Tag Archives: Exotic Food

Reflections on the trip

After the study tour finished on the Wednesday, some of us decided to stay together at a backpackers in Little India before going home. It was a good time to relax, and get to know each other a bit better, after being busy looking at all the research facilities. While there we went out and explored some areas of Singapore that I hadn’t been to before.

Going to Singapore was a great experience. Although already been there before, I wasn’t able to look around and explore and learn about it like I did this time. I learnt more about the future applications of the material I am currently learning through the Nanotechnology course. It wasn’t just centred around one area either; we got to see a range of different areas. Singapore’s culture was interesting to learn. The food over there is a big part of their culture. It shows with how nice, and cheap it was. Everywhere we went to eat had chopsticks to use if we wanted so I’ve basically become an expert at using them now.

Weekend adventures, with some R&R.

When I got back to my room Friday night I realised that in the bathroom that they had changed the taps from, taps to times press tops, which makes washing hands annoying. Friday night was really nice and a good time to relax, I was chilling out with some of the other guys watching the world cup when we noticed some guy in the hallway outside the common room. As I went to the bathroom he threw up as I realised he was a bit drunk, so one of the other guys gave him some water to help him feel better.
A while after that when we went to check on him some of his friends showed up telling us he was at a party in the area and disappeared, so they found him on the 13th floor of our building. He was looking in a bad state so as we were taking him to the shower we noticed that he was completely unresponsive, but he was breathing so that was good.
We got his friend to call an ambulance while we took him to the lobby of the building and put him in the recovery position.
On Saturday I woke up at 2pm, it was nice to have a very long sleep in. I spent the day relaxing on Utown campus and spent time with my trip comrades. We also played some video games on our computers together.
On Sunday, after a late brunch, five of us went to Wild Wild Wet, a water park near Pasir Ris, an eastern district near Changi airport. It was good to have a day to cool off in some water. Even when it rained it was lovely and warm so the temperature was really nice the whole day.
Getting there was a bit of a hassle, taxis can be really tricky and will often reject taking you where you want to go because it’s too far from their area. After we spent a fair few hours there we took the train back to NUS Utown, where I caught up on some washing and went to bed.

So far so good!

After just one day in Singapore, I have already been able to experience a number of different aspects of the local culture. I have tasted some delicious, exotic foods from traditional hawker-style vendors, and I have experienced the smoothly-running, punctual public transport system. I have walked for 45 minutes and seen construction sites on almost every block; a sign of a city that is constantly evolving with changing times. I have seen the overwhelmingly vast stretches of sky scrapers from atop a 165m ferris wheel (below), and I have experienced the high levels of humidity that are inevitable in such a tropical location, but which are so foreign to me (although luckily the heat has been bearable).

But the one thing I have noticed above all else is the cleanliness of the city. From the moment I left my motel in the morning to the moment I returned, I barely noticed any litter whatsoever. The photo below (showing a lone, discarded tissue) represents the extent of garbage that I have seen in Singapore. 

Okay, maybe this is a slight exaggeration, but it is certainly not too far from the truth.

I have also noticed quite a large number of cleaners throughout the city and train stations. I even witnessed a multi-person team (including a small motorised buggy) whose job seemed to solely involve clearing leaves from the park footpath. And I must say, I very much enjoyed my walk along those leaf-free footpaths!

From what I have seen, it seems that the Singaporean government has strong investments into environmental health and hygiene maintenance. In addition, I get the feeling that the reputation that Singapore has for its cleanliness is somewhat self-perpetuating. That is, the citizens seem to take pride in the high standard of hygiene and cleanliness, motivating them to uphold their reputation. Whatever the reason, it is an aspect of Singapore that I am truly enjoying.

As for the scientific and business aspects of Singapore, I have yet to witness enough to comment in any depth. Of course, I will have more than enough exposure to these areas over the next two weeks.

But until then, thank you for reading. I hope everyone else is having as positive of an experience as I am.

– Wil Gardner