Thursday, August 28, 2008

Waking up to Thunder!

This morning instead of getting up with the gentle warmth of the sun, I was woken up by the harsh clashing of Thunder. Seriously, I thought it was so loud that something blew up. I think you can hear thunder a lot louder on the 16th floor. That's the thing about rain in Singapore never really continues for too long at a time. It was pouring sheets of rain when I woke up, but by the time I went down for breakfast, it was a mild drizzle, and then by the time I got to school it was dry!

Other then that, today I had a great day at school, then went to the city where I met up with friends for dinner and then came home and booked my first trip abroad. I will be going to Padang Indonesia in October for the weekend! It's only an hour it's kind of like flying to San Fransisco but being in another country. Another Rotary scholar and I are going to go and explore the neighboring towns of Bukkitingi and the Minankaboa culture. I'm really looking forward to that.

And the best part was, I was given a ride home! Dinner always ends up being later then the last MRT (metro) so it is very nice when someone shuttles me home. And saves a 30 Sing dollar cab ride. =)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A few of my favorite daily routine things

1. Having a Vegetable Pau (bun) and Milo for breakfast.
2. If you eat on campus, you can have a meal for as little as $1 US dollar. Which is how much a Masala Thosai set costs. (South Indian Malsal Dosa in the US) This is very useful when you are broke
3. Not cooking or anything becuase it really is cheaper to eat out at many places
4. All the neat ways they package drinks in a plastic bag to go instead of a cup or can. (Cups and cans are also available but cost more.)
5. Having everything so conveniently around MRT stations and being able to buy really good tasty food at the 7-11. While we may scoff at this idea in the states, the 7-11 is a neighborhood staple that everyone goes to.
6. Eating tropical fruits like Rambutan, Durian, Mangosteen, and the other spikey fruit that I always forget it's name...and back home we thought lychees were exotic. =)
7. Learning how to balance yourself on public transportation when there is nothing to hold on too and you are sandwiched like sardines.
8. The warm humid tropical climate...sometimes its hard to tell if it is wetter in the pool or outside. =)
9. Not blowdrying hair and hanging laundry out to dry without the dryer. There is nothing like crunchy undergarments to get you going in the morning. ; ) Well alledgedly we have a dryer but all it seems to do is warm up our clothes and not really dry them.
10. Being constantly sick....thats a joke...I do not enjoy being sick, but I've had a cold since Aug 8...I finally got antibiotics so hopefully I'll be better soon.

Other thoughts: It has been interesting being in a place where I could be considered local. There are certain things however that you miss out on when you do not look like a foreigner such as that extra bit of helpfulness when you are sitting there looking confused.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Month update

I have successfully made it to Singapore. Overall things are going very well and I am quite happy here. I will however relocate closer to the city soon as I have learned that I am paying too much and living too far away from anything.

Singapore has been excellent...however there are a few things that took me by surprise such as the lack of ability to use credit cards at certain places such as one of the main grocery stores, to pay tuition, and a few other things. I had to actually open a Singaporean bank account to get an acceptable debit card that can work at my local grocery store. I also found out that many Singaporean websites don't accept foreign credit cards so I had to go to the bank again and ask for a debit card that would work online.

My place is really nice...however it is getting to be too expensive. So I am hoping to move out in the next 5 weeks or so...

I have seen most of the city and there is no end of places to eat. Eating is actually entertainment here. =) Not a good place to loose weight although I am still trying.

I really enjoy the humid tropical climate...although moving between the air condition and the heat is reeking havoc on my immune system, but I'm slowly getting used to being always kind of sick. I think I will visit the doctor soon just to make sure I'm good.

One of my favorite things so far has been getting to know a variety of people from all over the world through my classes and Rotary.