The Truth About Singapore

Singapore

taken at the World Cities Summit 2010, courtesy of eco-business.com
taken at the World Cities Summit 2010, courtesy of eco-business.com | Source
the Singapore Flyer, our equivalent of the London Eye
the Singapore Flyer, our equivalent of the London Eye | Source
we took this a few years ago, at Jurong Bird Park
we took this a few years ago, at Jurong Bird Park
Jurong Bird Park, a pretty amazing place
Jurong Bird Park, a pretty amazing place
this was when I was 5 months preggers, trekking through the forest, at Macritchie Reservoir
this was when I was 5 months preggers, trekking through the forest, at Macritchie Reservoir
my homemade chicken rice =)
my homemade chicken rice =)

The tiny red dot

I guess I should explain what "the tiny red dot" means. Where I'm from, the locals refer to my beautiful home country as a "red dot" because of it's remarkable size on the map...it's remarkably small size. Singapore is approximately 699.1 sq km (adapted from http://www.singaporeexpats.com/about-singapore/facts-at-a-glance.htm) but what a lot of people don't know, is that it is a highly urbanised, thriving metropolis. I won't bore you with all the math and technicalities, but what I will tell you is that Singapore is a beautiful, tropical getaway, with the swagger of a concrete jungle, and the charm of a 46-year-old island. Let me break it down for you.

Long story short, Singapore was a British colony. In 1819, Sir Stamford Raffles established a British port on the island, thus making it a fast-growing shipping port back in the day. Fast-forward to World War Two, Singapore was occupied by the Japanese. But when the war ended, Singapore reverted back to British control. Singapore wasn't completely sovereign yet; in 1963, it was joined with The Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia. Due to civil unrest and chaos, to say the least ( I remember the pictures in my history books, they weren't pretty) Singapore split from Malaysia and became an independent republic in 1965. Fast-forward again, this time to the present: and Singapore is a thriving metropolis, boasting the bluest waters surrounding the beautiful marinas, all the while being adorned by the towering skyscrapers and the hustle-and-bustle that only a true doggoned city can exude. If you bother to read the history of this magnificent nation, you will see we've been through a lot. Singapore gained its independence swiftly on August 9th, 1965, but it faced a lot of uncertainties as a nation. That was four decades ago. Being only 46 years-old and already one of the richest countries in Asia, with the highest concentration of millionaires (adapted from http://business.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/01/where-are-the-most-millionaires-next-door/) one has to be decidely oblivious to see that the fact is, Singapore has worked its way up in the world; a true "rags-to-riches" story indeed.

We are still growing as a nation, both figuratively and literally! I haven't been home in a couple of years, but from what my family back home has been telling me, the city has become more densely populated and there are, to quote my sister, "just too many damn people out in town"...haha. I think we're in the 5 millions range now. When I was home last, which was two years ago, the population count was under 4 mill. So do the math. I can't blame anybody who wants to migrate to Singapore; it's a beautiful place to be! Where else can you get the most exotic food, the craziest nightlife and club/bar scene, the hippest malls with the hottest stores and still manage to boast that tropical island allure? I think you'll be hard-pressed to find something like that anywhere else.

Okay, I think I'll conclude this part of my homesick rant about my gorgeous home country. On to Part Deux:

By now, you can tell I can probably go on and on about this breathtaking place called Singapore. I am, however, going to focus on one of my most fave topics ever: food!

Food in Singapore is diverse, exotic, strange, mouth-watering, gratifying...yes I can go on and on...but let's get to it, shall we?

Fave Singaporean food #1: Chicken rice! This dish consists of chicken and rice...duh. Haha, sounds simple enough, but once you've tried this you will want to understand how something so utterly simple-sounding can be so bloody good. This dish requires a labor of love; intense love at that! There's a lot of poaching and stirring and blitzing and chopping and slicing and who-knows-what. All I know is, at the end of it all, you are presented with a plate of chicken and rice gorgeousness..with a side of soup and chili sauce that will tingle your taste buds and leave you begging for more. You'll be playing guessing games with your palate; tasting ginger sometimes and then garlic and then spring onions and then a hint of vinegar and sugar from the sauce and then you take a sip of the boiling hot chicken broth and you get this spectacular chickeny, gingery, garlicky, spring oniony goodness...excuse me while I wipe the drool off the keyboard. Well at least I know what I'll be making for lunch tomorrow. Might even share the recipe with you, if you're good. *wink*

Right then, this concludes Part Two of me reminiscing all night of my home and the food I am missing so much. Tune in to Part Three, which I will write soon, as long as my son allows me, haha. He's three. Nuff' said.

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Comments 25 comments

Vicki99 profile image

Vicki99 5 years ago from Meridian Idaho

Very interesting. I really enjoyed your writing and the photos are wonderful Voted up, useful, interesting and beautiful. I can't wait to see your next one.


scarytaff profile image

scarytaff 5 years ago from South Wales

This brings back very nice memories of sitting outside the bars in Changi Village, relaxing after being at sea for weeks. I managed to get to Raffles Hotel and have a drink, soaking up culture all the time. A wonderful place, Singapore.

Thanks for the memories.


thejeffriestube profile image

thejeffriestube 5 years ago from United States

Ah, Singapore. I loved Kuala Lumpur when I visited! This hub sure brings back some great memories. Good job!


michifus profile image

michifus 5 years ago

BTW - I would love to get your chicken rice recipe....if you are looking for topics for a future hub!


NotSoPerfect profile image

NotSoPerfect 5 years ago from United States Author

I'm sorry, I'm new to this, I guess I'm allowed to comment on my own hub so I'd like to say thanks to everyone who left a comment. Thanks for your kind words and thanks for reading! =)


OutsideTheLines profile image

OutsideTheLines 5 years ago from Tulsa, OK

Definitely learned a lot of things I did not know previous to reading this :) Jurong bird park looks amazing.


NotSoPerfect profile image

NotSoPerfect 5 years ago from United States Author

Thanks, OutsideTheLines. Yes Jurong Bird Park is truly a wonder, I loved it. Thanks for reading! =)


Hiroik profile image

Hiroik 5 years ago from Hawaii

I really liked your hub, it was interesting. My cousin, by law, is actually from Singapore although she now lives here in Hawaii and I don't think I've heard about it like this. Although I have had read a little about Singapore and how its economy is actually one of the best in the world, even more impressive to me on how small it was. When I actually saw it on your hub, I was just blown away because I knew it was small, but not that small. Great hub keep it up!


NotSoPerfect profile image

NotSoPerfect 5 years ago from United States Author

Thanks Hiroik, for the kind comments. Thanks for reading and I'm looking forward to following you! Cheers. =)


mobias profile image

mobias 5 years ago from Forest Grove, OR

Nice, you just made me want to retire in Singapore now! Thanks! You do have a flair for writing, to be sure. Unique, quirky, funny, and it flows nicely. Like a warm conversation with a stranger.

Keep it up!


NotSoPerfect profile image

NotSoPerfect 5 years ago from United States Author

Thanks mobias! I do my best. Singapore is a wonderful place! You should visit sometime. =)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

I've been to Singapore once and it is truly a beautiful country. I would like to go back someday. :)

Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination! Enjoy the Hubnuggets by reading and voting right here: http://pattyinglishms.hubpages.com/hubnuggets6/hub...


NotSoPerfect profile image

NotSoPerfect 5 years ago from United States Author

Thanks so much ripplemaker! I am just happy to have been nominated.


tony.abacab profile image

tony.abacab 5 years ago from UK

I absolutely agree with you. Some people tend to cast Singapore as a dull, clinical, sterile place, but I find it quite vibrant and a city that exudes sophistication without the bling and excess of Dubai for example, of the overwhelming pace of life of Hong Kong (another of my favourite places).

I have been quite a few times as a stopover and I can easily recomend it as a destination in its own right.

Wouldn't even mind relocationg there for a few years if I had the chance as it's a great place for families in terms of education, safety and cultural diversity.

And finally, yes, food is awesome in Singapore! Especially the red chilli crab.

Awesome hub! well done


NotSoPerfect profile image

NotSoPerfect 5 years ago from United States Author

Wonderful insight, tony.abacab! Chilli crab, you sure know your stuff! Glad you stopped by to read my hub. Thanks again! =)


icciev profile image

icciev 5 years ago from Kuwait

Hi, thanks for sharing this interesting and informative hub, Singapore is one of the places that I wish to visit in the future and hopefully I will do, thanks again and voted up


NotSoPerfect profile image

NotSoPerfect 5 years ago from United States Author

Thanks for reading icciev. It's a beautiful place, you'll be glad you went to visit. Thanks again for stopping by to read and comment.


jeyaramd profile image

jeyaramd 4 years ago from Mississauga, Ontario

Singapore sounds like the place to be. I didn't think of it as an island. That is interesting. And, the rice and chicken, the way you described it, sounds heavenly. I have been to Singapore when I was barely eight. My recollection is quite faint. I do remember the sherbets that they sell on the road side. Everything else is blurry. That was the defining moments on my trip then. I would love to revisit. Thanks for sharing this hub.


NotSoPerfect profile image

NotSoPerfect 4 years ago from United States Author

Thanks jeyaramd! Please visit Singapore again when you have the chance. I heard a lot has changed and it is even more beautiful now, if that is possible! Thanks for reading my hub.


NotSoPerfect profile image

NotSoPerfect 4 years ago from United States Author

Thanks jeyaramd! Please visit Singapore again when you have the chance. I heard a lot has changed and it is even more beautiful now, if that is possible! Thanks for reading my hub.


brianlokker profile image

brianlokker 4 years ago from Washington DC metro area

Very interesting profile of Singapore. I'd like to visit sometime. I don't blame you for being a little homesick!


NotSoPerfect profile image

NotSoPerfect 4 years ago from United States Author

brianlokker, thanks for the comment! I do miss home indeed! Thanks for stopping by to read my hub, God bless.


NotSoPerfect profile image

NotSoPerfect 4 years ago from United States Author

brianlokker, thanks for the comment! I do miss home indeed! Thanks for stopping by to read my hub, God bless.


winbo profile image

winbo 4 years ago

Wow!! nice one. beautiful article.. pictures are so nice.. useful hub to me.. I voted up


NotSoPerfect profile image

NotSoPerfect 4 years ago from United States Author

Thanks for your kind comments winbo! Glad you enjoyed reading my hub.

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