As promised our second entry will be about Singapore which was my home
for the last 2 years and the one for Hazel for a bit longer. You would
probably agree that it’s very hard to do any country justice in a few
lines of a blog entry. Nevertheless want to share a few impressions from
my time here (so it’s Kevin’s view on things).
So what is the
island of 5 million people, which only came into existence 47 years ago,
all about? Good question. I think one of the great things in Singapore
is how on such a small space such a multitude of cultures and religions
can live together without any major problems. This mixture for sure also
adds a lot of variety in terms of culture (e.g. you see Muslims
celebrating Ramadan and a few months later you see Orchard Road
decorated for Christmas) and needless to say also in terms of food. One
could probably argue that the government with its regulations (such as
housing quotas per ethnicity per building) plays its part but besides
that I think it’s still pretty great to see the tolerance in terms of
culture and religion.
I have already mentioned food but need to
expand this section a bit (in the same way food helped to expand my
belly ;)). Singapore is one of the best places in the world for food as
the above mentioned diversity is reflected in the wide variety of food.
From delicious road side Laksa (try Sungei Road Laksa at Kelantan Lane
Hawker Centre) to Sushi to Indian Curry to Chicken Rice to Chilli Crab –
Singapore just has it all at very reasonable prices (have a look at the
pictures). As a consequence I have seldom cooked in the last 2 years.
Food and where to get the best of it is therefore also a favourite topic
for locals as well as for foreigners living in Singapore.
food the second favourite past-time is shopping. You can literally walk
up almost the entire Orchard Road (which is the local equivalent of the
Swiss Banhofstrasse) without leaving shopping centres. Perhaps it’s
because it’s so hot outside that people like to stay in air-conditioned
shopping centres for extended periods and the goods they shop is just a
One thing, which is also noticed by a lot of
visitors, is how green Singapore is. Besides various parks there are
trees at almost every corner and along the main roads. I would say you
need to search for a long time to find another city this big which is as
green. The newest addition to Singapore’s greenness is the
Gardens-by-the-bay – a 1 billion SGD (780 Million CHF) project. Besides a
lush garden with a lot of greenery they built two big glass houses
where plants from all over the world are grown and you can even find an
artificial waterfall. Definitely worthwhile visiting if you happen to be
in Singapore (http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/home.html).
noticing is that the above gardens are completely on reclaimed land
which means that a few years at the same place was only water. 20% of
its original size or an astonishing 135 km2 in Singapore are reclaimed
land. If you are ever in Singapore and happen to walk along beach road
and you wonder why the waterfront is actually more than one 1 km away…,
land reclamation is the answer.
There would be a lot more to
tell about Singapore but I want to keep this entry short and sweet. Hope
the pictures give an impression of my home from home for the last two