• Aashya Khanduja

From My Point of View: Dio’s Singapore


AES member Aashya interviewed Dio to gain insights into life in Singapore. Join them on the journey through that Southeast Asian city-state, as Aashya recounts Dio’s narrative in her own words.


Hello from Singapore. Dio considers Singapore to be his second home, not just because a part of his family lives there, but also because he spent seven years living in Singapore, exploring the alleys and hidden gems in his country.


He enjoys the diversity offered to the residents, which comes as a result of its multicultural society. It lends them the availability to discover festivals of Chinese, Indian, and Malay origins. He emphasises the privilege of safety and the air-conditioned (yes, he was very particular about putting this in) comfort that the country provides.


In this small country, he most enjoys taking a stroll along Marina Bay. He likes to visit on weekdays when fewer people are there; I believe it’s a practical approach in times of Covid.


Even after seven years in Singapore, he did not manage to visit Universal Studios. Can you imagine!! His excuse, you ask? With less than a half-hour distance, it wouldn’t be too far. But well, geographically, it is on another island, isn’t it?


While Singapore may not have an extensive history of its own that can fill a thousand books, it unites us in ways never thought of before. It provides a forum for people of different countries to come together and celebrate life and not be bound by borders. Dio says that if one wants to visit only one country in Asia, it should be Singapore. Let’s just say the visitor would have the benefit of enjoying four cultures in one country. It captures and defines the essence of diversity in Asian countries.


Singapore has evolved with people, and the cultures have influenced each other. An example of which Dio provides that ethnic Chinese in Singapore eat curry dishes, which is different from the cuisine in Mainland China.


Since it’s easy to navigate Singapore using Google Maps, we shall skip over that part.


Having spent more years in Germany, Dio is used to the German system. During his university days, he took buses or trams in Augsburg and Nürnberg for free using his semester ticket. And well, I think we can all make an educated guess about what Dio did when in Singapore for his holiday. And so there goes this young man entering a bus, saying good morning, showing his semester ticket and then walking along like there’s nothing else to do. Meanwhile, the bus driver just gives him a puzzled look like, “scan your card, young man!”; referring to the cashless payment system that Singapore uses on the public transport system.


Now well, who doesn’t like to change a thing or two about their country? And for Dio, that is the weather! Yes, you read it correctly, he wants to change the weather! Cos geography has nothing to do with it. The hot and humid air of the country seems to make him sweat quite a bit during the first few days, leaving him with little desire to spend time outside the house. Also, being half German, he does not like German winters either. And so basically, our boy here wants to spend summers in one place and winters in another. And I guess that gives you a decent idea of what to expect when you travel to Singapore in terms of weather.


Getting back to what to do when in Singapore, Dio loves to celebrate the Chinese New Year in Singapore. Firstly, because part of his family is there and secondly because it feels like second Christmas! To just make all you people a little more jealous out there, he basically gets to celebrate two months out of the whole year. Unfair! To just bore you with some details about Singapore, which you can easily find online btw. If you ever find yourselves in Singapore, in a lockdown possibly, you can spend time watching dramas and movies in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. Dio also tells us that with every year he visits, food court prices go up 50 cents. He recommends you go to thesmartlocal.com, which gives you an overview of what’s going on in Singapore at the moment and also helps you find the hidden gems (the cafes that locals don’t want you to know about so that you don’t ruin their peace :P).