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Singapore is a garden city, not much to see. It is a shopping haven, no more, no less.

But on mornings like this when I can see the sun kiss the ships on the bay, then shine on them bright and glaring, when the bay seems to have been painted by a meticulous artist who has captured the water stroke upon stroke with an untrammeled hand, when a white yacht makes it way across, leaving a streak of milk-white behind it on all that gleaming blue, it is bewitching to look at Singapore in all its glorious hues from my window.

Not through the open window, mind, or I can hear all the cars rushing to and fro on the highway to the airport. Closed, sound-proof, enormous windows are my favorite for a reason.

If I look up at the bright, bright sky, I can see airplanes coming in to land, they glint in the sun, bringing people into Singapore on another new day.

I love also the abundance of greenery, the park on the East coast, where I often go for walks.


But Singapore is not the country of my love.

For that matter, I have not found love for a country yet. Not for my own, nor for any that I have visited.

But small, restricted, hothouse Singapore is the closest that I have come to saying I might like to come back.

Not for its many conveniences and unruffled efficiency, not for its garrulous cab-drivers who chat me up, not for the omnipresent blue cabs themselves, the luscious Chinese food, or the perpetual shopping and cultural extravaganza that goes on.

Singapore will remain with me instead for its precise beauty that draws me in like a miniature painting, its bonsai-like labored grace that is everywhere from the Durian building to the Botanical Gardens, and on each road, house and park in between.

It will stay with me because of the licensed, well-dressed beggars on Orchard road who need to be good at a musical instrument, and are given their permission to sit on the road with a sort of poetic strategy.

Singapore will be also be etched in me courtesy the wrinkled, smiling old men and women who tend to its train stations, gardens and food courts.

Singapore is anything but poetry.

But being a city as much for the cynics as the romantics, it has me hooked just a little, because I happen to be a bit of both.

It is absolutely marvelous to be able to wake up to a sunny morning in Singapore, and not do much other than stare out the window.

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • Kym says:

    I enjoyed seeing Singapore through your eyes (I enjoyed the photo, too!)

  • DarcKnyt says:

    Sounds beautiful. You handled this nicely. 🙂

  • elybessy says:

    Thanks to Damyanti last year I enjoyed this part of the world. I remember how wonderful it was to leave from my small city and to imagine Singapore. I wasn’t disappointed.
    A dynamic city rich in contrast and colour where I found a blend of culture, cuisine and arts.
    First of all I decided to discover the neighbourhood, and lush vegetation was the first thing that hit me. For this reason, almost every day my dear friend and I gave ourself at least one hour to walk and enjoy the bay view. I agree with Damyanti that on some clear days it’s an immense pleasure to observe from the window the bright yachts and ships in the bay.

    When I was recharged, I returned to the present by strolling down Orchard Road, picking up the latest fashion trends or drifting along the Singapore river or taking a step back in time entering a traditional Chinese temple.

    Singapore is unique, the best of the modern world and rich cultures, but so different from my country (Italy).Italy is rich in culture, arts and tasty cuisine too but Asia, especially Singapore truly is a city like no other and so easy to appreciate,where age-old traditions and the world’s best business city are living together.
    Now I understand why Singapore is the favoured destination of many, a city where the visit leaves you enriched and recharged.

    Grazie Ely per aver scritto cosi lungo, ma scrivi proprio bene! Ti ho coretto solo un po, cara:)