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What do people think of Singapore? A regular Indian tourist’s response

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By: Tyagarajan Sundaresan, Regular tourist (Have family living in Singapore)

I can offer an Indian’s perspective on it.

I’ve become a regular visitor to Singapore in the past several years since my sister started living there and every time I visit, my perspectives either get reinforced or alters a little. But, broadly this is what I think.

It’s a functional utopia

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Coming from India where the public infrastructure in broken more often than not, to me Singapore represents the stuff of dreams – gleaming, efficient and comfortable. The proliferation of public transit and its incredible simplicity is orgasmic. It’s uber clean. There is a sense of liberation. The city is yours to take and all you got to do is step out of the house.

It has extreme consumerism

In Singapore, you just cannot avoid the shining consumerism that pervades all around you. You are inevitably walking through one gleaming mall after another and watching the mind-boggling array of colors, sounds, smells and sights that line up on either side of you. Everyone’s buying something. It hooks you in. I find it fascinating and also a little scary at times. I wonder if I stayed long enough I too would be sucked into this whirlpool of consumerism and start buying things I don’t need.

Lee Kuan Yew is a hero

Again, coming from India, I admire the vision and execution of a singular leader in shaping the country. While he may have had flaws, I cannot but help wish that India had someone like that who could have achieved half of what he did.

Its cold

Not the weather. The city feels cold to me sometimes when I am a tourist. People are all staring into their phones in the metro and they are all hurrying from one place to another.

My interactions with people who work there paint a similar picture. Its competitive, crowded and people are jostling for position all the time. While I think parts of India are getting there, there is inherently more personal connect in India. Feels a little tiring to think about it.


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