Singapore at a glance

Visitors have the impression that this city state is small in size. While it is true, it does not capture the reality that there are as much things to do and places to see here compared with larger countries. It is especially true for me as I prefer to walk rather than take the public transport.

In Singapore, visitors cannot afford to miss the popular spots found all over travel guides. While I’m interested to see those places, I find some more interesting stuff that I would like to share. Before coming here, I had the impression that this is an English-speaking country, which means that I will hear people speaking English everywhere.

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I found that to be half-true. Singaporeans are Asian-looking people with three dominant races: Chinese, Malay, and Indians. While walking on the streets, I observed that majority are of Chinese descent and I hear them speak Mandarin and other dialects of Chinese. It happened that I tried asking for a direction to a lady and I spoke in Chinese. She had hard time understanding my accent and so I switched to English. She eventually understood me and guided me to the right direction.

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There was another time that I took the subway and the lady behind the information booth was of Indian race. I asked her in English and she responded fluently. I didn’t have the chance to interact with a Malay but I can conclude that people when speaking to their own race would use their mother language but when communicating with another race, everyone would use English.

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I also noticed that there is division among races. I’m not saying that Singapore is a divided country but this is just my observation as a tourist. Chinese are with Chinese, Malay with Malay, and Indians with Indians. I have no further expalnation as to the reason behind as it’s just my observation.

The weather is hot and humid in Singapore even in January and February. It is better to bring extra clothes while touring around. If it’s hot during winter, I can only assume that it’s hot throughout the year. The scorching heat can be unbearable at times and so a bottle of water should keep you company to keep the body rehydrated. I also observed the humidity even during the night.

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Singapore is a relatively expensive country and eating out can blow your budget if you don’t know where to go for cheap but equally delicious food. Hawker centers are the place for cheap food and offer wide variety of food too. It’s a food court where meals start at five dollars. Hawker centers can be found everywhere although most are non-airconditioned which means you have to bear the heat even while eating. You only need to ask locals as to the nearest place depending on your location.

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There is one observation which I found a bit odd. I noticed male Indians holding hands while walking and they do it as if it’s a common thing here in Singapore. I’m not against gays per se but I find it a bit weird because those guys don’t look gay at all. They physically look male and they dress just like any other straight guy and seeing them holding hands while walking made me shocked.

Anyways, these are my observations of Singapore. During my travels, I make sure that I walk a lot to find more interesting things on the ground that I would surely miss if I’m riding a public transport. And what I see during walking are the things that make me more open-minded and tolerant of other cultures which is the main reason why I travel.

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