Singapore

The country has a partly deserved reputation for sterile predictability that has earned it descriptions like William Gibson’s “Disneyland with the death penalty” or the “world’s only shopping mall with a seat in the United Nations”. Nevertheless, the Switzerland of Asia is for many a welcome respite from the poverty and dirt of much of the Asian mainland. If you scratch below the squeaky clean surface and get away from the tourist trail you’ll soon find more than meets the eye.

I’ve been to several Asian countries and Singapore is my new favorite. The city is clean but not as sterile as I’ve expected. Transportation is great. People speak English which makes things much easier.

It was also the first place where I had the feeling that it doesn’t make a difference whether you’re Asian or Caucasian. People would treat you the same way as they treat everyone else.

In Bali I felt like a walking wallet. Everyone tried to sell me something. In China people would still look at the “老外”, the foreigner. Some out of curiosity but some with undeserved respect.

In Singapore I don’t feel any special. I like that a lot.