July 11, 2013
Leaving Singapore to head back to Vietnam tomorrow. Singapore has been great. Singapore is a tiny island roughly the size of Manhattan and it’s a country of its own. It was founded in 1965 so it’s a very new county. Besides from being a young country, it is extremely clean and the safest place I think I have ever visited. People go out of their way to be nice to you. For instance, a cab picked us up and explained he spent the last hour driving around returning a camera to a passenger who forgot it in his cab. If you leave your wallet somewhere you can count on it being returned safely. The crime rate is almost non existent and the laws are very strict and penalties very severe (they still cane and do lashings here). The society is scared straight if you will. Also the citizens seem to feel its their duty to police the country and will be quick to let you know if you are doing something wrong. (It’s illegal to chew gum and it is illegal to spit on the sidewalk). Besides the safety, cleanliness and strict laws, Singapore is a very futuristic place if you will. It kind of reminds me of NYC on steroids. The young city skyline is filled with skyscrapers and has a very efficient subway system. The billboards are stories tall and LED screens light up the sky. The stores here are something like 5th avenue, except all over the city. Designer stores fill the streets giving a facade that it’s normal to wear everything Armani/Gucci/etc. The prices are also reflected in everything around you as a beer is roughly $9.00, a meal $20.00 and who knows how much for an accommodation. I am very thankful to have been able to stay with one of my best friends, Catherine Juliano, while here in Singapore. Catherine and I met the first month of college and have been inseparable since. I have been staying with her and her welcoming family since I arrived 10 days ago. It was nice to be with a local to show me around all the best places of Singapore. We spent a lot of time at Marina Bay Sands (the photo I posted earlier) which is the coolest building I have evvverrr seen. It is three towers which are connected at the top by a structure that appears to be a ship. On the top of the ship is an infinity edge pool which is where I am in the photo posted here. It overlooks Marina Bay and the hundreds (thousands?) of skyscrapers in the distance. There is a club called Ku Dè Ta on the top of Marina Bay Sands (MBS) where we went to one night all dressed up. I had to borrow clothes as nice clothes don’t necessarily find their way into a backpackers pack. It was so much fun! It was followed by going to Pangea, a night club that doesn’t shut down until 6:00am… I am getting old and that one night was enough for me as the rest of the nights were low key as we went to sleep before midnight. During the days we went to the aquarium (claimed to be the largest in the world), a long hike to a suspension bridge high in the trees, the pool at MBS, doing Yoga w an Indian family, Chinatown, Little India and other general sightseeing. Last night we went to Gardens by the Bay which is this lush green park with plants and flowers from all over the world. The main attraction are these trippy tree installations which stand roughly 8 stories tall with neon lights with a suspension bridge from tree to tree. It’s hard to explain I will post a photo later but it was quite the sight. The food here has been excellent too. As a melting pot of cultures, there is a ton of styles of food here but I definitely enjoyed the Laksa. It saddens me to leave my friends but I am excited to get back to Vietnam. I stayed in the southern part of Vietnam before so I could make it over to Singapore. Therefore, when I get back to Vietnam I am going to make my way slowly to the northern part stopping at cities and towns along the way. I am excited to continue my journey through Vietnam. I hope everyone is doing well back in the States. Love y’all.