Little Red Dot


I promised my foreign friends that I’ll write about my country, Singapore and will start with a warm introduction.

Back from a spring-to-summer vacation in temperatures averaging 19°C, the heat at home takes some getting used to.

Singapore is one degree north of the equator along the latitude that crosses Uganda and Kenya in Africa, and north Brazil, Columbia and Ecuador in South America.

Its a “cool” 29°C now with humidity close to 90% which means you’ll start sweating the minute you’re out of the shower. Unless you have the air-con on which almost every home has, and that’s why we’re dubbed the most air-conditioned country in the world. It’s actually conceivable to artificially cool our environment.

Only 700 sq km in size (less than one-tenth of metro London) with a growing population, organic and imported, most of us live in high-rise apartments, also referred to as pigeon-holes or shoeboxes. But don’t be fooled, these little plots stacked up in the air cost more than big family houses in many parts of the world, Something we’re still trying to get over and probably will never be as long as we choose to stay here.

In terms of history, we can be considered an infant compared to our neighbours and greater civilizations. Though young, we are a neighbourly and civilized metropolis built from the ashes of war after the breakdown of the British Empire and gaining full independence in 1965. And yes, many of us have witnessed the birth of our nation.

A nation with a mixed heritage of Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian and other races, we have a unique blend of customs, social practices, food and language that can only be found in this tropical island fondly known as the “Little Red Dot”. Look at the world map and you’ll understand why.

For more insider stories about Singapore, stay with me and I’ll reveal them in the following weeks.

Joan Yap



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