Sunday, April 14, 2013

Singapore

After a week full of teaching I left South Korea late on Friday night. Equipped with a cheap last-minute fare with SQ and some new books, I followed the aircraft across the digital map towards the equator. Six hours later, the tropical heat hit me on the jetway. Like in the past, I was reminded of how vibrantly green this city is, how spotless the subway is and how much it all still lives up to the cliché of being “Disneyland with the death penalty”.

This time around, I had the fortune of having some good travel advice from an old student of mine which opened previously unknown doors to Lebanese food, great coffee on Kandahar Street and a probably not intended walk along the margins of society. Afterwards, as I was diving into the swimming pool back at the Conrad, I could still not help thinking of “The twilight years” by Richard Overy and how “the modern era's promise of progress was overshadowed by a looming sense of decay and death” during the intra-war period in Britain. Not only the last week on the knife-edge in Korea but the whole territorial proxy-conflict madness that the rest of Asia has been sinking into has made the future far more precarious than it was only ten years ago. Back in Europe, the anti-feminist backlash, rising xenophobia and short-sighted austerity measures sorts of complete the picture that we are incapable of taking active responsibility for our global future.

Against that backdrop, I do the only thing I can do and that is to write another academic paper pointing out the possibilities of accelerating globalization.

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