Wednesday, February 25, 2009

City Quirks: First Impressions

Ok - finally, I get to click the publish button on my first impressions. These were penned down after my first couple of days itself, and I have more to add. But all those in another post!

- I love the ‘green’ look that the city has got going. Not just trees, there are also stretches of grass lawns here and there and everywhere. Lends the right mix of picturesque and laidback sub-urban air.

- There is a feel of ‘space’ all around the city (excluding my hotel room of course :) ). Even in areas with tall buildings on both sides of the road, I didn't feel as towered in. I think it has to do with the pretty wide roads and broad walkways for pedestrians. Or may be, they just don’t have that many floors on their buildings!

- This one I love. I love the ‘informal’ and 'unorthodox' style of work wear. No ties. No blazers. (Well, you can if you want to). All around me (by the way, I am in Raffle's Place, which seems like the financial center), people are in what I think is the widest variety and COLORFUL of western wear. Who cares if you are an i-banker? (Ok – may be ALL the people hovering around aren’t i-bankers. Still). It is so hard to predict what you will see on the next woman - fancy swishy skirts, dresses and blouses in satin that would be considered party wear in lots of places, a range of colors and prints... Obviously, even in all the informalness, men have only so many choices.

Last friday, people wore jeans to work. Can you beat that? We don't do that even in Mumbai!!!!

Not that I mind going the formal way - I still love 'dressing up' for my job (adds a bit glitz, if i can say so). But with just a pair of suits, I always felt a little under dressed in a place like NY city! Singapore takes off that pressure a little bit.

- And oh the shoes!!!! it has to be the highest of heeled ones. While there is nothing new about fancy high heels, what catches my attention is that these women don't exchange them for flats while on the roads or on the train or making that long walk to the bus stop. Impressive!

- A lot of shorts and skirts going around the place. And definitely tinier ones that what I've seen in other places :).

- And the crowds!! I was pleasantly surprised to see people all over the place during my first lunch. Every single restaurant was buzzing with people and long queues. Lunchtime also seems to be a good time to check out a shop or two. And at night, standing at start of Boat Quay (close to work), you can see heads of people, all the way till the end. People grabbing a drink, people catching up. Quite a lively after-work scene.


Anil P said...

I thought the dress would be informal most places, and I believe it is so in Mumbai.

Ms.N said...

Well. Actually I was probably referring to more the I-banks and fin industry of sorts. Mumbai is a little light on conservativeness, but not overly. Ties are still a must.

Wall street is more on the orthodox side so far as i have seen. People are dressed like they are in boardroom meetings everyday :)

Lakshmi said...

Surprised !

Sriram said...

You Banking people :-p) .. We engineers almost always go dressed in Jeans.. and sometimes even in Shorts on a clear, sunny and hot day [ which is very rare in Norway ;-)]... to do the real work, you either need a coveralls or casual dress... those who wear suits and fancy heels only generate virtual profits and derivatives of that.. Looks whats happened to all the banking institutions now .. Hehe.. I'm one up now.. your move ... :-p)

Anonymous said...

Nice to read! More impressions please!

Anonymous said...

Ahh... looks like my kinda place - lotsa green, lots of walking space, tiny shorts & skirts, high heels... hmm :)

Ms.N said...

@ sriram... all who work in i-banks aren't i-bankers :). so no retaliation!

@FT, thank you.

@adi... :). quite possibly!

Sriram said...

:) ..