Hawk it, Singapore

And so people ask ” Why Singapore”? Despite the terrible weather and traffic on the over populated island in the midst of its tropical forest into grey(commercial and residential buildings) metamorphosis , I can NOT resist the food. Founded as a port in 18-something by the Brits, it attracted immigrants from everywhere! Malay, Chinese, Indian, “other” Asians, Eurasians and Caucasians that brought in a huge diversity of flavors and cuisines, Interracial marriages spiced up the ingredients too! Seriously, the variety is nothing short of delicious.

With little capital in hand, “aunties” and “uncles” set up street food stalls. Cheap and convenient, hawking sprung up in carts and took over the streets until they were converted into “open air” seating areas and now into food courts because of hygiene and sanitary issues, and probably because a few health freaks fussed about.

Everyone in Singapore seems to know or have an opinion on where to find the best chicken rice, stingray, laksa, porridge, noodle, duck, satay, or pepper crab, regardless of how long it takes to get there. They’re all experts or so they think they are. Food so cheap! Nevermind the Okinawans, eat until you’re a 120% full!

These pictures have been taken in Geylang, East Singapore. If you look underneath its Red Light District notoriety, it still preserves old shop houses, fruit and veg markets, hawker centers and busy alleyways that rings with echoes of Mahjong tiles shuffled around. But, more importantly, it’s a glimpse of Singapore’s past. It was in Geylang, historically closer to the coast, where immigrants initially integrated with locals and mixed traditions that eventually led to Singapore being the sum of ALL Asia in 710 km2 of the island.

The wave of immigrants (Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian) not only threw a bunch of ingredients around, but also built places of worship in honor of their safe arrival. So, ironically, Geylang has it all.

And all the durians you will ever see in your life.

 

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