Going to Singapore? Then search your pockets for any traces of chewing gum, disused or not, as bringing even a few pieces into the country for personal use is deemed illegal import. Oppression or a means to an appreciated end? Come over and work it out yourself.
Some call it compulsive cleanliness and obsessive need for control; others find it attributable to Singapore's prosperity and social order. As a matter of fact, the island is a flawlessly clean ultramodern metropolis hugged by beautifully manicured parks and connected by a highly reliable public transportation system. The bottom line is that Singapore invariably makes the list of world's 50 most livable cities, and is populated by 5 million wholesome and law-abiding citizens of mixed origin, as you may suppose; for who wouldn't like to be a cog in this well-oiled South-East Asian machine?
Yet don't be mislead by this overly sanitized reputation. Enslaving brand worship and a mounting per capita income have turned this former British trading colony into retail Arcadia, of which the best proof is the glitzy Orchard Road, where credit cards are in use a lot more often than common sense. Feeling a little peckish after the shopping extravaganza? Track down a hawker center for a hotchpotch of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Western influences to pamper your taste buds without ripping your wallet. Yummy! To burn the excessive calorie intake, hit the buzzing Singapore River quayside scene or dig down the Chinatown if your tastes for partying are slightly off-standard. And if the morning after blues puts you out of commission, fight it off in the great Singaporean outdoors. After a night of oriental whoopee-making, there's nothing like an oxygenating walk through the orchid-clad Botanic Gardens or a hike to the heart of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, one of the last spots of Asia primary rain forest.
So you see, despite its freakish spotlessness, Singapore is anything but boring, and although you're not allowed under law to spit out chewing gum in the spic and span public spaces (should it be permitted anywhere, by the way?), you can paint the town red big style without any legal consequences.