Friday, June 2, 2017

The land of the many ... "bans". Singapore with the Wandering Writer

Remaining in Asia, we land this time in Singapore, which was for us a sort of stopover, but we soon discover it as a very intriguing country. Many things we loved, many other left us a bit perplexed, but in the overall, it was a very interesting stay, and I am going to tell you why you too should visit it.

Singapore has a mostly commercial history, as already since the 14th century it was used as a commercial post by both the  Majapahit Empire and the Siamese kingdoms. It was then acquired by the British, to become finally independent in 1965.

It comes clear that the country is traditionally and historically business-oriented, and that comes quite clear from the first walk in the city.

Something else that comes clear is the strict policy on cleanliness by the application of very severe punishments and fines for whoever dares to threaten it. Somehow, the rules applied by the Singapore Government remind me of my grandmother; crazy about keeping the house clean.

She would have cleaned the house thoroughly daily, and woe to those who would have stepped inside the house when she just mopped the floor, and even worse to whoever would have threatened the perfect order of her house.Yes, Singapore government is just like my grandmother, when we talk about keeping the city clean.
You will find yourself fined 1000$ just for enjoying a chewing gum, being homosexual (!), spitting on the ground (well this I find very good. Indeed, there is nothing more disgusting than having someone spitting close to me), not flushing toilets (!) and many others.

Of course, don't you even think of thinking of crossing the streets when the sign is red or outside the pedestrian cross!!!

The city is indeed clean and looks nice. However, this might also look a little fake and give a sort of uncomfortable feeling. Nevertheless, I strongly suggest you see it by night, as the city really transform itself, from a lovely clean city,

to the bustling light show

And there is no other place better than the top of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. From there the view is something spectacular that gives you the right idea of the country.
But I am afraid that the real feeling you get by visiting the place and see it with your own eyes, is the one you should look after, even if those images can give you a good idea of what is waiting for you.
Now, something that left us perplexed was our visit to the Jurong birds' park. I love birds, and the least thing that I would like to see is any of them caged or trapped. Whether some of the feathered residents of the park are free and are a real show for their beauty

Others, are less fortunate and are living in cages. Now, already the view of a small canary saddens my heart when caged, you can imagine a proud predator like a bald eagle, vultures, and other exotic species in the cage was a real killer and I left the park.

Had I known it in advance, I would have opted for a trek in the wilderness, and let's say that the message in conservation can be right, but I would have avoid this small cages for such big birds.

Despite this, detail something else that I would point out about this country is the friendliness of the people, typical of the general Asian culture. This is something that has made me wonder man times about the possibility to move and live in an Asian country.

I am not sure if ever I would be able to get acquainted with their strict and rigid sense of discipline as I am more to trust myself to keep the right level of civilization, rather than having someone else to watch and punish whenever I might make some mistake. But the friendliness of the people, the delicious cuisine, the ambitious architectural designs and the loveliness of the small streets makes me, at least, want to go back and visit this lovely city-country.


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