Friday, October 24, 2008

Migrant Workers:

Having spent three months in Singapore now, I have witnessed many things in Singapore. One of things that took me most by surprise was the love hate relationship (or what I call a love hate relationship) that Singapore has with its unskilled migrant workers. While the country can not do without all the migrant labor that comes in to do construction and other such tasks, they are still treated pretty poorly overall...they are transported around like cattle on the backs of open bed trucks and live in 'dormitories' that are often infested with bugs and inhumanly cramped conditions. There have been expose stories about this on local TV, yet people still feel the need to keep their distance. To me it seems like a catch 22, the workers have such poor living situations here that they have little to do to have fun except drink and congregate in a few key areas around town to try and relax. It is these same actions that then upset the locals who feel like the workers are just trouble. Yet without the workers, Singapore probably wouldn't be able to develop as fast as it is. So how will this end? Will the workers always be treated like sub humans? Will they continue to upset the locals? Or will some sort of a compromise be reached? At this point it is hard to say. I hope that a solution can be reached, but who is going to give first? Will it be the workers acting less obnoxious? Or will it be the locals deciding that this just can't continue? I guess we will just have to wait and see.

Little India Deepavali Shopping

So seriously, after going to Little India, I was like, why bother going to India any more when everything is in Little India. Last night was a Rotary night, as was today, and as is tomorrow...will elaborate soon.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Up two the 22 of October

This week has been relatively uneventful...have just been trying to get some work done on applications for fellowships and hunting my students down to try and get they're surveys back. It also been a lot of reflecting on over all life stuff. The term has ended for me so I have been attempting to finish my UCLA work...I'm also already looking for something to do over summer. Can't quite decide what to do exactly....

Also, one of my friends who has kinda been my partner in crime over the last couple months is leaving and so I've been trying to hang out with her as well. The next few days will be filled with Rotary first full 'talk' of the year after months of trying to plan with the various clubs here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

First Mini Trip

Last week I took my first mini trip out of Singapore to Padang, Indonesia and its environs. Had a look at the towns of Bukkitingi, the Harau Valley, and Lake Minanjao. This area is where one of the last two matriarchal societies lives...the Minangkabao. They also have beautiful architechture that is modeled after the horns of the water buffalo. It was a great trip and very inexpensive...a big difference from Singapore.

Other than that, it has been just a very routine time as the trimester is winding down. I have also been trying to get a better grip on my dissertation research which is sadly not going where I wanted it to...hmmm....

And figure out where I am going for break...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Lazy Rainy Monday Kind of

I only say this because normally I am always out and about doing something....but today I have just been at home 'dissertating' as a good friend put it (meaning working on my dissertation). And the whole time I have been at home until now has just been sunny, but as usual as it gets close to when I will be leaving, it starts to pour. Hopefully it will stop soon.

The Hari Raya celebration at my friends house that is technically in Malaysia was nice. A good introduction to "truly Singaporeaness" as her family really is a mix of all the ethnicities and cultures found in the region. I also had quite an adventure crossing the border as the public transportation doesn't wait for people to come out of it was a really long time to not go very far.

Tonight I will be attending a special dinner with the District Govenor of Rotary for my current district at a very nice historical restaurant for Malay culture. I'm excited about this even though I was already told that there won't be any vegetarian food. At least this way they told me and I can either eat before hand or plan on being content eatinr rice and soysauce and dessert. =)

I am still waiting for the new renter to materialize so that I can get my deposit back....hopefully all that works out.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Why is it that all nights seem to end after 3AM?

So last night I went to a Rotary Sponsored event...I'm thinking no problem I'll be home early...but guess what. No! I was not. Yet again, I managed to stay out until 3AM and we weren't even doing anything in particular....just catching that famous Singaporean 4th meal, supper! I am continually astounded how Singaporeans can be so fit and yet eat so much! I kid you is quite rare to see an overweight Singaporean. =)

I myself just have to remember that 4th meal can not be a daily thing in my life...the plan is to loose 20lbs not gain. Ha ha.

Other news, today I am going to a Hari Raya Party which I'm quite excited about....I still have to buy the hosts a gift on the way to meet everyone. It is technically in Malaysia...but just at the border of Singapore. That means another stamp in my passport...but I hope that I have enough pages left for all my traveling!

And finally, I got things set up for my talks through Rotary! Thank goodness...I was getting really worried. And now I am also trying to get things set for Rotary visits in other countries that I plan on visiting.

=) M

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Singapore F1, Vegetarian Day, and it really is cheaper to eat out.

This past weekend was the worlds first night race held in Formula 1 racing history, and it was in Singapore! The whole city was in a frenzy, mad with excitement, and even if you don't like cars, this event made you want to love them.

I have a new love for fast cars. It was awesome! Though I didn't fork over the thousands of dollars for tickets as some did, I did manage to steal a glimpse of the cars zooming through the tracks both at the practice rounds and at the real race. Seriously...feeling the vibrations and hearing the sounds from the cars is amazing. If I happen to find some reason to be in Singapore next year at this time, I would love to actually purchase tickets. My whole weekend was basically taken over with F1 stuff...but I also managed to squeeze in another trip to the Ramadan market and to MacRitchie Reservoir where I went for a 10K walk/hike on Saturday morning. It was a lot of hard work in the hot sun, but a very worth workout as well.

I think I may have gone down a pant size from all the sweating. =) This is very exciting. Hopefully the trend will continue.

Also, I bit of fun trivia, yesterday September 29th was Vegetarian day! Yea for vegetarians...but in a world where most people usually are not vegheads, it made for really long lines at the vegetarian stalls because everyone wanted to be a vegetarian that day.

Finally, today I bought supplies to make my own dinner and eat at home in an effort to save money...what ends up happening? I spend 22 dollars on supplies for one meal. For that money, I could have gone to a fairly nice restaurant, or had like 10 food court meals. Now at least I have time its eating out for me. ; )