Singapore as a source of inspiration

  

Singapore as a source of inspiration

Sometimes referred to as the Lion City, the Garden City or the Little Red Dote, Singapore is a sovereign city-state in Southeast Asia. Founded by Stamford Raffles in 1819, colonial Singapore was set up as a trading post of the East India Company.

Despite its small size, Singapore has featured on stories and here's a compilation of them. One of the most evocative quotes of Singapore is by Harry de Windt, published in From Peking to Calais by Land (1889): “Singapore: a vision of green hills and red dust, a sickly odor of pepper, cocoa, nut-oil and drains.”
Even Rudyard Kipling mentioned Singapore in his “The Song of the Cities published in 1893. That mention, however, might be a tad dramatic. “No one talks about the unhealthiness of Singapore. A man lives well and happily until he begins to feel unwell. Then he feels worse because the climate allows him no chance of pulling himself together - and then he dies.”
Awash with green spaces, Singapore is sometimes referred to as the “City in a Garden.” Home to 300 parks and four nature reserves, Singapore is one of the greenest cities anywhere in the world. This impressed Harold Nicolson back in 1957, who rote on his Journey to Java: “It is about the greenest place I have ever seen. It is like entering Dartmouth on a muggy August afternoon.” Singaporeans are aware of their status and they are encouraged to support conservation; they are proud of its many environmentally friendly spaces.
The academic Paul Scott described Singapore as “that modern apology for a romantic Eastern port.”
“Getting to places like Singapore was a hell of a sweat. But when you got there it was the back of beyond. It was just a series of small tin sheds.” - Sir David Attenborough.
“Flat, steamy, thickly humid, the island lies there in its hot seas, fringed with mangrove swamps, and from the air it looks as it always did, a slightly desperate place that ought to be inhabited. It looks like an invented place, and so, of course, it is.” - Jan Morris, Travels, 1976.
William Gibson wrote on his Distrust That Particular Flavor that “Singaporeans... loathe to discuss these more intimate policies of government with a curious foreign visitor who was more than twice as tall as the average human, and who sweated slowly but continuously, like an aged cheese.”
Some people have also criticized Singapore's strict rules. In Twisted Travels, Jessica Zafra wrote “Singapore is what your city could become if everyone obeyed the rules, did their jobs diligently, and just shut up. When your city gets to be this paragon of efficiency and discipline, would you still want to live there? Singapore is a model city, which is terrific if you happen to be a model human.”
Also, as to the control over the population, Peter L. Berger said: “Even in a society as tightly controlled as Singapore's, the market creates certain forces which perhaps in the long run may lead to democracy.”
Fareer Zakaria said: “The tallest building in the world is now in Dubai, the biggest factory in the world is in China, the largest oil refinery is in India, the largest investment fund in the world is in Abu Dhabi, the largest Ferris wheel in the world is in Singapore.”
There are also more positive opinions about Singapore. For instance, Romain Grosjean said “Singapore is a pretty fantastic place, and the race is always a challenge.”
Despite being a society with a strict set of rules, Dan Buettner said “Singapore is the happiest place in Asia.”
Other people have also commented on Singapore's multiculturalism. For instance, Nicolas Berggruen said, “Singapore has been incredibly well-managed. It was created out of the swamp, with a strong emotional idea: a safe place for mostly Chinese, but accepting other cultures and other races.”
Some other quotes are quite enlightening. “Nobody in Singapore drinks Singapore Slings. It's one of the first things you find out there. What you do in Singapore is eat. It's a really food-crazy culture, where all of this great food is available in a kind of hawker-stand environment,” sated Anthony Bourdain.
It seems that food in Singapore is appreciated by everyone. The famous Spanish Chef Jose Andres said “I was very impressed with the street food of Singapore. I was very impressed with the dishes that they did.”

 

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