Sunday, August 26, 2007

Singapore: The Antithesis of Manila

I just got back from a week in Singapore. Singapore was awesome. It was fantastic to get away from traffic and pollution. Greatest thing about Singapore was the walking. In Manila, I never walk anywhere. There are no sidewalks and the air quality leaves much to be desired. It was a fantastic change to just get out and be able to walk everywhere.

Singapore was also a lot more green than I had expected. I was picturing a concrete jungle and instead there was greenery all around. Trees, parks, you name it. We did every touristy thing known to man: Sentosa Island, Clark Quay, shopping at a slew of malls, Holland Village, the Merlion (this lion/mermaid statue that spits water).

The best attraction for me was the zoo. The zoo was unbelievable. We went to both the regular daytime zoo as well as the night safari and both were brilliant. I have never been to such a fantastic zoo. The animals actually seemed very well cared for.

There is also some great art all over. Cool statues and such. Just a really enjoyable city.

I cannot figure out how this city can be so organized and Manila be so disorganized. It is only when I leave Manila that I really see how good it could be. I loved never having traffic and being able to rely on a clean, user-friendly MRT. I loved that there were trashcans everywhere and you could actually get rid of your garbage (in Manila I often have to carry cigarette butts with me....I often have trouble finding a trashcan even right outside of a mall). I loved that when the light was green for pedestrians you could actually walk without having to fear a car would take you down. Don't get me wrong, I love Manila but I just think the potential to improve is huge and I actually cannot figure out why it hasn't already.

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