Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 (Singapore)

IT'S POST TIME: I went to a branch of Singapore Post and actually MAILED A LETTER. (Sandy wrote a thank-you note to the family who had us over for dinner on Sunday evening.) I used the stamp from the country's "Know 10 Trees" program. Mine was the Rain Tree (upper right, above). They were first issued on May 26, 2010.
They do a lot at the post office here. Knowing this country's abhorrence of GUM, I did a double take when I saw a display of Wrigley's Extra for sale. I assumed it was gum; of course, they were packages of MINTS. I bought some of the Forest Berries flavor.

AWAITING OUR FINAL VISITOR: Sandy's in Beijing today. She will be in Shanghai on Thursday and Friday. From there, she flies here with nephew Sam Truesdell. He will meet her in Shanghai after having participated in the 18th International Pectinid Workshop, in Qingdao, China. Sam, whose a doctoral student at the University of Maine, went to present a paper on his research on harvesting in federal scallop fishery. The funding for his trip comes from the Maine Sea Grant (Marine Science for Maine People). Those pectinid experts do migrate for these bi-annual meetings. In 2003, the 14th workshop was in St. Petersburg, Florida, and in 2008, the 17th was in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia (Spain). The workshop began on April 20 and ended today. Qingdao was the site of the Olympic sailing competition in 2008. (FYI Qingdao has also been known as Jiao'ao, Qindao, Tsingtau and Tsingtao.) It's home to China's largest brewery, the Tsingtao Brewery. Could that be the real reason those bivalve-lovers scheduled the conference there? Nah.

A FOOD-LOVER'S DREAMBOAT: My ship finally came in. Imagine what might be in those containers on the Frankfurt Express out of Hamburg, Germany. I'm no shipping expert (duh!) but my hunch is that the red crates have ketchup, the green crates have relish and the yellow/orange crates have some flavorful natural mustard.
According to marinetraffic.com, the Hapag Lloyd vessel is 335 meters long and 42 meters wide. Clearly there's an all-you-can-eat dining cruise in its future.

CRANE UPDATE: Speaking of shipping, it's still pretty busy at the neighboring Tanjong Pagar Container Terminal here in Singapore. So, things are holding steady after the sharp uptick of UP cranes a couple of days ago in the Singapore Crane Index Limited Economic Indicator. Here's the latest look-out-the-window tally:

Date: April 26
Time: 9 a.m. (Singapore time)
Cranes Up (inactive): 8
Cranes Down (active): 17
CRANES MISSING (puzzling): 2

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