It is so hard for me to believe that I have been in Singapore for over three weeks! Before I update y’all with everything I have done in the last few weeks, I would like to write a few differences that I have experienced while in Singapore. Although I have been able to adjust well to college life here, there are still some things that are hard to get used to:
1. I got into the taxi from the airport and I had to take a double turn because Singaporeans drive on the right side. Although I did my research and already knew this, it still took me a little while to digest. When crossing the street, I still turn my head to the wrong side to see if a car is coming.
2. Singaporeans seem to speak Singlish. Although almost everyone in Singapore speaks English, they have their own slang words. One word that Singaporeans use a lot is ‘lah’ which can have many different meanings depending on the context it is used in.
3. Customer service is not nearly as good as it is in America. In restaurants, this is mainly because it is not custom to tip. Also, many places do not keep a large inventory of items. Therefore, if a restaurant or store is out of something, it is not a big deal. At one restaurant I went to, I had to ask for three different menu items because they were out of them.
4. Most restaurants do not hand out napkins, therefore most Singaporeans carry them. Half the time, I forget to bring napkins along with me.
5. The sockets here are different. I was prepared for the higher voltage, but not for the different sockets, so I had to buy adapters here.
6. Classes are called modules. There are two main formats for class meeting times (although there are some classes that do not fit this mold). The first format is seminar-style in which the module meets for 3 hours straight once a week. In the other format, the module meets for lecture once a week for 2 hours straight and it also meets for tutorial (TA session) once a week for 1 hour.
As I think of more differences, I will probably include them at the end of my posts.