Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My wishlist city - Singapore:)

From  Golden mile complex (final stop of our bus from KL) to our hotel near Bugis junction,  it was drizzling and so I could see Singapore only through those hazy window panes of the taxi.  Unlike my mood in KL during my landing, I was excited and did not want to miss one single view through those window panes. For this was the city that was on my wishlist since my school days.

During school days,  map  reading was one of my past time. I would spread the atlas in front of me and run my fingers through all those places which my geography teacher had mentioned as beautiful valleys,rivers, volcanoes, plateaus, deserts and cities.

One of the cities that fascinated me was Singapore. It has been an inspiration for lyricists( joyful malaysia, colorful singapore,,,goes the song) and moviemakers who  introduced me to this city as  a beautiful, clean, litter free and disciplined city. I have read that the civic values and  values like punctuality, discipline were not instilled in people overnight. It took them more than 20 years of public education through handbills, films and other media to convert this fishing city into a clean green super city.

I now could see whatever I heard about the city. I saw the discipline on the roads.  At the traffic signals, the cars aligned themselves in a matrix of 3  in the 3 way lane. The pedestrians only crossed at the pedestrian crossing and never ran across the road by holding their hand against the car. There were no puddles or water logging on the road despite rains. Where did the rain water drain? No wonder they must have had good road layers and drainage system.

As I was observing all those city scenes, My taxi   slowed down in the portico of the 18 storey hotel which was to be my place of stay for the next 3 days.  Luckily, this time we and our children got to stay on the 18th  floor on the opposite sides.  After the touristy things like check in,  We took the lift and when we opened our rooms and I went near the window to watch the city below. A huge lawn unfolded in front of my room beside a government primary school.  The  green well maintained lawns were public property.  No one dared to walk over the lawns everybody went around the lawns which was not even fenced or guarded or there was not even a notice board telling people not to walk over the lawns. Yet another example of their  sense of discipline and respecting government laws.

I  then crossed the corridor to my teens room and they had one of the best views of the city – the boats bobbing in the bay faraway with the Singapore flyer. The sky was still grayish  but the drizzle had stopped.

There was  so much to see and do for me in the dream city for the next 3days, I should getover the glamour and poshness of the 4 walls within the room and move outside the hotel to see what’s in store for me. We refreshed and went to the base of the hotel to see the glitzy Arabian mall which had arabian lifestyle products and culture on display. We finished our window shopping and moved towards the hotel lobby by 6.


I  recalled our driver Matthew’s voice when he dropped us.  “We singaporeans are punctual and respect time, so please be  here at the lobby by 6. We will leave for the Rivercruise"

My next post  will be on my cruise  experience down the singapore river.

                                              the traffic alignment that i observed at most signals

There are buttons on the traffic signal lights to halt the traffic so that the pedestrians can cross the road. the traffic halts for 90 secs. Very safe.
there are no puddles or water logs.

                     A quaint quarter of singapore, Arab street(above and below) on which our hotel stands. The other side of the hotel opened to victoria street.

                       The first 3 floors of the hotel is an arabian mall belonging to the hotel group. A window to Arab 'Maal'
                                  /                          the entry to the hotel
  the room view ( the faraway bay and the singapore flyer on the banks of the bay
                                      The lawns in front of the hotel where no one walked again a room view.

14 comments:

  1. Dear Asha,

    You write so beautifully that I felt it was me savoring the scenic vignettes you just described. Looking forward to more pics. Looking forward to the next Singapore article with pics:)

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    1. Awww..... swapna your comment is as sweet as you, Thanks so much for the encouraging words.

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  2. Nice Pics Asha, waiting for more. Discipline comes from within. I think we will never match them. Bcos here we take everything thing for granted. For us rules are there only to be broken.

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    1. Thank you Chitra:) i feel discipline comes from training. Look at our Indian army they are disciplined and so are their kids. but again there are exceptions everywhere.

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  3. Thanks for the excellent travelogue on Singapore. I like it.

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  4. Beautiful!
    However, it somehow irritated me a lot when the people in Singapore kept on insisting people especially the Indians to be clean and punctual, as if not reminded a hundred times in a day we might litter in their country.
    Of course it is well known to everyone in the world that littering is punishable in certain parts of the world.
    We Indians would never blink while throwing trash in our own country, but when we know we are in a strict country we somehow automatically follow their rules.
    How I wish that we too could be called a clean country.

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    1. I understand what you are saying Rama. Sad, they think that way, it is time they brush up their GK to know india and indians. There are many parts in our country where cleanliness is worshipped, infact cooking is done only after a bath in many homes. It is annoying to read negative reports about india/indians. It is time we stand with pride and flaunt our unique qualiites. Every country /city has its own charms and harms.

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  5. Asha,Singapore is my dream city also. Your narrative is so fine and lucid that I felt I was also there. Thanks for sharing all the beautiful locations through the pictures.

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    1. Thank you ma'am for such kind words.

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  6. Asha, I had posted my comments earler on this space, but they are not to be seen now. What can the mystery be?

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    1. i hope you are referring to the above comment ma'am and i hope i have published them all.

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  7. Singapore is indeed an interesting place - they have succeeded in making it "plastic". Serangoon Road is as chaotic as Chennai, but Singapore is overwhelmingly a clean, orderly, disciplined city.

    But that discipline is forced. Its good to have, but in that process, it has become a trifle "soulless".



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    1. Plastic?!

      Ramesh, you have traveled worldwide and you know better. But as a tourist for just 3 days, i found singapore fantastic and connected with it better than KL. I had a crush on this city since school days:)

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