Are there subcultures in Singapore 1

Singapore | neat. expensive.

Reading time: 6 minutes

A city going through menopause. No bikes, dogs or dirt. Instead cameras, rules and a feeling like in "1984". Not much Asia awaits us here yet. Asia light, on the other hand, describes it quite well. Starting in the known unknown has advantages and disadvantages.

Walk on Orchard Road on the first evening. Malls and Christmas decorations shine in competition. That makes the atmosphere really nice. Unfortunately, things look very different in daylight.

THE | trip is not yet a week old - and finally I manage to deliver my first BlogPost to you. The first few days were so full of jetlag, arriving and finding in that there was hardly any time or energy for computer work. For that now.

So Singapore. Landed good, safe and full of expectations. Thank you, dear Qatar, for this wonderfully quiet, relaxed and comfortable transport across half the globe. I can only recommend it.

I have to admit, we didn't dare to venture into any major adventures in Singapore to get used to travel life. Rather, we tended to walk along well-trodden tourist paths. From the mega mall mile Orchard Road to Chinatown with a Buddhist temple to the relaxed green and a great view of Marina Bay. Before I write dryly about it to you, I prefer to let the pictures and signatures speak for themselves.

Culture exchange in perfection

When walking through the city and its shops, I definitely notice how paradoxically globalization has interwoven our world. Here one seems to idealize the western lifestyle on every corner and edge. Restaurants and food stands that offer Western food are significantly more frequented than those offering Asian cuisine. From locals, not tourists. In the drugstore departments there are shelves full of products that make the skin whiter. Almost exclusively long-nosed models present brands and goods on the posters. European and Western film seem to be magic words.

In Germany, it seems to me to work the other way around. We want everything that is Asian.Mindfulness, meditation, Buddhism, Zen, yoga, sushi and the like are extremely popular. We would like to have these things in our lives. People just like to strive for what they don't have. I am not mutually exclusive.

That scares me a little. When I think what it looked like in this city 20 years ago. And then today. What will it look like in another 20 years? I suspect that the differences and peculiarities - at least from the cities - will disappear more and more and at some point you will find your usual toothpaste and your favorite food anywhere on the planet without any problems. Much will be lost for the price of global recognition values.

Open-air shower and everything was nice and clean. That makes arriving easy.

Menopause simulator

You expect it, but we are still surprised: the air conditioning. It is fascinating. I can understand that you don't want to endure humid 30 degrees and more everywhere. But why all interiors have to be cooled down to 20 or even 18 degrees - that doesn't really get into my head yet. It doesn't sound cold at first, but in contrast to the outside temperature, it knocks us out every time. In - out - in - out | Cold - hot - cold - hot.

Arvid makes fun of himself when we leave a mall, a shop, a train station or the like and we start again take off. When going out. We know somehow different from home. We don't yet know if our bodies will get used to it anytime soon. The locals definitely don't show anything. One of my theories is that the city wants you to never stay in one place for too long. Too warm outside, so quickly in where it is cool. Too cool, so get out again quickly, it's warmer.

George Orwell's dream city

And while we're at it: the city seems to want a lot. One reads beforehand or is told that there are many prohibitions here. How pronounced this world of prohibition is, however, you only understand when you walk through the streets.

Arvid has found suitable parallels to the novel "1984": We give you the perfect city. We take care of everything for you. Cleanliness, order, behavior. In return, you just can't break our rules. But we also take care of that. We take care of you. Always. And everywhere.

Yes, this man is cleaning the sidewalk.

Because there are cameras everywhere. And every day you get to know new prohibitions. Not smoking everywhere is understandable and known. You don't know chewing gum from the travel guide. But pets are also forbidden, and those who do not flush the toilet and are practically not allowed to eat or drink anywhere are punished - you have to get used to that. The fear of doing something wrong becomes a constant companion. "Kissing? Can we leave this here in the MRT? I'd rather leave it." Because the punishments aren't exactly ridiculous either. From hundreds of Singapore dollars to several years in prison. You don't have to try everything.

In any case, the whole thing leads to an almost immaculate cityscape. However, the absence of bicycles and four-legged friends also seems kind of weird. Even the traffic is so well organized that there are no traffic jams despite the 5 million inhabitants. In the local public transport trains it is clearly marked where to stand and where to walk. There are guards, watchdogs and security everywhere. We saw practically none of the real police - in front of the cameras.

She can also pose, Kleene. But the Marina Bay Sands is also damn photogenic. If not much more.
Our thumb judgment on the luxury hotel and landmark of Singapore: rather not like that. Way too expensive. Much too smooth. Too bad.
That’s a CatWalk. At a height of about 20 meters you can walk around between the supertrees and enjoy the view of the garden and the skyline ...

... but only for 15 minutes. Then you get thrown down. In a figurative sense of course only ... I hope so. And that's just one of many rules up here. Very Singaporean, this walk.
And then such beautiful views from the Supertree Skywalk: If you don't get hungry, it's your own fault. Looks inviting, doesn't it?
The city itself looks as beautiful as any other at night. The view of the illuminated Gardens By The Bay, however, is a bit more unique. In the middle the supertrees.

A wicked contrast: the well-bred, low buildings from the colonial era next to the cheeky, multi-story evidence of money from the modern era. Almost charming again together.
In Chinatown you can find countless food and KrimsKrams shops as well as numerous temples of various religions.
Our first real temple! And then we are also lucky that a “service” is going on. The singing or the prayer of the monks immediately cast a spell on me. Later we read that we stumbled into the largest Buddhist temple in the country.

By far the best place for PhotoBomben ever: Platform against the backdrop of Singapore.
The picture sums up the city quite well: there is really a lot of green, but also really a lot of tall buildings.
Just one of ten fun art benches by the water. A bit cheesy, the photo, but after all we love each other too =)

Conclusion: Asia Light - Singapore Light

Our opinion is therefore mixed. It's a big city like many others. However, with a lot of green and a really colorful culture and society. Different religions and world views, generations and ideas about life come together. Everyone can be and do what they want. As long as it doesn't violate any law.

Much is still known here. English is practically the city language, alongside three other official ones, but in everyday life or in the city center you hardly ever see or hear other words. At least 80% of the brands are known in the shops. Which is really a shame, after all, after moving the globe a good bit under your feet. You don't have to get used to the prices too much either. The city is very European by Asian standards. So expensive - you look forward to continuing your journey. To the "real" Asia.

We can still choose between sitting and squatting | I am not asking about the more hygienic solution

On the other hand, the comfort you are used to makes arriving a little easier. Even if he only postpones the actual Asian culture shock by a few days. We're trying to get used to a few things that will make our lives easier over the next few weeks. Don't brush your teeth with tap water, be more careful when eating and get a feel for the people here.

It is clear that after only three days here we were only able to get to know the city very superficially. But my feeling tells me that there are actually two Singaporeans:

Once the beautiful, new, shiny Singapore of skyscrapers and high society. Appearance counts more than being. Your address, your car and your clothes have to be right so that you are invited to the beautiful roof terraces.

Front Hui - back Pooh. The back of the tourist feeding mile at Clarque Bay.

Anyone who has the change as a tourist can become part of this Singapore for their stay.

And then the other Singapore. That the worker and ordinary people. Those who walk the same streets as the upper ones, but live in their own town. The worlds meet when the clothes, the car or the pool have to be cleaned. Otherwise there aren't many interfaces.

I would have liked to see more of this second Singapore. Because I suspect that I would feel a lot more comfortable there than in the perfect splendid palace that the city would like to be so much. However, money does not help here. To become part of this "subculture" you need the right people. Unfortunately we have not yet found this on our first stay. But we still have a second chance when we take off again.

Look back to the future

And we're really looking forward to that too. What the second stay in Singapore in four months will be like. We will look forward to itto come to a "real, clean, western" city? Are we going to want to spend an extra long time here? Or will we be annoyed of the prospect of returning to this 1984 city and keeping your stay as short as possible?

Will we look back and say "Do you remember back then how stupid we did? Can you believe that we did this and that?"

Travel with us and you may even know the answer sooner than we do.