Instagram Feed Top

Monday, May 28, 2012

Singapore's Arab Street.....for Arabs?

Corner of Arab Street and North Bridge Road, Singapore.
Photograph by Weng Ho.
It always cracked me up that whenever I brought Middle Eastern travel writers to Singapore, the local tourism powers-that-be would always insist that a walking tour of Arab Street must be prominently included in the itinerary.  And it doesn't matter how often I tell them that's a daft idea - I mean, where to begin?  That the fact that Arab Street is a actually a watered down, mish-mash version of some half dozen Middle Eastern locales to which no Arab nation native can relate or identify?  That it's akin to showing a bunch of Thai, Japanese and Korean tourists the Chinatown area just because the place is purportedly Asian (and don't even get me started on the kitschy horror that the Lion City has created)?  That, and this is very relevant, my Lebanese, Egyptian, Kuwaiti, Syrian, Moroccan and Qatari band of journos absolutely abhor walking and sweating in the equatorial sunshine and humidity - anywhere?  I always get a self-vindicated kick each time a writer would turn to me, halfway trudging through Arab Street, and ask, in total bewilderment whilst mopping their brow, "what are we doing here?" and "why have you brought us here?"  I usually shrug, smile and tell them that the air-conditioned bus will be taking them to the air-conditioned shopping shrines at Orchard Road in just ten minutes.

No comments

Post a Comment

Blogger Template Created by pipdig