Everyone in Singapore has heard of Geylang. But do we really know Geylang or is it brushed aside a little too quickly?
Thanks to our several outdoor advertising sites situated in Geylang, I am an advocate for Geylang - not defending its reputation, just sharing what is Geylang really like rather than what we think it is. Before we let our stereotype get the better of us, this recent article "Eat, Love, Pray", The Straits Times July 11, 2010 by Luke T. Johnson writes from an Singapore Expat's eyes about Geylang Singapore:
- Inevitably, everyone seems to have a favourite Geylang food stall.
- I do love the food. But what really enchants me about Geylang is its untidiness, its chaos, that bustling edge that gives life there a sense of unpredictability...There are few other places on this island where the vices and weaknesses of man are on such vivid display.
- Groups of punters crowd around tables in alleyways as wads of cash fervently change hands.
- Young men quietly sell contraband cigarettes on rolled-out blankets, restocking from stashes hidden in sidewalk manholes.
- And, of course, there are the even-numbered lorongs of the 10s and 20s, a Candyland of depravity for the morally flexible.
- Food and sex are, understandably, what people most commonly associate with Geylang. But they comprise only part of a whole range of available experiences in the area – you never know what might happen.
- ...I happen to live on a Lorong with a higher temple-to-brothel ratio than most ( I find the juxtaposition of temples and brothels in Geylang especially endearing).
- Afterwards, and for the next hour, the man who had invited me in [the temple] spoke to me, in English, about his thoughts of life, God and the universe.
So, who goes to Geylang to "Eat, Love, Pray"?
Is Geylang more than what you think?