Time patrol, Singapore

IMG_1153

“Morning Scotty. Cape East please. Full speed. The city of Lions.

“Morning Captain. The city of lions? Singapore? That is full West”

“Yes, you are sooo right. Full West then.”

The Far East?. The Orient Extrรชme? Look at a world map and you see Asia to the right. East. What used to be months of traveling by ship, around the Cape of Good Hope, then through the Suez canal, to Bombay, south around Ceylon, then back up to Calcutta, and southeast again to the Straights and the city of lions.

But when you live on the American continent, Asia lies West. Quite another perspective, ain’t it? 30 hours flight… (Bring a pillow) For Asians, WE are the Orientals. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Singapore. The city state. One the highest GDP per capita on the planet. Not really a tourist destination. More for business. What do you imagine? Skyscrapers and concrete all around? Wrong. Singapore is a beautiful, green city, combining modernity and tropical vegetation. Exuberant trees and plants everywhere. Singapore is a garden.

IMG_8536

On the Southern ridges, Singapore.

IMG_1164

 

Singapore today. Yet, it was not always that way:

IMG_0887-A

Turn of the 20th century. National Museum of Singapore.

There are many layers to any trip. The first, obvious, layer is what you see. The monuments, the landmark. Another, immediate layer is food. And beer in Asia. Too hot for wine really. Another layer is sound: the languages one hears on the street, words exchanged with the waitress at a restaurant. Though the announcements in the metro are done in at least 3 or 4 languages, English is the common denominator.

IMG_8488

A typical Peranakan house, Singapore. We shall see more of those in Penang. Singapore has maintained a lot of its history.

IMG_8308

Painting by Bromley at the Potato head, on Keong Saik. Western child book characters.

IMG_0868-A

MRT. Mass Rapid Transit. Singapore appears to me to have one the best and newest transportation systems that I know of. (Brand-new) cars by Bombardier, the Canadians, who seem to be making a killing in public transportation worldwide. Think of the new York or Paris metro…

IMG_8427

Singapore zoo. Those carved figures show Malay and Indonesian influence. They can be found in various styles and names all the way East to New Guinea or NorthEast to Polynesia.

IMG_1179

Gardens by the bay at night. Spectacular. (And my faithful readers know I put a tight lid on adjectives)

IMG_1183

Straights Chinese houses.

IMG_8366

Hindu temple. (Don’t ask me the name. Ganesh was presiding over the entrance) Another layer.

IMG_8360

The neon pigeon. Great food. (One layer)

IMG_8361

IMG_8359

And beer. ๐Ÿ™‚ As a true Frog, I amย  more partial to wine for obvious reasons. But, Hell, when in Asia, do as the Asians do…

IMG_8538

The southern ridges are one of many huge tropical gardens in Singapore. This one has miles of “boardwalks” sinewing across the forest. One can hear the monkeys at a distance. Did see one actually.

IMG_8535

IMG_8319

Noise @ Keong Saik. Do not miss Mandarin (or Hokkien?) hip-hop. (You don’t believe me?I have a Penjabi Hip-hop record at home. Top stuff.)

IMG_8374

High street. Chewing gum may be forbidden, but not street art. ๐Ÿ˜‰

IMG_0854

Beauty comes from within.

“That was quite a long post, Captain? 19 slides?”

“Yes, Scotty. Almost double what I normally post… Sorry folks… Like I said, there are so many layers to any trip… Thank you for flying Equinoxio Time-Space shuttle. And until our next flight, fair winds.”

 

56 thoughts on “Time patrol, Singapore

  1. Love it. Such diverse buildings. But what of the people. I was under the impression that Singapore was getting more regressive in matters of civil rights. DId I misread that? Hugs

    • It is very unusual in the “South”. (and I’ve spent all my life in the “South”). And the plants, the trees, the gardens… It feels like a clean New York in the tropics. You should go back. Quite pleasant.

  2. Loved this post and your photos!
    Having been to Singapore several times now over 30 years, one thing that hasn’t changed is its cleanliness – a good break when travelling through other not-so-clean SE Asian countries.

    Not too hot for wine but too expensive! Sadly, I don’t drink beer. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. The picture of Singapore in the early 20th century contrasted against your current-day images says it all. Amazing how the Singaporean people under the leadership of Lee Kuan Yew took it from poverty to a premier world economy and in a relatively short period of time. Admittedly, I had great difficulty ‘bonding’ with Singapore initially. After four months in Indonesia, I found it sterile. But Singapore’s natural beauty acted as the muse that allowed me to fall in love with the place in the end. Wonderful to travel there again through your lens.

    • Yes, I can understand the “sterile” impression, but I think one has to dig beneath the surface. The young people playing and singing Hip-hop on Keong were anything but sterile. And… as I will repeat, having lived in the South most of my life, if a bit of “uptightness” is the cost of moving to a premier economy, then so be it. Glad you enjoyed the view through the lens.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s