A Week or So In

Whew, what a rush. Seirously, we are always going somewhere or doing something… which is not bad, but it slightly delays any of my communication with the outside world. In general, classes are going well but a good amount of work, we have been visiting every possible place (and mall) in Singapore, there was lots of rain, and bunches of firsts.

-While Singapore has a ridiculously low crime rate (promoted by the gov. wanting peaceful settings to better the economy) gangs do exist. How do they start fights? Staring contests. And I’m not kidding.

-I got lostish in the furniture/ industrial district on a Sunday when bus lines barely run. Luckily, a Bangladeshi citizen name Rana walked me all the way to the bus stop. I then went to a hawker center and was befriended by a Singapore airlines pilot while eating dinner. Small advantages of being a foreigner (most obviously).The furniture stores essentially look like the firework stores of the states- brilliant colors, flashing lights, and thumping music being played. An interesting take on it all.

-85% of Singaporeans live in gov. built public housing. It has its ups and downs, and some of it is beautiful while others are ugly, but an astronomical figure nonetheless.

-Kiasu is the idea of needing to be #1 no matter what… even if you dont know whats going on. For example, Madison, Ian, and I were getting onto the MRT (mass rapid transit, like the subway) around midnight before the last train back. When needing to switch lines, a couple of people who were also switching also started running…. leading to other running. In the end, the three of us stampeded up the escalator and down the hallways alongside everyone else…. and we had 9 minutes till the train left, though we didnt know that till we got there. Exhibit A of Kiasu.

-the pension system here- at 62 you get everything you have contributed to the pension system- ie, it is proportionate to your own contribution. You can also use that money towards a mortgage, the only problem being this can leave you with nothing at an old age.

-there was something called the Bukit Fire where its suspected the gov. burnt down a group of houses because people wouldnt move into public housing in the beginning.

-Have to be married to get a gov. subsidised housing. So, theres a (serious) joke that men propose by saying ” hey, want ot get on the waiting list [for housing]?”

-young married couples expect to own houses

-singapore can be crazy beautiful- especially the water/bay. Yesterday we went to a place called Marina Barrage where they set about creating fresh water for Singaporeans. In doing this, they ended up creating a structure where there is a giant lawn on top of the roof, you can fly kites there, and then get to see the skyline over the whole bay.

-While Chinese has different spoken dialects, the writing is the same no matter what dialect. I thought that was crazy to think about.

-The world has 6* of separation…. Sinapore has 3*… maybe 2*

-The Singaporean dream: The 5 C’s: Cash, car, condo, credit card, country club/cell phone. …. and eventually a coffin.

-People here are divided by racism, in a multiracial fashion. There are Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Other racial groups.

-This leads to:Tokenism- there is always a token race spokes person publicly… except no one trusts them because they are just the token gov. front person

-there is a liberal abortion law, need consent below 16

-the Army is structured after Israels, even though the gov. says its based off of Mexico because they have many Muslim majority neighboring nations

-You can fly across Singapore in less than 2min

-A fierce lady is referred to as a ‘tiger lady.’ pretty much a life long goal

-since pretty much the beginning of the nation in the 60’s there has never been a single female minister.

-Singapore’s birthrate is around 1.2, with univeristy grads marrying later,less often, and usually having less children. To boost the birthrate, the gov. has instituted many not so good fairly racist policies. Besides that point, they have created the SDU- Social Development Unit- aka a dating service which is colloquially called Single, Desperate, and Ugly.

-there are over 100,000 maids in the country.

-I promise I do more than eat here. Mostly school and seeing everything. But the view is that all you really do in Singapore is shop and eat, so for the most part I’m doing pretty well.

-Durian is not as bad as it sounds, it kind of tastes like a mix of mango and onion. Side note: if you consume Durian and alcohol together, it can cause a heart attack. don’t worry, this will not be happening.

-Tonight we will be going to Mambo night at Zouk, the number 9 club in the world, for ladies night= getting in for free!

-Clark Quay- Absolutely beautiful and sure to bring some great nights. Madison, Ian, and I were there to commemorate our first Saturday night (when we kiasued on the way home). We went to The Clinic, a restaurant where you can drink from an IV drip or get mixed syringe shots (neither of which we indulged in as they were around S$50-S$90. A regular fifth of alcohol costs around $25 here, quite a markup).

-there is a 50% import tax on cars here. So all those Aston Martins, Alfa Romero’s, and Ferraries I see on the street… they are really 1.5 Aston Martins. Mind boggling.

-Music here is either from the top 40’s of the stations in america… or the 90’s.

-Steamers are so much better than irons. period. they also kill ants quite well.

-we are supposed to have people who clean our rooms/ restock toilet paper, but not a person has seen one. there is also no soap in the bathrooms. on the plus side, having your own bathroom is awesome. There is also a $100 fine if you have a person of the opposite sex in your room and the door is NOT ajar. Of course, people are apt to break rules. One Chinese foreign exchange student was here, and the person in the adjoining room heard through the very thin walls quite telling noises… and of course the exchange student was yelling ” CALL ME EMPEROR!!!” in very loud Chinese. bhahahah

-I went on a run around the campus yesterday and got lost on the way to the track. Singapore is incredibly hilly=so sore. Also, it created problems when I would try to go through a building and find oh, a nice patch of rainforest blocking my way to the direction I was heading. no big deal, just some parrots chilling out.

Our teachers are awesome. Dim sum is amazing- I’ve uploaded more pictures on said links. And now I must go

3 Responses to “A Week or So In”
  1. hetalikunal says:

    HI I want to read more about your adventures. you should turn your RSS feed on. do it!

  2. Patricia Day-Ryan says:

    Ananda — I can’t wait to read more!!! Your observations, insights and perspective are greatly appreciated.

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