Big City Blues
03.03.2008 - 07.03.2008 30 °C
From Chennai in India, we flew with Singapore Airlines’ budget subsidiary; Tiger Airways, to Singapore. It was almost a shock how clean and organised Singapore was, after spending so long in India. Indian cities more or less define chaos, whereas Singapore was order personified (if you can say that about a city). The city was full of malls - all of them huge and air-conditioned. It almost felt like the sidewalks were simply there to get you from one mall to another - there was no real life on the streets as such. A clean, efficient city characterised by high rises and futuristic buildings.
In each mall, there was a food-court with cheap, decently edible food - mostly Chinese inspired, but also Indian and other styles. It was fairly easy to stay fed without breaking the budget - but it started to feel like you were eating in the same restaurant all the time. Even outside the malls, most of the restaurants seemed to have more or less the same menu. All in all, Singapore was certainly a relief after India and its mad cities, and it was a convenient and easy city to be in - but it began to feel almost soulless. There was not much character there, not much personality. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Singapore, but I did get a nagging sensation that something was missing. Maybe it was an after effect of India - maybe I had come to expect or even secretly enjoy chaos, I don’t know. I mean, Singapore did have some little details, like the small colonial buildings in Little India where we stayed, that made it more real, but overall, it seemed too organised for its own good.
We stayed in the Prince of Wales pub and hostel - it seemed like a good idea at first, but it turned out to be infested with bed bugs, which left me looking like I had been attacked by a swarm of angry bees. So don’t go there if you ever head to Singapore.