First off, I think it is important to know the good things and the not so good things about Singapore.
I absolutely love being in Singapore, however there are a few things that do annoy me. First off, there seems to be a big ‘me first’ culture especially with the guys. Guys don’t even hold doors open for girls here and if they are in a hurry, they will even squeeze past you to get to the door first! Also, people don’t seem to say thank-you to the bus driver. Ever! In general, actually, people don’t seem to use the words “please”, “thank-you”, and “excuse me”. Not everyone is the same. It is also part of the culture in Singapore to not say these things and so I should not judge, but it is a little unnerving since it’s not the way I am used to.
For all of last week, it rained almost everyday or it might even have been everyday! This was a little change from the other times it has rained in Singapore. Usually it will rain at night or for 10-15 minutes during the day, and then it will clear up. But, last week was different. It was really depressing to see all that much rain since it made it hard to go outside and explore. What was even more depressing was the fact that me and some friends wanted to go to the beach on Sentosa Island (an island part of Singapore) on Sunday and we were afraid it would rain since it did on Saturday. Well, when morning came around, the sky was clear and we were so excited. We went to the beach, got a little sun; I did some reading. And, then, all of a sudden, it started raining again! It actually rained twice while we were at the beach. The second time it rained, it didn’t seem as though the rain would stop so we ended up having to leave. Even though the rain part of our time at the beach was a little depressing, we still had a lot of fun!
There was one thing that I went to in the beginning of February that I think is worth blogging about. I really wanted to put up a video I took from it, however my video camera is not currently working properly so I won’t be able to show the video. And anyways, I don’t think I can upload video to this blog. Anyways, during the beginning of February, I went to Little India (a cultural district in Singapore) to witness a Hindu religious festival called Thaipusam. You can read more about it by searching for it online, but I will try to explain what I saw. Devotees fast before the actual days of the festival. Then devotees get needles pierced through there bodies on which they carry shrines/mini-temples and walk around Little India. This was slightly hard for me to watch because I kept on imagining the needles being pierced through my body. They do this to show their devotion. This festival is celebrated big in Singapore because there is a big population of Tamil-speaking people here and they are the people who celebrate this festival in India.
I like how there is food everywhere here and that it is so cheap! There are actually 4 places to eat in the dorm I live in alone! However, I really miss food from back home, especially Mexican food. I also miss Italian food and pizza. There are very few Mexican restaurants here, but I have not gone because they are so expensive. The Italian food here does not seem as authentic as back home. And pizza here is so expensive! There is a place in my dorm that sells cheaper pizza, but it doesn’t taste that good and so I don’t like eating it. I also miss cheap grocery shopping. I have gone grocery shopping a few times, but most items are so much more expensive than back home. One thing that is a lot more expensive is milk and it tastes different. One reason why things are more expensive in Singapore as compared to America is because most things are exported into Singapore. Since the country is so small, it does not really have a lot of natural resources and land for farming.
Although I have spent a lot of this blog complaining about certain things in Singapore, I am still glad that I chose to come here to study abroad. It really is a very beautiful country and safe and clean. And the people are actually really nice, just that their customs are different than what I have grown up learning.