Saturday, September 26, 2009

I'm finally here

So I finally made it to Singapore, after a 4 month wait post-graduation. I could not wait for this year to get started, and here we go! The first 24 hours have already been very eventful, albeit very HOT. Stepping out of the airport at midnight Friday night after 30+ hours of travel, the first thing I noticed was the overwhelming humidity and heat in the dead of the night. For someone like me that sweats a lot (understatement), this could prove to be interesting.

First off, I named this blog "what the fish, man" after a popular Singlish euphemism for a phrase I'm pretty sure you can figure out. Singlish is a mix between, well, Singaporean (which in itself is a mix of Malay, Mandarin, and other barely discernible phrases) and English; compounded with a British accent, it's extremely entertaining to listen to the locals converse. However, it's also extremely difficult to understand them...

I landed last night at midnight local time, and due to the large local taxes on alcohol, preceded immediately to the duty free shop in the airport to fill up on the maximum allowable amount of alcohol for import (1 liter each of liquor, wine, beer). The duty free shop is a 60% markdown from city prices in Singapore, so it's a good rule of thumb around here that any time you travel through the airport, you stop and load up on booze. My employers had arranged for me to be picked up at the airport, and I soon found out that I would be making the trip to my apartment in a white Mercedes Benz limo... pretty sweet.

Proceeding from there to my apartment, I learned that I would be living in a sick setup for the next year - I have a 1 bedroom apartment, + dining area + living area + bathroom + kitchen + way too much closet space, combined for what I'd estimate to be about 1000-1200 square feet of space, all for TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY dollars a month. Incredible. See below for a picture of my common room, and the following link for more pictures:

Today, I found out that the food in Singapore is not only amazingly delicious, but also incredibly cheap. I stuffed my face for breakfast on prata pisang (a fried pastry-type flat bread with bananas inside) for S$1.50, and then for dinner we headed over to Little India for dosai (a flattened fried lentil-like bread). You dip this bread into three different sauces, all pretty spicy, and the bread can be stuffed with masala chicken, fried in butter, or served plain, all of which are delicious and less than S$2.00. Safe to say, I'm pretty excited for the food options over the next year...

And finally, we then headed over to the annual Singapore F-1 Grand Prix event in downtown Singapore, where we got to stand less than 10 feet away from screaming F-1 cars flying at speeds of over 200 mph down straightaways and taking 90 degree turns at around 50 mph. The Backstreet Boys were also putting on a concert at the show, but unfortunately they were playing in a site where we didn't have access to with our tickets, but that would've been AWESOME (of course).

That's it for the first 24 hours, and I'm sure things are going to be picking up soon.

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