10 reasons we love Singapore

10 reasons we love Singapore

The real Singapore is more than just laksa or anything involving the word “hub”
Call it "Asia Lite," call it "A Fine City," there's still a lot to love in Singapore.

Everyone loves to complain about Singapore -- but you’re still here, aren’t you?

There are some very positive reasons why many are choosing to stay, rather than leave, the Little Red Dot.

It’s not just that Singapore is clean, green and safe.

And positivity doesn’t mean a cheesy, clichéd campaign slogan or overstated accolades.

Day-to-day life in Singapore can be pretty good, even if you loath to admit it.

1. Efficiency

Singapore is extremely efficient when it come to matters of business.

We don’t procrastinate or hold lengthy discussions. If it sounds good, just do it.

A building looks ugly? Just tear it down and replace it.

Thinking of setting up a shop? Already signed the lease yesterday.

Wondering when the next MRT train is arriving? Who needs a timetable? They run every five minutes.

Bureaucracy rarely keeps us waiting, and we appreciate that, unless you are waiting for a Permanent Resident application at the moment.

2. Late-night Singapore

Things start and finish late. For the early birds, this does mean it can be a little impossible to do chores before 11 a.m., but it also means no queuing at popular spots.

At 8 a.m. you can have Orchard Road practically all to yourself. Mornings (pre- or -post rush hour) are especially peaceful and calm, perfect for walking the dog, going for a long run or just soaking up the city in relative silence.

3. Anytime, anywhere 

Singapore is still lively after the sun goes down. People are walking in the streets and shops are open for business.

When you’ve forgotten an anniversary or desperately needing a new outfit for a function the next day, long retail trading hours can be critical.

And if you still live with your parents, having multiple places to chill after hours is very useful indeed.

4. The small details matter

Aunty will make sure your food is packed properly. People take their take-away seriously.

Hawker food may be fast, but there’s nothing slap-dash about it. The aunty at the stall will spend almost as long as the hawker himself packing your noodle soup (rejigging the plastic bag, navigating the container, carefully placing the chili packet) so there is rarely any spillage.

Try ordering takeaway in other countries where they forget the chopsticks or the pizza arrives stuck to the lid and you’ll realize these small things matter, especially in the long run.

5. Cheap parking

Unlike many other countries, here you only pay around S$7 for the privilege of driving right up to the restaurant instead of driving in circles searching for a covered and secure car park.

Believe it or not, at Marina Bay Sands, the valet is free (yes, read it again, free) but you determine the gratuity.

It’s safe, it’s easy and it saves dealing with the Saturday night taxi debacle.

6. Reliable service

Yes, hawker aunties again.

They may be rude but they don’t judge the way fine dining staff might.

Especially at the 24-hour places.

Want assam laksa or char kway teow at 7 a.m.? Sure. You’ll still get the same blank, slightly curt expression, no matter what time of day you order or how much extra pork lard you request.

7. Changi Airport

Changi's efficiency never fails to welcome you back to Singapore. Without a doubt Changi Airport is the best airport in the world.

The journey from the plane-to-cab is always within 15 minutes, including collecting your luggage, and with some fun sweets at customs on the way in.

And what about those taxi uncles and aunties? Need we say more?

8. Predictable weather

Singapore’s weather is decisive.

When it rains, it rains properly. No lame drizzle and very few overcast, dreary days.

It’s either bright sunshine and blaring heat, or pouring like the world is about to end.

Either way, it’s always balmy and warm so its much easier to get dressed. The only complication is whether to bring an umbrella or not.

9. It’s an easy city

Too lazy to walk? No cabs in sight? Enlist the help of a trishaw uncle. We are not ashamed to embrace slothfulness. The vast majority of us hate to move unnecessarily, unless it’s from one end of the buffet line to the other.

This makes many things simple.

Need to have an awkward conversation with your boss? It’s fine to email her even though she sits two tables away.

Wearing ridiculously high heels or refusing to show up with sweat patches? It’s perfectly acceptable to catch cabs from one end of Orchard Road to the other.

This is a culture where people love to sit down, eat, talk and do nothing; and really, it’s pretty awesome.

10. A multi-cultural city

In Singapore there’s folks from all walks of life, from all around the globe and all extremes of income.

In one morning you can exchange a friendly banter with the cleaner at the office, share a coffee with your colleague from Malaysia, Japan, India or America and watch your boss roll into a meeting straight from his Lamborghini.

No matter race, religion or country, there are always interesting people to meet and talk with, and give us some perspective on how lucky we, in Singapore, really are.

Aimee Chan is an Australian editor and writer based in Singapore. She enjoys travel, food, books and good company, not necessarily in that order.

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