Shashank Bengali has lived in a lot of countries.
Over the years he’s called Mumbai, Washington DC, Nairobi and Kansas City home. It all goes with the territory of being a foreign correspondent.
These days he’s working for the LA Times in Singapore.
Shashank paints a picture of a positive and buzzing city, “I love the fact that it is the melting pot of the region… it’s great place to be as a journalist for someone who thinks about policy questions and human interest questions, it’s such a great magnet for brain power, for talent, for people coming in for conferences, meetings and events”.
When asked what he most loves about the city, it’s his fellow Singaporeans who come to mind “you just see so many fascinating people, really high quality folks who have done interesting things… all that makes it a really interesting city.”
On this edition of re:location we talked about his experiences in the city, what it’s like being an American in Singapore and some of the contrasts between the two political systems. We chatted about what makes Singapore unique, how it challenges assumptions about the wider region, and the city’s underlying contradictions.
For a podcast that is all about how location influences people, places and ideas, I was grateful for the time that Shashank spent exploring how being in Singapore has shaped his experiences and outlook.
“It’s a real Asian city, it’s not a city in the mould of a Western of European city, it’s a city that was designed… and takes all its inspiration from Asia. It doesn’t really have to do things the way New York or London would. I like all that about it. As somebody who has roots in this part of the world, it’s nice for our family to see that you can build a truly world class city in this part of the world, and it doesn’t have to be like cities elsewhere.”
Have a listen:
(Photo: Shashank Bengali, LA Times)