we had come out of tea chapter late in the afternoon (and before that had had guotie at my regular neil road place.) and saw, immediately, that the usual improvidence of not carrying umbrellas had made our plans of taking the train out to redhill certain to involve wringing of clothes and mopping up puddles. so desmond and i got onto bus 61 which delivered me to bukit batok library by way of queensway, commonwealth, buona vista, holland village, upper bt timah, and various neighbourhoods of bukit batok. before that we had come past tanjong pagar and harbourfront and telok blangah, then desmond got off at alexandra to catch his hospital shuttle. i was startled at how different alexandra was from sgh, where i had been earlier the same day to see mr w, after surgery to his arteries. colonial in style - reflecting its past as a british military hospital, i suppose? - and deeply set in an area that could almost be called rustic, if anywhere in singapore can still be considered rustic. for my first thought on seeing the hospital and the extensive greenery of its surroundings was "kampung!" (just look at these pictures: whereas sgh had rebuilt in modern style, ah has retained its external architecture.) i felt very much intrigued and remarked to minyin half in jest that i could contrive to fall down and go in and get my knee iodined, only of course, i might run into my cousin-in-law (sarah's father), who would certainly tell the relatives, and they'd all laugh at me. but simply to wander in and be pounced on by him would be equally bad, if at less cost. if there is any room for idleness in what time remains to me in singapore i think i shall hitch a lift from my cousin and see if desmond can come out for lunch at ikea.