Apart from getting married to D.R.R TrollKill aka the Love of my Life, we made another life-altering decision in 2017. We moved from India to Singapore. And from the word go, we fell in love with this place.
Singapore is a tiny red dot on the world map but it’s big on everything else. This listicle isn’t about fun Singaporean facts or a history lesson (that will come later because who doesn’t love history). It is, however, a lineup of things that make living here truly amazing. We’ve been here for almost three months now and although we have A LOT of exploring to do, we have managed to set up our little nest from scratch. And here’s what we love about this city-state we now call home.
1. IT’S CLEAN
Coming from India, this is perhaps the first thing we noticed and admired. Singapore is really clean. There are trash cans everywhere and people use them diligently. Even in movie theatres, everyone picks up their empty popcorn tubs and glasses on their way out to dispose of correctly.
We eat at hawker centres and have often noticed them cleaning their workstations and stalls between orders. At public parks or spaces like Clarke Quay where people often chill outdoors with food and drinks, everyone cleans up after themselves (except maybe some tourists). I’ve even seen good samaritans pick up random garbage that’s not theirs and trash them in bins. It goes to show that as community Singaporeans work in tandem to keep their country tidy.
2. EVERYONE IS NICE
Almost everyone we’ve encountered in our daily life is, for the lack of a better word, nice. It’s contagious! Singaporeans are very polite and kind to each other as well as to foreigners. And somehow everyone is always smiling except maybe some stressed out hawker stall aunties.
When you’re taking a photograph on the street, locals will even wait out of the frame for you to finish.
3. FITNESS MATTERS
We stayed at our friend’s place in an HDB in Redhill for the first few days (Thanks always, J) while we house hunted. Well, HDBs are essentially Housing & Development Board complexes responsible for public housing in Singapore. Every single morning and evening, we’d see men, women, kids and grandparents spend time exercising.
From using the common exercise machines and running to walking backwards (it’s ridiculously difficult and effective) and yoga on the lawns, Singaporeans make a conscious decision to exercise every day. It’s incredibly inspiring and perhaps one of the reasons why #TheBoy and I are firmer in our resolution to get fitter.
And the Government creates PSAs to remind locals to treat their bodies with respect and lead a more active lifestyle. The Health Promotion Board has launched numerous campaign like the National Step Challenge and the Eat, Drink, Shop Healthy Challenge, both of which we’ve signed up for. These two campaigns have pushed us to lead a fitter life. We track our steps, cycle more and pick packaged food carefully by looking for the HPB healthier choice symbol.
4. THE OVERALL THOUGHTFULNESS
Even as a tourist in Singapore, this one is hard to miss. A lot of thought has gone into the creation of this young, first world country. Most MRT stations open into a mall and most malls are connected via an internal bridge or underpass. Several areas have sheltered walkways for sunny/rainy days which means you can actually get from one end of the island to another without getting drenched.
You can use the same EzLink card to travel by bus and train. People with special needs as well as the old can go about their day without trouble as every building, mall, MRT station and bus have built-in provisions. These are only a handful of things that I can think of right now.