We visited NTU in the afternoon where we had many presentations from PhD and Master graduate students on projects they had completed previously. This was a different experience to what we’d had so far as previously they had all been professionals who had been in science for decades. It was good to change it up a little.
Now on with the more fun stuff.
Tonight was my first real chance to go and see what a hawker market is like and I seized it. It was located in a part of Singapore known as little India. Little India had experienced riots fueled by alcohol after a man had died from being run over by a bus on the 8th of December last year. Little India is where all the workers that get bussed in from the main land of Asia for cheap construction jobs on high rise buildings come to drink on their one day off in the week and to them this area feels like a home away from home. In Singapore there is unrest amongst its citizens over these workers coming into their country as it will take jobs away from their children as well as crowd the city more. These tensions probably also leant themselves to increasing the amount of damage that was caused in the riot. Since this has occurred there have been strict policies enforcing no public alcohol in Little India just in case such a set of events should happen again.
Some of you reading this may have heard about this in the news and write this not to scare you (specifically you mum) but to let everyone know what an interesting part of Singapore it really is. The streets in this area aren’t as clean as the city center but I would say are still cleaner than a lot of streets in Melbourne if not a little narrower with all the cars parked randomly along the street. They all have a different character to them too whether it’s because of the dirt that you don’t get from some other parts of Singapore that appear sometimes sterile, it’s easy to believe people actually live in these areas.
The hawker center itself was great with rows upon rows of food vendors cooking Asian food from all over the continent at amazingly cheap prices or providing drinks to thirsty customers (cheapest place I’ve found for beer too, anywhere else in the city don’t be surprised to pay upwards of $14 for a pot). The stores set up right near it all provided the unwary traveler an easy way to burn their money quickly with stalls set up with watches, jewelry and clothes, all of good quality (or at the very least, and more likely, good quality knock offs).