Lion hid among skyscrapers

Going on a trip, I always try to learn about the place where I go, purely dry facts and naked, not covered with someone emotions, information. It is necessary for better understanding, "lusion" in this new environment; Often, without the necessary facts, it is impossible to truly understand and realize the spirit and heart of the city, as, for example, it is difficult to understand the poems of Marina Tsvetaeva, not knowing her biographies. Other people’s enthusiastic or, on the contrary, negative feedback inevitably admirely mixes to their own impressions, and sometimes they close those details and subtleties that would not have noticed "Bashed" Someone else’s eyes.

The city of Singapore in a man who saw him for the first time, causes mixed feelings. However, rarely happens to make megacities, these complex organisms caused unambiguous emotions. Singapore, despite its relatively modest sizes, "creature" And the archus post. It accommodates two completely dissimilar and even the opposite directions: modern business quarters and ethnic settlements.

The word Singapore itself is translated from Sanskrit simply: "Singa" – lion, and "Pura" – town. Once, a long time ago, he was a little fishing village; Over time, the settlement grew. The decisive impetus was the development of the British Eastern Indian company at the beginning of the XIX century. Singapore, successfully located on shipping paths from Europe to China, turned into a trading port, passed the stages of career growth from the colony of the British Empire and captured and renamed the Japanese territory to an independent state in 1965.

South Asian Babylon

Now Singapore is a real Global City, one of the main business centers of the world; Cosmopolitan megapolis, where peoples and ethnic groups from different countries are bizarrely; The city to the brain of the bones, which has long forgotten his rustic past.

I think, those who live in small towns or villages, in Singapore would be uncomfortable: urban traits are expressed in it as bright as in the urban caricature. Stroy skyscrapers and just high-rise buildings; Close Asian crowd floating against the usual right-hand movement; the contemptuous squirrel of Chinese women, which make up the basis of this crowd; Endless shops on the famous Orchard Road, close movement on the roads and annoyingly a huge number of extremely slow traffic lights.

At first, the city appears to be huge, difficult to the anthill, and even with other people. The energousness of the population is striking: most of the city’s inhabitants are the Chinese, talking on the Mandarin’s dialect; Malaya, which is not surprising, as Singapore is at the very most extreme point of the Malacca Peninsula, occupied by Malaysia. Hindus, Europeans, as well as the Arabs and representatives of many other nations live here.

Here, many speak English, but the accent is so strong, and the intonation is so unique, which is a little sense from their knowledge. Local population (except for all young people who speak English well, or rather, "American") Uses the English dialect, called, by analogy with the Pondean-Inglision, "singlysh". In that "cocktail" Singapurts included words from Chinese, Malays and even Hindi dialects; Also on the system of language has some influence Chinese grammar. You can imagine what happened in the end!

Business city

It was interesting to compare the pre-received information about Singapore with reality. In the textbook on the economic geography of foreign countries, it was argued that Singapore is the purest city of Southeast Asia in particular and one of the cleanest cities in the world. Well, the city is really not the most dirty. The penalty for abandoned cigarettes or spit on the pavement is 500 Singapore dollars. Widow, having seen on the Chinese, sagging chicking and tonging wrappers and cigarettes, I realized that other measures of responsibility for them would hardly have affected, and there are not always valid. And sterile cleanliness and ethnic quarters – the concepts are completely compatible. However, I will make a reservation: I was suggested that we got into Singapore not at the most favorable time, when the crowds of the Chinese come to this city to protect their new year, and Sor, and Chaos appear with the Chinese.

Talking with compatriots who lived in Singapore for a long time, I came to the conclusion that the city is convenient only for local residents and who have arrived at businessmen (perhaps, precisely because of rich foreigners prices in the stores of famous clothing brands here are higher than in Moscow). Business people will appreciate the excellent infrastructure, and the best local restaurants, and saturated cultural life of Singapore. There are more than ten art galleries in the city. One of the most interesting meetings is the Museum of Asian Civilizations, in which there are mainly exhibits associated with Chinese history: samples of Chinese furniture, ceramics, jade products. There are on the island and the National Museum, Museum of Arts, Singapore Center for discovery – in general, standard museum set of self-respecting megalpolis.

Theaters and concert halls tempt the audience with a huge selection of entertainment; Culmination of cultural life can be called Singapore Festival of Arts, which takes place in June. Held in the city and the world-class events like WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) – World of Music, Arts and Dance.

About the nightly entertainment of Singapore go legends – such a number of nightclubs, bars, discos for every taste and income rarely where you can.

No self-respecting business center can do without skyscrapers. It is they who are attractions that local residents know. So, one of them is an unusual building in the form of a triangle (if you look from above) with sharp, as a razor, angles, is considered unfortunate on science Feng Shui, and rarely who from the indigenous people agree to settle next to it.

Modern neighborhoods along the river, skyline with uneven as the lines on the ECG, outline skyscrapers, as well as the symbol of the city – Merlion (a lion with a fish tail) typical landscape of the center, a business card of the city, publicized all over the world. True, Merlyon is not at all the work of ancient masters, as many tourists hope, and quite modern creation, made of concrete in the middle of the last century.

Past left behind

The history of Singapore has little reflected in architecture. Old buildings are almost not visible – even at home and churches in the center, built in various European styles, are similar to Novodel: all of them stand out against the background of greens with perfect white facades, and in churches for some reason are covered with plaster not only the walls, but also closed shutters, and small details of the decor. From this newly renovated and well maintained buildings look strangely neglected and abandoned.

Of the old buildings, Raffles Hotel deserves special attention – the famous temporary refuge of eminent people and the strong world of this, the concentration of history; National heritage and pride of Singapore, made in colonial style and has already become nominated. Hotel is named after the English statesman of Thomas Stamford Raffles – a man, without which modern Singapore would hardly exist. Its virtue can be attributed to the creation of an arrangement of laws and a clear planning earlier for the rarity of the chaotic city; Introduction of ban on gambling and slave trade; Opening of schools and institute of eastern languages.

The hotel stayed Queen Victoria, Somerset Moem, Joseph Conrad, Reddard Kipling, Pablo Neruda, Charlie Chaplin, Eva Gardner and Michael Jackson. Moem argued that Raffles "symbolizes all the fairy tales of the exotic east", And the action of his story "A note" occurs in this city.

Kipling was more verminated and even wrote a kind of, but extremely entertaining guidebook of countries and cities of Asia "From the sea to the sea". However, his reviews about Singapore were far from positive: "… hot, like in a greenhouse. Everywhere pursues a sticky, saturated by the evaporation of the heap, which is equally ruthless and in the afternoon, and at night. Singapore – the same Calcutta, only worse. The outskirts are built up cheap houses, and in the city itself, people sit on each other and are ready to flush arrival in the dog Konuri .." Kipling also mentions the hotel "Raffles", "… where the kitchen is just as excellent, how ugly rooms. May this note travelers. Fit B "Raffles".."

Speaking about the writers, it is impossible not to mention the writing bar, where for the first time began to serve another city attraction – Singapore Sling cocktail, the basis of which is a strong alcoholic, soda water and lemon juice. Recommend.

In the center does not let the impression that the Singapore is not necessary for Singapore; He rapidly rushes to a bright future, full Hi-end electronics, to new technologies, new-fashioned concerts and exhibitions, stock exchanges and style of high-tech, throwing the ballast of traditional architecture and carefully painted and covering chrome and glass patina vintage.

Lion hid among skyscrapers

It seemed to me that this city was indiffured to celebrate and looking for beautiful types of tourists. But, no matter how I disadvantaged, Merlyon, nearby Esplanade Bridge, Parks, and all Singapore attract the great many tourists.

Ethnic quarters

Ethnic Quarters in Singapore Four: Arabic, Chinatown and Little India and Malay Village. Incteractable, life in these quarters did not turn into a museum or to reserve; These are the small islands of those countries from where the ancestors of their inhabitants came from, and these islands exist autonomously, quietly adjacent to business quarters, skyscrapers and other faceless signs of world urbanization.

Ethnic Quarters – a bright example, in my opinion, surprisingly the friendly neighborhood of the peoples of different countries, representatives of various denominations. I struck me and the fact that the temples of one of the religions can be in the next quarter – so, the largest Hindu temple of Sri Mariamman is in the Chinese quarter, and at the pre-New Year Bazaar in Chinatown there are many tents with Indian incenses, decorations and other attributes, and residents perceive This is how due.

Little India, perhaps the most unusual enclave in the whole city. Once you enter here, you are surrounded by completely different sounds, smells and paints: under the sounds of Sitar, Indian songs and thin voices from shops here, it boys its concentrated inner life.

Curry smells everywhere, and, the longer you are in this place, the more you are convinced that Curry will not try to try for a long time; In small local restaurants offering South Indian Kitchen, food is served directly on banana leaves; Visitors carefully ride balls from rice, dipped them in sauces and focus. So it seems that now they will be reached, rolled the remnants of food into the sheet and throw it on the road – so that the cows make it. But there are no cows there, and no one throws the leaves.

Sometimes the smell of flowers – garlands are sold in shops at the crossroads, and in some places sandalwood smoke of incense – the aromatic sticks here sell with packs of at least one hundred pieces.

Trade and shopping here pay special attention: such an excitement at the counters with gold jewelry I have not seen a long time ago. Women in Sari, ringing bracelets, try on the openwork bright rings and chains, put on the stones and polished metal – everything glitters under the lamps and it takes an insurmountable … As a result, I didn’t bother and bought three sets of thin bracelets on your hand – the bracelets were also sold fifty pieces and fun ringing.

Indian quarter – just a few streets and alleys with low houses with openwork multi-colored shutters, festive women in sari and decorations and sharp spicy smells – disappeared after the first turn.

Chinatown We had a chance to see in an unusual time: we arrived in Singapore on the first day of the beginning of preparation for the celebration of the Chinese New Year. Over the narrow streets of Chinatown were hindered flags and decorations, and trading in the sides. Sell, as it seemed to me, everything and even more: the required attributes of the Chinese New Year – mutilated bamboo plantings and pellela (analogue of our New Year trees and oranges); Decorations in the house and various Slavs; From the abundance of Punchov and Golden, I felt dizziness and immediately wanted everything at once (the red-gold was toys, symbols of the upcoming year, wishes by hieroglyphs on the red canvases, Chinese national costumes, ribbons and bows, hordes of cats with raised paws and many other semi-sucks).

I didn’t like the Arabic Quarter to me – the dirty, with the abundance of shops of very cheap things, with smells or Shaurma, whether the local similar delicacy and the atmosphere of the Egyptian Hurghada, he stood with tightly closed shutters of houses and did not look friendly.

Impressions from Singapore, though bright and strong, not lined up in a clear logical chain, and remained pebble from the coast on the palm – this brightly pearl and overflow, and that non-zeys and scary, but with a hole. Maybe the fact is that I spent too little time in Singapore ..

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