Monday, April 14, 2008

Singapore - The Uniquely Other Side

Over the weekend I went to Johor Bahru and visited my GF, together we went to Singapore and I was struck with a few things when I reached Singapore. The contrast of the people there, the cleanliness, the amount of open spaces for people to jog around and play, the walkway for cyclist, the amount of public amenities available and the contrast between rich people and those that are struggling to get a living.

Yes, among the vast and lush living in Singapore where everyone is dressed in branded clothes, one hand holding the latest cell phone and another playing PSP or anything of that sort, there are people that are struggling to make a living. On my walk at Orchard Road, in front of Takashimaya an old lady at the age of 70 + stood there peddling anything from stationary to instant noodle and everyone is walking pass with no care or regard of her. This makes me question the fact that among the prosperity of Singapore, there are still those that struggles.

What strike me as totally heart wrenching is that she is trying to sell instant noodle. Food that she can eat, yet she stood there peddling those items for something more, why? Then there are a few of those that sat there playing musical instrument hoping someone would stop and notice them. Yet among the throng of people that shopped around Orchard Road, each holding paper bags from Esprit, Google, Isetan, Kinokuniya & various other branded items. None stopped and paid attention to those peddling items.

Then there is the sense of unreal that I get while strolling in Singapore. Men & Women walking around are both holding their cell phone or handheld console game and playing with it while shopping. Is it the kia-sunes where they want to show that they too are rich or they get bored really fast? Kind of surreal, I can relate to it if you are waiting for MRT and playing it. But while shopping? What for?

I like Singapore, I really do. The cleanliness, the amount of stuffs there and the fashion there. But there is a stifling pressure there which makes me question the whole idea.

-Because I Can-