Geneva Diaries #54

Mei Guo- Health Care – Singapore Art Museum

28/8/12

Paradise Continued…

Dear Roger,

No news from you and I still remain cloistered in my darkened cave waiting for this long summer to pass. Occasionally, some kind soul throws a weekend section of the IHT over on to my balcony and I reconnect with the goings on in the world. 

I last left you with the definition of paradise, and my definition of paradise (The Engadine), but now I am going to hold your hand and fly over the oceans to the land the Chinese called “Mei Guo” or the beautiful land (“Mei Guo” 美國 meaning “Beautiful Land” ). Yes, the US is known as Mei Guo in Mandarin but what is happening in paradise???

As I lie fanning myself on my “couch” I am bombarded by Affordable Care Act, The Commerce Clause, Health Care, The Supreme Court and Tax, Tax, Tax with the occasional vegetable (yes no escaping from that broccoli) giving me a TKO! 

Roger, what’s up? What’s going on? I would love to hear it in plain simple English. As you know, I keep an eye on the Supreme Court and the Supremes but they have not been singing upto my expectations. As for CJ Roberts, who has my highest regard even though I’ve kind of fancied him as adorning the top of my wedding cake, very pretty. However, with the recent goings on I now wish to pluck him off his precious perch and put him on the bench by my side( Yes, I can finally see us sharing a bench and he does not have to be on my side). Am I correct to suspect the conversation might now be stimulating, or am I just being seduced by another set of blue eyes? 

The IHT article by James B. Stewart talks about a pyrrhic victory, upon looking up the definition I discovered that he was aptly referring to a victory that is gained at great cost, great sacrifice (see below Dictionary.com).

Pyrrhic 

1885, from Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, who defeated Roman armiesat Asculum, 280 B.C.E., but at such cost to his own troops that he was unable to follow up and attack Rome itself, and is said to have remarked, “one more such victory and we are lost.”

And I believe the following words from James B Stewards article this weekend in the IHT sums up the entire debate in layman’s terms:

“So can the Congress require Americans to buy broccoli? Under the commerce clause, the answer is now clearly no. Could Congress impose a tax on people who fail to buy broccoli, effectively accomplishing the same goal? Under the logic of the decision, perhaps.”

Yes, for sure in my opinion so long as the tax is not punitive and gives the purchaser the option to pay the tax , buy their beans and PASS GO! I would love to hear your take on this.

Roger, you do realize that the healthcare debate has been long left behind, its now a matter of Federal power and States rights. We have recently been through the Slurry Slurpy and the NYC saga of super sized drinks and recognize that there is a public interest in ensuring some basic health and safety/infrastructure needs. Roberts has now clarified for all of us that while the government can peer into your shopping cart and “help” select your dinner, it cannot make you go to the supermarket to shop. The omnipresent (some say ominous) Commerce clause has been put in a spandex body contour and now no longer has the option to spread its sides restricting the core/hungry belly/federal power. However, if public interest deems that Americans must become more active and spend less time on their sofas cutting healthcare costs by reducing heart disease and diabetes, a tax on the “couch potato” is not inconceivable.

Roger, all in all, I see this as a long and complex game and one that has not been completely played out/analyzed by the Supremes. “Who are The Players” Roger, your thoughts?

Sometimes you have to stop debating, projecting, anticipating, analyzing cut all the crap and call a spade a spade… This is good. Im for health care for all, as soon as its conceivably possible for further debate might put it back another 30 years and time matters for ill and the ailing in Mei Guo “The most beautiful land of all in the best possible of all worlds”. What do you think?

hugs

Purnima


On Wed, Aug 15, 2012, Roger STEVENSON wrote:

Dear Purnima,

I’ve thought of you often during the past weekend and wondered how you were coping with your topsy-turvy life.  Custody battles are always messy, and especially when passports, school location and actual physical custody are mixed into the equation.  And to add to the frustration, there is your visa situation and even wondering where home is.  What did you end up doing about the visa ?  Did you return to Delhi ?  Are the kids still in Singapore ?   What does the immediate future have in store for you.

Me, too, I was very disappointed that it didn’t work out for you to come to Chiang Mai.  It would have been wonderful to see you again and catch up in real time with what has been going on in your life.  Let’s try and coordinate things for a future visit.  We will return to France at the end of August and then fly back to Chiang Mai sometime in early November for at least three months.  A lot of our future is dependent on selling our house in France, which thus far has been a frustrating experience, but we remain hopeful that the right family will come along and buy it.

We had a delightful time on C’s BD.  We spent the day in downtown Chiang Mai.  Then we had dinner at a new restaurant located on the banks of the Ping River and then we all spent the night in a really delightful boutique hotel.  The next day we had a great massage and then went to the Sunday evening market and wandered around the stalls for a few hours before capping the weekend off with dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant.

 It’s disheartening to hear the political debate from the US especially now that Romney has chosen his running mate.  It’s really scary that such idiots with room-temperature IQ’s and such callous attitudes toward the many social problems facing the US and the world could actually be in a position to call the shots.  Not that Obama is the ideal president, but the thought of having Romney in the White House are downright frightening.

Do let me know where you are and how you are doing.  Everyone sends a big hug and best wishes.

Love and hugs,

Roger


In the Courtyard of The Singapore Art Museum, Paradise Reinvented?

Date: Tue, Sep 11, 2012

Dear Roger,

All the elements exist, Is this Paradise Reinvented?

No news from you so I’m resending the video I shared on FB.

Do write soon as I might be off on another adventure and this time not return…

See pics and video below of The Singapore Arts Museum:

Singapore Art Museum

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9wvyucyoa8ajfvh/AAD2BBUy6rVIm5mwJWJXhxG9a?dl=0

The Singapore Art Museum was the former Saint Josephs Institution built by a French Priest Architect brother Lothaire with verandas running along the length of the building it showcases the distinctive charm of the Singapore colonial architecture. Feeling completely at home in it’s environs, walking along its breezy verandas and basking in the sunlight in its central courtyard reminiscing about a time gone by, I couldn’t’t resist taking the above video clip. See below The Saint Josephs Institution now the Singapore Art Museum:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Former_Saint_Joseph%27s_Institution

The other Singapore building that tugs at my heart strings as it carries a distinctive air of The Raj is the The Raffles hotel in Singapore. My story is tragically entwined with The Raffles Hotel, for when I arrived in Singapore in the mid 1990’s on a house hunting trip, I searched the island from shore to shore and not finding adequate accommodation, I was reprimanded for being fussy. It was then during one of our heated disagreements that my gaze fell upon the building across the road and my heart skipped a beat and I yelled out to my (ex)husband…”I’ve finally found it, the home of my dreams”! It was the Raffles of course and unfortunately the Demi-gods were watching and I was there and then shortlisted for Purr-Gate-Tory!

See below Raffles hotel and the place where the Singapore Sling was conceived. http://www.rafflessingapore.com

Hugs

Purnima


Everything Works Out in The End- If they haven’t worked out, you haven’t come to the end yet.!

On Tuesday, July 17, 2012, Roger Stevenson wrote:

Dear Purnima,

Have you been to the Indian quarter of Singapore ?  I thought it was great when we were there.  I can’t help but think of that city in its guise as a bastion of British colonialism with its gentlemen’s clubs, cricket pitches, afternoon teas with little fingers pointing upward as if to punctuate the prissy and often pretentious English accents, all filled with the pride of belonging to the Empire and furthering its goals as a power in Southeast Asia AND as a vital source of rubber for the British war machine.  Of course, it was all built on the foundation of cheap Malaysian and Chinese labor.  And all of this thanks to the East India Company.

Have you been to the top of that fabulous architectural structure that looks like a boat on top of three tall stilts ?  It’s supposed to have a breathtaking view of the city and the harbor.

Just a cute quote from the film “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”:  “Things always work out in the end.  If they haven’t worked out, you haven’t come to the end yet.! 

Have you found the mystery father yet ?

 Love and kisses,

Roger


Message du 31/07/12

Dear Roger,

Its great to get mail from you tingling with excitement of a new adventure. The euphoria of embarking upon a new journey is palpable and I can’t wait to share a piece of it with you. I am now terribly stuck in Singapore, with little option of return to Delhi immediately. My life seems to be a protracted scene from the movie Ground Hog Day, a film in which I/Bill Murray find myself waking up and repeating my daily tasks without moving on to the next day, the next scene. I feel I’ve been trapped in this space for an eternity and have close to given up hope of not waking up. Can you imagine? Do check me out as Bill Murray below in Groundhog Day.

On to happier themes, I would really love to visit you in Chaing Mai as I will need to leave Singapore for a day and then return due to my visa status. Please let me know it be possible for me to visit, would 8-10th August work for you?

Purnima


On Sunday, July 29, 2012,

Dear Purnima,

We’re almost packed and ready to leave, and the level of excitement and anticipation is growing by the hour.  I just returned from the airport where I checked in a bike box with one of my bikes in it (there was no way it would fit in the car of our friend who is driving us to the airport tomorrow, and I could check it in a day early).  I always feel like a little kid when I fly, and I really do enjoy it.  I will never forget my first flight looking down at the streets, houses, cars, animals in the fields from so high above.  They reminded me of the models of farmland that were on exhibit in the rotunda of the State Capital building.

 Are you still in Singapore ?   When do you take the kids back for school ?   Are you coming back in August ?   You are right, Chiang Mai is not far from Singapore at all.  Air Asia used to have really cheap flights to Chiang Mai, but they have discontinued them, according to V, but there are other airlines who do fly directly to Chiang Mai.  It would be wonderful if you were to visit.  We have rented a house with lots of space.  Just let us know when you could come.

Everyone here is Olympic Games crazy, it seems.  I know lots of English people in Geneva who are simply gaga over the games and the fact that they are in London, but I’m getting a little bit disillusioned with the commercialism and corporate sponsorship of the event and all the nationalistic hype that results from them.  I’m not so sure that they build any kind of international understanding or bring peoples and countries together.  Perhaps on the individual level where there is obviously a mingling of athletes from various countries, but other than that …    One positive note, however, is the fact that this is the first time that every country sending a team to the games includes women !  Even Saudi Arabia  caved in to the pressure from the IOC to include some women (two of them, and they have to compete in their headscarves !)  We will probably never see Muslim women competing in such sports as swimming and diving.  And then there is the problem of fasting during Ramadan.

 We watched a fascinating, poetic and very creative and sensual Japanese film last night: Guilty of Romance.  It’s about a young woman who by day is a literature professor at a Tokyo university and by night a street hooker who is totally depraved.  She lures into prostitution another seemingly innocent young woman who is married to a famous author and who is really his domestic slave (she aligns his slippers just right and meticulously prepares a cup of tea for him when he returns promptly at 9 PM each evening, but he never touches her.  The plot is quite convoluted, but fascinating, and the transformation of the young woman is amazing, especially when she discovers the truth about her husband.  The images from the film have been floating around in my head all day today.

 We leave tomorrow afternoon at 2:15, on KLM via Amsterdam.  I’ll write again as soon as we are settled in Chiang Mai.

Love, hugs and à bientôt, j’espère,

Roger

PURNIMA VISWANATHAN

Published by Purrnima

Travel Writer - Art Blogger - CyberSmurf

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