It Makes the World go Around

Trip Start May 08, 2005
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22
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Trip End Aug 16, 2005


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Flag of Singapore  ,
Tuesday, June 21, 2005

While driving to Little India, my taxi driver laid down a Chinese saying for me:

If you have money, you have everything

Heavy huh?

Its my understanding that the Chinese followed the British into Singapore and are the race most responsible for the economic success and growth of the island. If dominance can be measured in storefronts, this assertion is quite true. Though all institutional signage and advertising messages are in English, I saw more Chinese people, shops, script and food stalls than anything else.

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On my sole afternoon in Singapore, I ventured to a part of town called Little India. It very well lived up to its name. Vegetarian and Curry restaurants galore. Stalls selling material for saris and Bollywood DVDs. Hindu temples, men in turbans and of course Mustafa Center, the Wal-Mart of little India.

I stopped in a restaurant to have lunch and ended up spending 2 hours chatting with a pleasant Muslim girl (the owner's niece). She happily gave me the jaded, youthful Muslim perspective on Singapore, asserting that the Chinese control everything on the island, much to the detriment of everyone else. I enquired as to the nature of the racial hierarchy and she replied that Chinese were at the top of the pyramid, Indians and Muslims in the middle and native Malay are at the absolute bottom.

Simply looking around in Singapore made her assertion not too difficult to believe.

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SO if the Chinese with their indomitable work ethic and capitalist/business savvy have worked wonders upon this little island, and if every city has its own little Chinatown, and almost everything is made in China...

Can you imagine what the world would be like if they hadn't gone communist? I don't think the west would have had a chance for economic success on any level if Uncle Mao hadn't given us a solid head start...

But that is a topic for another book that i am quite under-qualified to write.

Onwards to Malaysia!
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