Singapore velly, velly law

Collyer Quay

Collyer Quay

That is what a Singapore taxi driver said when Dalrymple asked why no taxi had stopped for him on a particular stretch of road. (Dalrymple had been standing a yard from the legally constituted designated spot at which taxis could pick up passengers). Thus, writes Dalrymple,

an imperfect command of the English language sometimes confers an expressive eloquence and succinctness.

An accurate summation of the situation in the city-state. Dalrymple admits to a certain ambivalence about the place.

I admire rather than like its discipline, even if I think on balance that its effects have been good.

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