Hello from Singapore!!
I have now been in Singapore for five days now and everything has been going well.
The plane ride over here was much longer than expected. I don’t know why I thought it would be 13 hours. It was far from 13- try 20 hours on for size. Singapore is exactly 12 hours ahead of New Jersey time; this meant literally turning my night time into day time. Every night has been a struggle to stay awake until 9:00 (or 21:00 on a Singaporean clock).
These past few days have been dedicated to getting myself settled into my apartment and prepping myself for my life in Singapore. I have decided I am not studying abroad- I am working and living abroad (it makes me feel more mature =] ).
I adjusted very quickly to the special dining establishments in Singapore- the food hawker stands. They are super food courts and the offer full meals that range from S$1.40 to S$3.50. They fit my budget and fill my appetite. Overall the food is delicious. I am running under the policy of if you buy it you eat it-this was tested recently by an Indian restaurant whose food was so hot I was only able to eat nibbles between gulps of water. Point for the Indian Restaurant- I wasn’t able to finish my mutton (goat, I will not be ordering it again). However, I in the end was the victor. I took my spicy rice home and washed it multiple times under the sink water. The poor rice lost all its vivaciousness but I was able to eat it without trouble; sorry rice, it is the circle of life.
The weather is hot and humid, I’m glad I chopped off all my hair. Before I came here, I was told that there are torrential downpours daily- so far I haven’t experienced that yet, but I still carry my umbrella everywhere out of fear.
There are some things here that remind me of home-I find the diversity of people comforting. It is like the US, if you go on a NYC train you will see many people with many different skin colors, body types, facial features, ect. The same is true for Singapore, the trains are not uniform with one type of people- there are people from Singapore, Malaysia, China, Japan, India, expats from England, France-really everyone from around the world. It’s like home, except the predominance of certain races is tilted.
Still, people are able to tell that our group of friends id not from Singapore. Jackie and Dibyo, who have the best shot of blending in, say that they still get looks (not angry, just acknowledging or curious stares).
I can imagine that as a group we are a fascinating bunch to see, we comprise of a Blue eyed Caucasian (I think it is my eye color more than my skin that makes me interesting), an Arab, and African, Native American, a Persian, and an Indian.
Today was actually my first day in lab but I will write about what Biopolis is like (gorgeous) and what my project is (still working out those details) later. First impressions are that it is going to be a very good summer