view from the 7th floor (where I live)
Hello, and welcome to my travel blog for summer 2008! The 30 of us from Georgia Tech arrived in Singapore two days ago after about a full 24 hours of flying and waiting in airports. Probably the toughest travel experience I have ever had, but hey, at least I got to watch about 5 or 6 movies on the planes. Cathay Pacific airlines has quite the selection; I'd recommend "Walk Hard" or "The Golden Compass," but "The Bucket List" is sure to be a tear jerker. Anyway, back to the travel. Unfortunately, upon arrival at the Singapore airport, about 6 of us found out that our baggage did not make it. Apparently this happens all the time with long international flights. But we didn't let that get us down. It was time to go to campus!
We arrived at the beautiful National University of Singapore (NUS) by bus and checked into our rooms at Prince George's Park.
The rooms are small, but very nice and have air conditioning (clutch!). In case you don't know, this place is like New Orleans in the summer...all year round. It has been fun getting to know all of the people and checking out our surroundings. Our professors (who work for GT) are very Asian and very smart, funny guys. I know it will be fun in class for the most part. Our grad assistant Ralph is also a cool guy, and will surely be an immense help once we get to Beijing (where he is from). Most everything we need is right by us; there is a supermarket and a canteen with really cheap food right down the steps from our rooms. The classrom is across campus, but the efficient bus system helps us out a lot with that. But I have a feeling that the coursework won't be the top[ priority while we're here :)
Prices are weird around here.
the group in line
Some things are really cheap, but others, such as alcohol and ice cream, are very expensive. What's up with that?! A pint of beer might run you the equivolent of $10 US at a restaurant, and even pitchers might even run around $30 US at a nice bar or club. We have been checking out the local scene, but needless to say, this six weeks might start to break our wallets! I guess you can do that if you're the richest country in the world. I'd say prices in general aren't necessarily cheaper or more expensive; just different in which things are valued more.
The people here are incredibly unique. The cultual mix is mostly Chinese and Malay, but there is also Indian and other Pacific Islanders. Which leads to a wonderful culture and food selection, not to mention the copious amounts of exotic, beautiful women! Interestingly enough, the first Asian Hooters is located at Clarke Quay
, an area of bars and clubs we checked out last night.
The drinks were actually the cheapest we could find! Probably the funniest part was the waitresses' name tags, which said things like "Judy," "Apple," and "Aileen." I have a feeling their parents dont call them that, haha.
Earlier today, a bunch of us went to go see the Singapore Flyer, which is currently the biggest ferris wheel in the world (bigger than the London Eye, but soon to be bearten by one in Dubai). Probably what made the day better was that I got my luggage this morning and can wear my own clothes. I had to buy a few yesterday, but now I'm good to go with my fratty clothes. It was fun to be so high up and see the massive expanse of cool city buildings, cranes from the port, and islands to the south. It was fun hanging out with everyone, as we seem to be getting along well. It's fun to hang out with my two fraternity brothers, Tribbles and Demby, but we are defintely trying to get to know some new people. Well, now its about time to go grab some dinner and then hit the bars (class doesn't start 'til Tuesday due to a national holiday), so look out for more updates soon!