It’s been a little more than a month already since I’ve been in Singapore, but I’ve already done so much. Below I’ve posted a recount of some of my adventures below.
Day 0 (1/10)
I finally made it to Singapore! It was a long international flight, but I’m so happy to finally be here. Perhaps one of the first things you’ll notice once you land is the humidity. As a Texan you think you can deal with any kind of heat, but Singapore has definitely made me rethink my heat tolerance all over again. The dorms here are quite nice (I’m staying in the University Town residence halls) and I’m in a suite with three other roommates. Two are from Finland and the other roommate is from Minnesota. Looking forward to all the adventure ahead!
Day 8 (1/17)
I have Fridays off for school here so an NUS friend of mine (Josh) took me on a tour around Singapore’s Central Business District. We started off with lunch at a hawker center nearby. Hawker centers are basically large open air food courts with a ton of different stalls to choose from. We had chicken rice and fish soup. The chicken rice is world-famous for beating Ramsey in his tour around the world of competing with top restaurants for national dishes. The chicken rice was good (we got vegetables and chicken soup on the side), but what made it delicious was the chili sauce. The taste was really unique and for a person that doesn’t really like spicy things, I think it says a bit about how good the chili sauce was if I was willing to have seconds (not claiming to be a foodie or anything though). It was spicy, but it had a certain zang at the end that made you continue eating and adding it to the rice. The vegetables were a perfect pairing and the fish soup at the end was nice as well. However, not really being much of a seafood person, the chicken rice definitely won. On top of all of this, I can sugar cane juice too. I was extremely stuffed at the end, but I guess I should be getting used to it now.
I walked off my full stomach afterwards and saw a lot of different office and historical buildings in the district. We also got sidetracked by an Asian civilization museum and I was able to get free admission because of my NUS student pass. I saw a lot of the iconic buildings that are on most Singapore post cards such as the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, the Merlion, and the Bay. Overall, it was quite a busy day of exploring, but lots of fun as well.
Day 30 (2/8)
I finally got a chance to go to the zoo today! The Singapore Zoo really exceeded my expectations. It’s a kind of zoo where they don’t really put their animals in cages and just let them roam about freely. Well most. The ones that won’t kill you. So, within two steps into the zoo, we were greeted by a lemur on our way to one of the geographical regions. It’s crazy how close you can get up to them. And it’s really cool to see them leaping about and getting surprises along the way. The animals are super active also. Back home in Dallas (not sure if Austin has a zoo), the animals are usually sleeping and hiding. Here, most of them were actually walking around and I got a couple of good shots.
I think one of the highlights was a portion where they had lemurs, bats, and butterflies roaming around freely while you walked around. It was a really large room/cage, but nonetheless, it was quite crazy to suddenly have a lemur run across the sidewalk in front of you or for a bat to take flight less than two feet away. It was so crazy to see these exotic animals up close and how at ease they were with human company.
Another portion that I liked was the polar bear feeding. It was really sad though to see it cooped up. Cooped up not in the sense that the space was tiny (it had an ice cave, a pool, and other areas to cool off), but that it was in captivity. The polar bear we saw today was one of the first bears to be born in captivity in the tropics. It’s a really graceful and powerful creature though. Watching it swim through the pool to retrieve it’s food was quite breathtaking.
For dinner, my friends took my to Chomp Chomp, apparently a really famous food center in Singapore. I got to try stingray for the first time and it was quite delicious.