Would you live in Singapore?

Felipe has already told our itinerary in Singapore, now I want to tell some of our impressions of the country-town.

We have observed that very few people that we know include Singapore in a round the world trip, and is also hard to see people saying they want to go there. But we did not want to simply stay in the transit area of the airport. We wanted to know the place we considered one of the possible options to live in the near future.

When we were planning the itinerary of this trip we included five cities that we’d like to know, because one day, maybe, we’d move over there: Sydney, Perth, Singapore, Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro. We chose these cities because they are all coastal cities, each of them, in its own way, have things that attracted us, and they have good prospects so we could find a nice job in our area.

But where did the idea of Singapore come from? Well.. Singapore is virtually an economic oasis in Southeast Asia, we heard stories of people going there with good professional offers, but above all, Singapore is just a few hours (and a few dollars) from Indonesia and Thailand. Not bad eh?! (that’s what we thought …)

Boy refreshing in Sentosa

Boy refreshing in Sentosa

Results are, as you can realize by the previous post, Singapore has proven to be much, very much, hotter than we had imagined. This seems weird coming from a Brazilian girl who’s just spent a month in Indonesia. I should be used to it. But frankly I think no one ever gets used to it.

People come out of an air conditioned place to enter another. From the apartment to the car, from the car to the office. The subway is a refrigerator and there are parts of the town where people just walk underground, blocks and blocks of galleries filled with luxury shops and, of course, air conditioning.
Could we have gone at the wrong season? No. Singapore is almost on the Equator, the temperature and humidity are constant throughout the year. The lowest temperature ever recorded there, of all time, was 19.4°C, with year average being 28°C. But even worse is the humidity, which is on average 90% in the mornings and 60% in the afternoons, and is super common to reach 100%.

As much as I like the heat, for me it was a pain.
Then you may think “but heat in an island is nice.” It turns out that Singapore is a concrete jungle. Too many buildings, a lot of concrete. I believe this is another reason for the feeling of suffocation.

When we went to Sentosa everything changed.

Seeing a little green, sand, beach, even if between a construction site and another, was a big relief and the day was a delight. Even the night, when we returned to the city, was also really enjoyable. I think we were starting to learn how to enjoy Singapore.
The Ramayana presentation that we saw by surprise was amazing and made me feel even more in love with Southeast Asia.

Ah! I also want to tell some curiosities from Singapore.

Singapore law forbids the sale of chewing gum. The reason: hygiene. Everything is extremely clean in Singapore. The streets – except in Little India – are the cleanest ever (also because it is rare to see people walking on them). The subway stations have marble and granite floors and columns, and if someone leans on one of these columns, while waiting for the train, when the person leaves there comes an employee with a cloth to clean it and get the stone shining again. Surreal.
Cleaning is also reflected in urban planning. Neat sidewalks and totally hidden power lines.

We found out that the number one leisure activity of  Singaporeans is watching television. Well, you can understand that it is not so nice getting out there but, seriously, watching TV? Hmm, I think this lifestyle is not exactly for us…

It’s amazing the amount of shopping malls that we saw there. Often one after another. Always with many luxury shops. A paradise for who’s into shopping, what we definitely are not. And even more impressive is the amount of people buying, especially young people. The malls and galleries are always packed. And the world out there, empty.

Electronics are not as cheap as people think they are there. For those who come from Brazil, it can be. But coming from New Zealand, we found the prices about the same.

People looked at me in the street as if I were an alien. At least that’s how I felt.
I can not explain the reason, if it’s my white skin and blue eyes, so different from the Chinese/Indian majority there, but the fact is that I always bothered time to get dressed so as not to attract attention, even though the Chinese girls wore very short skirts, but it did not make a difference. I felt much more an ET in Singapore than anywhere else in the world.

To conclude,

it was nice to be in Singapore. Surely three days is a very short time and we did not see lots of interesting things there. But it was enough to know that we would not be able to live there. The heat, a geared to work for money and consumerism culture, and lack of nature in the day-to-day basis is not for us.
Just the fact of being near paradises like Bali and Thailand was not enough to convince us.

Maybe we’ll stop over there some other times, during our future trips to Southeast Asia, to check Bread Talk again, watch another show at the Esplanade and to see all that we missed. But just like this time, short stays.

Fe discovering Bread Talk

Fe discovering Bread Talk

P.S. As Perth also was in our first list, I might tell that we have discarded this option too, since we didn’t fall in love with Perth either. So for now.. Sydney is winning the dispute. Wellington and Curitiba are always in our hearts, of course.

11 comments

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  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Você moraria em Cingapura? Novo post no NPLH! -- Topsy.com

    • Mirella says:
    • 9 May, 2010 at 12:41 am

    Eu também gostei de ter visitado Cingapura e até moraria por um tempo, mas enfrentar o calor de lá é tão insuportável quanto enfrentar o frio daqui no Canadá :)
    Eu também achei Perth meio sem graça… jamais moraria lá! E Sydney… ah Sydney… minha menina dos olhos, a distância é problema… e por isso continuo aqui no congelador!
    Linda foto do menino em Sentosa :)

    Reply

    • Tushar says:
    • 9 May, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    this is an awesome place to visit….

    Reply

    • Cris says:
    • 11 May, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Thanks for the comments guys!

    E é verdade Mirella! Ainda não conheço o Canadá, mas já vi várias pessoas fazendo essa comparação, principalmente quando citamos que as pessoas andam por baixo da terra lá. hehe

    Reply

    • Jó ez a pác, én zellerrel még sosem készítettem csirkét, mert biztosan nem ennék meg és viszont nagyon szeretem. Nekem a csirke bÅ‘re jó ropogósra sütve jöhet mindenképpen:)

      Reply

    • Dulce says:
    • 12 May, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Que delicia (computer sem acentos) “viajar” com vcs! Please, escrevam dos outros paises logo! Quero ler antes da nossa viagem! :) bjsssss

    Reply

      • Cris says:
      • 12 May, 2010 at 11:03 am

      :) Precisamos agilizar mesmo, Du! Às vezes a gente dá uma hibernada, mas parar jamais! Será que agora vai?! hehe
      Que delícia vocês planejando essa viagem, isso sim! Beijo!

      Reply

    • Oscar says:
    • 3 June, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Heheh
    Gostei do nome do seu Post…
    Eu morei nesse “inferno”por 18 meses, se voce me perguntasse se voltaria a morar lá a resposta seria sim com certeza, mas não para Sempre!!
    Concordo que o calor de lá é algo realmente indescritivel, mas a gente acaba se acostumando ou tenta se acostumar..
    Assim como voces também sou de Curitiba e se acostumar com esse calor não foi fácil também. Principalmente não tendo Carro (algo extremamente caro por lá). O Calor de lá lembra um pouco Cuiabá, com a diferença que em Cingapura o ar condicionado está por toda parte para te salvar.
    No Post voce fala que Cingapura é uma cidade de pedra, concordo em partes contigo, realmente num país pequeno como o deles, é mais que necessario se aproveitar todos os espaços possivel.Mas tenho que dizer uma coisa, nunca vi arborização urbana mais bem feita e com uma manutençao tão primorosa como lá!! Isso sem falar na infra-estrutura de transportes, começando pelo Changi Airport até o transporte público.
    O Lazer numero 1 do Cingapuriano antes de mais nada é fazer compras!! Nunca vi nenhum outro lugar no mundo com fila na loja da Louis Vuitton como lá. rsrs Mas o Cingapuriano é de fato muito materialista, essa é uma caracteristica “chinesa”.
    Mas apesar de seu tamanho e sua densidade populacional (2 maior do planeta) eles tem bastante natureza. Claro que não dá para comparar com a NZ.. O Único problema é voce se aventurar nesse calor todo.

    No meu Blog postei alguns Posts relacionados a natureza lá:
    http://mauoscar.com/2009/10/08/130-cumes-de-cingapura/
    http://mauoscar.com/2009/08/05/111-jardim-botanico-150-anos/
    http://mauoscar.com/2009/10/14/133-mundo-das-orquideas/
    http://mauoscar.com/2009/09/22/125-st-john-e-kusu/
    http://mauoscar.com/2009/09/17/124-chinese-garden/
    http://mauoscar.com/2009/06/10/097-marina-barrage/
    http://mauoscar.com/2009/06/24/101-river-valley-cingapura/

    Parabens pelo Blog de voces achei super bacana!!
    Abraço

    Reply

      • Cris says:
      • 3 June, 2010 at 9:10 am

      Uau, estou achando super legal a opinião de alguém que realmente morou lá.
      Afinal só três dias não são nada pra conhecer um lugar né?! Com certeza a gente perdeu muita coisa legal que só quem passa mais tempo tem a oportunidade de observar.

      Sabe que depois de ver os seus posts fiquei com vontade de voltar lá pra ver isso tudo pessoalmente!! :mrgreen:

      Reply

        • Oscar says:
        • 3 June, 2010 at 9:37 am

        Rsrs

        Eu sou suspeito, mas voltaria com certeza!! Ainda mais agora com a Universal lá em Sentosa e o Cassino na Marina Prontos!!! Cingapura está diferente de quando deixamos o país.. Isso que nao fazem nem 7 meses..
        Outro aspecto legal de Cingapura é que pelo fato de misturar tanta gente de diferentes lugares o local virou como o pessoal costuma dizer uma “Asia for begginers”
        Eu uma vez fiz uma entrevista para o entrevistando expatriados da Mirella do Mikix falando sobre como é viver como expatriado em Cingapura
        http://mauoscar.com/2009/06/22/100-cingapura-ou-singapura/

        Reply

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