Unwise reading material?


Last night we had friends over to play board games and drink booze, but unfortunately La Serpiente wasn’t on board with this, and flopped and shouted and clambered out of bed until almost nine p.m. This was probably our fault for letting her sleep until 3:30 yesterday afternoon, but who wakes a sleeping baby?

The good news was that she then slept through until morning. Or, drunk on half a bottle of cava, I slept through her yelling until 7.

The bad news, of course, was that the haze has returned – after a few clean days it’s spiked back up to 150-something, severely restricting our ability to go out and have fun. I look at how little I’ve run with something approaching disbelief – so far this month I’ve done about 8 kilometres, less than a kilometre per day. Although with that in mind, I’d probably get more exercise if I scheduled a daily run up and down the corridor between our bedroom and living room.

I’ve started reading Martin Martin’s On The Other Side, a book I picked up in the Singapore National Library. It’s again quite an odd book, something I wouldn’t have expected to be there. Remember, this is the library that pulped books about gay penguins for not being in line with family values (even if it was a true story). Martin Martin’s On The Other Side is a very sweary book, like an extra-rude version of A Clockwork Orange, about a guy called Jensen Interceptor (ah, what a magnificently ridiculous name – I hope he has a friend called Morris Minor) who works for the government, does lots (and lots) of drugs, and describes a futuristic UK where the government interferes in your life in lots of different ways, and you’re just a drone, working to pay off your existence for most of your existence.

Oh, and there’s a psychic on TV.

Drugs and swearing and a negative description of the government also don’t seem to accord with Singaporean family values. Then again, two penguins raising another penguin didn’t either, so who am I to judge? Is the book regarded as a parable, perhaps, showing how other countries aren’t as good as Singapore? Or is it some kind of indicator to show who the reprobates in society are – it’s people like me, borrowing this book from the library.

To be fair, the book does mention the value of paranoia in providing total security, so my previous paragraph is surely only in line with my reading matter.

Tomorrow is a national holiday in Singapore. I was hoping to go for a nice big run, but the haze is putting paid to that. It will be good to get the kids out of here for a while – we really are reaching the limits of fun things for them to do indoors. Apart, perhaps, from reenacting scenes from Martin Martin


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