I arrived in Singapore the evening of December 31st where I was meeting up with my friend to bring in the New Year.
New Years was quite the introduction to Singapore. Glimpses of my night include being shown the city by bros strutting around in togas, free chocolate cake, two pairs of broken flip flops, people spilling out of McDonalds, a group of dancing Indians, rebelling against “The Man” by using a selfie stick in the “no selfie stick zone”, and painful amounts of walking (I have a blister to prove it) before finding a cab.
Wooo. Definitely one for the books.
Luckily, my slightly hung-over self was woken up New Year’s day by McDonalds breakfast. And after a further nap, I was ready to see the city. This time, during normal daylight hours.
I’ll just go ahead and put this one out there: Singapore creeped me out.
I’ll come back to the why in a second.
Firstly, everything you hear about Singapore is true. It is the cleanest city I’ve ever been to. It’s also the greenest. Foliage is everywhere. The city itself is pretty small. And it’s easy to get around.
However, it all felt like a huge illusion! Like, what is this place? Really?
Everything was too perfect. Too clean.
I’ll start by saying that my favorite cities have what I can only describe as movement. There’s a tangible energy. A buzz you feel that you can almost reach out and touch. They’re bristling with life and emotion.
But everything in Singapore was almost exactly the same. Everyone stays in the lines. All the buildings look shiny and new.
I felt like I was in some weird dystopian novel where Corporations had taken over and ran everything.
There was no evidence of life. Musicians playing on the street. Graffiti. Trash blowing by. Nothing. Just malls, malls, and more malls.
Singapore feels soulless. And frankly, the city itself is boring.
I guess if all you want to do is shop in name brand stores found everywhere all over the world, then Singapore is the place for you. But for me, I’ll stick with the perfect craziness of Shanghai.
Have you or do you ever want to go to Singapore? Does the notion of a perfect city freak you out? Do you agree or did you see a different side of Singapore?