Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lazy Saturday

It has been a quiet day thus far, mainly doing some homework and laundry. This week was only four days long because we had no Friday classes for Hari Raya Puasa. So I have had plenty of time to take care of the very little homework assigned in addition to planning out future trips. The talks for going to Beijing in December are increasing as dates are being decided, accommodation is getting worked out, as well as ironing out other miscellaneous details.

Meanwhile, I will be in Thailand one week from today! I'm very excited to finally go visit a country in southeast Asia not named "Malaysia." I will remind you all that I will be on the Thai islands of Koh Phi Phi and Koh Pha Ngan to take in the beautiful weather and beaches they have to offer. It will also be my first time taking a budget airline, hopefully I just have enough leg room so that my knees aren't buried into my chest.

Now that I've told you about next week, let me recap last week. After returning from Tioman, it was time to hit the books again. But, not too hard since there isn't that much to do. Let me also remind you that the majority (80%) of my classes are determined by the final exam. I did catch up on my courses after doing absolutely nothing last weekend from the one homework assignment due today to reading textbooks for a few classes.

For the work I was doing, more the quality than quantity, I thought I deserved to go out on Wednesday once more. If you haven't caught on yet, Wednesday is as big, if not bigger, in Singapore than Friday and Saturday for going out. With it being Rosh Hashanah, I had planned on meeting a friend at the temple for services. Problem was that I had class till 6:00 P.M. when the service started at 6:45 P.M. and then it was impossible to get a taxi on campus because they were either all taken or when I called for one, they couldn't find me on the street. It was pretty pathetic. So instead, another friend of mine joined me at a restaurant/bar/club kind of thing that we were at last week called Le Baroque; it has an all-you-can-drink bar from 9-11:30 P.M. for S$20 (that's $15) on Mondays and Wednesdays with a really good cover band that takes requests to do about every classic American song you could think of. There are few things more exciting than when this band plays "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z being as far away from home as I am. Once 11:30 came around, we moved on to the Singapore university party at Home Club that included students from National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technical University, and Singapore Management University. It was a fun time, although, everyone will agree with me that it was very crowded since the place was small and the D.J. was less than stellar.

Thursday night, we made our way down to Little India for a late dinner and to check out some inexpensive shops. I ended up having the most expensive meal in Singapore up to this point; it was well worth it. The Indian food was of pretty good quality starting off with some Northern Indian style wings as a starter, then having chili chicken and an egg prata for the main course. To cope with the spiciness, I ended up having approximately three Mango Lassis to subdue the stinging on the tip of my tongue. I ended up spending S$39 for the whole meal, it is still hard for me to get over spending that much in one sitting. This is quite the feat considering how inexpensive most food in Singapore is.

On a different note, while I may be 9000 miles away from my birthplace of New York City, I will say that it still feels surreal looking back to nine years ago and thinking about 9/11, the day the world changed. Replaying the day through my mind, I remember the tiniest of details about when our entire school found out about the attacks to going home and seeing the awful visuals on the television screen. It is a day I myself as I am sure everyone else from my generation will never forget whether or not you lost someone you knew. I didn't think it would be right to post on 9/11 without at least making a mention of it, besides I'm trying to retain my American roots during my time here.

I will conclude by saying, màn zǒu, which means "take care" in English. While I would love to learn some Mandarin during my time in Singapore, it is unrealistic and so I will just try and pick up some words and phrases along the way. Knowing some Chinese would definitely serve me well considering the older generation of Singaporeans know little to no English.

So as I was saying, yī lù píng ān or "bon voyage!"

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