Images of Singapore

Everytime I visit India, people always are eager to give their views on Singapore. This usually involves how clean the city is and how efficient the transport is. Those back home, especially the middle class are amazed at how clean the city is. The middle class back home in India, want clean cities, but they won’t use the garbage bins provided.

Having lived in Singapore for a little over a year, somewhere the city doesn’t seem as clean as it is said to be back home. The city didn’t seem as organised as people back home always say it is. I’ve seen people littering on the streets, overflowing garbage cans, and of course dirty HDB blocks, especially in near my old locality, namely Pandan Gardens in Jurong East. In contrast to this, Clementi, where I currently live is clean and neat.

This is something that got me thinking, and then one day, while discussing this with another foreign student in the university, who mentioned that, we don’t think of Singapore as being as much of ‘model city’ as people back home do, because we live in Singapore. Those who rave about Singapore, visit the tourist destinations, like Sentosa, Orchard, and the Zoo. Being tourist destinations, these areas are well maintained. But, we those who do live here in Singapore, live in the non tourist areas, were as much care to maintain it isn’t taken. This leads us, who live in Singapore to hold a very different view about the city because we live in the non tourist areas.

This leads me to wonder if there are two images of Singapore, between those who live in the city and those who visit the city. The latter praise it for its cleanliness and efficiency, while the former don’t necessarily notice that. Somewhere I seem to be judging Singapore with this image of a ‘Model City’, and the perception that Singapore is the closest to that, and when there is a slight slip up, it is magnified in my perception.

1 Comment so far

  1. Seong (unregistered) on January 29th, 2007 @ 3:13 pm

    If you said that Singapore is not clean, then head across the causeway and look at J.B…How dirty it is…I bet you will feel lucky not living at J.B though.

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