A lonely night in Singapore

John C. Tanner
Telecom Asia

As you can tell from the cover, the first issue of Telecom Asia provided a preview of the upcoming CommunicAsia 1990 event in Singapore (a biannual event at the time). That year, Singapore Exhibition Services was expecting 16,000 from 22 countries, and 400 exhibitors, compared to just under 11,000 visitors in 1988. (For the record, the 2009 CommunicAsia/BroadcastAsia event drew over 53,000 visitors and over 1,900 exhibitors.)

The show preview included a rundown of the conference sessions (theme: "Matching the Technology to the Market"), exhibitors list and new products ... and also an article from associate publisher and one-time Singapore resident Gary Moffat giving first-time CommunicAsia visitors an idea of things to do in Singapore once the World Trade Centre was closed for the day.

Entitled "A Lonely Night In Singapore", it included the following anecdote that, to this day, is the stuff of legend in the TA office, and one we've arguably never managed to surpass.

Here the most solitary traveler can try the most common of tourist attractions and latch on to the most unusual experiences.

A night in Saxophone's on Orchard Road ... Finally we closed the place and I resigned myself to a walk back to the Hyatt. As I reached the main road, a very beautiful woman approached and, as she passed, she said, "Hello" in a raspy baritone voice. I stood there trying to resolve yet another Singaporean contradiction, when a tri-shaw driver standing a few feet away solved it for me.

"She was a man," he observed dryly. He took a pull from his quite acrid Indonesian clove cigarette.

Merely a tri-shaw driver? No, this man - his name was Peter - was someone whom I must know better. So forget that mounting a tri-shaw is the clichŽ of all tourist opportunities; I boarded and instructed Peter to take me for a tour of Singapore...

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