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Singapore Country Profile

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Singapore country profile
Singapore is a beautiful tiny city-state country in Southeast Asia sandwiched between Malaysia and Indonesia.  You can look across the channel to Malaysia and there are Indonesian islands just a short boat ride away. The national language(s) consist of Malay, Chinese, English, and Tamil which is a South Indian language spoken in Tamil Nadu.  Additionally, there are many Islamic Indians who speak Urdu who live in Singapore.  They are famous for their fluffy parathas which seem identical to Kerela parathas. 
Singapore has one of the busiest posts in all of asia and trade is their forte.  The country is filled with high rise office buildings, and the standard of living is the highest in all of Asia by far. It seems that the business of Singapore is business.  Many believe that Singapore is protected by magical dragon spirits that contribute to it’s good fortune as well.
There are a wide variety of religions in Singapore with Chinese Buddhism at the top of the list.  There are many Christians, Muslims, and Hindus as well along with Taoists of Chinese descent as well. Please be informed that in Chinese culture, Buddhism, Taoism, and traditional animist and ancestor worshipping traditions all get merged into a conglomeration in many cases.  The ethnic groups in Singapore are predominantly Chinese, with a minority of Malays who were the original inhabitants, and immigrants from India.  However, throughout Singapore, you will see white people from Australia, America, and Europe there for travel and business as well.  Many Westerners also live in Singapore as it is the most comfortable place for a Westerner to live in All of Asia.    
English is the primary language of Singapore, but most of the locals will know Mandarin and perhaps some Cantonese or Fukienese dialects as well.  But, the place names are mostly Malay or British sounding names.
The architecture in this modern city is refreshing because a heavy emphasis is put on design, and the local style is very charming as well. There is a heavy Balinesian influence on the more modern local architecture, and its worth seeing.
Transportation is fun in Singapore.  Take a bus, a subway, or hop in a luxury Mercedes cab as well.  They were S$35 when I was there and it was a flat fee. The regular cabs charged by the KM and were much cheaper.  Flights are available to four destinations in India, many parts of Indonesia, Asia, America, Australia, and Europe as well. The airport in Singapore is one of the most modern and efficient in the world.  You can go to a lounge between flights and watch movies or take a nap.  Get a massage or take a shower too!  This is a great way to arrive feeling fresh when you get to your final destination which usually involves a lot of jet lag.  
Singaporeans are famous for noodles, but what American menus entitle “Singapore noodles” is really not at all similar to what is available on street corners in Singapore.  You can find little noodle shops everywhere.  You can get thin noodles, flat noodles, and there are usually at least six types of noodles plus maybe some chicken wings, fish cakes, and other Chinese looking dishes.  To me it looks like Fujianese, Cantonese, or Thai cooking, but this is their daily food, and its delicious, and costs very little.  While you are in town, also try a Singapore sling (mixed drink that tastes like spiked hawaiian punch) and some famous Singaporean crab. Crab is avialable at the zoo, and perhaps in Chinatown as well, but not available at most restaurants despite the fact that it’s Singapore’s most famous dish!
Arab Street
Ironically, there are no Arabs to speak of on Arab street. However, there are mostly muslims there and they specialize in carpets, food, more carpets, a mosque at the end of the street, even more carpets, a few good halal restaurants, and yet a few more carpets. Unfortunately, to my dismay, none of the carpets were flying carpets.  Singapore is a friendly place in general, but the folks on Arab street are even more friendly.  On my brief visit I met Moroccans, Afghanis, Persians, Pakistanis, Indians, An African-American muslim girl (convert), and Indonesians there.  Virtually everyone on this street engaged me in a conversation for at least five minutes. One lady took a boat to Singapore just to buy a few carpets and bring them back to Indonesia.