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Is Singapore boring? CNN list sparks debate [May. 25th, 2011|04:18 pm]
May 22, 2011
Is Singapore boring? CNN list sparks debate
List of top 10 boring activities here includes shopping, movies and watching players at IRs
By Fiona Low

Favourite pastimes - going to the shopping mall or watching a movie - have been declared among 'the top 10 most boring things to do in Singapore'.

The list, published last month on website CNNGo, a lifestyle and travel companion to CNN, is compiled by one Ms Elaine Ee, described as a writer and editor of 15 years.

The list, which has gone viral on social networking site Facebook, has drawn comments from both sides of the fence.

Ms Ee prefaces her list by saying: 'Old habits die hard, in spite of Singapore's efforts to shed its boring image, a lot of what happens here remains, well, boring. Should you ever feel the urge to utterly bore yourself silly Singapore-style, there are, ironically, plenty of things to do.'

The 10 activities also include watching local television, dining at the airport and having a twirl on the Singapore Flyer.

The No.1 activity in terms of snores-ville, in her opinion, is to 'indulge in a spot of gambler watching' at the integrated resorts. 'Why? We have no idea. Asian gamblers rarely exhibit any emotion and you can forget about spontaneous displays of joy, or a cheeky 'blow on my dice, sweetheart',' she wrote.

She described day camping in East Coast Park as 'about as interesting as having a picnic in a void deck'. Her beef? All picnickers get to see are 'oil-streaked waters, man-made breakwaters, dirty beaches and fast-food restaurants'.

Some people share her sentiments. One comment on the CNNGo website said: 'A nation of obedient, servile, robot shoppers... Singapore is a city without a soul.'

Others have defended the 'little red dot'. User Dave Tenney, who commented on the CNNGo site, said: 'If cleanliness, civility, gracious living, racial harmony, safety and efficiency pass for boring then I'll take that any day over the 'charm' of filth, urban blight, crime, drunkenness and civil disorder. I lived in Boston for 46 years before moving to Singapore and I am so much happier here.'

Entertainment industry veteran Andrew Ing feels that if Singaporeans say there is nothing much to do here, it is more because they are unwilling to try new things.

'Singaporeans know more about food and English football than anyone in the world, but they are not so keen on the arts or culture,' said the chief operating officer at nightlife hub St James Power Station.

Australian writer Christina Edwards, who has lived here for four years, similarly feels there is plenty to do here.

She was so convinced that two years ago, she launched an e-newsletter and website Honeycombers, which lists fashion, shopping, travel and nightlife activities here.

Restaurateur Michel Lu, who owns Prive and Cafe Hacienda, believes Singapore's charm lies in its hidden gems.

'I think the entertainment scene in any country is defined by the little places and we have plenty,' he said, naming indie haven Arab Street and live-music bar chain Timbre as some places to hang loose.