Merlion's roar / by Marek Charytonowicz

Singapore in the first moment overwhelms me with the spectacle of night lights of the Clarke’s Quay and the financial district. Marina Bay Sands with it’s evening laser show and Chinese autumn festival with large paper and wired lit up sculptures everywhere. It’s hot and very humid and I’d suffer if I didn’t spend two weeks in Cambodian jungle before that.

I stay in the middle of China Town in a hostel with three other people in a tiny room with bunk beds. Not my type of accommodation of choice but low price which makes sense here as Singapore is much more expensive than Cambodia or Vietnam. It’s a good place to be - surrounded by night buzz of shopping stalls.

I take a late night walk along still lively streets and into Clarke’s Quay which happens to be a party district. There’s a mix of people from all over the world, plenty of expats and tourists with big photo cameras on their necks. You sink in immediately, only my height turns some heads like it does everywhere in Asia.

The next day I venture into the city to see a few places and hopefully sort out my Kindle’s power cable. The first place is the hotel i always wanted to see. Marina Bay Sands is very impressive although in the dusty air of the morning it looses a lot of its night light magic. The view from the top however is spectacular and gives you a vertigo when you realize you’re standing on a gigantic balcony suspended 57 stories above the artificially created land.

Wondering through the streets I realize that feeling of overwhelmed is gone. This city is very much like London - a bit amplified and with Asian touch but very much like London. Shopping malls where the reign is hold by expensive brands, English spoken all around with perfect accent, different cultures living next to each other in harmony, underground system (sooo much smaller than London’s but sooo much more spacious carriages) with touch travel cards, irish pubs…

Moving in here would be relatively easier because of all this. One will feel familiar straight away and it’s closeness to Malaysia and Bali would be a definite benefit. The only thing is - I would miss the scale of London. Singapore’s buildings are blocks of flats, sometimes really high and one must feel really anonymous there.