In part because those living in Singapore have to bid for a ten-year “Certificate of Entitlement” that can cost thousands of dollars even before buying a car, the cars tend to be pretty fancy. (If the COE costs $10,000, you’re not going to buy a car worth $20,000, are you? You’re going to buy an expensive one or skip out and rely on public transit instead.)
There are some people with serious money living in Sinagpore. In addition, showing off your money is not necessarily considered to be in poor taste here. I get the impression that prosperity in the form of wealth is not a shameful thing to wish for, or to achieve, in Chinese culture. This especially seems to be the case during Chinese New Year, when people put up decorations featuring traditional forms of money.
I’ve seen more fancy cars in Singapore in the last seven years than I ever thought I’d see in a lifetime. Such as, for example, this one, chillin’ in front of Orchard Parade Hotel.
Once, I saw a car like this (another a red Ferrari) parked in Chinatown on the street where we used to live. It was parallel parked just in front of a backpacker hostel. There’s a combination you don’t see every day: $30 lodgings and a $1,000,000 car within a few feet of each other.
What I don’t understand, aside from how people can ever trust themselves to drive such expensive machines, is why all new cars, not just sports cars, have angry eyebrows. All new cars look mean.
I think it’s more noticeable in Singapore than in other parts of the world because cars here live short lives. Turnover is high. There have been at least three different generations of Toyota taxis in the last 7 years. And the new ones look mean.
When we arrived, there were some really boxy taxis. Then there were some slightly frowny ones. And now they’re full-on mean. See?