Singapore is everything I expected it to be: a spotlessly clean shopping mecca teeming with people.
Which actually made me worry that Singapore would be everything I hate.
I do not like shopping in general, and have zero interest in shopping malls. I’ve never understood the allure of traveling to a foreign city only to enter another Nike store, or H&M, apple, Prada, Cartier, Hugo Boss, etc., etc., etc.. But people do it. These stores are packed, and seem to be the main draw for people to come to Singapore in the first place. I don’t get it.
But commerce is what Singapore is built on. And continues to build on. This is a country that can be traversed from one coast to another by car in an hour. It is 274 square miles and is home to 5.3 million people. The sidewalks and subway trains are swarming with crowds. And yet – it’s not enough. Singapore is hoping to attract more people and increase its population to 6 million. The trouble is, there’s not enough housing yet.
As someone who can only stand crowds for about 5 minutes before I’m ready to scream and push people out of my way, I’m glad I came while Singapore is relatively uncrowded. Imagine cramming more people into this picture:
The MRT stations were always bustling. At times, I had trouble crossing the street because it meant fighting your way through massive crowds of opposing pedestrians. I didn’t expect crowds like this in Singapore. It’s what I thought I’d encounter in Beijing, but didn’t.
And yet, despite the crowds, the heat, and shopping mall after shopping mall, there’s something alluring about Singapore. Obviously, I’m not alone in thinking so.
What do you think? Could you handle crowds like this on a daily basis?