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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas………

November 30, 2009

Singapore is a fascinating mix of several cultures – Chinese, Indian, Malays, Eurasians, and Arabs. English is the primary language – although each group uses their own language too – so there is also Chinese, Tamil, etc. English being the universal language makes getting around super easy. Singapore’s population is around 5 million and 80 percent of the people who reside there live in government flats. Our taxi driver told us that they are all the same – 3 bedrooms, kitchen, family room, balcony, and I think two bathrooms.

There is a slight “big brother” feel in Singapore – you are not allowed to bring gum into the country or to chew it (you can smoke however – I know, huh?).  Littering brings a $1,000 fine – your second offense is $2,000. Cameras line the roads and no one crosses the street until the pedestrian light says it is ok to do so. Getting a taxi is easy – you just get in a queue until it is your turn – single file, no cutting, and no bumping. All of that works together to make an organized, efficient, and very clean city.

If you come from Delhi, Singapore will seem like a little slice of very clean heaven. There is little pollution, the sun shines or dances behind a few clouds (don’t forget your sunscreen), and no one honks their horn. Cars even stay in their own lanes. And even though there is traffic, it is not bumper to bumper – it flows nicely.

Because Singapore has so many different cultures co-existing, they seem to celebrate everything. On Friday, a lot of stores were closed for the Muslim celebration of Hajj – the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. And Orchard Road (the famous shopping district) was decorated for Christmas –  Christmas music played in all the stores. It was all sorts of loverly to see all the trees and reindeer smiling along the way.

It was a little funny to be walking in shorts in the high temps and to see this snowman. He did make me smile though.

All in all, Orchard Road was a great place to visit. We found the prices to be pretty high but you could visit any store you might be missing. It’s all here.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 1, 2009 12:19 am

    Yeah, what’s Christmas without freezing your butt off 😉

  2. November 30, 2009 7:47 pm

    Must have reminded you a bit of being at home.

    • November 30, 2009 9:43 pm

      It was funny – it did and didn’t – I am used to wearing a coat when I see Christmas decorations – but it was very fun to see all the Santas and Reindeer – we did get to eat a Dairy Queen ice cream while looking at the snowmen – that certainly helped. 😎 And it reminded me I better get busy actually shopping.

  3. November 30, 2009 7:42 pm

    Singapore sounds…like Japan.
    Except nearly everyone here is Japanese. You must see Christmas in Japan. No shorts, no christ, but we got lights and santa and…chicken! Enjoy your trip…love the pics!

    • November 30, 2009 9:41 pm

      Then I want to go to Japan. 😎 It was funny all the Christmas songs were the “real” Christmas songs mentioning Christ and all! I am not sure how many Christians are in Singapore but they must be very happy this month.

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