As if we, in our so-called civilized world, the liberal "West" would be free from government controls so we can confidently forget all our "legal" atrocities and "legal" Guatemanos, all the lies, corruptions and bribes. Let alone the alleged protection of our privacy when we use the Internet.
When I'm leaving my rural quiet home in the South of France to travel to Singapore, then especially because I want to be free and live a little. What someone may consider als typical a culture of French tolerance originates in reality mainly out of indifference and convenience. And Paris smells.
So, being in Singapore is mean for me living in a clean city withs lots of parcs, with lots of different people and their ideas, I meet in the Hawkers. Also with work ethics: there is a consensus in Singapore, a code of conduct which is set very high, and therefore practically everything works just perfectly smoothly. I just can not say this from most other places.
Some of the world's best publications are at home in Singapore, the "Asia Times Online", "Channel Asia" "Straight Times", etc. And in these publications are positions represented which would be considered in our "western" media as "critical". The reality-monopoly of our supposedly free press in the "West" assassinates itself because of the scissors in their heads. I never have had this impression in Singapore.
A car is not really needed because the cheap and efficient MRT underground from my hotel building is quick at the Esplanade Theater and Concert Hall where pieces of great works for reasonable prices (from € 10) are played in an impressive and comfortable venue. It is affordable in Singapore.
Well, and then virtually no existing corruption here is probably the best defense for a democrating state. Another pillar of democracy is tolerance for followers of any faith community, - the observance of the rules of secularity. There is it then difficult for even the worst representatives of the "free market" to achieve their selfish goals as they achieve nothing with bribery.
Sometimes it is better to wind down in a city and instead of thinking of reasons to do something, I come up with reasons not to. And even if I found some, I'd try it anyway... Somehow Singapore embraces positive thinking.
I have discovered that there is more to me than meets the eye. So thank you, Singapore, for giving me the opportunity to become more than I was, and to see further than I could.
For photos of Singapore click here