Disneyland with death penalty

On the way back to Germany I had a little “asia-preview” by staying in Singapore for two nights. As so often, the internet was very useful for figuring out to do in this timespan, and so I followed a wiki-based itinary from wikitravel.
Day 1 was dedicated to shopping on Orchard Street, a 2km-street with at least a dozen multi-storey shopping malls – it actually took me the better part of the day to walk through it. As I couldn’t think of any electronics I could buy cheaper there, I got through it without spending much (apart from an awesome robopet for my godson). I saw at huge armada of electronic-shops on the way, selling everything from cellphone-covers over phonecards to digicams – sometimes as many as five on a single mall-floor. Interesting sidenote: Lots of asians switch to badass digital SLRs, with 600mm-lenses, external flash and all the shebang (I’m getting rid of mine, because its just too bulky to carry around).
So my first impression of the city wasn’t too overwhelming, with lots of concrete and in-your-face capitalism (“world’s only shopping mall with a seat in the United Nations”). Although it’s a very safe city, I feld kinda awkward being in a place where a death penalty is executed every six days in average (way more than in China), on relatively low charges as trafficking 500g of marihuana.
After an exhausting afternoon with unbearable humidity I was ready to sample some Singaporean food – and tried the highly recommended “black pepper crab”. It was quite a fight between us two, with pityful waiters bringing me more napkins because my hands were nearly black with soy sauce – fun times!
Day 2 proved to be more cultural and interesting: Chinatown with its innumerous booths selling random stuff, and a very crowded Little India – I must have seen the whole male indian population of Singapore chatting on the space of three blocks, without any apparent reason for gathering. Had an in-depth personal introduction into the art of Japanese tea-brewing (at Tea Chapter), a very formalized process with lots of utilities. Today my culinary choices were “tea eggs” and shark fins – couldn’t get me to try the fishhead curry.
I really wanted to try asian pastry as well, but couldn’t go near any bakery – because they mostly sell some weird fruit called “durian” there, with a sweet smell unbearable for most europeans. The smell is so bad that its actually forbidden to bring the fruit on the subway haha.
The public transport in Singapore is awesome, with modern stations, prepaid ticket-cards and a well-planned network its super-easy to get around in the city.
So overall Singapore left a pretty mixed picture, no place I would want to live (especially because of the authoritarian regime) – but definetly worth a two-day stop.
Good read on Singapore in Wired Magazine: “Disneyland with Death PenaltySome photos on flickr