The past few days I've been away from India. I thought I was visiting Singapore for professional development, but shortly after immigration and baggage claim, I felt like we'd landed someplace else. I wondered if we somehow took a 5 hour flight and wound up in Chicago.
Then I wondered, did Chicago have a secret twin? A twin city on the other side of the earth?
Singapore is nothing like Chicago. Really it's not.
There are beautiful palm trees. Chicago doesn't have those outside anyway.
There's loads of Chinese and British influence in the architecture. Again, not really Chicago. We've got tall buildings like the Sears Tower (I still can't call it Willis). We have beautiful gothic and art deco style instead.
Signs throughout the city are in Chinese. There are some signs in Chicago in Chinese but not nearly as many and most are in Chinatown.
For the past five days, I felt like went home. Let me try to make my case.
|Lovin' me some Sbucks on the street in Singapore. |
And look, benches to sit too!
Evidence #1. Starbucks We landed early Friday morning and went to our hotel. Not being able to check in we went to a nearby mall to get our first Starbucks fix. Yes, that's right, Starbucks. Chicago has those too.
Evidence #2. Garrett's Popcorn The same mall that had a Starbucks also contained a Garrett's Popcorn. For Chicagoans, we all know our favorite blend. And yes it was listed on the menu and yes, I did buy a medium size mix.
Evidence #3. Tap water In Singapore you can drink water from the tap. You can do the same thing in Chicago. And that was the first thing I did after we checked into our hotel. From my hands.
Evidence #4. Architecture (see above)
Both cities have great bridges, ferris wheels and are known for it.
|Wrigley Building from river|
Evidence #5. Reclaimed land Both cities claimed land from water. Chicago from Lake Michigan. Singapore from Straits of Singapore (I think, if I read the map correctly).
|Excited for some real meat. Yes, I wrote that.|
Evidence #6. Dan Ryan Steakhouse Chicago's known for its steakhouses. And this branch of the chain didn't let me down. Delic steak salad. Buffalo head on the wall and piece of evidence #7...
Evidence #7. Fountain drinks Again, Chicago has those too. I heart fountain Diet Cokes.
Evidence #8. Riverwalk restaurants and bars Both cities have beautiful riverwalks. These walks have wonderful restaurants and cafes along them. Granted in Chicago they're closed for almost half the year but they both have them.
Can you see why I was a bit confused?
My confusion could probably a combination of things. One part summeritis. Two parts homesickness. And three parts that I'm ready to take a break from my new home and the challenges it brings to daily life. Maybe the breakdown isn't quite right but whatever the case, it was nice to be home for a few days.
Okay, and finally a few photos that probably make Singapore truly different than Chicago... and mostly it's just that the people I met live in Mumbai. That's really all...
|Singapore skyline from Marina Sands|
|Night out with ASB friends|
|Yummy margaritas - hey I forgot about the delicious Mexican food!|
|Last night in Singapore getting our Mexican fix.|