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back to index backGLOBALtalk December,  2014


Why This Expat Loves Living In Singapore

I sometimes get amused looks from North Americans when I tell them that I moved to Singapore.

They tend to reflexively respond that I must be crazy to move to a country where "consuming even chewing gum is a crime."

The interaction that happens between us leaves me thinking that they want to rationalize not having to do the hard work of understanding what other places are like.

I love North America. A section of Americans are very free-thinking, and I enjoy their company. Such people—in such large numbers—are hard to find elsewhere in the world. But as political entities, both the US and Canada are on a rather rapid decline.

After a balanced look through respective facts at what else the world has to offer, one might still stay in North America. But warping our thinking and facts to adjust our actions to what feels easy in the short-term could have disproportionate, long-term negative consequences. So let's have a closer look at Singapore, starting with chewing gum.

On a few occasions, I decided to have chewing gum right in front of a difficult-to-find policeman. Each time, I made sure they saw what I was consuming. They ignored me completely. The reality is that while they ban chewing gum from being sold in stores, they don't have any issue with people consuming it or importing it for personal purposes. What they do have a problem with is if you spit it on the sidewalk. They penalize you aggressively if you do—and I'm happy they do.

Of course, such perpetrators are hard to trace, and regulation is not a panacea. The authorities try to keep "wrong" kinds of people out of the country. And people have a very strong sense of civilized conduct. Despite having among the highest population densities in the world, you almost never get pushed in public places. People respect your distance, and the young never occupy reserved spaces on public transport, if there is a slightest chance that someone might need them. Locals are almost always well-dressed and students well-behaved.

To read entire article, please click here.

Source: Business Insider - GAI




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