• Singapore—The Big, Beautiful but Fake Country

    Because I’m still a visitor and not a citizen of Indonesia, I have to renew my visa every 60 days. What a terrible excuse to visit other countries.

    Together with my friend we planned to go to Singapore, because we’ve never been there before. We had a flight from Jogya in the morning. The night before our flight, we stood over in a nice hotel near the airport. We arrived at the airport just in time. When we checked-in for the flight we had some problems. The guy from the immigration service didn’t understand what we were doing in Indonesia. After explaining it several times he finally let us go. They checked our luggage, and asked us if we had any forbidden stuff in our bags like bottles of water. ‘ Of course not’; we answered. But we forgot that we had 2 bottles of apple juice, 2 bottle of sunscreen, a bottle of shampoo and a bottle of lotion! They laughed and we apologized for our stupidity. Because of that, we departed 20 minutes late. All the passengers looked pretty angry at us, we were the last passengers and the plane was waiting for us. But anyway, we were in the plane. It only took 1,5 hours to go to Singapore.

    When we arrived at the airport it was shocking. So big, so clean, so beautiful.(so fake)

    Even the smoking area looked like a lounge area! Completed with music, fans and a bar!

    We stayed there for an hour, just to enjoy the view and a nice glass of sparkling wine.

    (By the way, really expensive!!!) $20,- for 2 classes!)

    After that we decided to go into town to get some lunch, and to find a hostel. We took the subway, and we were shocked again! So clean! So many rules just for a subway!

    - Special places for old people and pregnant ladies

    - Not allowed to eat or drink

    - Not allowed to make a lot of noise

    - Etc

    After 20 minutes, we arrived in the heart of the city. There are lots of restaurants, bars and stores. However, it was so quiet! There was nobody. We sat down outside one of the restaurants to order some lunch, when the waitress came up to us and told us that we weren’t allowed to smoke. Even in the open air it was forbidden. Just at certain places you’re allowed to smoke outside.

    ‘ Okay, that’s different’ we thought. But no problem, we’ll smoke later.

    After we had some lunch, (it was a really good lunch by the way but really expensive again) we searched for a cheap hostel to stay over for 2 nights. There are a lot of beautiful hotels but all too expensive for our budget. So, finally we found one we could afford.

    It was a room in a studenthouse, just 20 minutes away from the city centre, in Chinatown. Even though the beds weren’t really comfortable and the blankets too short, it was a nice place to stay. Really clean and tidy.

    We didn’t do a lot of sightseeing, because we only had one full day. We just walked around the city. We found out that there are so many rules; you’re even not allowed to feed the birds! You’ll get a fine!

    The city is really modern, really clean and quiet. Everybody is busy, every 5 minutes there is somebody passing by who is jogging. It all looks all too perfect, almost fake.

    For example the beach is fake, they made it themselves. There is not a real culture, they don’t have their own language such as Singaporeans because most people are foreigners. I can say that Singapore is just a beautiful, big city. But we used our time usefully. Because the only thing we miss in Indonesia, is to just sit down outside of the restaurant with a nice glass of wine. So we decided to do that most of the time.

    The next morning we had to wake up early to catch our flight back to Indonesia. Again we were just in time because we got lost in the airport! It is so big and it looks all the same! After a 2 hour flight we were back in Jogya. We took the bus to Semarang and had dinner in a warung. Next to us was the traffic jam with a lot of noise, the warung was dirty, the food was cheap. Feels like home!

    Prices in rupiah:

    Things bought








    Glass of beer




    Glass of wine








  • 1 comment:

    1. what an adventure..:)
      Well...at least now you know the difference of the 2 countries. :)
      It was a bit surprising that you like Indonesia better...:) because some of us in Indonesia keep complaining of how messy, how disobedient, how rule-less! But it turns out to be an art of living in Indonesia! :)
      I've ever met 2 Singaporeans who have a furniture business in Jepara. The first guy likes living in Indonesia (Jepara) very much because of what you said: not too many rules around(and even the rules are made to be broken). The second guy can't stand living in Indonesia because of those disorders! I guess home sweet home, wherever you feel home. :)



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