If ever I wanted to truly feel tall, Singapore is the place for me. At 6′ 1″, I am not a particularly tall individual by American standards, though I am by no means short. Slightly above average I would say. There have been points in my life where my height has been emphasized, particularly when I was living in Kenya, where the average height of a Kenyan is shorter than the American average (thankfully my neighbor was also my height, so at least around my own house I didn’t feel like a giant). Here in Singapore however, my height reaches relatively abnormal proportions.
It’s not that the average Singaporean is exaggeratively short, it’s just that the entirety of the city’s infrastructure is built around their slightly-shorter proportions. Every day I feel like I am living out a sketch of physical comedy, most likely to the amusement of those around me. The MRT (subway) hits a curve and I successfully regain my footing, but not before smacking my head into an overhead hand rail, perfectly positioned for your average Singaporean, less perfectly positioned for me; walking down the street, I look up from reading an SMS only to smack my head into a hawker stall’s awning (what, no free noodles?!); the architecturally artsy-wavy bus stop roof dips just a tad too low for me and I must remember to duck or just not walk by that bus stop.
Life’s gotten really funny… for those around me. Of course, while dodging any overhead obstacles, I sometimes am too distracted to remember those ubiquitous cement columns rising from the sidewalks, built to yet another perfectly-comical height.