Thursday, January 17, 2008

A change in topic

Well today I feel like a change and I would like to record my view of a life time that has gone and past. Malay and Singapore after the second war, were still part of the then British Empire, as with all empires it was fading into a slow fragmented death. England bankrupted with the cost of two world wars, (monies that have only just recently been repaid to the USA and creditor banks.)were stripping resources as fast as they could from the British common wealth nations to rebuild the economy and bring the country out of a recession that was only interrupted by the war. India became a self ruling country once again and nationalism was spreading through out the east. The Japanese were allowed to make little ,or even today no reparations ,on the theft of assets, destruction of populations and the rape of infrastructure of the countries it had occupied.  This suited the financial institutions of the west as they still had assets held in Japan and needed Japan as a strong trading market. Thinking quite wrongly that by seizing the assets and machinery of the weapons and engineering companies the Japanese would be forced west for goods. Canny businessmen, the Japanese buried and hid the machinery that was of any use, allowing the rubbish to be taken and sold, then applying for loans to the world bank to replace the lost machinery, at low long term interest rates. Japan Barely shuddered and were up and producing in no time cheap and second rate goods for a  rebuilding European market. Using the old plant to produce while they built up the new plants using the loan monies. It was into this Asia I entered as a young child, the early and most of the 1960's.
Apart from a 2 month stay in the UK we travelled almost directly from Malta to Singapore. We flew in an old Viscount, (new then ). The trip done in stages taking the best part of 3 days, a noisy aircraft, prone to being tossed around. The plus was that you didn't travel so high in those days and you could actually see features on the ground. Desert dunes looking like ripples in the sand ,rivers were muddy shimmering lines, coast lines distinct and the vegetation bright against the blue of the seas. Air conditioning was none existent what air there was was supplied by fans , which if you were lucky to sit near a nozzle ,you could direct on yourself. There was a pervasive smell of wild electricity, plastic, vomit, young babies and unwashed sweating bodies. All chased of with the horrible smell of British airways food. Cooked god knows when, in what country, but always wrapped in mummified form in layers and layers of cellophane. Everything was luke warm, even the slice of bread and the pat of marge and jelly like jam. Entertainment consisted of stale news papers, books , magazines and cards. Lovely days , nothing like being trapped in a tube, thousands of feet in the air with a group of board cramped people for days. Children, as it was then ,had to sit and be quiet, no getting up and playing with other children and disturbing the adults. In those days you did what you were told , you sat got board, fidgeted and then got a whack for your efforts. An hour is a long time for a child , let alone days.

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