Monday, December 14, 2009

Around the World in 80 Blogs: Singapore

Right. So I just remembered this minute that I signed up for a great globalisation-bloggy idea mooted by one of my favourite bloggers Everyday Stranger. I stumbled onto her blog about half a year ago and have since spent many a Jordy nap time going through her archives. Time extremely well-spent, in my opinion!

As part of Around the World in 80 Blogs, I'm meant to write a short something about Singapore. A little glimpse into life here I guess.

So the good news is I'm going to write a short blog about Singapore, and why it's a cool place to live. The bad news is I haven't had time to take many photos so am unfortunately going to rehash a few images.

So here is The Camel Diaries' List of Miscellany About Why Singapore is an OK Place to Live (despite the sweltering heat, more than occasional dodgy hygiene practiced by many of its residents, crazy pace of life, and oh yes, the death penalty.)

1. It's cool because though most people live in public housing apartments that look like this...


2. You can walk out of your door, get into the lift, turn round the corner, and walk into a nature reserve that will bring you closer to something like this...


3. Singapore doesn't suffer too much from urban housing woes that may plague other dense urban areas. Yes, you do get some graffiti in the lifts, the occasional puddle of dog pee (or worse!), some petty crime (but we don't have guns, so chances of getting maimed rather low), but all in all, most people wouldn't think twice about walking home alone from the bus stop or car park at 2am.

4. I think the reason for this is that a) the majority of people live in public housing so there's a bit of a village feel happening (no secrets and many eyes in a block of flats); b) there are lots of gardens, parks, and trees in the housing estates (just look at the picture below of a garden right next to a boring multi-storey carpark! And yes, that's the Singapore flag flapping away in the foreground); c) most places in Singapore are incredibly well-lit; d) the government has a stringent housing policy based on racial quotas (x% Chinese, y% Malay, z% Indian and Others) to ensure no ethnic ghettos develop; e) we're relatively prosperous as a nation (although the rich-poor divide is widening).


5. We're an island, so though the whole country is one big city (think more than 4 million people living in a land mass smaller than New Zealand's Lake Taupo), you're never really far away from the beach...


6. Which means lots of fun if you are a toddler...

7. And when living in a tiny dot of a nation gives you cabin fever (or island fever may be more appropriate), you can catch a one hour ferry to Indonesia and hang out on relatively pristine beaches! Like so...


It's weird typing this knowing that we are leaving for our Christmas holiday to New Zealand in two days (11 hours on an airplane with an active toddler, Lord help us!). I really wonder what Jordy will make of his identity in the end - he being half Singaporean, and half Kiwi. The two countries couldn't be more different geographically, and culturally. He's spent the first 16 months of his life in a 100sq metre apartment in the sky - the sound of traffic wafting in from one window, the jungle cicadas and crickets droning in from the other - and his other hometown consists of acres and acres of green pasture dotted with sheep, with nights so quiet you could hear an owl call, and where the sky is just one big panorama of stars that defy belief.

Well, it'll be interesting to witness his sense of self developing, that's for sure. If one thing bodes well, it's that Jordy chose, from out of at least ten furry options, his Sheepie to be his best friend. Surely that must be his innate Self speaking? Wonder what he'll make of the real thing when he sees them in a few days! Will post pics for sure!

Righty-ho, will stop here as I can hear Jordy rousing from his nap. Thanks again to Everyday Stranger for this brilliant idea. Look forward to reading the other 79 blogs, and feeling just a bit more connected to the rest of the world!

8 comments:

Veronica said...

I'm loving Shannon's idea. I probably wouldn't have found any of the blogs I've read so far without her help, so this is great.

I love your photos. The beach looks lovely!

maree said...

Great idea - Will do a Dunedin one soon as it stops being GREY!
I look on Singapore as home away from home now & the contrast between my two homes make life so much more fun.
We have the best of both worlds!

Anonymous said...

Loved your post too (you lot are setting the bar so high on this one!) I went to Singapore for business years ago, but your view of it was more interesting, it was like peeking inside a giant Christmas present.

We're off to Oz with two active toddlers ourselves in a few months (via Singapore no less!) Let me know any tips you have on airplane with wee ones?

Shannon
Everyday Stranger

Lily said...

Love your fotos :-)

~Easy said...

I think your child really is getting the best of both worlds. thanks for the glimpse. I'm loving this idea of Shannon's!

Fi said...

A lovely insight into your life in Singapore! Loving Shannon's idea too :)

Have a fab Christmas back home.

Fi, Mangapai, Northland, New Zealand

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