I arrived in Singapore this morning where I'll be attending SIGIR 2008. There looks to be quite a few interesting papers and workshops so I think the next week will be quite interesting.
Meanwhile, since my original flight which was due to happen tomorrow was canceled, I caught an earlier one and got to spend some time today exploring. It's warm and humid here (not the punishing 100 degree heat I recall from last time) but I think my miles walked to pints sweated ratio was about 3:1 which is reasonable. I walked down the river, around the Parliament and Court buildings, over to Raffles Landing and Raffles City and a meandering walk back.
Singapore is a fascinating place. It has some similarity to many of the countries in this region -- Thailand, China, Malaysia, but it's much cleaner (no trash or graffiti), far more polite (definitely no spitting) and still has hints of the Empire (driving on the left, British wall plugs, written English everywhere).
Despite the "Death for drug traffickers under Singapore law" red text on the welcome form and some not-so-subtle signage, everything feels remarkably safe and friendly.
More photos to follow but since I entirely missed Thursday July 17 this year, it's now time to catch up on some sleep.