I’m very lucky indeed. I was sent to Singapore to review a show a few months ago. Despite several glitches, the trip was fun-fun all around.
Many Indonesians (especially those with plenty o’ brass to spare) consider Singapore as one of their holiday destinations. However, I have never been interested in going there. Mostly because I know it’s a shopping town, and I won’t have enough money to deal with that. Second, I have often heard it was a very strict place and I thought “that wouldn’t be much fun, now, would it?”
Anyways, I think my favorite part of the the city, at least of all the parts that I visited during my three-days stay, was Little India (Curiously, this is also said to be the part of Singapore that is the least Singapore-ish). I went on a shopping spree on spices and snacks.
After exploring the corners of the area, We chose a vegetarian restaurant that was the most eye-catching (We were also starving) for lunch. But I discovered later that there were many others, and a few others that looked more interesting and authentic. The food was good, nevertheless.
I think the abundance of vegetarian eating options in Singapore could well be one of its winning points for me. I also had a vegetarian feast of yummy gnocchi in one of the Marina Bay Sand’s restaurants.
Another thing that won me over was the transportation system. The MRT was
impeccable, the subway stations were very practical and easy to understand (especially if you have spent all of your life in one of the most confusing cities in the world).
Singapore in general was squeaky clean and painfully precise.Some parts of it was a lot like Sydney. The river was lovely and there were plenty of green space. It’s strange how it’s virtually close to Indonesia, and yet I don’t feel intense humidity and heat that I feel in most cities here.
One night we went exploring the Bugis Market, but discovered that the goods were not very varied, and the prices were cheaper in Jakarta’s clothes market. We then went to Mustafa Center to shop, and I found Indian sweets as well there!
But Mustafa was heaps scary. It was gigantic and there were more than one instances of being lost in all those alleyways. It was already around 1 1 when we got there and it was STILL crowded. I shudder to think what it would be like at like 4 pm on a Sunday.
I saw some lovely temples but didn’t get the chance to visit them.
Some people say, Singapore is indeed an efficient, nearly flawless city-state. It’s probably because it’s very small and has very few resources, thus they have to make big out of what they have (access and service), yet Jakarta residents are much more friendly.
Someone said to me she would much rather have a sensible transportation service without any smiles or friendliness. Hmm…I wonder why in such a city where everything seems to be much easier and much less patience-trying, one would say that people smile less than they do in Jakarta? Do you think so? Would you say that one would have to choose between friendliness and sensibility?