Just had my final exam in a freezing gym court here in Singapore. It’s soon time for me to leave this country which has been my home for the past four months. I thought I’d write a little bit about my experience here – highlights of what I’ve done, haven’t done, what I’ll miss, and not miss. Let’s jump right into it!
What I’ll miss
There is a lot to love about SG. Here are the small everyday things I’ll miss the most.
- NTU. I’ll miss my university. I have many good memories just walking around the beautiful campus in the sun, feeling happy, care free and with a smile on my face
- Daily interactions with “uncle’s & aunties” in coffee shops and food stalls. I love to practice speaking mandarin with them.
- Getting rudely chewed out by one auntie in koufu canteen when not pronouncing my order correctly 🙂
- Listening to the smooth jazz & blues on 98.3 Money FM after hours
- Taking the elevator down to my apartment complex gym
- The idea of most other south east Asian countries are only a short plane trip away
- Escalator etiquette. For the most part, people behave very civilized and know the proper way to stand in an escalator: To the side, so that there is room for non-lazy people like me to walk past them.
- Taking walks in the Sunday sun to Boon Lay mall for some ice cream and movie after morning workout
- The clean streets. I’ve seen only ONE single piece of trash on the street in 4 months
- The HUGE amount of choices when it comes to everything. Food, shopping, entertainment, cool things to see and do, etc. It’s impossible to be bored in SG.
- Transportation. It’s so easy and convenient to get anywhere. SG’s MRT and bus system is well developed.
What I won’t miss
No place is perfect. These are the very few things that bug me about Singapore.
- The rampant phone addiction
- People walk EXTREMELY slow, and have almost no situational awareness. Goes hand in hand with the phone addiction.
- The singlish dialect. I’ve gotta be honest here, I don’t find it very flattering. The way they just crop the pronunciation of words really short. I think it sounds like a strange mix of Caribbean and South African English accent.
- Sticky humid heat. I know, I know. How dare I complain about the sunny warm weather, right? I do love the sun, but like any well dressed man knows – it makes dressing well much more arduous.
- My dorm room. It’s right next to 10 lanes of 24/7 trafficked highway. Not exactly perfect conditions to get a stress-free night of relaxed sleep.
- The over-use of AC. Come on guys, do we really need to be freezing and shuttering indoors?
What I haven’t done
Believe it or not, there is stuff that I haven’t done that normal people do often. Here is a list of three average Joe activities that I haven’t done a single time in Singapore
- Visited the beach
- Gone out to a club
- Drunk alcohol (except for Singapore sling and a small bottle of chameleon-infused wine)
What I’ve done
I haven’t been a sloth here, that’s for sure! During these four months I’ve been active and managed to do a ton of stuff on the side of studying full time. Here are the highlights!
Finished an online diploma as a certified men’s style consultant
Did a DJ performance at a local music festival
Finished an online certificate in Adobe Audition
Been on Inglesia Ni Cristo Philippine church global TV show
Started an online course in voice recording
Participated in a kimchi making workshop
Visited the super trees
Definitely one of the top 10 coolest jaw dropping visual experiences of my life
Stayed at the iconic hotel Marina Bay Sands
Learned to tie a half-Windsor tie knot
I only knew 1 knot before, so now I at least have two to choose from.
Been interviewed by a popular YouTube channel (smart local)
– Coming as soon as they put it up on their channel
Lost over 15 kg (33 lbs) while having close to 20 pints of Ben & Jerry’s (mission to try all the flavors I’ve never seen)
When I arrived in SG I weighed in at 92.4 kg and was in terrible shape. I managed to lose slightly over 15 kg (33 lbs) over the course of my four months here, which I’m very proud of. It’s the first time I’ve attempted to diet without any kind of way to track my calories or make my own food. I think the feat is even more impressive in the light of me having so much ice cream, several bags of chips, lots of krispy kreme donuts and cookies from twelve cupcakes. Not to mention, exploring the delicious SG food variety!
Tried Chinese pineapple tart
Tried the original Singapore Sling
Tried Youtiao, Doujiang and sesame ball
Youtiao is a fried bread stick which many Chinese like to have for breakfast, along side some doujiang (sweet soy milk drink). The sesame balls come with various fillings, and the one I tried had lotus seed paste. It tasted like a sweet mix of mashed potato and marzipan.
What I haven’t done, but would have liked
I have a very good friend that was planning to visit me while here, and I saved a lot of great activities that I planned to do with him. Unfortunately, he bailed out of the trip even though we had planned it a long time. I was very disappointed in him, since he prioritized a lot of financial purchases instead of coming (which he could have done after the trip instead, and still afford). These are the things that I had planned to show him.
- Super tree dining. They have a restaurant on top of the biggest super tree! I though I’d take him there. How cool isn’t that!?
- Nautical museum. SG has a famous nautical museum at a place called Sentosa. It’s like a huge resort for resorts.
- Casino. I thought we could go to the Sentosa casino dressed up like high rollers and have some fun.
- Universal studios. Yup, SG has that too. And I missed it! Thanks, Vlado..
- Botanical gardens
- Army museum