Sunday, July 27, 2008

Singapore

Well, it has been long indeed. Back to square one, almost. But with a new city, a new country, and a new (well, almost) language, there's always some more to say.

I arrived here Saturday morning, on arguably the worst flight I've ever had. Stuck in a seat that wouldn't recline (it was 30E, the last row - directly in front of the lavatory), and that offered the aroma's of people's choice dumps in the loo. I asked for a bargain ticket and I think I got it.
Meera aunty came to pick me up (at 6:30am, local time), and took me around to Pearl's Hill. This is where it all started to go slightly off-course. We got there, and the woman at the admin office could not find my payment form. Utter chaos, carefully and expertly handled by Meera aunty, ensued. While I could barely understand a word the lady was saying, Meera aunty graciously man-handled her into finding my papers, and a promise to find out, in detail, what happened to my reservation. We were told to come back at 1 o' clock, when another lady would be here that we could talk to.
So we wandered off to the other side of the road, looking for a place to have coffee and something to eat. We walked over some bridges, with Meera aunty giving me tip after tip after tip, until I was fairly confident that I'd been in Singapore for at least a month. We hit up a 7-eleven, bought a SIM card and a NETS CashCard (this whole place is freakin' full of electronic convenience - more on that later), and decided to call it quits.
We went to her place, where I finally met Vivan and Vikram uncle, and I chilled there for a while. Vivan showed me around Dover Rise (the locality they stay in), and we had lunch - very yummy paneer (margarine) masala, rice and dal, and aloo-gobi. While there, I also mailed my friend Nishant (he worked at Microland), and told him what was going on. He agreed to try and find me accommodation until my term with Pearl Hill (Hostel) began. Next, we left again for the Hostel, where a woman called Rain (I think that I'm quite liking these names.. they have a very nice ring to them!) handled my situation. She knew exactly what had happened, and within 10 minutes,my problem had been solved. With a big thank-you to Meera aunty, a new key (and a/c!)to my room, and 2 Chinese-Korean room-mates, I felt relieved, and then hungry (for food and action). We said goodbye to each other, and I went to find Nishant.
Now, though we'd talked about Singapore and it's offerings while at Microland, Nishant really got deep, DEEP into Singapore's skin and found for us "Bird's Nest Drink" at Chinatown's MRT. This drink is made from the nest of a swallow (now I know why they're called that). The thing about this particular nest is that it is made from the saliva of the bird, which sticks it to a wall or anything else that its nest can be stuck to. The first sip was bearable, the after-taste was not. But we did it, and we have a picture to prove it, too. Ugh.
The next day was a lot less eventful, especially because I spent about 1/2 of it asleep. I like my room-mates. They're gamers, and know where to eat. Perfect!
Yesterday, I went to LaSalle (the reason I'm here, did I mention that?) and got myself registered as a student, got photo's taken, and blah, blah, blah. I met 3 new students, Hanne Eriksen (Norway) and Vy (Norway/Vietnam), and Tanay Vohra. After a quick bite of octopus (I could go on and on and on about the food here, my god!), we went our separate ways, me to my bed, Tanay to his place, and the 2 girls to a hospital for check-ups and the like.


Update: 4 Days Later..
Today was the first actual day of college. It was okay, strictly speaking. I'm gonna have to work pretty damn hard if I'm to jump the foundation year and go straight to Level 1, which is the basic plan. The more complicated plan is finding financiers for the rest of my education here. Luckily for me, I don't have classes on Fridays, so I ought to put those 24 (fine, 10) hours to good use... Today, it was boiling hot again, but then at 11:19am, the sky suddenly cooled down for a moment, and then the heavens really let rip. I thought the downpour in Bangalore was tremendous but this, this is truly a spectacle to behold. For 10 minutes it poured tsunami-style all around the building, and I could see sunlight 3 blocks away! What a sight (!). The lady that runs the place I stay in is a real bitch in disguise though. She was very nice to me the first day (ref; para 1), but this evening, after a tiring walk that lasted an hour and a half, she was hounding me for some nonsensical reason. Her name is Rain, and I think it fits her quite well too. Just as quickly as she began to bother me, after seven minutes she abruptly stopped, said 'okay', turned on her heels and scrammed.
I also went quite broke today, and things are looking like they shall remain this way for the next 2 days, until my account opens up and the moneh flows back in. Man, I feel terrible spending dad's cash, especially when i convert it back to rupees at the end of each day. But enough of the rambling - I've walked like 10km today, and it's about time that I went to bed. Gnight!

1 comment:

Jai Guru Deva Om said...

you is a storyteller you is.
and a pretty good one at that.
i might just have enough incentive to come to singapura now.
congratulazionnnns
xboom