As always, I know it is vacation because my cell phone is locked up in a safe, there’s no TV watching, and I have no keys in my pocket. We began this year’s journey with a short visit to one of our closest allies, Japan – specifically in Tokyo.
Tokyo is a city of 14 million, but it works. It is well organized, with unfailingly polite people. It makes you wonder if any of them get neck problems from all the head bowing. One spends a lot of time saying arigato (thank you).
It is nice to walk around a major city where the streets are spotless and safe. The world-famous Ginza district is so inviting to visitors. No one is breaking any rules. Even before we get to the Ginza District there are colorful flowers lining the streets. Pansies, Johnny Jump-ups, and tulips brightening our walk and our day. You don’t think of jaywalking in Japan. Everything is orderly.
You notice walking the streets that everyone is Japanese. In fact, the population is 97.8% Japanese. Though they learn English in school very few speak the language. It is not a very diverse country, and it really works.
Which brought to mind a current saying amongst Democrats – “Diversity is our Strength.” It is another one of those sayings conjured up by Democrat scriptwriters that they repeat over and over and over again believing that if it is said often enough, it will become true. It is not true.
Diversity in America is a fact. It is neither a virtue nor a disadvantage. It is the nature of how our country is constructed. Diversity is what we make of it. I happen to love our diversity. When I meet someone, I almost always ask about their family heritage. Even though we travel the world we can still stay in America and meet people from all 195 countries. Most of them have come to America to become Americans. They love what we have and what America represents. I can travel the world without leaving my zip code.
It is interesting that the same people who are regurgitating the diversity mantra are tearing it down. They are the ones who don’t want me to ask people about their heritage. They think it is a slight. They have made the idea of diversity a train wreck. They are using our diversity to divide our nation. They are the ones who establish separate dorms at colleges or graduation ceremonies for people of different heritages. They should visit Japan and see what the absence of diversity is really like.
We left Japan for a second trip to Singapore. At the time of our first trip, the Left in America was having a fit about Singapore’s ‘stiff rules’. We were given an idea it is a police state. On the last trip we did not see a cop until the final few hours there. This trip we were there for three days and never saw a cop at all.
We felt perfectly safe walking the streets after dinner in this foreign city. In New York, my head would be on a swivel checking who was coming at me from all sides. It is amazing what swift and sure punishment will do for protecting a citizenry. The U.S. is heading in the wrong direction.
Mind you, Singapore is the #1 country for economic freedom in the world. How can that be bad? And their average per capita GDP is #2 in the world. They are doing something right.
Singapore is also the greenest city we have ever been to, and we have been to almost every major city in the world. The expressways are lush with greenery. The commercial areas are lush with greenery. The environment allows for this, but it is still part of the life of Singaporeans. They don’t live in a concrete cave.
On this trip I discovered the friendly and warm nature of the locals. With English as one of their four official languages, there is an aspect of familiarity. They laughed at my jokes. I like that. More importantly, they were friendly, and we often exchanged hugs with the service people at our hotel or restaurants.
It always pays to make friends at your hotels. You get extra care. When we were in the Maldives a few years back we met the general manager and the head chef. The head chef told us he was heading to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to open a new location for the brand. We stayed in touch with him through the Beautiful Wife’s travel blog. We went to visit him there and needless to say he gave us royal treatment. It made the trip there so wonderful.
In Singapore we walked into a hotel for dinner and were looking for the restaurant. A gentleman standing there greeted us and took a moment to stare at us. He said, “Are you Teri?” He was the GM from the Maldives who had relocated to Singapore. It was a very happy reunion. He kindly sent over champagne for us to enjoy.
Staying in touch and making connections helped to make our return to Singapore a wonderful experience. There is a reason I keep the Beautiful Wife around.
One note: It is getting almost impossible to travel without a smartphone. Thus, the Beautiful Wife has hers. Getting through security and customs often almost requires it. And a great deal of communication at the hotel or with guides is done via WhatsApp.