Imagine, you’re surrounded by buildings many times taller and newer than yourself. They get all the attention, but you’re the past, the traditional and the beautiful. So what, so you do, scream so someone notices you or just simply be you. It’s kind of like being the youngest child in a large, loud family.
People come to Singapore to shop, eat and admire the futuristic nature of this city, often bypassed by travellers. They have many excuses, “It’s too modern”, “It’s just a bunch of tall buildings”, or “It’s just plain too boring”. We travel to see contrasts and these are never dull.
Imagine walking down a street. A shophouse stands in front of you. Behind it lies a building, tall, modern (improve) and sleek. It gazes back at the shophouse who only stares back, asserting herself. Who needs size to be desired?
It’s not just buildings; it’s food and markets. Think, hot Indian curries, spicy Malay rendang, delicious Chinese chicken rice and tasty Singapore chilly crab all side by side and, well except for the crab, very affordable in the city’s many food courts.
Orchard Road is famous for its many malls. One can’t help but wonder how they all stay in business. It stands in contrast to Bugis market, where small stalls sell everything from clothing to mobile phones.
Thus is the mix that is Singapore, where the overpowering future meets the contented past. However, there is a contrast here, which extends beyond the architecture. Many people carry iPhones, wear fashionable clothing and eat out frequently. Most own their apartment. Compare this to Myanmar, Laos or Cambodia where all this is a luxury.
A wise traveller wishes to discover the mix that makes up our world. Within South East Asia, Singapore is an essential part of that combination. Skip Singapore, as many do, and you haven’t seen S.E. Asia.
So what did the little shophouse scream to the skyscraper? Well, she screamed, “We’re older, we’re wiser, and we’re gorgeous. So, visit us! Preserve us!”