Singapore was definitely an interesting place to visit. Often thought of as a layover city, for me, the food culture alone was worth my trip. But it was within that food culture that I found the paradox — to me a bit unsettling — of Singapore. When you visit a city like Singapore, it’s hard not to see the future. The skyscrapers, the sterile cleanliness, extreme efficiency; it definitely has that Jetson-esque vibe….
Then I flash back to what Ivy Singh-Lim of Bollywood Veggies said. It’s over developed. “If someone wanted to starve us, they’d have to just bomb a bridge. We can’t produce enough to feed our own people because we’ve practically gotten rid of nature and farm lands.” Maybe extreme, but in 2011 agricultural land in Singapore was measured to be 1%, that’s from 20% in 1990…. When you look up at some of the buildings, stop lights, many public works, you see beautiful greenery hanging, making the city look like the hanging gardens of Babylon. I visited hydroponic rooftop farms and, while amazingly innovative, they’re a haunting cautionary tale. Interviewing KF Seetoh gave me another aspect of this: he’s trying to bring the “business” end to the famed Singapore hawker industry. It too is dying out because the next generation simply doesn’t want to work in the food service industry. It’s no fault of theirs. Part of why their parents work those long hawker center hours is presumably for them to do even better. Seetoh wants to make that better an option in the Hawker Centre industry.
This all being said, this city was a beautiful, delicious, visual feast that I’m looking forward to visiting again. Here is my Singapore photo diary.