Discovering Singapore, like a touristy local

So we’ve arrived at week two of our Singaporean life. We’re feeling more at home here, and I say this because Chris and I are beginning to play fewer guessing games when listening to Singlish and find ourselves having less of the, “oh wow this is mysteriously chewy…” food experiences. I must emphasize that it’s less and not none. So, we still have a ways to go and we’ll continue to play the tourist game, exploring the city through the eye of our Lonely Planet tour book – while occasionally trusting our intuition to explore interesting alleys we stumble upon. In one of these said alleys, we found ourselves in a store selling a random collection of unmarked sporting goods, and accidently bargaining while asking for the price. Needless to say, we picked up some racquets for $5/piece and they’ll turn us into pros in no time.

So aside from settling in our new home, Chris having his first work meeting, me having my first lab meeting, we’ve managed to see a lot this week. We visited the man-made island called Sentosa, with shopping areas epitomizing Asian consumerism, beautiful rainforests which make you stand still in awe, and tropical beaches with a contrasting view out to the ships entering one of the biggest ports (if not the biggest) in the world. One evening we went to a bar on Arab Street to meet Chris’ friend from Switzerland. This bar lies amongst other two storey buildings in a charming district of Singapore, surrounded by the sky scrapers of downtown Singapore. The next day we decided to do a hike up to Mt Faber, using the Southern Ridges, a trail built so high that you have the rainforest canopy beneath your feet. This gave breathtaking panoramic views of Singapore and a welcomed breeze to cool off the melting tourists. In the evening we met up with my classmates who came to Singapore with me from Basel, we went to a stunning light show in the Marina Bay Gardens, drank some beers and went for a delicious meal in bustling Chinatown at 12.30am. Those were this week’s highlights, we’ve also enjoyed our time at the many malls, eating at different hawker (food) centers, swimming in our pool, getting a bit of gym time and trying to understand the bus system. The later through some serious trial and error!

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