Life in Singapore : Part I
It's hard to believe that only seven months ago we were living in one of Southeast Asia's most intriguing and ultra modern travel destinations. The small island city-state of Singapore, a country which I had previously known very little about, was our home for a year, and during that time, we were able to delve beneath the layers of the country's strict reputation and its ultra-glitzy appearance.
A Shiny Exterior
Arriving in Singapore the first thing you may notice is how incredibly well put-together the country is, everywhere you look there is glamour - from shiny skyscrapers to dazzling shopping districts, Singapore is well known for its glitzy and luxurious side. Being a leading global economy in the region, the country also boasts one the highest living standards in the world (it seems dynamite does indeed come in small packages!).
Despite its ultra modern outlook, Singapore is also possibly one of the strictest countries in the world. When we first arrived in the country I was always stunned by how spotlessly clean all the streets (and even the subways!) were, that is until I learned that there are many tough laws and rules in place that, amongst many other things, maintain the cleanliness and orderliness of the country.
From smaller fines for minor transgressions (such as littering, chewing gum or eating on public transport) to the enforcement of capital punishment for bigger transgressions, the country's rules are certainly there to ensure that everyone tows the line - a stern attitude that is often perceived, especially by visitors, as being overly strict and tough.
Sign inside a MRT (Subway) station
Not sure if this one is a joke or not.. either way don't try it!
A Green City
Another unique attribute in Singapore's gleaming appearance is its abundance of lush and green spaces. Even within highly urbanised areas in the city center there are many pockets and spaces of greenery - something which gives the country its nickname as the ' Garden City '. While these lush spaces are mostly owing to the country's incredibly hot and humid climate, the country itself seems to make a concerted effort to develop and advance eco-friendly environments throughout the city, a stellar example of this being Singapore's well-loved Gardens by the Bay.
Despite its seemingly tough demeanour and its highly attractive and glossy appearance being one of the first few things people may encounter in Singapore, these facets only scratch the surface of this multi-layered society. Being residents, we were able to dig past the fancy layers and discover Singapore's many other interesting and colourful characteristics, most of which could only be uncovered and enjoyed with time.
Read Part II of Life in Singapore here .