Arriving in Singapore: First impressions

I’m here! Courtesy of an 8-hour flight on Qantas Airlines QF35, I have touched down in my new home (at least for the next couple of years).

It’s different from being a tourist. I now have to familiarise myself with things like medical clinics, post offices, banks, and grocery stores. I also have to set myself to a routine which will become part of my life for the next couple of years. So here are a few observations that I have made of Singapore so far.

  1. The train system is supremely efficient. There’s usually a train every two to three minutes. The stations are clean and well organised which is great since it is such a core part of everyday life for the general population.
  2. Shops open late and are open till late. This was one of my pet peeves in Australia of everything closing down at 6pm. No such issues here, where it is common to find shops open till 10pm.
  3. The days can be oppressively hot and humid, but the evenings are balmy and offer cool relief. The best time go out in Singapore is after the sun goes down and the lights come on. The city takes on a different feeling after dark.
  4. It’s safe. There is very little petty crime, and local laws crack down hard on misdemeanours making it very unattractive for one to even consider breaking the law.
  5. Locals are warm and polite, especially for foreigners. In a nation which has no natural resources, Singapore’s economy is based on being a business hub and tourist destination. I get the sense that locals have been ingrained to make foreigners feel welcome here, both for short visits, and to do business and invest.
  6. The food is awesome! The best food is found at hawkers markets, and it’s cheap! Lunch typically costs me about $5 to $8 with more food than I can eat.

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