So the study tour is over. We’ve had our last day, and now it’s time for everyone to go their separate ways.
I’ll be honest with you, I’m excited to be heading home tomorrow (even if it means I have to leave the hotel at 4am).
I’m excited to be leaving the awful humidity and the disgusting head. I know that Adelaide is getting hot, but at least it’s not hot + 60% humidity.
I’m excited to be back in Australia, where the don’t (in general) have laws just for the sake of them. I can chew gum without risking a fine. It won’t cost me a $500 fine to drink water whilst waiting for a train. So many things in Singapore are illegal or fineable, and it will be nice to be back in a country where the government doesn’t quite so tightly control its citizens’ lives.
This study tour was incredibly insightful. I came into it knowing almost nothing about Singapore aside from the fact it’s ‘a Western country in Asia’, and whist I wouldn’t for even a moment say I now know everything (or even close to everything) about the country, I can confidently say I know a lot more than I did two weeks ago.
It was fascinating to visit a country that is, in many ways, in the middle. In the middle of liberal democracies and authoritarian states. In the middle of ‘east’ and ‘west’. Singapore is a hub of capitalism and progress in the middle of a still developing region. Its port is HUGE, its airport is expanding every year, and its population is set to grow by 2 million in the next few years.
Singapore faces a lot of challenges in its future – the rise of a more liberally conscious population, divisions within the PAP, competition between China and the US, resource and land shortages, the potential for increasing ethnic tensions, the list goes on and on.
But after having only spent twelve days in this thriving, hybrid of a country, I think I can say with some certainty that no matter what Singapore’s future holds, the country will find a way to make it benefit its interests and its people.
And I think that’s what really matters for the future, anyway.