Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Old Flame Down South

Singapore, to me, is like an old girlfriend. Having lived my life there for 2 years, I have many MANY fond memories of the place. It was back in 1990-1991 and back then I felt that it was the best place on the face of the earth. As subsequent years went by, I visited Singapore many more times to see old friends and also in an attempt to capture the lustre I once felt when I was a resident of this equatorial Switzerland. It was at the turn of the millenium that I began to feel it seep in - the general feeling of dislike for the country. I swore then that I would not be back anytime soon.

Fast forward to 2006. I spent the last weekend across the causeway. I was excited somewhat... it has been 6 years since my last visit and I wanted to see how it feels to be in Singapore again. My first day was good... the food was decent (I had my favourite fish soup and 2 big bowls of rice) and I crammed in 3 fulfilling appointments with some friends. Also did some shopping. The Hotel81 I stayed at was adequate and I was generally pleased with the experience so far.

On the 2nd day, that familiar feeling began to creep in... my dislike for Singapore... it's the feeling I get when I had to take long lonely walks back home to the pigeon hole from the MRT station. It's the feeling that everyone rushes in and out of trains. It's the feeling of emptyness though one is surrounded by swarming hordes of people shopping. It's the feeling of having nowhere to go after 10pm. By the 4th day, I was so glad to be leaving behind Singapore (though sad to be leaving behind good GOOD friends who took care of me while I was there - Thanks Paul, Tracy, Seow, Harry, Kim, KC, Jenny, David, Marion, YS, Lee). If it weren't for the friends...

Anyway, a summary of the likes and dislikes of my stay


- Service was good... except for 1 grumpy taxi driver
- Transport was easy
- Shopping was good... many new things to buy
- Food was most acceptable this time round thanks to friends belanja-ing me and also sticking to some definite winners
- Streets were jam free thanks to IMF and also the school holidays
- Cost of living hasn't gone up that much for those who earned SGD
- Girls with push ups!


- Everything was so sterile yet empty (look at Chinatown)... I regret carrying my heavy SLR along because I never once had a compulsion to pull it out and take a photo
- Rush rush rush
- After 10pm there wasn't much to do except pubbing and clubbing

The moment I got off the bus in KL, I came back to the stark reality of our country though... rude taxi drivers who wanted to fleece me...