A Travellerspoint blog

The universe conspires...

I have always believed that if there's something you want, all you need to do is let the universe know, put it out there, and then magically things start coming your way. Here's an example.

When Hilary first heard of the whole Singapore thing, her eye fell on a National Geographic article all about Singapore. Rich turned on the TV, and Anthony Boudain's travels took him to Singapore. And I checked the Travel Channel site, and realized that Dhani Jones (who both Rich and I really like) took part in the Dragon Boat races.

iPhones have an app for the newspaper of the country: Straits Times. Religiously reading it along with the BBC and CNN. Yesterday there was an article about a Malaysian minister who invited 300 of his closest FaceBook friends to get feedback on some initiative that he implemented. Now, that's a powerful way to use social networking tools!

Posted by Goofy9 13:13 Archived in Singapore Tagged armchair_travel Comments (1)

Singlish, anyone?

A lot of my dissertation is devoted to Hinglish (Hindi + English) - the default national language of India! In researching composite languages like that, I had stumbled upon Singlish (Singaporean English). I was doing the usual mindless surfing while watching the Olympics (too late into the night, I might add) and I stumbled upon the unofficial official Singapore dictionary. Here's a sampling for your reading enjoyment!

The proper and correct Singlish pronunciation of 'correct'; illustrates how Singlish can combine two related words, creating a new word with improved potency. Often used as a response when the truth is glaringly obvious.

EYE POWER (Contributed by K. Ang)
To describe someone standing by, looking on without helping out with a manual task.
“Eh, come and help us move this furniture, leh! You stand there using eye power, ah?”

It was interesting to find out that "...the Army is Singapore’s most prolific Singlish donor." Which got me thinking about how many terms in American English come from either sports (hit the ball out of the park, step up to the plate) or from the military (Project War Room). How is one who is not native to the language ever to get a hang of it, or does one hang out at the periphery of understanding always an outsider?

All I know is that the first slang I learnt in the U.S was "belly up to the bar!" Essential!

Posted by Goofy9 17:59 Archived in Singapore Tagged tips_and_tricks Comments (2)

Staging area begone!

Anita and her little girl, Tulsi, are visiting! Getting one last trip in before the Singapore adventure begins. I asked Rich what he thought of having them over and his only comment was, "Well, you're going to have to clear up the staging area, aka bedroom, wont you!" So, now, instead of having sections of the room for carry-on and checked in luggage, I am going to take all that put them neatly in laundry baskets.

Like every good tourist, the Lonely Planet is getting thumbed through! Some interesting facts:
1. Fancy, designer purses are a status symbol (I wonder what is a status symbol here in the US - cars?).
2. The best food is at hawker centers (like low-key food courts).
3. Singapore is only 1 degree above the Equator.
4. Kuala Lumpur is only 7 hours away by train.
5. Bangkok is a short plane ride away.
6. Recycling is rare, plastic packets abound (doesnt get as much press or even education as it does here).
7. and oh, Bangalore is only a 2.5 hour flight (just like Denver-Chicago!).

Was speaking to Tariq today and he made a comment, "When you go, is when you will realize how incredible the US is. All the little things that bug you now, will feel like nothing when you get to places that dont have all the little things figured out." Singapore is the poster child of super efficient societies. I'll have to test out Tariq's comment for myself!

All this leaving makes for good excuses to go to lunch and tea with friends. Everyone at work was wonderfully supportive, and wants to go to drinks (after all, right now, I do work at a beer company!) or coffee to wish me well. I am recollecting what it was like to move from India to the US - I remember not really being excited. It was more about having a checklist, making sure all my paperwork was in order. Sort of clinical. This feels more like a real adventure.

Posted by Goofy9 18:46 Comments (2)

First thing to do on a free weekend in S'pore

Susan is the first one to send me something to do in Singapore: An exhibit of Mughal jewels. The article has an interview in which the lady explains the reasoning behind having an exhibit of Islamic jewels...read the article to see what you think of her answer.

Posted by Goofy9 17:35 Archived in Singapore Tagged events Comments (2)

Where we are at...

No date yet.

Feb 17, 2010: "We’d very much like to have you join...At this stage have a tentative start date of Mar 15"
Feb 23, 2010: "The earliest start date that we are projecting is after March 22."

So that's where we are at. It's going to take at least 2 weeks to transition out of my current role, and I want a week off - Rich's bday on the 15th and maybe squeeze in a quick stop (London? San Fran?) along the way!

We ordered new cabin luggage - 1 for me, and 1 for Rich for when he travels out! We are already talking midway trips, like Turkey (sort of in between Denver and S'pore) and Bali. And like my mom said, Hawaii is hardly half way - it's like part of the US :)

The guest bedroom has been converted into a staging area:
1. Floor - must take shoes and sandals; and a if-I-have-space-for-more-shoes collection
2. Front half of the bed - what goes in carry-on (9 months of Advair medication and cross stitch)
3. Back half of the bed - stuff to put in check-in (razor blades! digital photo frame)
4. Closet - piles of if-i-have-space stuff (every other sandal I own)

I also have a Microsoft OneNote page with a checklist of things to pack and to do (immunization, international DL, etc.) and a cool Shopper App with things to buy (bug spray).

Rich and I are having fun with Skype - we have practice-skyped from the office upstairs and the living room downstairs, which is silly cuz I talk loud enough that he could hear me upstairs. Anyway, we have figured out how to play games on Skype too. Rich says he's going to whoop me at chess!

Posted by Goofy9 16:19 Archived in USA Tagged packing Comments (1)

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