according to one of my professors, singapore has the 2nd highest number of prisoners in the world, next to the USA. singapore has a population of 5.1 million people. considering how small the island is compared to the size of the population, there remains one unanswered question: where do they keep all the law breakers?! although, i think i’ve heard that singapore has one of the highest death penalty rates. not surprising. note to self: do not break the law. it’s a no brainer, right? however, take some time to ponder some of these laws:
1. it is against the law to not flush the toilet after using it.
yes, policemen are said to occasionally check public washrooms. if you do not flush, you pay a big fine. i wish this was a law everywhere (or that it was simply common sense).
2. the sales of chewing gum is prohibited.
you can chew all the gum you want, you just can’t buy or sell it here. also, if you miss the trash when spitting it out, you are likely to face a hefty little fine.
3. no hugging without permission. you can be charged for outraging modesty.
this is for all the girls who lived at culpepper and violated my personal bubble. i still love you guys, but if you visit, please note (ha. kidding.)
4. no walking around your house naked.
singapore has a strict no pornography law. apparently, walking around in the nude in your own home is considered pornography. i’m not sure how this one is enforced.
5. no littering.
if you get caught littering 3 times, apparently you have to clean the streets on sundays wearing a bib that says “I am a Litterer”. no wonder it is so clean here!
other interesting facts: public consumption of alcohol is forbidden (ie: don’t walk up and down the streets with that glass bottle stashed in your brown paper bag. we all know you aren’t drinking oj) however, visiting clark quay on a wednesday night (clark quay looks like a mini las vegas – nightclubs, fountains, hotels, and restaurants along a canal) we found that the main bridge is packed with students drinking openly. i couldn’t quite comprehend this phenomenon.
other than that, kj and i found a really awesome church last weekend and met some cool young people from all over the world. singapore is a nice little hub for the expat group. i’m happy to be able to go back again. it’s nice to be able to settle into the country and try and begin a regular routine – this past week was simply a mess of course organizing and checking out different lectures. i’m happy with the way my schedule turned out and am looking forward to being in school again (although, i’ve never had to do so many readings in my life!)