Don't go imagining the only thing going on in Singapore is the International Monetary Fund/World Bank meeting. There's also the Nescafe Gold Coffee and Visa Art Exhibition, part of their Million Smile Challenge. This was a show at the center of the Marina Center mall, including a stage and a set of posters and dioramas and enormous banners hanging from the ceiling. My imagination for what to do with coffee pretty much tops out at drinking it to be polite to the person who offered, or preferably, not drinking it, but the organizers -- with some help from an art board -- came up with a bunch of reasonably professionally-painted pictures, not to mention set up rows of tables for people to do their own coffee art. That's art made of dried coffee stains, effectively, and it added a pleasantly second-grade art project to it all.
They were giving away free samples of coffee, but see above to figure whether I got one. Unfortunately there were no more slots available for the ``coffee spas'', at least not there, although there was a lucky draw from people could win ``return trips to a coffee spa in Bangkok,'' bringing to me awareness there was such a thing. One could also pick up coffee-related photographic ``souvernirs'' (well, nobody's perfect). Some of the souvenirs were just pictures of people on coffee mugs, although one odd side effect had a huge -- maybe ten feet tall -- foam-board replica of a coffee container, to which people were affixing passport-sized photos. Maybe it's part of the lucky draw. There were also coffee workshops; I really can't imagine talking about coffee for more than about ten minutes without exhausting the subject, and that's including an historical survey of coffee.
Really catching my eye was the variety of banners; one of them claimed ``Gyms only promise you a better figure'' -- with the last two words printed considerably larger, around 2,160 point (they are large banners) -- ``we promise a healthier, greater body.'' Even for low-calorie coffee that seems like a tall order.
Trivia: A paper delivered to the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Marseilles in 1679 connected coffee drinking to brain convulsions, paralysis, impotence, glandular disorders, and ``the most frightful emaciation''. Source: Tastes of Paradise, Wolfgang Schivelbush.
Currently Reading: Planets of Adventure, Murray Leinster.