I happened to be in Singapore on Valentine’s Day this year. Been working in this city/state for the last several weeks. I’ve enjoyed learning the Singaporean culture. I’m fascinated with different cultures like I’m fascinated with learning about romance.
As February 14 approached, I wondered how their approach to what’s been called a “Hallmark Holiday” might differ from what I’ve seen at home and elsewhere in the world.
The start of the day was nothing spectacular. I hadn’t noticed any red aisle of “romantic” cards where I’ve been shopping. No huge displays of red boxes shaped like classical hearts, no TV ads reminding people that there were only days left to get something special for that someone special.
Thursday I saw a few deliveries to different offices but not that many. And none to the office where I’m working that I remember seeing.
Walking the underground Marina Mall to the MRT I noticed that there were lines forming at the flower shops. Along the way I found a lady selling ready-to-grab flowers. Soon another popped up, then two, then three. Men and women were grabbing flowers and throwing money as they rushed to catch the subway. The little mall at the Tiong Bahru stop where I catch the MRT had run out of cookies and other sweets.
I had dinner in my apartment so can’t tell you if the lines were long at restaurants. People often eat at food hawker centres so don’t think there was a big demand for reservations.
Even though I’m halfway around the world from home, from what I’ve observed it seems that in its own way, romance is alive and well in Singapore.
Robert, a hopeless romantic.