I spent the last week in Singapore and it was a pretty good week.
In general, I’m definitely not a Singapore fan. I did call it the most “sterile” country in my SEA trip last year, but of course this is after being in some really colourful places in SEA. If you’ve never been to Singapore, everything in the country seems to tell you what to do or what not to do. It’s well-known as a “fine city“; fine as in everything has a fine associated with it. Even the MRT is scheduled to shut down earlier than most other Asian world cities. Why? Maybe another way to control the country.
There are other odd things in Singapore though; like how it seems to be the only country where the McDonald’s doesn’t have WiFi. And yes of course I know that because I always have to hunt for WiFi. The city itself does have a reputation as a bit of an anti-social city though. Interestingly enough, I found my hostels to be really anti-social this time around. A lot of people would mind their business and I rarely saw people chatting with each other. I didn’t mind too much because I was doing work while at the hostel most of the time. My 2nd hostel had breakfast which included Nutella… major win!
As for the other parts of the trip, I had one failed meeting due to meeting in the wrong spot (and being unable to use my phone to reach the person). She was actually an ex-pat from Vancouver working in a Singapore tech startup. That same day, I also took a brief tour of Block 71 (Singapore’s tech startup building) with a Singapore entrepreneur who was nice enough to show me around. Closing out my week, I enjoyed my time with another web entrepreneur who was more of a bootstrapper style startup; a style which doesn’t seem very popular in Singapore. During the first few days, I also spent time chatting with an iOS developer who is working on the beginnings of his startup this year.
Overall, I thought each meeting offered something different. I learned a bit about the business culture in Singapore. The startup scene seems to be made of a lot of entrepreneurs trying to pitch to VC’s and get explosive growth. Block 71 seems like the place to be when it comes to looking for anything tech startup related but collaboration of ideas/people doesn’t seem as big according to another entrepreneur.
On the social scene, I spent time meeting up with two different girls who had their own interests in starting a business. We talked about what I was doing and just chatted about life stuff in general. That was casual and fun. I also went for a photo walk on two nights to retake some of my photos from last year. I’m a better photographer now and I wanted to improve the quality of some of my old pictures.
It wasn’t the most productive work week, but I’m satisfied with how the trip itself went.