First Steps in Southeast Asia: Singapore

 
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Overview

We spent 3 days in Singapore, a city and country where many Asian cultures meet. Each have their own characteristics, languages and rhythms, but are all daughters of a same functional, rigid and independent father: the Singaporean government.

Things we Noticed

  • People are particularly kind and friendly to tourists.
  • The government is everywhere (e.g. billboards, military presence etc).
  • The metropolitan system is hyper connected, fast speed, punctual and functional.
  • Unlike what we’d been told, you can eat very well for very little money.
  • To save seats in food courts you can leave local packs of napkins on the table.
  • There are no seasons: the heat is suffocating all year round.

Things we Enjoyed

  • Many streets in the Arabic neighborhood, Little India and Chinatown.
  • The cute libraries and coffee places along Yong Siak Street.
  • The hawker centers of Amoy, Tiong Bahru and Bedok.
  • A sunset stroll in the super posh area of Marina Bay.
  • Lights and water shows in front of the Art Science Museum and Gardens by the Bay.

Who we Met

  • Farzana: originally from Bangladesh yet raised in Singapore. We couchsurfedone night at her place in the outskirts of the city, eating Bengali food and understanding more about what it means to be Singaporean.
     
  • Maria Francesca and Davide: originally from Italy yet brought up all over the globe. They have been living in Singapore for 3 years. A wonderful common friend put us in touch. That’s how we ended up spending an evening together between Singapore’s skyscrapers and typical Asian stalls.
     
  • Sabine: originally from Germany yet grew up mainly in China and in Dubai. Last year, we couchsurfed at her parents’ in Austria. Since their daughter was doing an internship in Singapore, we couldn’t miss her: we started at Bedok’s hawker center and moved on to one of Singapore’s fancy rooftops. What a clash!