Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Tell me what you like about Singapore?"

A relative wrote yesterday seeking news of my stay, so far. “Tell me what you like about Singapore?" she asked. Here was my response:

When most Westerners think of Singapore, they think of shopping centers. but what attracted me was the way the government and people overcame great adversity at the time of independence to create a society in which there is almost no poverty or homelessness. I think the homelessness in Washington DC, especially the homelessness of children is a moral outrage. Did you know that in Singapore, more than 85 per-cent of the population live in public housing apatments (they call them HDB (Housing Development Board flats). which they own!

I like the public transit. A relatively small number of Singaporeans have cars though, still, there is a fair amount of car traffic. You can go anywhere where by bus and Metro or if you need them, by inexpensive government subsidized taxis. I like the 'Hawker's stands" where you can get a great Chinese, Malay or Indian meal for less than $3.00 (a bit more if you want to top it off with a Tiger Beer). I like the cleanliness, the greenery, the beautiful parks, the fact that Singapore gives more priority to public space that private space. I like the multiculturalism. I like the fact that Singaporeans are, for the most part, polite, helpful, courteous and they work hard. This winter, especially, I like the fact that it is warm. Tomorrow, I am going to buy a portable bicycle.

My love to all


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