Welcome to Singapore

Phew, what a day! It started at 3am because I’m still partway between Eastern Standard Time and Singapore Time – meaning I couldn’t keep my eyes open past 4:30 last night. I can’t check into residence on the weekend so I stayed at Fragrance Backpackers Hostel near Little India last night, and met a girl who is backpacking across Southeast Asia and just came to Singapore from a tour of Cambodia and Vietnam. She loved Cambodia and suggested I travel there if I get the chance, then headed off to Malaysia this morning. It was really neat meeting someone like that!

The residence is very nice by Singapore standards, and like most tropical areas has the stairs and hallways open to the outside. The suites are very utilitarian, but if they were built according to Canadian standards they would be ruined by the humidity. Although I have a small kitchen, buying meals is very inexpensive, particularly on NUS campus: I paid $2.20 SG or about $1.60 Canadian for lunch today. The campus is accessible by shuttle during peak hours, or public transit all day; it takes about 15 minutes on the shuttle and half an hour using the subway and bus systems.

Although my purpose for going to campus today was primarily to deposit my residence fees, I ended up spending about 4 hours finding my way around and discovering other things that must be done. I now realize how much I took for granted the fact that I know UW so well – at NUS I don’t understand any of the software, the process for registering, the choice of modules or how to get around campus! It can be very frustrating but I feel that I accomplished a lot – with the exception of actually attending my single Monday lecture.

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