Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Trip to Singapore

Our trip to Singapore was an interesting one. Perhaps the highlight was the Asian Civilization museum, which featured great displays from a wide variety of Asian societies and time periods. The country itself has a fascinating history and should be treated as the case study for how to develop an economy, how to combat corruption, and how to keep the streets clean. With its successes, however, comes the loss of some of the cultural richness and character that one finds in Malaysia and throughout the rest of Southeast Asia. Everything is planned, clean, and efficient. We even went to a park where it appeared that the government had hired professional artists to cover all of the benches and walls in the area. But if you don't like seeing litter on the streets, or people spitting in public, or waiting for delayed subway trains, than Singapore is a must see. It is truly amazing to learn how primarily one extremely intelligent and determined man, Lee Kuan Yew, could take the reigns of a struggling, and some thought nonviable, country and transform it into a city that is more modern, clean, and efficient than just about anything one could find in the western world. As impressive as Singapore is in many respects, however, most of us were delighted to return to KL, where we continue to enjoy amazing (and amazingly cheap) food and the cultural richness and diversity that is so apparent in this city.

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