Going West by Mark Powers

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sweating in Singapore

Got here about 2 Am yesterday morning. I feel like a several days have past in the last 24hours. Man its hot and humid. Singapore, its exactly how you can imagine a modern international mixed bag of cultures with a colonial history in SE Asia to look like. I am house hunting, living out of a hotel room, that is really like a box, near Little India.

In one day you can hear a plethora of languages. The taxi driver speaks Malay, the salesman at the electronics store spoke Indian, the guys in the elevator speak Tamil, the agent speaks Mandarin Chinese, but speaks Fujian dialect (which is like another language) with friends and family. The signs on the shops and buildings are written in at least 3 languages. I've heard Austrialians (Ozzies) and British accents. Throw in Thai, Indonesian languages, Vietnamese, Philipines, etc etc. You could overhear 10 different languages in a day. Even every channel on the TV is in different language. The English channel just plays CNN all day.

Most people here speak English, but not the English I'm used to. For example you say "thank you", and they say "no worries" like we say "no problem" in the states. They keep saying "Top Off" or "Top Up" for renew or extend or fill up.

With all the various enthnicities, you can imagine all the varity in clothing styles as well. I even watched a fitness program with a woman wearing a head-dress. Nothing like the US and all the spandex. Because of the tropical weather, most business people don't wear ties let alone suits, except in the central business district with air conditioned high rise buidlings.

And food, I can't really say much yet. But by the looks of all the restaurants, there is a lot to discover. Anyway, its honestly a little exasperating to learn everything new again, but what else is new in my life.



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