I waltzed into the modernity of Singapore. Immediately, I was face-to-face with shops, offices and entertainment everywhere. Having entered the tiny state on a whirlwind trip to research environmental education for my latest world record attempt, I spent most of my time walking around fast. I had to keep up my pace because in a day and a half, one can only achieve so much.
Camera out. Video camera on. Map in hand. Hat on. I was ready to capture the city digitally and bring evidence of regional 21st century urbanity back to the children of rural Indonesia. I snapped and recorded 450 items in 36 hours, from bunches of flowers, roadside drain grids, multi-story office blocks, automated gates and butterflies to frangipanis in bloom, public transport, shipping container handlers, a waterfall, polystyrene and a cannonball tree.
Person after person wanted to help when they heard what I was up to. A staff member of the National University of Singapore showed me half a dozen new lesson topics I’d never heard of, and staff at Jurong Bird Park were really supportive too. National Library staff helped, as did lots of individuals I met in the streets. I hardly slept since that, I thought, was a waste of time when there was so much to capture on my electronic devices.
It’s thanks to these great folks that my speedy venture was a success. Short it was, but as Nila said to me, it worked – and that’s what really matters.