Singapore - It felt like a dream!

Posted on January 24, 2014
Location: London
Singapore - It felt like a dream!

When I was living in middle-east, I often heard people saying that: the campus of this multinational OIL Company, we were working for, was bigger than Singapore’s area (710 SQ Kilometres) as a country. Either way, we go in Singapore, it will be just less than 27 kilometres of distance, from one end to the other. Singapore may be is a compact country but it packs an intoxicating dosage in terms of unique experiences that we won’t find anywhere else. The country has a reputation for being clean and orderly, but that would be too trivializing a tag, because it is also a joyful, disorderly mix of cultures, cuisines and the demographics!

I often get confused, whether to refer it as a city or a country, during discussions. It is smaller than a city, but bigger than any country, as far as its economic affairs goes. Singapore is one of the world's leading commercial hubs, with the fourth-biggest financial centre and one of the five busiest ports. Its globalized and diversified economy depends heavily on trade, especially in manufacturing, which constitutes 26 percent of Singapore's combined GDP. In terms of purchasing power parity, Singapore has the third-highest per capita income in the world . It ranks high in international rankings of education, healthcare, government transparency, and economic competitiveness.

Eating is every Singaporean’s major past-time and it’s not hard to realize why when we come across a staggering variety of local dishes, which are born in Singapore, out of the fusion between Chinese, Indian, Malay and Western food as well as other South-East Asian flavours. We can’t have really experienced Singapore until we’ve experienced eating some of the famous dishes like Chicken Hainan Rice, Roti Chanai, Laksa (spicy curry noodle soup) or my favourite the “Fish Head Curry”. Fruits I enjoyed in Singapore are also unique to Singapore as well such as the famous “King of Fruits”, the Durian, or a nice bowl of intestines, “Kway Chap”.

Singaporean’s other pastime is endless consumerism, and who can blame us when we have a 2-kilometer long shopping belt filled over 5,000 stores? The world-famous Orchard Road will have us literally shopping till we drop, if we visit every single mall along this notoriously addictive tree-line boulevard. Orchard Road has some gorgeous new malls that are worth visiting just to be wowed by their innovative architecture and visual displays. Top on this list is ION Orchard, with its illuminated facade and animated walkways. Other new malls we should check out are Knightsbridge, 313@Somerset and Orchard Central.

I lived for one full year in Singapore. The decision to work/live in Singapore, was made at the airport itself, got down and attended the interview and had a job offer in hand before I arrived in India, on my way back from the USA. It was possible then, may be not now. Another appealing factor for me to move to Singapore was that, one of best mate was also living in Singapore at that time. Missed him too much may be, but he was just newly married then. We lived in the same apartment block, next to each other in different apartments. Those were golden days…eating together, going out together, watching movies together or shopping together. I was not realizing how painfully irritating it would have been, for a newly married couple, to tolerate someone to obstruct their much needed privacy. But they were lovely. They looked after me…that’s why I call his wife as “Mom”, even though she was younger than me. She was very motherly…very caring! My experience with Singapore ended because my expedition was not ended yet… I had lot more to see, I had lot more to experience …It was time to move on to another country…it was AUSTRALIA calling!!! I have a secret vision however (which will not be secret anymore after this); that I shall take my parents & my son, to Singapore for a holiday one day. I can show them around…all the best places to eat out, to shop, and to have a good time! Until then, SING-LING….Singapore, you BEAUTY!!!

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