After the longest 24 hour flight, I finally arrived in Singapore on Tuesday morning to amazing SUMMER weather! Although I expected Singapore to be hot and humid, I did not realize just how hot it was going to be: almost 80 degrees. Immediately, I realized that I really needed to shop for a whole new wardrobe, and what better place than Singapore to do just that. One of the first things you realize in Singapore is that there is a shopping mall at every corner. Some with average price items and some with items that are unaffordable but still nice to window shop. If you like shopping, Singapore is a definite must for any tourist.
One thing that I recommend to anyone studying abroad (if this is available at the place you are planning to go) is to ask for some kind of a service where a local student meets you at the airport. I have actually done this program at my exchange university and I find it very beneficial. First, it is my first real contact to university life and second my buddy was a great help in taking care of necessities like buying a SIM card and pillows and the like.
The transportation system here is amazing. Although many people drive cars, many more take the public transportation. Wherever you need to go, there is a bus or subway that can take you there.
The first thing I noticed after getting out of the airport was just how beautiful Singapore is. There are trees and greenery everywhere. Even the road out of the airport was laden with trees. One thing I exclaimed to someone I met here was that even the ugliest buildings look beautiful because of the greenery. Along with the greenery, the exquisite architecture of some of the buildings makes Singapore even more thrilling to look at (pictures will follow in future posts).
I have been here only a few days, but it seems like I have already done so much. I took care of the regulars such as registering and opening up a bank account. I also have actually started touring the city. As I said before, Singapore is the place to shop, and so therefore I have already been to three shopping malls. I have also already seen the famous Durian as well as one of the lion statues! I have also met quite a few students, so far mainly exchange students, but I hope to meet more local students once school starts.
The only complaint I really have is that I cannot really try local Singaporean food. The reason is that I am vegetarian and almost all of the local dishes are made with meat. Although vegetarian food is rarer, there is plenty of it available. Since Singapore is a tourist country, there is food available from all over the world.
Watch out for my future posts many of which I promise to provide pictures.