On the way to the supermarket the next morning we notice a branch and some leafs on the sidewalk. ‘”Maybe not swept for an hour”, we joke. It is bizarre how clean and tidy it is here. Chewing gum is forbidden, eating and drinking is not allowed in buses and subways (nor at the stops either), no graffiti anywhere, smoking is also almost banned in public areas, cameras everywhere. And, a big difference with the Netherlands, everyone abides the rules.
Relatively speaking, there is also little traffic in this millions of cities. A car is a luxury. To be able to drive here you have to buy a certificate. The price of the certificate is determined by bidding and depends on the number of certificates that come available, in accordance with the maximum number of cars on the Singapore roads. At the moment, such a certificate costs more than 25,000 S$ (or € 17,000). It gives the right to have and use a car for 10 years, but you don’t have a car yet. Driving is therefore more of a hobby for the better-off or a gift from one’s employer. All others use a perfect and punctual public transport network or take a taxi, which both are really cheap in Singapore.
Cycling costs absolutely nothing, at least if you obey the rules (and if you happen to have a bicycle). We sometimes get a bit paranoid with all those cameras: can we cycle on the road here or on the cycle path or do we have to walk on the pedestrian path? Can we park our bikes here? Can we freely turn left at the traffic lights? At some bicycle bridges there are signs “dismount and push” with the occasional “fine S$ 1000” sign underneath. Dismount is difficult because these bridges are great for cycling. But yes, there are a couple of cameras on every bridge and if S$ 1000 (€ 650) is the standard fine for a bicycle violation, then we should stick to the rules as far as we know the rules, well at least Roelie does.
We cycle a lot through the city. One of the first trips takes us to the Apple store with the last broken iPhone, the third that was killed by the Busch & Müller inverter. In Thailand we have already bought a replacement phone and unfortunately we do not get a refund, but a new iPhone and one without the sales box and without cables and other usual accessories. So not one that would be easy to sell for a good price. In any case, we ourselves would not trust it if such a one is on E-bay. We decide to keep the phone as a sort of reserve.
On other cycle trips we cycle to Little India where a lot of color and street art (see photos at the end of this blog) can be found, to Arab street with small shops and restaurants, Chinatown in the middle of the glass skyscrapers of the banks, Waterpark in the north, which is full of cranes due to all construction activities and of course we also return to the Gardens by the Bay and the Marina Bay hotel, the icons of Singapore, in daylight. God, what a special city! We can’t get enough and eventually cycle more than 250 kilometers through the city.