Durian-flavoured Shopping Malls
Singapore, © 03.Sep.2002 kN
Photos of Singapore
Introduction to Singapore
Once, Twice, Three Times
Durian-flavoured Shopping Malls
In Singapore, gM and I were hard-pressed to find the images that we knew from other parts of Asia such as Indonesia and India. I imagined heat, no sidewalks, few signs, little shops on the streets, open sewage canals, litter, and poverty. Ha!

Singapore's infrastructure - for example, airport, buses, signage, taxis, shopping centres, roads, air-conditioning, sidewalks, cleanliness, subway system, prevalence of non-pay bathrooms with water, toilet paper, flush toilets, light, soap, etc. - is highly developed. English is widely spoken. The shopping malls are lined with stores with which I am familiar in Canada and Austria. Just as in some cold Canadian cities, but instead because of Singapore's heat, many shopping malls are connected by underground tunnels and overhead passageways. We even saw our first 7-11 corner store since Canada. If "modern" is partly defined by technology, newness, and infrastructure, then Singapore could easily be North America or Western Europe.

However, "No Durian" signs on buses and the subway remind me of where I am: a durian is a large, oval, tasty, but stinky-smelling fruit with a prickly rind. Driving is on the left side, steering wheels on the right. From Canadian and Austrian standards, all is flipped: therefore when crossing a street, we must remember to counter the instinct to look the "wrong" way. Unlike other places we have visited so far, many foreigners are from Australia - Perth is closer to Singapore than to many parts of Australia. Despite visiting in the dry season, the September spells of rains are hard, fast, and drenching enough to wait out.

With regard to Singapore, my only correct assumption was heat. Singapore is just over 100km north of the equator. The temperature was in the +40's, and the humidity was over 50%. I know that years from now, I will look back at thoughts such as these and laugh uproariously at what I have chosen as "different" enough to comment on. I know that I will laugh because I already feel the corners of my mouth smile.

Introduction to Singapore  /  Once, Twice, Three Times  /  Durian-flavoured Shopping Malls