Admittedly, landing in Singapore I was forced to concede all that I had previously thought of the country and all I anticipated for my travels. The seamlessness and friendliness as to which I was directed from customs to transport, and successively my hostel reinforced all that I had been told to expect. However the state posses a liveliness that I was unable to foresee. A brief drive through the city was analogous for the large-scale business culture that the country stands for, however I developed the greatest sense of the countries personalities in the parts of the city not widely broadcasted.
Residing in Little India, what seems to be a financially unstable climate, an underbelly to the country is evident and typically human endeavours seem find ways around the control of the state. Although government is focussed on the economic prospects of the state, it is evident that the locals are immersed in their day-to-day life. Surprisingly, the country is culturally diverse with strong Indian influences – particularly in my current place of residence. If I were not to venture from the area I am currently in, I could be easily convinced that I had not been in Singapore at all. Rather than cleanliness and structure, I have witnessed a chaotic yet ordered environment saturated with merchants and labourers. Despite the anachronism of the community to the greater Singaporean experience, Little India demonstrates the significance of the human experience in the city’s lifestyle.
The hostel that I am staying at has given me insight into the true sense of humanism in global communities. It is apparent that language and racial barriers are simply overcome by the conveyance of the message that we all wish for the same experience – to have fun and experience the greater communities of the world. Currently, I am excited as to what my experiences in the wealthier parts of the city will bring however I could ask nothing more of my time in Little India and the understanding it has given me on the ubiquity of the human spirit.
– Trey Guest
The day before the flight was a mad rush to get prepared. I had physics exam, today on the 24th and the flight was tomorrow at 9:45 am. This was leading to feelings of anticipation mixed with dread because study for physics had eaten up any time I had the previous week. I was therefore forced to postpone any Singapore preparation until the day before i left. However as i finally have packed all my clothes and take some time to sit and start looking forward and anticipating what i might encounter in Singapore, I am left feeling completely unprepared for the journey i am about to undertake. there are so many things that i do not know about; the cultural norms, the food, and the possible places to visit. I will hopefully use all tonight to search about the thing is expect to encounter.
I have however talked to a few people who have already visited Singapore. These people have told me that i should expect a clean urbanised country that has extremely cheap food. They have also told me that the the public transport is extremely efficient. Due to these initial opinions, i have a mental picture of a country that is not dissimilar to Melbourne central although I expect that Singapore will be much more spread and the island will be almost completely covered by tall buildings. I have started to form an idea what i believe singapore would be like, it will be interesting how this changes when i get there.
From a distance Singapore seems a professional utopia – a business state determined to depart from its economically unstable neighbours. Geographically insolvent my preconceived conceptions of the city-state are sheltered and bleak, my only insights into Singaporean cultural endeavours are those based on hard work and professionalism. Although this is not my first trip abroad, culturally and spiritually I am virgin; the Singapore tour and my first real display of independence potentially offer to change this.
Surprisingly, Singapore upholds harsh and perplexing penalties for a country permeated by Eurocentric influences. Strictness regarding drug possession and use is a judicial landmark for the countries geographical existence. Singapore’s neighbours, uphold traits of the state’s preventative measures to a lesser success, which prompts sceptically of the corporal punishment involved. In this sense, Singapore is very much involved with its Asian roots.
Regardless, the city renown for being the world’s cleanest promises beauty in its landscape and architecture. However, being aware of the state’s governmental control and business ethic I find myself unable to envision anything other than an ordered concrete jungle – a misconception I hope will be corrected throughout the tour. As for the local life and quintessential Singaporean experiences, I can only speculate. Hypothetically, the city will be functional, friendly, practical and punctual – although I am unable to anticipate other aspects of the society. Ideally, the tour will allow me to develop a sense of culturalism and social awareness and on idea of life beyond Latrobe’s 5pm Nanotechnology seminars in the Szental.
– Trey Guest