Monday, November 22, 2010

We Heart Singapore

I'm back! Did you miss me?  I'm currently reeling from too little sleep (not sure if it's actually jet lag.  More likely flying through the night and availing ourselves of a bit too much free wine) and adjusting to being thrown right back in the deep end where work is concerned.  Anyway, let's get onto the trip.  It will probably be the subject of a few blog posts, such was the hilarity and variety of what we encountered whilst away. Let's start with Singapore, shall we?

I'm going to assume that you haven't been - if you have - this may bore you. In a nutshell, I LOVED Singapore!!!!!  Reasons why:
  • It's a solid 30-35 degrees, all year round, with lots of sunshine and blue skies. It was actually scorching whilst we were there.  Yes, it does rain, and it's very humid, but the great weather means that you have the outdoor lifestyle all year round, not for only half the year like you do in Dubai.  Hello roof top bars, hello strolling the streets..which brings me onto my next point:
  • You can walk everywhere.  It's a proper city, with (shock) pavements, walkways, it's all designed for the pedestrian.  We spent many happy hours walking around just absorbing the vibes and the personality of the place.  Which brings me onto my next point:
  • Singapore is COOL.  What do I mean?  Everyone looks good, not in an anodyne, labelled-up kind of way, more in a cool sneakers and unusual jeans, interesting make-up and hair kind of way.   It feels a bit like New York. Which brings me onto my next point:
  • It has a big city feel and vibe.  There's something in the air that's palpable.   And it's hard to ignore.  It's such an interesting mix of cultures and people.  Which brings me onto my next point:
  • It's very multi-cultural, just like Dubai.  We saw all nationalities working and living together in one melting pot.  And there's something fascinating about that for me. Which brings me onto my next point:
  • It's a very cultural place.  Not only do huge modern skyscrapers jostle for space next to older areas like Arab Street and Little India, there's art galleries, a symphony orchestra.  The cultural section of Singapore's Time Out goes on for pages and pages, not like the paltry efforts of Dubai's.
  • And my last, but very important point: it has BEACHES.  Yes, head to the beautiful Sentosa Island for the day and you'll see Singapore's bright young things kicking back in lush beach clubs and cool bars.
Now don't get me wrong.  I'm not knocking Dubai.  Anyone who knows me knows just how much I love this city and the Middle East.  We all squeaked with excitement when the plane touched down here, and I spent the afternoon of my first day back mooching around one of my favourite parts of the city: the creek.  It's just that as an ex-pat,living in an autocratic city where your whole life revolves around a visa that is to a large extent out of your control, you never really know how long you'll stay.  I'm nowhere near done with Dubai.  But I think I may have found the answer to: where next?

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