Singapore is so unique! Here’s why:
1. There are four national languages.
2. The public transportation system is wheelchair accessible. Although, it is a struggle to go up the ramps of the public buses by myself due to its steepness.
3. Even though it is a tiny, tiny country, it is so diverse and nearly everyone speaks a second language.
4. Thus far, I’ve seen Chinese people, Indian people, Malay people, European people, American people, Middle Eastern people, etc. and so many other people that actually live here. It is a true salad 🥗 bowl made more beautiful by its diversity, inclusiveness, and accessible infrastructure.
5. People are very friendly, courteous and helpful here.
6. Most people also speak English.
7. There is food from all over the world 🌎. I’ve never seen a city/country quite like Singapore with such diversity, orderliness and inclusive to all.
8. There are signs everywhere reminding people to be kind, offer help, yield seats to people who may need it more and to be inclusive. It’s not particularly surprising that these signs are everywhere, but it IS unique that these people actually illustrate these traits. They not only talk the talk, but they also act the act.
9. Accessible restrooms are everywhere; in malls, metro stations, restaurants, other public spaces, etc.
10. Instead of providing free access or half priced tickets to people with disabilities for tourist attractions and other places, Singaporeans have universal design and accessibility programmed in the DNA of the country.
11. The signs in the MRT (aka metro) are extremely clear and user friendly. It would be a struggle for the general public to NOT know what line to get on in the train/bus stations. No matter if you are in malls, metro stations, or just on the street, the signs are excellently labeled in multiple languages. I thought Tapei’s signs were good, but I think Singapore’s might be even superior.
12. Singapore’s national mascot is a lion 🦁. Apparently when the founding Prince landed, he claimed to have seen a Singapura (meaning lion) so that is how their country’s name came about. However, lions are not native to Singapore so he probably saw something else...
Right before coming on the metro, I just read a sign that said 78% of Singaporeans want to learn more about another religion. This warms my heart ❤️. Every time I travel to a new city/country, I always ask myself, could I see myself living here long term? Is the infrastructure accessible enough to accommodate my disability? The answer for that is a resounding yes! This is very rare because I’ve never quite felt this way about any other place. It is not only the accessible infrastructure I like, but I connect with Singapore on a foundational and moral level. It is a true melting pot with residents and tourist from all over the world; the people are kind, helpful, civilized, courteous, friendly, inclusive, worldly, law-abiding, and professional; the infrastructure is more accessible, clean, orderly and user friendly than any I’ve seen previously. What a special gem 💎 of a country I’ve gotten the chance to encounter.
Stay tuned for my U.S. Embassy event tomorrow!