Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Beginning Life In Singapore

In between attending the Conference, I am trying to sort out what I need to sort out in order to begin life in Singapore as of late April. The good news is that I have already found an apartment to move into. Yes, it was a quick decision but it certainly helped that it was a cheap apartment in a very expensive rental city.

The upside is that it is a gated condominium with a 50m pool - which helps if you are a wannabe-triathlete who plans to one day compete an entire triathlon series. Another upside is that I am moving in with a really cool polish guy who has a similar sense of humour to me. Oh, and did i mention that it was cheap?

The downside is that it is, of course, not in the greatest of areas, but "not the greatest of areas" in Singapore is not actually that bad. There is nowhere that is "unsafe" in Singapore, because of the threat of lashings and capital punishment to deter rapes, murders and other assaults. So i have been warned that on the weekends, I may find the area around Little India full of indian workers lounging around, loittering and generally doing nothing. I can handle that. I am from Campbelltown in Australia. I am used to workers lounging around and generally going nothing. The difference in Campbelltown is that they are lounging around and loittering, ready to take your purse when you aren't looking.

So, yes, I will be living in a "culturally different" environment in Singapore but isnt that the point? If i wanted to live in a white-bred neighbourhood full of rich business people who own mercedes benz cars and wear armani suits, i would have just stayed in my old neighbourhood in Sydney.

Overall, Singapore is going to be an easy city to live in. You will notice from the photos that there is a lot of colonial influence in the architecture. However, amongst all of the colonial-like buildings are massive skyscrapers. There is also a lot of construction going on in Singapore, as a result of planned construction which started "BR" - "before recession". The biggest project is the new Singapore Casino which is set to be absolutely massive (isnt everything these days?) I would hate to think how debt-heavy the owners are at the moment because this is the biggest construction site i have ever seen. Their plans are as grand as the construction site itself. Three individual buildings which are going to have a massive "park" on top of it. Yes, I said on top of it. When you've built buildings on top of every part of possible green space in the city, what else can you do than create parts on TOP of the buildings. Kind of ingenious when you think about it, but kind of sad that they are now only realising that grass is GOOD for a city, not bad for it.

The huge amount of cranes around the place form just as much a part of the city as the tourist sites do. The sign of construction gives the city "hope" - you see, always was that if the city is constructing, its economy is growing too and it was providing a lot of jobs. I am not sure what effect the change in economic situation will do to these big projects but i dont see them as ruining the city in any way. I see them as being quite important for the survival of this service-based city.

Anyway, stay tuned for more from Singapore!

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