Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Via Singapore

My elder brother is settled out in Singapore since quite some time. He is married to Sweet Julie,  a Malaysian-Chinese origin Singaporean girl. Few years back, I and my wife Anjali visited Singapore when my Bro and Sis-in Law were blessed with a beautiful daughter. We looked forward for our Singapore trip and I even wanted to visit Malaysia, as my good old friend Nair, recently shifted to Malaysia that time. We went there for a couple of weeks and my parents were already there when we visited.

After little bit of googling I already doubted that it would have been boring in Singapore to have had spent 2 weeks out there. I was kind of determined to visit Malaysia and inquired about the visa procedures. Malaysia accepted on entry visa for Indians those days and the consultancy said that we could have applied for it in Singapore itself. As soon as I landed in Singapore, I felt as if I had landed on a different planet and everything looked so hi-tech.  At the airport my brother and mom waited for us and I was totally amazed when we entered into a train directly from airport. In fact, it took me a while and realized we were actually on a train, only after it started to move. 

Even though I already knew about the cleanliness of Singapore, but was kind of stunned to have had walked on such clean streets initially. Laws in Singapore are very strict and my brother already warned me not to smoke and spit here and there. Government out there is very fond of collecting fine and forget about enjoying a piss on the roadside, even they use to fine innocent people who merely spit on the street. I mean, what the hell is that La? I was very much impressed with the Metro service out there. Well, they use to say it MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and is major component of the railway system in Singapore which connects each and every place. 

I met my good friend Satya out there and enjoyed an wonderful cocktail evening with him. Now what to say about food in Singapore? I felt, food is one of the most important factors which attract tourists to that place from across the world. When Satya came to know that I was little uncomfortable to roam around the city alone, he simply said "Dude, it’s such a country where no matter how hard someone try to get himself lost, but eventually he would automatically return home" He said that the laws are so strict that the level of crime is almost zero out there and the most chilled-out job in Singapore is that of a policeman. I was missing India a bit and then Satya took me to a place named Little India. Well, it was truly India and I felt very comfortable out there. The place got lot of Indian shops and restaurants and it's the only place where I could find loose cigarettes. Well, everywhere else in Singapore people had to forcefully buy the entire packet. Also, that was the place where people didn't wait unnecessarily for the traffic signal in order to cross the road, whenever there's not much traffic.

It was fun to travel by the MRT and I remember one MRT incident. It was peak traffic hour and the train was quite overcrowded. Many passengers were standing along with me. I was little tired enough and very much wanted to take my load off my feet.  All of a sudden a passenger prepared to get down and I eyed on his seat. I was almost ready to grab that space before anyone else could have occupied that. But what the hell? Nobody moved, no one attempted to occupy that space. People standing nearby started to look at each other’s faces and tried to make some facial expressions, just to offer that seat to each other. Ultimately one lady had to sit there and she didn’t look very comfortable, as if she did a terrible crime by occupying that seat, while many people were still standing out there. I was totally confused and wondered "Are Singaporeans really like that, I mean they think about others so much or it’s diplomacy at its best?"

One day we visited the Singapore Zoo and had a great time out there. But to be honest, I am not very much of a Zoo kind of person. Another day we visited the famous Sentosa island, even though it was a great place but it looked kind of artificial and I was not very much fascinated. I saw people from across the globe out there and wondered “How could Singapore manage to attract such huge number of tourists?” Well, they got some luxurious cruise lines, but everyone can't afford that. I wish I would be able to experience it some day. But the usual clean roads, strict laws, tall and colorful buildings couldn’t fascinate me much and I was completely bored within a few days. 

Initially I was little confused, but after a week I was very much determined to visit Malaysia and applied for our visa's through some consultancy. Within a couple of days it got approved and then we booked our bus tickets. There’s bus service from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and it use to take 5-6 hours to reach KL. I used to have regular conversation with Nair and in fact, used to pressurize him for a good short trip. Initially he used to say "You guys first come and then we would figure out something" Poor guy just recently shifted to KL that time, but after my repeated attempts, at the final moment, Nair booked some weekend travel package to an isolated island.

But it seemed, he didn't have much of an idea on how we guys could have reached there. Ultimately the day finally arrived and we were on our way to Kuala Lumpur.



59 comments:

  1. Having that kind of strict law is to ensure that no one litters or spits :) Regardless of how ignorant they are towards the law.

    Glad you visited both places!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Jasveena, even though quite difficult but eventually in the long run strict laws are pretty much useful, as u said no one litters or spits :) Thanks for visiting out here!

      Delete
  2. Waiting for your KL adventure..And as for Singapore I have a friend who did his MBA from Singapore and he use to say that because of its Law and Good Citizen it become a developed Country in much less time..And the Little India place you mention is the only place you feel like you are in India

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Harsha, Singaporeans are very honest,charming,helpful and very law obedient citizens. But,also great to see Little India kind of place in a foreign land :)

      Delete
  3. I dont know if Indians behave like that in Trains or even in metro hahaha...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. May be Indians are very much frank and don't like much of diplomacy :) Thanks for visiting out here Shushant!!

      Delete
  4. I liked Singapore, a role model India should follow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Indrani, Singapore is a good place to settle down but not really a fascinating tourist place :) Yeah, it should be a role model India should follow but Singapore is so tiny.I think it would be just half of Bangalore and India should produce plenty of such Singapore's out here!!

      Delete
  5. Interesting observation about people behaving inside Metro...Here in Delhi you should see what all tactics people adopt just to grab a seat inside metro,sometimes not even caring for Sr.citizens! While travelling in metro I often wonder whether people behaved in the same way in other countries too:)Nice write up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shwets :) I think we Indians yet to learn lot of diplomacy :) At least we should offer our seats to Sr. Citizens, pregnant ladies etc. Glad U liked the post and thanks a lot for visiting out here Shwets!!

      Delete
  6. interesting! looking forward to read your Malaysian adventure :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ashwin, glad U liked the post :)

      Delete
  7. Interesting travelogue, Jahid. Waiting for the next part. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Panchali Ji :) Glad U liked the post. Would write the next part soon. Thanks a lot for visiting out here!

      Delete
  8. Looks nice.. you seem to have a great time there :)
    Waiting for the next post

    Ankita Singhal
    A Piece I wrote...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah Ankita, we had a great time :) Would write the next part soon. Thanks a lot for visiting out here!

      Delete
  9. Singapore is such an hi tech city and I enjoyed the ride in this post. Looking forward to the KL adventure :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Uma, glad U enjoyed the post. Would write about Malaysia adventure soon :)

      Delete
  10. I think Singapore is interesting if you like shopping, eating, going to museums and parks. If you don't like those things, it may be a bit boring. I like the fact that it is very clean, it means you don't have to worry about getting sick there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah Carlyn, U are absolutely correct. Singapore is for people who likes shopping, eating, going to museums and parks. The city is very clean and no chance of getting sick in Singapore. Thanks a lot Carlyn for visiting out here!!

      Delete
  11. Lot to learn, thanks ur post is helping :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad U found the post informative.Thanks a lot for visiting out here Paresh !!

      Delete
  12. Hi Jahid! I visited Singapore recently and did love my experience a lot! Somehow it seemed so easy to become a part of the place...plus it's safe! Nice post :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! Nice to know that U recently visited Singapore. Yeah, it's really nice place to visit, specially for people who likes shopping, eating, going to museums and parks and of course who want a peaceful and safe stay. Singapore is very much tourist friendly and one could quite easily become part of the place. Glad U liked the post and thanks a lot for visiting out here!!

      Delete
  13. From a long time I am planning to visit Singapore... don't know when I will get this chance... Eagerly waiting for u r KL post.... Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't worry Shilpa, very soon U would be visiting Singapore :) Glad U liked the post. I would write about our Malaysia adventure soon!!

      Delete
  14. Great post...waiting for the next part.
    Hopefully I'll visit myself, next year hopefully... My uncle is there.
    I've heard the zoo and the night safari is quite good...u didn't go?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Aditi, glad u liked the post. I hope U would visit the beautiful city and Ur uncle very soon. Yeah, the Zoo is very nice and the night Safari is quite cool. But it's only cool and not thrilling :) and I like thriller movies a lot :) Thanks for visiting out here Aditi !!

      Delete
  15. Singapore is a great city to visit & has a lot to offer to travelers! Nice post :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Singapore is a great city to visit, specially with family. The food is awesome and they got lot more to offer for tourists. Glad U liked the post and thanks a lot for visiting out here Bhakti !!

      Delete
  16. I only heard about Singapore. Hopefully ............

    Nice experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. U would surely visit the city someday Banella. Glad U liked the post and thanks a lot for visiting out here!!

      Delete
  17. Well Jahid Bhai ... i am surprised to know about your international ventures ! was a good read .. My uncle has visited the country 20 years back, but till date he has not forgot the experience ... they are indeed very honest and friendly bunch of people and cleanliness on road and public places is their utmost concern .. so unlike India !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why so surprised Aziz Bhai :) Singapore is a great country and yes, people are very friendly out there. The cleanliness is just can't be compared with India :(

      Delete
  18. Your post was very informative-such cleanliness--i wish we had at least a LITTLE less of garbage here...how do they manage it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Indu Ji. Glad u found the post informative. I don't think it's a very difficult task and can be managed quite easily if there is will and of course without corruption :)

      Delete
  19. Nice to read about Singapore , looking forward to read your next post :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mary, would write the next part soon!

      Delete
  20. Nice personal post. Want to go to singapore. Urunbiased review wil help

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ritesh. Singapore is a great city to visit. People are really nice and the food is just awesome out there!

      Delete
  21. Your post indicates the difference between Singapore and India .. evidently and although we should have been a role-model .. as many here are rightly saying they would make a better one for us .. Jahid Bhai :)
    Awating your trip to Malayasia ! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Singapore is quite a tiny country as compared to huge and diversified India, so it would not be very correct to compare the two. But yes jack, it would be great if India could produce few Singapore's out here itself :) Would write about the Malaysia adventure soon!

      Delete
  22. Belo post...Espectacular....
    Cumprimentos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Fernando. Glad U liked the post and thanks a lot for visiting out here!

      Delete
  23. I love Singapore but just like you I get bored after a couple days. It's a lovely place and I think it's great that everything is so clean and that there is nearly zero crime (I remember once I went for lunch and it was like kind of a market with tables and chairs and lots of food stalls around it. I saw people occupying a table by putting their wallet on the table than walking off to get their food. I just think it's incredible). So lovely country although quite artificial indeed and a great place to visit for a couple of days. Looking forward to your Malaysia post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true Freya, Singapore is a great country to visit for a couple of days. Nice to know that U also had a similar kind of Singapore experience and the even I also enjoyed food in that market kind of place. Wow! lot of delicious foods all around :) Thanks for visiting out here Freya!

      Delete
  24. A a very indulging post! My Dad always admires the way Singapore is, and its people. He has been there tens of times.

    The name Little India reminded me of my first job, where I worked in Mumbai for bank's branch in Little India. :D Nostalgia!

    My cousin just bit his nail and threw it outside from car, while in Dubai..He was fined 500 Dirhams. But, its a good thing. Do we throw garbage or spit or pee here and there in our own house? I guess not..then why on streets? If India had stringent laws too, it would have been a different place altogether.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Manju, glad u liked the post. Nice to know about Ur Dad's frequent Singapore visits and his admiration for the place is very quite genuine. It's a great nation, even though it's extremely tiny. So, in Mumbai there's a place named Little India? I didn't know about that. Haha.. Ur cousin's must be extremely shocked to pay the fine for that simple thing :) But it would be quite difficult to implement such laws in a huge country like India, where more that 50% of the people struggle hard for their daily meals for their survival. Thanks for visiting out here Manju!

      Delete
    2. No, there is no place called as Little India in Mumbai. I am talking about Little India of Singapore, the one which you mentioned in your post. My bank had a branch in Little India Singapore. The operations part of that bank was taken care of by our team which was based in Mumbai.

      Delete
    3. Thanks for the clarification Manju. I was little confused :)

      Delete
  25. nice observation of those people inside the metro.. quite an interesting post, jahid. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Meera. Glad U liked the post and always a pleasure to read Ur comments :)

      Delete
  26. Oh your post made me fall for the Singapore again. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aha! nice to know that Namrota :) Glad this post could do that for U :)

      Delete
  27. We help students study Abroad in Uk , ireland , australia, singapore . We are a team of experienced study abroad consultants who can guide you through all your questions regarding education overseas in a foreign land .

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...