S'pore (We're on a nickname basis now.)
It’s been less than 48 hours in this city-state and I can’t help but wonder what’s beneath all the shiny extravagance. In a country where government housing is nicer than my college apartment, BMWs and Lexus scatter the roads and sleek, modern architecture dominates the skyline, if there’s a grittier, older area of Singapore then you must have to scour its hard to reach places. It comes as no surprise that Singapore has the world's highest percentage of millionaires.
It’s hard to imagine such a place exists: a clean, orderly society where rules rule and things continue to work so smoothly. Many foreigners think of the no-gum rule and strict punishments for crimes. Unlike when I lived in Rio, I don’t have to be wary of being targeted as a foreigner. Not to mention there’s no language barrier. Of course not everything in Singapore is picture perfect. Homosexuality is still considered a crime and no gray-area means the rules don’t bend. But it’s hard not to feel like you’re in some sort of futuristic utopia here on a tiny island, where the friendly locals mix with a large foreign community and business and pleasure effortlessly combine.
What’s interesting is that despite the skyscrapers and local architects’ affinity for the glitzy and modern, it refrains from feeling cold due to the large amount of greenery in the city. After emerging from a shopping center filled with designer names, you’re quickly reminded of being in tropical Southeast Asia when surrounded by palm trees (and sweating 365 days a year). Which brings me to the topic of shopping. If you removed all of the shopping malls in Singapore, I’m convinced that there would be only a handful of buildings left. Never in my life have I seen so many shops and malls; and believe me — my mom and I like to shop when we travel. The only thing that might compare is Japan, but the glamour of Singapore makes its shopping look dull. Although, Singaporeans aren’t near as fashion-forward as the Japanese.
Aside from the amount of shopping centers and delicious food, modern architecture in this town is incredible. Ostentatious at times, yet subtly beautiful at others. It will definitely make for some fun photo blogs.
These being my first impressions of Singapore, I’m eager to see how they develop over the course of a month and a half. My next post will come from Phuket, Thailand on an upcoming side trip! #excited
(Yes I just used a hashtag in my blog post, but if Facebook can do it then so can I.)