Day 10 and 11 of Asia - The Good/Bad/Ugly about Singapore

by - Monday, April 28, 2014

currently: writing quickly, it's getting later and later.

Yesterday, I got asked 'if I had the choice, which city would I live in - Kuala Lumpur or Singapore?'

I haven't really spent enough time or seen enough of Singapore, but I'd easily say I'd live in Singapore over living in Kuala Lumpur.

This city isn't perfect, but this has felt closer to like being home in Auckland, while keeping some perks of Malaysia.

The Good, Bad and Ugly of Singapore.

The Good
1. It's clean(er.) You don't see trash on the streets, dogs aimlessly wandering, no one is spitting into a rubbish bin... It's just way nicer. And everything has a food safety label. Even the air feels cleaner.

2. The majority of people around Singapore speak English. And as someone who's had to spend a week looking confused and telling people "Oh sorry, I'm not from around here..." having the comforts of English is a welcomed return.

3. Singapore doesn't seem to have a storm every single day. This afternoon we returned to Malaysia in a massive storm. So fierce the streets flooded quickly and the lighting and thunder was simultaneously going.
You can't really tell in the photo, but the street is actually starting to flood. And traffic was ridiculous.

4. Singapore is a big cultural fusion pot. Yesterday night I ate fried rice that was "Italian-ised" with Parmesan cheese and a meatball (just the one massive meatball.) It's the best of local and international flavours together.

5. Compared to KL, Singapore is much safer to be in. You hear stories of violent bag snatching and home intruders frequently, and while every country has crime, it's definitely seen more around Kuala Lumpur than Singapore.

6. I'm closer to the ocean. Because I actually miss ocean views. KL is smog, construction, hills and highways. I got my first glimpse of the ocean in a week from driving along the highway and seeing the coast in the distance. It wasn't much, but it was enough to know it was out there.

The Bad
1. Prices are not as cheap as Malaysia - when you exchange money from New Zealand's dollar to Malaysia's ringgit, you realise how inflated New Zealand's prices seem. It's why I've tried to do all my spending while in Kuala Lumpur.

2. Thunderstorms at night. I didn't get a solid night's sleep in Singapore because of the electrical storms, which were ridiculously bright. And though I do prefer these thunderstorms to appear at night and not during the day, they just kept going...and going...and going...

3. Light pollution is pretty awful here too. Not that Kuala Lumpur 'the city of lights' is any better... But I don't think there's a single area of Singapore where there isn't light pollution. Don't people enjoy seeing stars?

The Ugly
Singapore's drivers. They're incredibly impatient and don't let you merge. It's like all the unfriendly drivers of Kuala Lumpur and Auckland combined. And who knew that was even possible.

Singapore, we didn't get to spend a lot of time together but that doesn't mean I won't come back soon... :)


Meal of the Day (Day 10):
In Singapore, just before church at Inspire Singapore, we stopped by a streetside food court where I got Roti Prata with banana (also known as Roti Pisang), served with sugar and curry. So it was like a sweet vs spicy combination.

Meal of the Day (Day 11):
Nothing too fancy tonight, with a serving of chee cheong fun at an outdoor hawker centre at a place called 'Fa Mu Lan' (not actually joking.) The dinner was okay, but dining there beside an outdoor auction in Mandarin, sitting at a place named like a Disney character was pretty amusing.

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