Hi everyone! I hope your day is exciting, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing 🙂
These past few weeks in Singapore have gone by in a flash – its hard to believe I’ve already been in Singapore for more than two months, which means there is less than two months to go! I know I’m going to miss this place so much, especially getting to hop on an airplane to go explore exotic places every couple weeks. This semester has truly been the adventure of a lifetime and I already know I’m going to be pretty sad to go home!
Between travels, February and March have been super exciting! Read on below to see some of the things I’ve been up to here in the city:
- Green Corridor Run Keppel Water Challenge
This event is a neat annual tradition in Singapore consisting of both 10 km races and walks. The event we participated in was a 10 km walk carrying 5 L of water. The idea, which is really cool, is to understand what it must be like to carry 5 L of water so far to get it home. It was amazing to think that people do this every day! And astonishing knowing that when they get home all they have is sub-par water but when we cross the finish line we are given snacks, a medal, and a fresh water bottle. The event donates $1 for every liter carried, and this year the event raised over $1800, which is awesome!
- Golden Village Cinemas One of our favorite pastimes after a long week of classes is a late movie at the local cinema where tickets are a student discount half off during weekdays. We’ve seen a ton of great films here already, like The Big Short, Brooklyn, The Revenant, Zootopia, and even Deadpool (though that definitely wasn’t my favorite and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone) – if you’re in the mood for anything, Zootopia is definitely the film to see!
- Afternoon in the Botanic Gardens
I love the Singapore Botanic Gardens – its a huge green space where its fun to get caught in the afternoon rain, there are tons and tons of trees, lots of flowers, and many people taking strolls and playing futbol on the lawns. I love seeing families out to picnic and people enjoying the day! There are also free concerts here a lot, which is a great way to bless the community with art. I went here recently and explored the Orchid Garden, which is one of my new all time favorite places – here I got to enjoy some great quiet time reading Scripture and journaling while surrounded by some amazing creations.
- Tandem Cycling from East Coast Park and Changi Park
One of the best things we have done in Singapore so far is tandem bike from East Coast Park to Marina Bay then back to East Coast and then all the way around the tip of the island past the airport to Changi Beach Park. The walkway is beautiful, surrounded by trees and lovely coast line spotted with boats and families out to play! The full circuit was over 20 km, which was exhausting on the legs, but it was a great workout and adventure 🙂
- Disney on Ice at Singapore Indoor Stadium So if you’re like me, you LOVE Disney (and let’s face it, even if you say don’t love Disney you’re probably kidding yourself… its too magical not to love it!). Well in Singapore the Disney On Ice Show performed at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, and I had the lovely surprise of going to watch! The talent was of course AMAZING, the show was DAZZLING, and the ice skating was so cool – it makes me want to pick up skating 🙂
- Going Out to Dinner
One of our favorite pastimes is going out to dinner to share a meal. There are lots of amazing places to eat in Singapore, though admittedly none of them are actually Singaporean cuisine – I’ve yet to try chilli crab, which is the only truly Singaporean dish besides Hainanese Chicken Rice, but its on my list!
My favorite places near campus are Nom Nom which has amazing pho chicken soup and Brotzeit which has unbelievably good German food!
Recently we also got to try Sri Lankan crab by accident when we went to the neat restaurant Crab in Da Bag by the Singaporean riverside. The restaurant owner graciously gave us a free meal, which was delicious! You literally eat the crab out of a bag, ha ha!
- Swimming in the Utown Pool Yes this pool is real… and its actually on campus! I love coming here to swim after class, and even though I’m not very good at it, its still fun to get such a great view of campus from the water 🙂
- Running a Loop of Campus Now I should make the disclaimer that I am NOT a running person – however, running is the easiest way to combine sightseeing and fitness, so I’ve taken to running to keep myself in good shape. Every morning I take a loop around campus, which is about 3.4 miles. There are a few hills, so sometimes it’s really tiring, but I enjoy seeing the campus sunrise in the morning. A couple times I’ve tried to run off campus but I always get lost, so I’ll just have to map something out if I want to explore something else – you also run the risk of perpetually running uphill if you don’t know where you’re going in Singapore (and if you’re like me, this is definitely not what you want at 7 am!)
- Palm Sunday at Church of the Holy Cross
Palm Sunday is one of my favorite church services, particularly since it is right before Easter (which next to Christmas is my FAVORITE DAY! and such a great celebration of life and redemption which you can read about here: http://merecslewis.blogspot.sg/2011/04/what-are-we-to-make-of-easter.html) – here in Singapore we got to join in with the congregation using actual palm leaves!
- National Museum of Singapore
The National Museum of Singapore is as organized and pristine as the rest of the country. It has very successfully condensed the country’s history in readable and enjoyable forms. It was particularly interesting and heartbreaking to see how Singapore was damaged and oppressed during occupation in World War II – but also so amazing to see how they built an incredible metropolis in the aftermath!
- Singapore Museum of Asian Civilizations
The Museum of Asian Civilizations has some amazing art pieces across all Southeast cultures, from Arab scripts, to Cambodian Buddha statues, to Chinese scholar wood carvings – it also has some pretty cool swords!
- Art Galleries in Raffles City Mall
I love how Singapore prioritizes art – and in many of the public malls there are various art galleries open to the public. The style of the art is a little different than other museums I’ve seen in the Western Hemisphere!
- Boat Quay and St. Patrick’s Festival
One afternoon we just happened to end up by the river for the last day of the Saint Patrick’s Festival, where we saw traditional Irish dancing and lots of people celebrating in green – the celebration spanned for blocks!
- Downtown Singapore
Downtown Singapore is a jungle of fancy sky-scrapers and beautifully reconstructed colonial style buildings. There are lots of restaurants, people lounging in the abundant green space, and lots of hopping business buildings with huge public sculptures in between.
Fun fact about Singapore for the week:
Can = Yes and Cannot = No
Here in Singapore if someone wants to say yes, they usually answer with “Can” and if they want to say no, they usually answer with “Cannot.” For example, when I ordered a muffin for breakfast this morning and asked if I could grab one, they just said “can”.
Also, Durians (and only durians out of ALL other fruits) are not allowed on public buses for some strange reason… I have no idea why…