I do think it's a mentally awful place to live! I have simply learned to compartmentalise so I could set aside money. Most expats basically live in a bubble anyway. When they meet the odd local they think they've integrated by having lunch with them. but you have not integrated with them until you have ACTUALLY integrated with them. And then you're Colonel Kurtz in Cambodia clutching your head and saying "the horror". But as long as the money is good, and the women are friendly, you can take it on the chin. I'd never get a maid though, the Irish who gush about their "helper" (actual description is "doer") can't get over how they have indentured servants working FOR THEM!!Horses for courses. Personally I find what you describe to be an appallingly rigid, claustrophobic society that I, personally, would find to be an authoritarian dystopian frigging nightmare to live in. We have a factory in Singapore and I deal with the work colleagues there on a daily basis - living in Singapore would drive me completely bananas within a couple of weeks.
Well. It's neither form really. Dystopia is such dramatic term. I mean, Singaporeans will surely consider themselves to be goofy and colourful in their own ways. And my bass guitar teacher was as groovy an individual as I have ever met. But there are lines that are just not crossed which westerners for their part feel need crossing just to feel alive.Is it Mad Max leather-clad gangs gunning one another down in the streets dystopia? Obviously not. Is it verging far too close to an Equilibrium style dystopia for my personal tastes? Absolutely. There are more forms of dystopia than violent anarchies.