Riceviamo e volentieri pubblichiamo:
So, this is finally Singapore.
The first time I landed in Changi Airport, 5 months ago, I thought I was prepared to all wonderful things people mention while describing the Lion City: breathtaking skylines, labyrinths of malls, shopping roads and delicious street food.
What I didn’t expect, or at least what exceeded my imagination, was the nature in this city: lush greenery almost everywhere, striking and colourful flowers, gardens and parks which become forests in the very heart of the island. And yes, this means animals: singing frogs, huge snails, big dark and disgusting cockroaches, hungry bats and professional monkeys.
Monkey checkpoint at Tree Top Walk
Despite the lack of space to grow plantations, the presence of close massive producers like Malaysia and Indonesia allows you to find fruits of exotic excellence: mango, pineapple, papaya, mangosteen, dragon fruit, rambutan and many others whose name I usually don’t recall (not a big deal when you can use your fingers to point them out at the greengrocer, like I do). King among all is the famous durian: I feel proud to declare I tasted it and I’m still alive to tell you. Backbiters say its distinctive pungent smell and persistent flavour remind of rotten onions… backbiters! Think of it rather as “eating” methane gas, is that any better? Every cloud has a silver lining though: durian is said to be rich in nutrients, with a very special one capable of boosting libido. Durian should definitely be on your to-do-list in Singapore; just make sure not to carry with you on public transport and taxis, or you’ll likely find yourselves kicked out.
Nature in Singapore is so rich and diverse because of its weather, I guess, which is also the first and perhaps hardest challenge I encountered immediately after landing: high temperatures and unbelievable humidity welcomed me and my straightened hair. Since that moment it has been an everyday conflict trying not to sweat even only breathing. The never-ending war has a break when it starts raining: in that instant your first worry must be finding a shelter. I couldn’t expect such heavy showers during which an umbrella would be as useful as sunglasses: be patient, listen to raindrops becoming furious and just wait. Climate change is a big issue for Italians and I bet for many people from others than tropical zones. There is no secret solution but wait until getting used to it. Every outdoor activity will cost double efforts compared to the same at home, and vice versa: coming to Singapore has been my way to improve performances and personal bests. The only risk related to this island’s weather is Singaporeans’ reaction to the heat: their love for AC, as deep as the one for acronyms. Air conditioning is everywhere, even outdoor – for all Italians in Singapore one name one example, Merchant Court in Clarke Quay. With 35°C degrees all days all year locals dream about feeling chilly and thus temperatures inside underground trains, buses, taxis, bars and malls are set incredibly cold, forcing you to wear long sleeves and experience fogging glasses at every get off. Not to mention the movie adventure: watching blockbusters will be surely exciting, so trembling that it’ll make you shiver, no matters what genre the movie is. I’m starting thinking locals look typically younger than their true age because of these long sessions in indoor refrigerators.
So, I was told Singapore is fascinating; what I discovered was even more. Nature is a serious matter here, locals care a lot about preserving original environment within a modern, vibrant and clean city at the Equator: get ready to survive surprising situations.
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