To those living in Singapore, be thankful for every convenience that the country provides and stop cribbing about the over-protective, seemingly over-paranoid nature of the government! This shall be the opening statement for this post :P
Yes, I have officially moved to the USA. More on that in the next post. I definitely think the whole process of settling into a new life deserves a separate post on its own. But I felt like I really must write a post on Singapore before I moved on to the newer happenings in life.
Before I went to Singapore for my education, to me, it was nothing but this tourist destination that people go to because the flights from India were relatively cheap and you could go to “foreign” using affordable tourist packages. Singapore used to be the land of cheap key chain souvenirs, not to mention the merlion t-shirts and magnets! Even without visiting Singapore, my family had a huge collection of Singapore related stuff. That’s what Singapore was to me, a tourist destination for a long weekend. Not a place to live in!
I was uber shocked to find myself living there a few years later. I never expected to be living and studying in a tourist country! As a teenager, it was one of the hardest things to do, moving to a new country and leaving parents. But only today, four years later, in a country across the pacific ocean, do I realize how easy it was to settle down in Singapore and how much easier it was there to overcome home sickness!
I miss being in a country where its absolutely safe to walk down the streets after dark, even at 3am! I definitely and most certainly miss the convenience of public transport there! Singapore public transport rocks! And anybody who disagrees needs to be banished to where I am now! The grocery store is a mile away and the bus frequency, even during peak hours, is half an hour. That’s if you are lucky! NUS was also a very convenient place to study. You can never get lost there. All the buildings are marked clearly and the directions given are simply superb!
Basically, after spending a week here in the USA, with crappy public transport and having to depend on people who own cars to take me around even to get basic necessities, I have found a new love for the country where I did my undergraduate studies. Not only Singapore, I also have a renewed love for my own home country, India. As much as we crib about corruption, crowds and what not, public transport (at least in my city!) rocks. India is not that bad, people! Places are at least accessible there! Even if the nearest grocery store is a mile away, you can get there without much problem!
Bottom line, Singaporeans, be happy and be proud of the conveniences your nation has painstakingly provided to you! Be happy you can visit any mall or any store for shopping at practically any time of the day without needing to buy a car! Be glad to see so many taxi cabs on the street (I barely spotted a few here… scary!). And Indians, love your nation, you might not have the highest standard of living, but you have a pretty good standard of convenience!
I love you India! I love you Singapore!
Hope to be back some day soon :) Till then… keep rocking! :)