Thursday, 23 August 2012

Singapore, part 1

After 9 days in Taiwan, it was time to depart for the first part of my amazing Asian shopping trip elective in Singapore. As I left, Kit's mother gave me a graduation present (no, NOT the hexapus...) which I opened as soon as I got to the airport. It is awesome and will be worn at some point during grad weekend.
Given that the airport is over an hour away from Miaoli, I think I did pretty well to not open it for that long, although that might have been to do with the fact that I put my bag in the trailer rather than the car. Once I got to the airport, I had a couple of hours to take photos and spend my remaining 120NTD. There was no shortage of options for amusing myself except for a lack of claw machines.
Hamish and the Hello Kitty check in terminal.
 A larger view of the Hello Kitty check in...
 Themed watches from flik flak. Why yes, that IS a Batman (animated version) watch that you can see.
Jelly bean dispenser! When I am a doctor with my own office, I will put this on a high shelf so all the small children can look at it with envy.
I spent the last of my Taiwanese money on this (and some food) since I was using Kit's lip balm while I was in TW. I've never had an orange/mandarin flavoured lip balm or gloss, as I normally go for strawberry chapstick lip balms and whatever flavour comes in colours that suit me for glosses, but I really like the citrus.

Nearly all the departure gates have some sort of cultural theme associated with them - I was at the "D" gates (I think?) so I got to check all of those out. This is a photo of the puppets, as my gate was pretty boring by comparison.

The flight to Singapore was pretty uneventful except that I had a whole cup of airplane/hotel milk (the stuff that usually comes in the tiny containers). I have an odd relationship with the stuff, in that I absolutely love it and most people think I'm a bit nutty because of that. The UHT milk that I can buy in NZ doesn't taste quite as sweet, and I think the closest I've come was mixing up some trim milk powder one. But I had a WHOLE CUP of it.

Anyway, Singapore - I think I quite like it here. Unfortunately it is much the same temperature as Taiwan, i.e. too hot and humid for me - I end up sticky and gross by lunchtime most days, but I'm staying at this amazing place.
This is a MASSIVE condo complex called Anchorage, which is half a block away from the hospital (score!), has a gym and pool (double score!) and is next door to two malls, including one with all the sportswear outlets and across the road from a foodcourt (words cannot express my joy).
This is my bed. The booze is not mine, you can only bring one bottle of spirits into SG anyway so it couldn't possibly be mine.
This is the view from my window! There's actually a balcony here, but the air-con units are sitting on it.
 One of the malls on the way to the hospital. Queensway is a sports outlet - all the big brands are sold here with fairly decent discounts off RRP. Not quite clearance store (a nice pair of sneakers will still set you back $100), but I'm told that locals come here from all over Singapore specifically to shop for sports goods.
This is the driveway up to the hospital which is a small, provincial hospital by Singaporean standards, having only 400 beds (which I believe is 50 more than Wellington!). It's super friendly so far, the consultants are interested in teaching students and the house officers/medical officers have teaching every day! You can also choose to be a "resident here" - which is where you stay in the hospital but are still a generalist rather than having a specialty, so when you're a medical officer (medical officers can either be SHOs or registrars I think, although the registrars all seem to be labelled registrar rather than MO) you just stay a medical officer for ages and then become a resident physician. Or something...
Hospital wear for females is more uniform than in NZ - there seem to be three main variations on a theme. It's either a nice dress or blouse / nice top and dress slacks or skirt, with ballet flats being the preferred choice of footwear. Blouses are a bit more frilly/dressy, in accordance with current fashion... and there are no pagers! However this means people are on their phones a lot instead and constantly fielding calls.

 This is a road. In Singapore. With trees. That have fairy lights! With all the talk about being environmentally friendly here, the city sure still uses a lot of extra electricity at night.

This is the only cat I have seen in Singapore so far. I have seen 2 squirrels (or the same one twice, I can't tell) but failed to photograph them.

Next post: food and shopping, and sports bras!

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