I had a feeling something was amiss when I noticed Barbette was surfing the internet with this strange sort of excitement. Barbette fessed up and told me she finally met another man on the internet. The evidence lies in the computer cookies, cache, browsing history and assorted other internet tracking shit. After 18 years together, my time is apparently up. I really never thought it would happen. Barbie not only met another man but has fallen head over heals for this guy and was even contemplating dumping Big Doug for him. After I met this guy with four (4) legs, I actually fell for him as well. His name is Hector (aka Heckto), a close associate of Marta. Hector needed to be looked after while his owner went overseas and we were happy to volunteer our services. Hector is such a good dude and was an absolute pleasure to hang out with during our time in Singapore. We will really miss Hector but hopefully we will cross paths again sometime in the future.
So, we just finished up with another two (2) weeks in Singapore which has made it a month stay here. This included our just completed two (2) week house/dog sitting assignment. We cut our time in Malaysia short to return to Singapore but we will now be returning to complete our journey thru Malaysia. We will have the good fortune to be joined by our main man and one of the most pathetic handicappers on this planet, Eric Stein. We will spend a few days in Penang, Malaysia (the foodie capital of SE Asia) with E. Stein.
Given our extended period of time spent in Singapore, we were able to get a good taste of what it’s like to experience this country as a local. Especially because we were able to spend our final two weeks outside the city centre in a more local environment. The Singaporeans are very reserved and they all behave like normal human beings should. In all my time here, I have never once witnessed anyone raise their voice or shout. They really do not display much emotion at all (at least in public). They would probably make good poker players. Barbie and I were really the only westerners at many places we visited. This really surprised me. I had expected to see a great deal more westerners in the subways and on the streets. The only exception was on Orchard Road which is the shopping area mecca where westerners apparently migrate to.
I found it strange that I would very rarely catch any locals making eye contact our way. This is way different from what we experienced in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia where the locals appeared very curious and staring (out of curiosity) was common. Also, in Singapore there are no touts whatsoever. You will never be hounded as a tourist like in other Asian countries. The Singaporeans simply minded their own business and go on with life without disturbing others. You know that expression, “Don’t speak unless you are spoken to”? Well, all Singaporeans seem to live by that expression.
What’s really cool about Singapore was seeing people from so many corners of the globe eating, shopping and seemingly living in complete harmony. Singapore is a melting pot of cultures and religions and has a fun and exotic feel to it. Barely any other country in Southeast Asia has such a wide diversity. The Indian, Malay and Chinese populations of Singapore make for an interesting multicultural mishmash. We were surrounded by so many different faces, languages, styles of dress and types of food.
The Singapore government looks out for their citizens. The majority in Singapore live in government sponsored housing which is subsidized in some form as long as you are out working and contributing to society. They are real nice places and are spread across the city state. You will see thousands of high rise condos all over and I was told when Singaporeans apply for housing, the housing kingpins mix various races on each floor of the high rise complex to better assimilate the races. I would love to see this experiment in the NY Metro area government assisted housing shitholes. What do you think would happen if they put the Warriors, the Van Cortland Rangers, the Turnbull AC’s, the Orphans and the Gramercy Riffs under one roof?
Many say Singapore is too sterile, has too many rules, is boring and has way too much government intervention. The Singapore government does indeed have a domineering presence but they clearly provide an organized structured path with sensible policies in place enabling its citizens to succeed. In Singapore, Big Brother is clearly watching you at all times. However, it is apparent that ‘big brother’ needs to keep watch. Somebody has to make decisions for us cretans cause its been proven the majority of us human beings are basically idiots who don’t know how to act. In this case, the Singapore government has proven to be so efficient at providing a well paved path for its people. This guidance has enabled its citizens to live in a beautiful country with an incredible quality of life.
Some describe Singapore as, “Disneyland with the death penalty”. I say that is a bunch of malarkey. Without getting political, I personally would choose this sort of controlled living over the chaos, crime, filth and poverty that is so prevalent in many U.S. cities. In Singapore, you don’t have to worry about getting shot up in a movie theater or mall. There is no crime, no homeless people and their entire infrastructure is light years ahead of America. Unfortunately, this government controlled system would never cut it in the USA because the US government is filled with incompetent elected idiots who nobody trusts. Throughout my stay, I kept questioning why my own country cannot get their shit together.
Singapore is the epitome of a Utopia. The entire country is spotless clean…….you can actually eat off the floor of their MRT subway system. Not only are the MRT’s clean but they have killer A/C in them. No sweating your balls off on these subways. Even the money is spotless clean. All of the bills I handled were crisp, right off the presses and not one single marking on them. The coins are all so shiny and I thought to myself that it must be someones job polishing all the coins in circulation every single night.
My only major issue with Singapore as a country is the restaurants inexplicably don’t give you napkins with your meal. Now how is a man supposed to wipe his hands and face during and after a meal? I have seen locals whip out some tissues from their pocket to use while dining. Since Singapore has brilliant logic behind every policy, I assumed the thinking is that paper napkins lead to serious garbage waste, with most napkins winding up on the floor, and they want to eliminate this. Have you ever noticed in the U.S. when customers in fast food restaurants grab, not just one, but a huge stack of napkins with a meal and most just end up in the trash without being used? Lesson – next time you are in Singapore bring some napkins along as we learned to do. They are a very precious commodity.
Other than this napkin beef, Singapore simply works and makes for a pleasant place to live without having to deal with the wackos that exist in my own country. But, one piece of advice if you do plan to visit. Bring mucho cash as the cost of things ain’t no joke.
LOOSE STOOLS INDEX –
A special E. Stein Index Rating – Eric is struggling but insists he is just fine and expects to rebound as we embark on our Penang journey.
Big Doug Index Rating – 9 Entering the food capital of Malaysia (Penang) with super solid stools, guns loaded and with plans on taking some huge risks. I would wager no way E. Stein’s bowels survive this impending food-athon.