenly. I nearly died stuffing down the food in the upstairs restaurant area. mmmm

12 February, 2008 00:42  
Blogger Pog said...

The lake sounds magical.

Sorry about the Indonesian Belly Dancing, BroLo.

15 February, 2008 14:22  
Blogger Open Grove Claudia said...

ARG! I hope the flu has passed....

10 March, 2008 16:30  
Blogger sexy said...


02 May, 2009 11:43  

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