GREETINGS FROM SINGY, LAH

21Apr10

There is quite a considerable amount of information I need to pack into this first post. But if any of you have an attention span that is even slightly akin to mine, I know I’ll lose you after the first paragraph. And we just can’t have that happening, now can we. I am, after all, on the complete opposite side of the world, immersed in a culture and life where new experiences and new learnings pop up around every corner, every day. Plus, I know my absence from your everyday lives makes you that much more interested in hearing about everything I’m getting into over here. So, without further banter, I begin my Singapore chronicles.

This Friday marks 3 weeks since I landed in Singapore—my home for the next 4 months. The first and quite possibly most important thing I’ve learned thus far…never underestimate jet lag. It took me 3 whole days to get adjusted to the time change. Long nights of being wide awake only to lead to random sleeping times during the day.

But that didn’t stop my overzealous nature from taking over. Thanks to the 2 tour books (love ya mom and Lo!) that I memorized front to back, I planned out a loosely itemized 4-month itinerary before arrival. I knew if I was to make the most of my time here, I had to jump in right away and see everything from the get-go. I’ve found over the years that if I don’t do something right away, I’ll never really get around to doing it. First stop on my agenda, Little India—a quite ambitious first stop as it’s one of the most culturally rich neighborhoods in Singapore with the Indian population more dense in this area than anywhere else throughout Singapore. The smells, sights and sounds that filled the air were something that you can only fully grasp from experiencing it firsthand. Bright colorful flower garlands curtain the outdoor markets and stalls that line the old weathered streets. Shop after shop of produce markets, Indian gold jewelry stalls and ethnic apparel stores fill the crowded sidewalks. The streets are congested with tourists and locals walking by, motor bikes weaving in and out of auto and pedestrian traffic—motors revving and horns honking. Smells of pungent Indian spices like cinnamon and cumin fill the air and I just tried to soak everything in, capturing what I could on my camera, and everything else in my mind.

It started to rain in the middle of my tour through the neighborhood. Sudden rainstorms are quite common in Singapore—I always carry an umbrella, though the rain feels refreshing after hours in the heat. So the rain, along with my unfailing jetlag was a sign that I needed to call it a day. I later found out this wasn’t even a crowded day in Little India—my coworkers and other locals have said Sundays are a complete hectic mob scene—I’ll be planning a return visit one weekend.

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