Going Poor in Singapore

Trip Start Jan 06, 2010
1
29
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Trip End Apr 20, 2013


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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Our time spent in Singapore was brief however we did get a feel of the famous city/country on our 13 mile walk from our hotel in the red light district to the downtown city center and back. Since everyone talks about how immaculate Singapore is, we couldn't help but notice cigarette butts and small trash on the streets, men shooting snot-rockets like its going out of style and one women throw-up on the sidewalk. So while you're not allowed to chew gum or spit in Singapore, prostitution and snot-rockets seem to be acceptable. The people, like in most big cities, we not as friendly as those in Malacca or Georgetown, but that was expected. Since the restaurants have American prices, one night we bought an artisan beer bread, cheese, avocado, fruit and wine and stayed in our hotel room making sandwiches and we were almost in tears over the nostalgia. Wine. Oh wine. I will never take you for granted again. Not to say I drink a bottle or even a glass of wine every night when I am at home in Sacramento but being away from good wine this long basically, for lack of a better word, kinda sucks. We experienced this briefly in Hawaii and, if I remember correctly, Peru as well but we haven't been without a decent glass of wine for over a month since we discovered wine tasting years ago. So, when we found a decent French red in addition to bread and avocado, for that evening, we were back home...well, except for the missing cat fur. -Sarah. 
 
Singapore is like this club where if you are a successful artist, architect, or technological innovator, then you may be invited to work here and become a citizen. Walking around the city center is just a big hodgepodge of business people from all over the world engaging in an internationally represented happy hour that is more expensive than in the US. It's a place where one takes a job that their home country wasn't offering them, and why not, because for a city, Singapore is a big beautiful exclusive career club. Though that's just the country's epicenter there are some scum bags just like in every other city. Not that we personally witnessed events of crime, but we did stay in the red light district (because it's inexpensive) and while walking outside late night will rarely find another woman cruising the street by herself. We often see men walking around in little crews, and when they see Sarah they will stand strait and pop their chests out to look tough while sizing me up for a shoulder check they are too scared to execute. I would say that the crime is at a minimum here but don't count on things not going missing If you accidentally leave them around. I had a teacher tell me that you could drop your wallet here and come back two weeks later to find it untouched in the same place. I can say that this teacher had no personal experience, and to expect your wallet to be in the nearest garbage can, emptied out the same way as any other place.I can't say much for the food so far either. Granted we had only a few days but everywhere we tried to eat was substandard to our expectations. For example, we went to this soup restaurant that serves the soup base on a hot burner by which we just add whatever we want from a buffet of ingredients. It cost much more than it would in the US and the soup base was simply boiling vegetable oil, salt, and spices. It was basically a watered down deep fryer which could be good if you didn't have to drink the oil. As you can imagine the human body is not designed for this type of consumption and will often pass in resemblance to how it came in. But if you prefer to sleep on a toilet rather than a bed because your a multitasker 24/7 than this soup will keep you busy.The buildings here in Singapore are literally out of this world. I am thoroughly convinced that The Sands Hotel and office complex was built by aliens. To make room for such a vast impressive architectural display with a world class port Singapore was expanded by excavating its three biggest elevations and dumping into the sea. That is impressive and depressing at the same time, but then they hired aliens to built these buildings on top. There is a false garden in the theme of a tree canopy Ewok Village from The Return of the Jedi. I remember how much I wished that was a real place and here it is. Just watch out for the Singapore space program folks because I'm pretty sure they have the real blueprints for the construction of a Death Star. Or maybe I've had too much coffee.Anyways. Bring a memory card for your camera because the only way to capture the incredibly unique city scape of Singapore is to just set to panoramic and scan every block. -Chris 
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