After just one day in Singapore, I have already been able to experience a number of different aspects of the local culture. I have tasted some delicious, exotic foods from traditional hawker-style vendors, and I have experienced the smoothly-running, punctual public transport system. I have walked for 45 minutes and seen construction sites on almost every block; a sign of a city that is constantly evolving with changing times. I have seen the overwhelmingly vast stretches of sky scrapers from atop a 165m ferris wheel (below), and I have experienced the high levels of humidity that are inevitable in such a tropical location, but which are so foreign to me (although luckily the heat has been bearable).
But the one thing I have noticed above all else is the cleanliness of the city. From the moment I left my motel in the morning to the moment I returned, I barely noticed any litter whatsoever. The photo below (showing a lone, discarded tissue) represents the extent of garbage that I have seen in Singapore.
Okay, maybe this is a slight exaggeration, but it is certainly not too far from the truth.
I have also noticed quite a large number of cleaners throughout the city and train stations. I even witnessed a multi-person team (including a small motorised buggy) whose job seemed to solely involve clearing leaves from the park footpath. And I must say, I very much enjoyed my walk along those leaf-free footpaths!
From what I have seen, it seems that the Singaporean government has strong investments into environmental health and hygiene maintenance. In addition, I get the feeling that the reputation that Singapore has for its cleanliness is somewhat self-perpetuating. That is, the citizens seem to take pride in the high standard of hygiene and cleanliness, motivating them to uphold their reputation. Whatever the reason, it is an aspect of Singapore that I am truly enjoying.
As for the scientific and business aspects of Singapore, I have yet to witness enough to comment in any depth. Of course, I will have more than enough exposure to these areas over the next two weeks.
But until then, thank you for reading. I hope everyone else is having as positive of an experience as I am.
– Wil Gardner