Areas / neighborhoods
- Little India: How could I not stop by? Little India is an important heritage stopover in Singapore.
- Chinatown: If you feel like “going to China”, Chinatown is only a few MRT stop´s away from Little India. I loooved the vibe here. The smells, people and overall craziness that you can expect in this places.
- Haji Lin street: This is a street with a lot of hip and trendy stores. Is perfect if you have money and want to buy corky things.
- Pulau Bin: A tiny island in between Singapore and Malaysia. I came on a thursday and I felt pretty much like the only person in the area. It was dead empty and calm. If you feel like it, rent a bike and cycle around.
Singapore feels quite unique. I had a hard time thinking how this island has come such a long way after suffering so much abuse. From being under the British and Dutch empires to surviving the Japanese massacre and finally, after a failed attempt to merge with Malaysia, Singapore has been through it all.
The resilience the country and is people has, is quite impressive but I think everything comes down to one word: vision.
When the "father of the country" (its first PM), Mr Lee Kuan Yew, decided to leave Malaysia and start from scratch he refuse one key element that his counterpart wanted to protect: Malaysia wanted a country for Malays. A country in which he could preserve and protect the identity and roots by leaving other races outside. That was a red flag. That was the “no”.
Singapore was going to be built with a different foundation. It was going to be an open society. An inclusive country.
I came to Singapore a few days before its 53rd birthday. The slogan everywhere was “OneNationTogether”. Singapore feels different because they let you in. Because the vision was and is, of a place that is inclusive and thrives on different people and cultures. Just like Dubai, NYC or London. Singapore might be tiny but is huge and visionary.
As soon as I land in Chile I see queues of immigrants. For the first time we have so many black travelers coming here looking for a better life. And we don´t know what to do. I could hear other chilean whispering trash against the newcomers. "What are they doing here?”, “They came to destroy our country”, “They will bring their drugs and sexual transmitted deseases”. On the other queue, people just look out of place and anxious.
We are such a long way from a unifying vision. Chile grew isolated and naturally protected by the Andes, the Pacific ocean, the Antarctica and the Atacama Desert. For the first time we have a big influx of immigrants and we are dead scared.
This is a big moment for us which shall go down in history as a pivotal moment: are we going to be la Malaysia or are we choosing the Singapore way?