desi Traveler Visits Singapore
I slept most of the smooth flight from Chennai in India to Changi Airport in Singapore, only to be awakened by the sonorous announcement that we have reached Singapore and we need to stay seated till the plane comes to a complete halt. But the plane load of desis had other plan and suddenly everybody was up trying to open the over head locker bins, phones were switch on and all the hull gulla that desis do when excited started.
Point to ponder: I have never been able to understand why everybody tries to get first out of plane when they would anyways be waiting for 30 minutes at the conveyor belt for their stuff to arrive. Ah I will never be able to understand the human species; I think I am much better with Goldfish.
While you’re friendly neighborhood desi Traveler has been to a few countries in past, he still feels like a hillbilly when he lands at the foreign airports. (And desi talks about himself in third person again).
As I filled the immigration form, checked my passport and Visa 798th time I felt a bit reassured and joined the line with a few desi’s in front of me and a lot of desis behind me. I almost wanted to sing
“Desi Kay Do Agay desi, desi Kay do Peeche desi, agay desi, peeche desi, bolo kitne desi??
देसी के दो आगे देसी,
देसी के दो पीछे देसी
आगे देसी पीछे देसी
बोलो कितने देसी ??
But just as I was cleaning my throat to start singing, I was interrupted by a very authoritative looking Singapore Immigration officer and he said
“ Good Morning, long line, haan, Ok, I open one more line, please join this new counter” and pointed us towards a counter where a lady officer was just settling.
But the moment we heard join this new counter everybody from nearby two 3 lines jumped to this new counter and it was as crowded as the others. But remember we were in Singapore ? The senior officer was not too happy with this mess of a line and while do not remember his exact words this is what was the essence
“ Please form a straight line, it looks everybody in hurry to meet the pretty lady at the counter”
I was not sure how to react because here is this senior officer , in his crisp uniform, asking us to make a straight line but also adding a bit of humor there to ease the situation.
When I reached the immigration counter and presented by passport and Visa to the lady officer she smiled and said “Good morning have some candies” pointing to the candies on the counter. She stamped my passport, as I picked up some candies and said with a warm smile
“Welcome To Singapore”
I thanked her and moved towards the conveyor belt to collect my bag.
I was looking forward to my next few days in Singapore a country smaller in size and population than most big Indian cities. When Singapore wrestled independence, the leader ship studied every single conventional wisdom about Finance, infrastructure, communal harmony, politics, religion, tourism, only to trash it and reinvent not only the rule of game but the Game Itself and built one of the best infrastructure , financial, legal, administrative and political system in the world. As we are short of time to begin our Journey to Singapore here I explain how Singapore became so successful in some simple steps.
These pictures above tell us 3 very important things: 1. How founding PM of Singapore Mr. Lee Kuan Yew proved everybody wrong and built a robust country by defying all logic and conventional wisdom
2. That I really suck at creating doodles
3. Let us move ahead with our visit to Singapore
“Welcome to Singapore”
What started as a swampy island half a decade ago today is one of the best cities in the world not just to visit, Shopping but also to live, eat out, do business while feeling completely safe even in the middle of night.
Suggested Reading: Shopping In Singapore
A lot of credit goes to the founding father of Singapore Mr. Lee Kuan Yew or LKW as he is fondly remembered as. But unlike most other nations Singaporeans have not erected Giant Statues of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew on every street corner or put his face on every wall they could find. But Singaporeans have done something bigger to carry on the legacy of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, Singaporeans have imbibed the values he stood by in their day to day life and everywhere I went I met proud Singaporeans who are excited about 50th Anniversary of Singapore on 9th of August 2015. You are Welcome to Singapore to join the celebrations for the 50th anniversary and whole of July and August special deals on airfare, hotel stays, and attractions will be available. Check Your Singapore Website for details on special deals for the 50th anniversary of Singapore Celebrations.
So dear readers join me in my exciting journey in Singapore where as promised in my pre-visit post about things to do in Singapore we will go on a shopping spree not only to Orchard Road but also to some really cool offbeat destinations for shopping in Singapore, and meet some young talented Singaporean designers in the process.
We will taste some of the best fine dine and street food that Singapore has to offer, visit a tropical man-made forest with a 7 story waterfall at Gardens By the bay, take some heart throbbing rides at Universal Studios at Sentosa Island while calmly watching sharks pass by in a 2 storied water tank at the marine aquarium.
We will also visit some of the most precious moments in the history of Singapore and South East Asia at the various museums and art galleries of Singapore and find out the desi connection with Singapore right from Tamil Immigrants to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose calling for India’s independence and his Singapore connection.
We will also ride in one of the largest Ferris wheel in the world The Singapore Flyer and click Singapore Skyline from Marina Bay Sand’s 57th-floor deck that appears hanging in the air when you look at it from the ground below. We will also walk in the famed China Town and Little India of Singapore.
So sit back relax, I hope you have enjoyed the trailer and will enjoy the coming posts in next few weeks while we go on a journey to one of the most popular travel destinations in the world.
Once again dear readers “Welcome To Singapore “
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