SINGAPORE: 24.03. - 26.03.2005

Route: Singapore 

Distance Bike:  60 Km 

Preface: Singaparoe, a big city on an island, is one of the most dynamic business regions of the world, and has the reputation, to be the cleanest metropolitan. We could stay just 2,5 days in this fascinating city, because even the costs for a cheap guesthouse were higher than our daily budget. There are thousend things to do in Singapore, if you come to Singapore to spent your holiday. But for living, the cean island is a little bit to small (thats at least the opinion of many Singaporians)
Border crossing: We cycled from Johor Bahru in Malaysia to Singapore early in the morning. Already the border crossing was very surprising for us. Like at the former border between Austria and Germany there were several well singed lanes (cars, busses, lorries, motorcycles). Impressing was also the huge LCD screen. We took the motocycle lane together with hundereds of motrorbikes. After a fast computerized immigration procedure (included an electronical withdraw of toll from a tollcard from the motorbike drivers), the customs clearence followed. While all the bikers had to open their topcases, we didnīt had to open any pannier. It also was a pleassure to cycle in Singapore with its fantastic roads and the less an civicivilized traffic.
Singapore, the worlds cleanest metropolitan: Thanks to their strikt laws, the government mangaged to develope Singapore probably into the worlds cleanest metropolitan. We had the feeling, that it is possible to eat from the road (because itīs so clean, not because thereīs so much rotten food on it). In spite of the small size of the island, Singapore has many parks and even some national parks. Trees and flowers are everywhere. No wonder, that Singapores nickname is "The Gardentown".
Multicultural: For us it was very impressing to see how harmonious the different ethnic groups are living together. With the Chinese Buddhists as the majorety of the population, there are also many Hindus (Indians), Moslems (Malaysia) and Christians. But all of them feel to be Singaporians, although many of them wear their traditional clothes. We had one experience which is quite symtomatic for the tolerance of the Singaporians. We saw a Singaporian, who stopped in front of a Hindu Temple, turned towards the temple, folded his palms in front of his chest (the greeting in Asia) and bowed to the temple. Ok., heīs a Hindu, we thought. But just some meters furhter, there was a Chinese Buddhist Temple, and our "Hindhu" went straight into this temple for praying. Surprising was also the variety of Christian churches. It seems, that each christian confession and sect has its own chapel in Singapore. But the harmonious way of living together between the ethnic groups has also its price. The press e.g. is not completely free and every article which may bring disharmony to the ethnic groups, or which is against the government, is censored. But we really enjoyed the cultural variety (especially the variety of food) in Singapore. Itīs great if a multicultural society is not only an illusion (Germany) or a lip confession (USA).
ABC: ABC, Ais (ice) - Beans - Corn, thatīs the name of Nadines latest favorite icecream. Actually itīs nothing more than gratec frozen water, formed as a small mountain over some beans, corn and jelly. Than some different syrups are poured over the ice mountain. We didnīt like the beans, the corn and the jelly, so we always ordered ABC without BC. Nadine had good luck,because ABC was also available at many foodstalls in Malaysia, so she had the chance to eat many ABCīs.
Clean, organized, diziplined and rich: Clean, organized, diziplined and rich - that are the catchwords to describe Singapore. To achieve this, the governmend taught their citicans quite tought. There are very high fines for littering (even for a tiny peace of paper), spitting (normally the Indians and Chinese love this), import of chewing gum, smoking on public places, ..... . But the government also established minimum wages for industrial workers. Thanks to the tough but straight policy, the government mangaged to create a boomig industrial center.
Skyline: Like in every big city in the world, one of Singapores main attractions is itīs skyline. For me, all these skyscreepers are especially impressing during the dusk, when you can see all the lights from the offices, where the people work overtime.



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