It's one thing to read about Asia and scroll through pictures on a Google. It's an entirely different feeling when you step out into the heat of an Asian country. I've quickly become accustomed to the thick layer of sweat all over me.
Time is flying past, and I am settling in nicely to a life that I have never lived before.
By all means, Singapore is one of the most diverse country in Asia, housing people of all nationalities and ethnicities. Nonetheless, my blonde hair, blue eyes and red lips make me stand out just a bit.
Aside from the differences, Singapore is welcoming, safe and radiant. People don't care if you pray five times a day or haven't prayed since you were 3 years old. Go about your life and respect other's right to live: That seems to be an unspoken motto here.
Taking care of kids in a country with minimal crime is a breeze. We take the MRT, the underground shuttle, to the city for lunch without a wince of insecurity.
While sitting with some local students, I raved about how convenient it was to be able to walk anywhere and feel completely secure. Looking at me with a sideways grin, he said, "It's a little too safe."
He was referring to the strict government and regulations put in place for those that reside in Singapore. It's safe, because no one dares to break the laws for fear of the consequences.
The saying, "It's always greener on the other side," rings through my mind constantly here.
On Saturday, May 28, Khue and I ventured to Little India by MRT in search of henna, loud Indian music and "the Little India smell." I have fallen in love with "the Little India smell," a sweet and spicy smell that combines warm curry and fresh flowers linked together by string.
We grazed through the streets, down the cracked, roughly paved roads (no mothers' backs were broken) gazing into closet-sized shops. Music made for dancing blares from each doorstep, competing with neighbors' music next door.
Little India's existence is an achievement in itself. It is a slice of Indian culture plucked and dropped in the midst of an entirely different cultural environment. The United States may be a 'melting pot', but based upon the ethnic discourse displayed in US news, Singapore is doing fairly well.
The United States, specifically presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, is a common conversation topic here. I was stopped in a mall once, and upon revealing that I was an American on holiday, the salesman asked, "Are you Trump or Hillary?"
American culture has permeated to a multitude of countries through film, media, fashion and news — the list goes on. Average Americans may know little to nothing about Singapore, but they know a lot about Americans.