I walked up Orchard Road to its end and turned into Nassim Road.

Nassim is the name of a Jewish family that once owned a lodge there which they sold, and several of their family migrated to Israel. It is a rarefied street on which I passed no more than five pedestrians. Occasionally, taxis and other cars sped by, and even their whoosh was hushed. A couple of poodles toddled down with an old man, and they were all quiet, the dogs were curious and poking about. There are embassies on the street — Japanese, Saudi, Philippine, British — and they are forbidding from the road, as one knows embassies to be. The private condominiums and large villas are aloof also. An invisible barrier hangs before them. The government of Singapore makes no mistakes, and it has not built pedestrian paths by the street for most of its length, and probably not by oversight.

The street ends at the entrance to the Botanical Gardens. I went into it and was instantly relieved to be amidst joggers and strollers and tourists and schoolchildren. I found a bench and read, and gazed at the green, and recovered.