The first thing people always remember when they hear the word SINGAPORE is that chewing gum is illegal! I can’t even count how many times I have heard that over the years but that city and country is soooo much more than that! It’s Big, it’s Clean, it’s Hustling and has a bit of a Las Vegas feel without the gambling parts…it’s very animated!
Yes, it’s one of the newest and cleanest Asian countries and the newness is on its side. However, you can still catch a glimpse of the culture down the back alleys and how the locals engage and conduct business in their daily life. I LOVED seeing all the nice Shrines tucked away in the least expected places. I wish my own culture gave more thanks to their daily lives. I personally have my own shrine that I display in my home when I am permanent somewhere…which hasn’t been often these days, lol, so I ‘borrow’ others by leaving an offering and share the love!
There were some lovely and interesting temple statues and architecture, both Hindu and Muslim just walking distance from the main areas like China Town and Little India. Sometimes you walk up upon the most exciting and unusual artist installations, taking up a corner lot or 1/4 of a block. The comical art just floors you by it’s colors and vibrancy and hilarious positioning. Singaporeans have artsy people with a fun sense of design and humor and are even more musical than expected! I had so much fun jamming with the locals in this super upscale venue called THE BARBER SHOP Bar and Restaurant. They had both Open Mic and a Jam Session! Amazing Talent!
I have to admit there is a theme going on….a mecca shopping theme throughout Singapore City and some people refer to it as being rather sterile, BUT I happen to like the malls being linked together with good AC to cool you off while walking on a sweltering sunny day! I don’t think, in my lifetime, I have ever seen more shopping meccas connected together for miles at a time…the local pass time is SHOPPING!! The best part is the underground metro that functions with perfection and in a timely manner…getting you where you need to go or at least very near to it by foot. The longer you stay the easier and cheaper it gets as you discover where the locals go and how to get there.
I LIKED Singapore and I would definitely go back and here’s why. From umbrellas to cows to murals to outdoor markets and clothing courts…there is a bit of something for everybody. It has it’s share of museums and tours, but I only had a short time and always enjoy just walking the streets and watching how people conduct their daily lives. If I really like a city, I try to come back and spend more time on tourist areas, but the first time around, I like to imagine living like a local and I usually do!
Let’s talk about food….what do you eat in Singapore and what is the cost and is it safe? In the short time I was there, I did try their famous Chicken and Rice and it was delicious! I almost always drink bottled water or soda no matter where I am just so I don’t have to worry about Gyppy Tummy. I did enjoy sushi in a ultra modern-day looking ‘GEORGE JETSON’ cartoon-like restaurant where you order from an IPad and the sushi comes on an electric track along your table, W O W! I MUST also give mention to the most delicious fresh local flat breads like Vijaya Chapati and Tandoori Naan I found along the street restaurants in Little India…freaking AWESOME! Nearly anything edible can be found in Singapore but watch out for those higher prices at the malls and coffee shops. One Frappuccino in a mall’s fancy shmancy cafe was a whopping $14 YIKES! I kept to the mom and pop restaurants and felt fine the whole time. Beware they may charge you for anything on the side and even Napkins!!
I really enjoyed watching families and walking down side streets and large intersections. My camera didn’t want to relax and just kept snapping away. I was told by several people that I may find Singapore boring but I speak to the CONTRARY…no it doesn’t have the charm of an old world village, but what it did have was a mix of old and new and I found that fascinating. The juxtaposition of the various neighborhoods and the combination of different religions working together….it ALMOST reminded me of old America and it’s mixing pot of people and beliefs.
I was enamored by the women Sari’s and often stopped to take pictures and wonder how I would look in one! Someday I will cross that off my bucket list. The illuminating colors and flecks of sparkles and sequins along with those classic lines, silk fabrics and elegant patterns made it such visual eye candy….they were mesmorizing to stare at. I got more thrill out of all the colors in Singapore and the incredible amount of choices available for everything you could want or need in a lifetime! Forget the gum, go shopping!
Sometimes you find yourself walking in to the most unexpected vista’s. You stumble upon the famous bits you didn’t even read up about. That’s when I have my “Ah Ha” and “Things that make you go Hmmm” moments. That’s the best part of traveling when you have no time limit and are free to explore. You just walk until you are tired and pay attention to all the details along the way. I often find myself doing research on what I have stumbled upon rather than what to go searching for…but that’s just me. I like adventure and surprises!
Everything stays fresh in my memory like a long forgotten book that only I read. And that’s ok with me, just as long as the experiences and the cultures make me grow into a stronger more enlighten person. I try not to judge but I won’t give up my opinions or my own truth which I pride myself in seeing with my OWN eyes and not somebody else’s.
It only makes sense that I would grow wings in a place that had so much hidden discovery and that I would feel just the opposite of what most opinions are about this lovely City they call Singapore. Clearly you are the under appreciated and honorable polished jewel of Asia!