Singapore the city of “discipline and bans” but I still loved staying there!
February 2016, I suddenly decided that I would go overseas, without having given much thought before I arranged for my trip abroad. It was an in the moment decision, usually going overseas, requires that one obviously need to make sure they have everything in order, such as the right documentation and that you do some research about the country. I ensured I’m familiar with the laws and regulations of Singapore. I’m very anxious when it comes to border control and how strict countries are in terms of foreigners entering into their borders, therefore being aware of everything about the country was my priority.
I than self-educated myself on the laws of the country, than I looked at how the people are there in general and also visa requirements. Singapore have many rules that one must adhere to otherwise you will have to pay a fine or you will get into trouble. Some of these rules are that you not allowed to chew gum and that you also not allowed to j-walk, which I think wasn’t that much of a bad regulation which the country implemented. I think as a result of these rules, looking at the people in general and how they conduct themselves, it is evident that by these regulations, the citizens are genuinely upright and respectful to one another. I think if people are not reprehended for their actions or regulated, compared to other countries, then people will just do what they want. Having experience these regulations is part of the reason that highlights why I enjoyed my holiday in Singapore.
Mindset of the citizens
Singapore was the safest country I ever visited and also very clean. I could go out to the 7-Elven convenience store at 3 am, which was a walk away from Yio Chu Kang, where I stayed at. There were no muggers or thieves, even the one time when I forgot my laptop bag in the Ang Mo Kio food market, I found it safely where I left it 4 hours later. The streets are clean and parks are clean, some signs indicate the penalty you will pay if you litter or if you don’t adhere to a certain regulation.
I than began to ponder why people follow these rules so carefully (it’s not like they being watched) it’s because of the mindset that the countries regulations foster, that the people become those who can take ownership for their actions. When you travel on the subway trains, you can see the mindset the people have, usually the younger generation are considerate towards their elders, it’s not just their culture, but also how the countries general vision for safety and order within its laws have instilled citizenship of pride and gentleness in their conduct.
“At the end of the day, what have I got? A successful Singapore. What have I given up? My life.”
These are the words from Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, whose legacy will remain, he has built and led the transformation of the country. Because of Singaporeans’ roots we can see how it has immensely carried over into a nation that has the right values. The people I interacted with, I was happy to converse with them, they are people of consideration and compassion. I felt at home and the country has hosted me warmly.
Singapore zoomed in
When I arrived, after a long connecting flight from South Africa via Dubai at first glance I fell in love with the beautiful structures and architecture in the country. There are many tall skyscrapers but also very creative local parks and scenery amongst the HBD flats, which are public housing for the citizens. In some suburbs there is a Shopping mall, which is a bit bigger but also a market area, mostly consisting out of food courts which is also knows as hawker-stand environments, later I’ll elaborate on the different kinds of food they offer.
One interesting thing is that you don’t need to have a car when staying there the country has a innovative transportation system, you can literally get everywhere via the subway trains and buses. Every trip from your place to the city centre is very fast and can get you to your destination in minutes. The place I like the most was Marina Bay Sands; a very beautiful structure and it was an amazing experience seeing the engineering that was used. Since it was Chinese new year’s, my friends and I were able to see the fireworks, which usually only happens ones a year.
Why I recommend you to visit Singapore
Apart from all the amazing buildings and scenery and technological advance systems in the country that makes it easy to get around. One thing that captured my hearts was the culture of the Singaporeans, people there really love eating food. Because the country is a tropical country, its humid throughout the year, usually than people prefer coming out at night after work and then go to their favourite eating places. If you truly love food and if trying new food is your hobby than I would recommend you to visit Singapore and experience all the amazing dishes it offers. There is so many to choose from, the food culture is what made me want to stay forever.