Five million inhabitants squeezed together on a piece of land smaller than half Öland (a Swedish island). Still – considered to be the tidiest and safest country in the world.
I thought I should share some slightly intricate thoughts about this ‘Asian Tiger’, instead of just compliment their economic growth. So for all of you who might have second thoughts about the safety in poor Asian countries; it was in Singapore I got my phone stolen, the only thing that has gotten lost since I left Europe in August.

Singapore is founded on blame rather than praise. Doing something (or rather anything) that isn’t considered to be good manners is strictly forbidden and will result in high fines; e.g. €3000 for accidentally pressing the escalator’s emergency stop button. But I found one exception where Swedes are more conservative and strict; sex. In S’pore is prostitution legal and handled far from murky alleys.

I relate it to the fact that this metropolis for business and finance is built up by (financially) and for the rich people; 20% of the population consists of dollar millionaires. But despite Singapore’s impressive 3rd place in GDP PPP per capita are the majority not earning record high salaries, or for that matter happy about the litter-free and perfect façade that strikes you on arrival. Behind it lives a concealed truth that the over-fifty-years-in-power-party has managed to keep quiet enough to earn them a press freedom index at Uganda’s level.

Singapore is fantastic in many ways and a great hub for backpackers in need for a few days off the beaten track, or for the driven white collars that are looking for a year with high salary and tropical weather. Have a drink and enjoy the magnificent views from the skyscrapers in Marina Bay, but don’t forget to scratch a bit on the surface; speaking with Singapore-born locals reveals so much more…

Photos from Coron, Singapore’s Chinatown (x2) and the awesome pool seen from Joel & Co’s crib. Thank you Joel, Stina, Julia, Lotta, Erik, Adam and Tor for housing me those lovely days of Lunar New Year!


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