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I've finally gotten around to working with the photos I took in Singapore.

First, a little background about the place: It's a young country (founded in the 1960's) and very diverse. Lots of countries talk about diversity and melting pot, but Singapore is the real thing (mostly). There are four main cultures: Chinese, Indian, Arab, and Malay. There's also a good number of Indonesians, and a bunch of whites. The whites there are Australians. For some reason Singapore doesn't embrace its British past the way Hong Kong does; it forgets it. Anyway, all these different cultures live together pretty much harmonioiusly. How do they do it? Well, everyone speaks English, and the government keeps VERY tight control on the media. People are free to speak whatever hairball idea they have, but they're not free to publish it in a newspaper or broadcast it over the airwaves if it's not true. That keeps the rabble rousers (*cough* Sharpton *cough*) and people who profit off of racial tension (*cough* Jackson *cough*) from making trouble where there is none.

I was there quite a while and I took a ton of pictures (1000+), so it's been slow getting through them. But they're finally done, and here's a selection:

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A Buddha from the Museum of Asian Cultures. It turns out there are different kinds of Buddhas and you can tell where they come from by the size of their bellies, and what kind of earlobes they have.

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Too bad this picture didn't shrink well. The green sign at the top says "Way Out" which contradicts what's written on the wall.

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Singapore's version of a Riverwalk. 40 restaurants in a row. All with EXACTLY the same food. Some even have the same menus as each other. Homoginization appears to be very important in Singapore. The national dishes are Chili Crab, and Pepper Crab. If you've seen Singapore Noodles in American Chinese restaurants, I'm not sure where it comes from, because I saw nothing like that there.

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A bookstore in the Arab neighborhood.

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A bus through the jungle.

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A quaint street of shops in the Arab section.

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No matter where you go in the world -- everyone loves a Harley.

Sing10.jpg

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Sing11.jpg

A cafe in the Indian section of town.

Sing12.jpg

A cat sleeping on a concrete panel in the front lawn of the nation's capitol. He's probably absorbing the cool of the concrete because the weather is Houston in August all year round. And because of its location just 50 miles from the equator, there can be no hurricanes or cyclones to cool things off. I looked it up and it turns out this cat is a Malaysian Bobtail, which makes sense since I was about 10 miles from the border of Malaysia when I took the picture.

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A sign on a bridge left over from the British era.

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Chestnut hawker

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Another hawker. Note his Malay garb, while the woman walking in the background is in her Arab clothes.

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I've been to Chinatowns in New York, San Francisco, Vancouver, London, Houston, Chicago, and Yokohama. I can say that Singapore has the WORST Chinatown in the world. Boring. Bland. Homoginized. Part of the intrigue of a Chinatown is that it's a dirty place where you can buy anything. Not in Singapore. It's just as squeaky clean and well regulated as the rest of the country.

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A scary clown. I guess he's a street performer. But I think he's just scary. There was a monsoonal downpour a few minutes later, and he sat on his box for at least 30 minutes with the makeup streaming down his face. He pretended not to notice that he was startling to look like the Nazis at the end of Indiana Jones.

Sing20.jpg

A convenience store. They are truly convenient in Singapore. There's one on every block, and everything is cheap.

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These are GREAT! Post more, please!

p.s. I talked with someone who spent a few years in Singapore and they told me that there were a good number of Texas A&M Aggies in Singapore and that they have a club for them! Those Aggies sure get around! :P

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Sing21.jpg

I went on a safari through the jungle at night. My camera has a "night shot" mode, but it doesn't work very well with moving things. I did manage to get a picture of whatever this is.

Sing22.jpg

The best way to see the city is to go up in the scary DHL Balloon. It's tethered to the ground with a single cable, and it sways and lurches in the wind like Lindsay Lohan at 4am. It would seem to be the perfect platform from which to take photographs, but I didn't see many people doing it since they were holding on for their lives. The thing goes up about 400 feet.

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This is just a Singtel earth station. But what's interesting about it is the fact that the dish is pointing straight up. Because Singapore is almost on the equator, it's directly below the geostationary satellites, so the dishes point up. It's interesting to see apartment blocks with dozens of little dishes all pointing skyward. I have no idea how they keep them from filling up with water considering that it rains almost hourly.

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This is the theatre house. The equivalent of Houston's Jones Hall and Wortham center put together. Most people call it "the durian" after a particular fruit that grows in the area. Durians are loved by the people, but illegal on public transportation, in hospitals, schools, and most public places. That's because they smell a lot like a rotting corpse. But people eat them, and I did too. I even had some durian ice cream. It tastes like a pile of old onions that were burned then put in a burlap sack and left at the end of a wet alley to rot for a few months, but with a hint of vanilla. I'm very proud of myself for eating one, and if I went back I'd do it again. They're like 60-cents, American. My wife wouldn't kiss me for the rest of the month. For more information, see the durian entry at Wikipeida, espeically the "flavour and odour" subsection which quotes a food critic describing durians thusly: "its odor is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away."

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A close up of the architectural detail of the durian-shaped building.

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A hostel in the Indian section of town. Note the sign that says it's for "bagpackers." I think they mean backpackers. The people there are proud of their local dialect and there are many books for sale on "Singlish."

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The safari started with a fire show straight out of the Brady Bunch Go To Hawaii.

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The Signaporeans claim this is the world's largest fountain. They're really into the world's biggest, widest, longest, tallest, shortest, etc... there. There are many books listing all of the nation's Guinness records.

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I think every skyscraper should be accessable by cable car.

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I'm not sure what Axe Brand Universal Oil is going to do to help her, but based on the picture she'd be happy if the oil was used to lubricate an axe that sliced off her head to stop the agony.

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Nice pics, I went there in january, it was really humid and hot. But the food is cheap and awesome. Everything is squeaky clean and orderly. Tons and tons of real nice shopping malls. Went everywhere by rail (MRT). Super convenient and clean, unlike the san francisco bart or new york sub, but so many damn ppl. Very crowded everywhere.

No land so everything is built up. Like their high rise flats. 70% live in government built flats but its very different concept than our public housing here. Their flats are more like our nice private condos, maybe because they still have to buy it even though its built with help from the government, and they are not cheap either.

Edited by webdude
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Nice pics, I went there in january, it was really humid and hot. But the food is cheap and awesome. Everything is squeaky clean and orderly. Tons and tons of real nice shopping malls. Went everywhere by rail (MRT). Super convenient and clean, unlike the san francisco bart or new york sub, but so many damn ppl. Very crowded everywhere.

No land so everything is built up. Like their high rise flats. 70% live in government built flats but its very different concept than our public housing here. Their flats are more like our nice private condos, maybe because they still have to buy it even though its built with help from the government, and they are not cheap either.

Interesting that you and I had very different impressions of the place. I was pleasantly surprised by how much open land there is, in the city core for future development, already in use as parks, and left in its native form. Wikipedia (if you can trust it) says 23% of the island is forests, which seems very good.

I also thought that it was far less crowded than most cities I've been to lately, though Wiki doesn't back me up on this. It says Singapore is 16,392 people per square mile.

Compared to other places I've been recently:

Tokyo: 52,054 people/square mile

New York: 26,656

Singapore: 16,392

Hong Kong: 16,073

Chicago: 12,604

London: 12,170

Los Angeles: 8,065

Dallas:3,533

Houston: 3,372

Atlanta: 3,162

Though it's not its own city anymore, my favorite is Kowloon: 4,920,977 people/square mile. I loved Kowloon, and didn't find it oppressively crowded. Of course, it helps to be a 6'2" white guy, so the people part like the Red Sea when you walk down the street and when they don't you can see over them anyway.

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Though it's not its own city anymore, my favorite is Kowloon: 4,920,977 people/square mile. I loved Kowloon, and didn't find it oppressively crowded. Of course, it helps to be a 6'2" white guy, so the people part like the Red Sea when you walk down the street and when they don't you can see over them anyway.

I think you're thinking of the Kowloon Walled City. It had a population density of ~4m sq/mi by virtue of 35k people in 6 acres built wall-to-wall for 12+ stories. It was the result of a complicated agreement between the mainland and HK. It was torn down in '93.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kowloon_Walled_City

http://www.twenty4.co.uk/on-line/issue001/...2/KWC/Main.html

Kowloon, although, is still among the highest in the world at 110k sq/mi.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kowloon

Edited by woolie
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