We’re a bit relieved – Singapore isn’t a completely Truman Show-esque world after all…it has Little India to bring it back down to earth!
After a day spent wandering around this shiny, park-filled city, we decided to spend the evening in Little India, primarily for the food of course. There was no question as to where this area began; suddenly the sidewalks didn’t match up anymore, mini-marts spilled their goods out into the walkways, people jaywalked , and there were thousands upon thousands of Indian men everywhere, filling up the curry houses and loitering on every other square inch of space.
We felt back in our element (my increasingly tired looking clothing was now up to standard) and pushed through the crowds, listening to blaring Indian music and inhaling the smells of incense and curry as we searched for the perfect curry house. We found an excellent one and dove right into a big banana leaf set meal of mutton masala, curried vegetables, rice and roti amid the hoardes of men shoveling in the same with their right hands; it was exactly what we’d been after!
After dinner we strolled around and marveled at the sheer lack of women; in two hours we saw several thousand men and a total of two women. It’s no secret that in India there are major gender imbalances; due to the dowry system in which the family of the women have to make major payments to the man’s family, having too many female children means financial ruin. The practice of female infanticide is a big problem, and although it’s slowly disappearing you now have generations that are nearly all men – men that will never find a wife due to the incredible absence of women. This of course results in tons and tons of men who spend all of their time with lots and lots of other men and, naturally, a very high rate of homosexuality.
In any case, it was a colorful, fun area to spend the evening in and the fact that I stood out so much (blonde female in shorts?) made me feel more comfortable – I’m not used to walking around in Asia and fitting in, which is what has happened ever since we set foot in Singapore!
This still remains what I imagine is the most picture-perfect place on earth (so picture perfect that we’ve found nothing to take pictures of!), but it’s good to know that reality exists here as well!