We might think that Wonderland is a fictional place that’s full of impossibilities, but the truth is that Singapore is just like Wonderland in many ways. We’ve got odd creatures, random holidays, and even a place called Wonderland in our country (a long time ago). So if for some reason, Alice found herself in Singapore, she might very well mistake it for Wonderland. If Alice Through The Looking Glass doesn’t sound quite like an awesome movie, Alice Through The ERP Gantry might be a local film you’re willing to watch.

So here’s five ways that Alice Through The Looking Glass could be mistaken for Alice Through The ERP Gantry!

1. We have so much reclaimed land that we could be a fictional country – just like Wonderland

Land reclamation project at Sentosa Island. Credit: Impact of Land Reclamation in Singapore

Land reclamation project at Sentosa Island. Credit: Impact of Land Reclamation in Singapore

We’ve reclaimed over 140 square kilometres of land, which is impressive considering we started out with 581 square kilometres on our island! That land you’re stepping on was literally dreamed up by the government, who then made it a reality. Kind of like Wonderland, minus the psychedelic mushrooms. If Alice stepped foot on our reclaimed land, she’d marvel that such a thing was possible.

Our East Coast reclamation project cost us only $600 million, if you’re curious – much cheaper than the $750 million we’re spending on our HDB carparks!

2. We have 人日 (everyone’s birthday), Wonderland has un-birthdays

It's everyone's birthday! Credit: Storybox

It’s everyone’s birthday! Credit: Storybox

It’s a huge deal to have un-birthdays in Wonderland for some strange reason, and wishing people a Merry Unbirthday isn’t uncommon. While we don’t quite wish people un-birthday here in Singapore, we do have a common birthday on the 7th day of the Lunar New Year – 人日.

So yes, there’s a holiday when everyone wishes happy birthday to everyone else (although Facebook doesn’t prompt me to wish everyone “Happy Birthday” on that day). Better not let Alice come here during Lunar New Year or she’ll be bewildered by all the random birthday greetings.

What would un-birthdays be called in Mandarin?

3. You can find people enslaved by cards in Singapore

The Queen of Hearts. Credit: Pinterest

The Queen of Hearts. Credit: Pinterest

By cards, we mean poker, and by poker, we mean gambling – at our integrated resorts, Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World. Although nobody’s going “off with their heads!” the Queen of Hearts still has some casino-goers enthralled by the lure of gambling. I mean, why else would we need Andy to remind us that gambling is bad, right? Alice might not have to run for her life here, but as an overseas visitor she’d definitely have the chance to step into a casino without paying the $100 entry levy, and face off against the Queen of Hearts.

Do you think Alice and the Queen of Hearts know how to play tai dee?

4. We have a nonsensical animal – the Merlion

The Merlion. Credit: Trek Earth

The Merlion. Credit: Trek Earth

Part of Wonderland’s mystique is its completely made-up animals, like the Bandersnatch and the Jabberwocky. And we’ve got one just like that, the Merlion. There’s no actual mythology behind the Merlion, although it’s been around since 1964 – as the logo of the Singapore Tourism Board. Fortunately, it doesn’t threaten people, but if Alice popped up in Sentosa, she’d be amazed by the giant Merlion there!

Does that mean you need a vorpal swordfish to kill a Merlion?

5. We literally had Wonderland on our shores

Wonderland in Singapore. Credit: The Smart Local

Wonderland in Singapore. Credit: The Smart Local

Back in the 70’s, we had a whole bunch of amusement parks built (because amusements parks were the hipster cafes of that era), and one of them was named Wonderland! Yes, the very same Wonderland that Alice went to. So in a way, we did have Wonderland within us. But just as we outgrew it (and the other amusement parks), so did Alice outgrow her time in Wonderland, and eventually it was gone.

And in its place, we have Universal Studios Singapore. Not a bad replacement, I’d say!

Alice Through The Looking Glass. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Alice Through The Looking Glass. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

But no matter how much Singapore is like Wonderland, it’ll never replace the real (fictional?) thing. And it’s a pretty amazing place if Alice is returning to it for a second time in Alice Through The Looking Glass! This time, she enlists the help of Borat Ali G Bruno Time (played by Sacha Baron Cohen) to help her in her quest. Will Alice succeed this time?

You’ve got to catch Alice Through The Looking Glass to find out!

 

Credits: Land Reclamation in Singapore, Storybox, Pinterest, Trek EarthThe Smart Local, Golden Village Cinemas, Wikipedia