On my last trip to Singapore we only used taxis to get from A to B. And we asked all the drivers the same question; do you like to live in Singapore?
It was very interesting to hear several times the almost same answers; “I like it here because it is safe and a good place to work and to get old (pension fund), but there is no real beauty”. We were a bit surprised because for a city(state) at first glance it looks quite beautiful and provides a lot of green areas and even the beaches aren’t far.
When my friend from Canada and I (Swiss) asked for a more specific answer one driver explained: “if you look around this is all man-made, nothing natural. They think we like it like that, everything in order, everything organised and very accurate, but it isn’t natural. No wild nature like in your countries, no lake, no wild forest, no mountains".
We immediately knew what he meant. Despite we both like Singapore, especially as two Westerns after spending several months in South East Asia, we had to agree with him. We also started to call it almost a bit sterile, ironically especially the business district. According to my friend there was “no life” in the streets. After coming straight from Bali, where we were used to sidesteps around some holes in the pavement indeed, people laughing and dogs playing, as well as beautiful offerings along the streets, the differences were huge.
What the taxi drivers mentioned isn’t uncommon; a lot of people feel deeply connected when out in true nature, away from man-built objects, away from concrete and away from artificial light. A nice prepared fine sand beach is nice, no doubt, but what about walking along a raw coast, looking for seashells and stones, not machined by men yet? Or to stroll through a wild forrest where you have to be careful where you put your feet?
In this respect I'd like to share quite an interesting and elaborated article about how Singapore's land did grow and from where all the sand came from:
However, I can’t deny that I truly like Singapore. I haven’t returned for nothing after almost 13 years. Here are some tips you really shouldn’t miss while there: