I very much enjoyed reading this post of a friend’s friend, on his stay here in Singapore which he wrote sometime back in late 2008. And so here it is…
How I see Singapore – 2006 and Now – Rene
My first time in Singapore. I arrive in the late afternoon at around 4.30pm. My first time in Asia, my first time flying alone. Changi Airport appears huge to me, and I don’t know where to go to at first. Luckily I walk into the right direction and manage to go through immigration easily, grabbing my luggage.
I take a taxi to my new home. Although I read about it before, the “humidity wall” when you get out of the airconditioned airport is still a small “shock” for me. While on the road, I am impressed by the huge number of palm trees along the road leading away from the airport, and I think that I’m in a tropical paradise.
Later that evening, my landlady brings me on a short tour around the neighbourhood. Everything is foreign and strange to me. There’s a hindu temple nearby (the first one I see in person in my life!), and a hawker centre (also the first one I see in my life…). My landlady buys me some strawberry drink with jelly. At first it’s quite nice, but the more I drink, the more I realise that I don’t like jelly (still the same today….).
The next few days and weeks are filled with new things. Little India on a Sunday is a very interesting experience, packed with people in the streets. My landlady shows me the way to my workplace via bus (I did so only two times, taking the MRT is much more convenient, even though I have to walk a bit). At first I feel a bit strange being quite often the only Caucasian in the train, one of my first thoughts on the way to work on my first day was something like “They’re all Asian!”
There are a few times where I think “What the heck am I doing here? Why am I here?”. I remember one time when I was on my way back home at night, and the taxi drove past some very old and “not so nice” looking houses. Singapore sometimes seemed a bit “not so modern” (to express it in a polite way).
I’ve been quite localised. I love the weather here, and don’t feel the humidity anymore. I love being around Asians, I feel a bit weird being around Caucasians (office is an exception, of course), and actually prefer the company of at least a mixed group (most of the time it’s locals only). I stopped seeing people as Chinese, Indian, or Malays. If I don’t know them, they’re Singaporeans to me (unless I hear a China Chinese accent….and I’m getting quite good at recognising PRCs before hearing them talk….), and when I know people, to me they are the individual that they are. I tend to “forget” that they are Chinese/Malay/Indian.
I’m slowly forgetting where some roads in my hometown are (“Tullastrasse, hmmm…….ok, now I remember”), but I know exactly where places like Tampines, Yishun, Choa Chu Kang, Tanjong Pagar, Bishan, Dempsey Hill, Esplanade, and Woodlands are.
Germany may still be my country of origin, but when I think of home now, I refer to Singapore.
Extracted From Here
Filed under: That's Life |