Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

35.  In the states, when you go out to a restaurant they usually bring your food out all at the same time.  Here in Singapore they just bring the dishes out whenever they are ready.  I don’t like it very much.  We went to dinner as a group last night for Valentine’s day and half of us got our food an HOUR before the other half.  It was pretty ridiculous.
At Clarke Quay for Valentine’s day. (Lily, me, Cass, Emma)
My friend, Terry, got me a rose for editing his paper!  If I didn’t pride myself in using correct grammar it may have been a lonely Valentine’s day.
36.  Gratuity is added in the bill at restaurants (10% service charge).  This doesn’t include hawker centers (you don’t have to tip there), even though people pick up after you and serve you there.  My experience with our Valentine’s Day dinner last night made me realize that I like how in the US waiters and waitresses have to work for their tips.  The service here is usually subpar.
37.  The ice cream sandwiches here are actually sandwiches!  They put a slab of ice cream between bread!  I tried one last night and they’re pretty good.
37.  In food courts/ canteens/ hawker centers, you don’t have to clean up after yourself.  They have people walk around and pick up your trash when you’re done!  I feel weird leaving my mess there, but that’s just how it is I guess.
38.  They drive on the wrong side of the road here (left side).  In the beginning I was always looking the wrong way when crossing the street, but now I think I’m pretty good about it and am going to have to watch myself when I get back to the states.
39.  The pedestrian crossings are called “raised zebra crossing” or “zebra crossing”.  Haha. I think it’s funny because it sounds like a zebra is about the cross the street.
40.  In the US, when we write a date it is usually MONTH-DAY-YEAR.  Here it’s always DAY-MONTH-YEAR.  It confuses me sometimes.
41.  Everyone line dries their clothes outside.  I personally don’t like to do it for a couple of reasons: 1) It’s so humid here it takes forever for my clothes to actually dry.  2) People steal your clothes.  3) I feel like my stuff smells funky and doesn’t feel as soft after drying outside.
42.  Alcohol is soooo expensive.  Buying a half liter of vodka is around $40 SGD.  Instead of saying “drunk”, they say “high”.  It’s Singlish.
43.  At food courts and canteens, individual vendors don’t sell drinks.  There is always a separate stand that has water, juices, soda, fruit, and dessert.
44.  Umbrellas are used for protection from the sun and the rain.  Basically you should just always be carrying an umbrella.  The rain is always so unexpected and the thunderstorms are horrible (in the middle of one right now)!
45.  Singapore is one of the most deadly places in the world as far as lightning is concerned.  The island is struck by lightning once every other day!  The odds of getting hit are incredibly high.  More people die of lightning strikes (about 100/year) than traffic accidents.
Well I’ve been in Singapore for just short of a month and I’m kind of starting to get into a routine.  I stayed here this weekend and I don’t have anything incredibly exciting to report, but I just got a new camera so I’m going to try and post some really cool pictures of my campus and adventures!!!
Oh! I almost forgot… I made it into the NTU newspaper!  They were interviewing exchange students about the course registration process and I answered a couple of questions.  This was the part that included me…
Although a briefing on course registration is conducted for exchange students by the International Student Centre every semester, American exchange student Carmen Coddington, 19, felt that the briefing she attended was “too short and superficial.”
Haha.  I was pretty excited about it even though they got my age wrong!

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