Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The View from My Window

Our apartment overlooks the Pacific Ocean and the offshore islands of Jurong and Pulau Bukom. That sounds really idyllic until you realize that Jurong and Bukom are the site of Exxon and Shell's oil refinery operations. Singapore, despite having no natural resources whatsoever, is one of the world's top three oil refining centers and the biggest in Asia.

It seems strange to locate your oil refinery on an island, but it's actually a brilliant idea. Because space is so precious in Singapore, large sections of the islands are landfill, created in the last decade or two. If Shell wanted to expand its operations in the middle of Singapore (say in the suburbs somewhere), it would be out of luck; but on an island, they can just make more land. Also, being on an island helps with security (both islands are open only to personnel with the appropriate ID and patrolled by the Singapore Army). Finally, oil refineries have a nasty habit of catching on fire (as happened in Singapore only a few months ago); if it's on an island and surrounded by water, damage is contained and the hazard is greatly reduced.

I don't mind our view of industry at work at all. I actually think that industrial-size modern operations are fascinating (probably B's influence since he's an economist who studies factories), and love having a peek into the processes that make modern society possible. Also, oil refinery pollution=great sunsets!

--Exercise: 1 hour gym.
--Diet: Breakfast: Focaccia with mayonnaise (I love this but I know everyone else thinks plain mayo is foul; in my defense I can't eat butter so it's a good substitute); Lunch: Taro buns; Snack: blueberry dark chocolate bar; Dinner: Pasta with tomato and bacon sauce; Drinks: Coffee with soy milk
--Other: Did not drink 8 glasses water.

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