Walkabouts and wonders

"A life not examined is a life not lived" – Socrates

Singapore limits?

Statues in the Museum of Asian Civilisations

Statues in the Museum of Asian Civilisations

This blog is meant as a kind of plea, just in case I am doing some five million people a significant injustice. You see, while I was there, I seem to have hit a wall, or perhaps a ceiling in my understanding of this place.

It is not that it lacks soul – there is definitely a feeling to the place and to the people – but it does seem very confined; focussed upon the singular pursuit of commercial and material success. Perhaps, I am mistaking newness for shallowness, the absence of bookstores (I have only seen one, and that, inside a museum, since I got here) for a lack of intellectual enquiry, the city’s extraordinary cleanliness for sterility.

Businessmen chatting in the forecourt of the oldest Buddhist temple in Singapore

Businessmen chatting in the forecourt of the oldest Buddhist temple in Singapore

Yes, I have seen that the Buddhist temple and the main Mosque (situated within 200m of one another) are well endowed and enjoy a regular stream of devotees, unperturbed by the equal stream of curious tourists, like me.

Preparing for New Year in China Town

Preparing for New Year in China Town

And I don’t doubt that the careful courtesy that I have met from most people is genuine, unforced. And, yes, it is certainly true that I have not explored the city as widely as I could have.

So, maybe it is I that is being too shallow. If you have been there, or better yet, live there, please let me know what you think. I hesitate to add a poll because that would just restrict answers. Instead, here is a contact form, to make it easier for you to comment.

 

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