2. I expected everything to be spotlessly clean. It’s not. Maybe there’s not a lot of garbage around but things are dirty.
3. There are no homeless people. Or if there are, they are hidden very, very well.
4. It’s super-diverse. It reminds me of Dubai in that way. All colors, all languages, all religions. Taxi drivers routinely speak English, Chinese — all of Cantonese, Mandarin and Hokkien — and Malay.
5. The little kids speak English like Americans/Canadians. (I’ve seen a ton of school groups out and about, all in super-cute uniforms, chattering away.)
6. It’s EXPENSIVE. Taxis are cheap, and the tap water is drinkable. Hawker markets are cheap. But booze and everything else you need is PRICEY.
7. It’s HOT. Yesterday, the thermometer at the pool read 36 celsius. That’s really hot. Really. Although it’s also been cloudy, so there’s some mercy. (But there’s also been a huge drought, which is bad news.)
8. There are A LOT of container ships around in the water. Singapore has to import practically everything it needs, so this makes sense, I suppose.
9. The kids are carrying around really huge cell phones, many with book- cover like cases. Also, on the train, I see more people with iPads out than I do in Chicago.
10. Did I mention they like crab?
(Added after original posting…)
11. There are many hookers.
12. It is nigh impossible to get a taxi between 4 pm and 6 pm because many taxi drivers change shifts. You will see people standing on street corners everywhere, valiantly struggling to hail a cab. This seems like a gap in the market just waiting to be filled!
13. Every taxi driver (and I had many) knew that The Economist had just crowned Singapore the most expensive city in the world.