Tuesday, October 19, 2010

False Alarm

It has been quite some time since I last posted about being in Singapore, but the streak ends here.

The last couple of weeks in the country, before and after the trip to Kota Kinabalu, have been out of the oridinary to say the least. The weather hasn't changed the slightest bit with the usual 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit accompanied by 80-90% humidity. Basically, what I'm getting at is my room is still a sauna.

In fact, now I seem to find myself in the TV lounge getting work done prior to passing out in a comfy chair for a few hours. The downgrade in the quality of the bed is more than made up for with air conditioning.

An interesting development that has been taking place is the constant ringing of the fire alarm in my block. About three weeks ago, the fire alarm went off four times in between the hours of 6-8 A.M. Guess who was the one guy who evacuated the building every time? Yup, the American. It was very confusing, especially since I was still rather sleepy, to see I was standing outside in the dark by myself with the fire alarm going off. Nobody else evacuated the building but yours truly. What gives? The first time this happened it was fine since I figured the alarm had to go off once or twice this semester. The only problem is that this second time came approximately thirty minutes later. Fine that still didn't phase me too much. Forty five minutes later it went off again followed by a fourth instance ten minutes after that. It had gotten to the point where I was just sitting in my room waiting for the thing to start up again like the way you wait to hear that you can board a plane at the airport. The constant repetition of a quick nap followed by being woken up to the irritating ringing of the bell ended up throwing my whole day off. For the first time since summer I ended up sleeping past lunch time and into the afternoon missing my one lecture of the day. I will get to what probably set off the alarm so many times in one morning later on.

So one bad day, it happens to everyone at one point or another. A week goes by and I come back from Kota Kinabalu having, for the most part, forgotten about the fire alarm incident the week before. A couple of days later the fire alarm goes off again at 7:30 A.M. As always, I was the only person to evacuate the building while one of the most annoying noises known to man continued to invade my place of residence. This time, though, instead of waiting for the alarm to stop, I decided to just go to the TV lounge in a different building where I could put two chairs together and sleep there. So I ended up passing out in this air-conditioned haven for about three hours that morning. It was comforting to be able to sleep for a good period of time without having to worry about being disturbed.

If you thought that was the end to that story, not so fast, it turns out that it gets even better. The next morning the fire alarm goes off again at 5:30 A.M.! At this point I've really had enough. Later that day I go to the Management Office of the housing complex and ask them what the deal is. It seems that someone that morning was making something in the oven and forgot about it causing the alarm to go off...at 5:30 A.M. Why in the world was this individual up so early baking/cooking/etc.? This, my friends, is well beyond me. I just don't get it, mainly because that is most likely the culprit for the other five times it went off, as well. I did suggest to the office that they just get rid of the alarm altogether since I'm the only person evacuating the building so you aren't really saving any lives (I was obviously kidding when I said it).

Other than this issue with the fire alarm, I've been really busy with work as the semester is already coming to a close. From now till the end of the semester, there are only about three weeks of classes left plus a reading week before finals.

This leads me into previewing the next few weeks before coming home (that's right it is getting down to the wire). I am tentatively scheduled to go to Hong Kong at the end of October (if any NUS students are interested in joining me, please do get in touch). Afterwards, I will be complete the triple-header of trips in southeast Asia between late October and early November with a couple days in Bali followed by a week in Myanmar. From there, it is a week and a half of finals before Beijing! I plan on spending a week in Beijing for the first week of December with a Swiss buddy on exchange and a Chinese friend who happens to live in Beijing when he is not studying Singapore. This could change any second, but then I would head down to Vietnam afterwards to see Halong Bay and Hanoi followed by Ho Chi Minh City then Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in Cambodia. It is then that I will endure the long travel back to New York for a few days of relaxing. This will be short-lived as I will then head to Barcelona and Madrid with the family the day before Christmas.

It will surely be one of, if not the craziest and most exciting month of my life. But I can't look ahead with four finals standing in the way between me and freedom...


  1. ....about the traveling part. I'm sorry to hear about the fire alarms haha. Although I'm sure you're quite aware that UConn has its fair share of obnoxious fire alarms, so it seems quite appropriate!