Singapore: The City-State Younger Than My Parents

So, I’m here.

After a good 3 years of talking about “going on exchange,” I am finally living in Singapore – more specifically, in “University Town” at the National University of Singapore (NUS).  I’m going to cut to the chase and invite you to check out my crib:

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Minimalist Jo (for now)

I live on the 18th floor in Tembusu, which means my view is unlike one I’m used to at home (check out all the green space!):

Summer haze (or just Instagram filters...)

Summer haze (or just Instagram filters…)

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S’pore green spaces

I haven’t cooked in 2.5 weeks because I have a meal plan that covers me most days for two meals (breakfast & dinner). This is a bit of a mixed blessing because I do enjoy cooking (and by cooking, I mean throwing near-expired vegetables together to make stir-fry), and I do enjoy feeding people…but there’s something about communal eating that is magical, hence making it all worth the cost. The power in food lies in its ability to cure students of being tired and hangry for at least a reasonable amount of time.

When I’m feeling ungrateful, I complain about having a meal plan because sometimes, I just want to make a grilled, rye-bread tomato-avocado-cheese sandwich instead of eat a plate of noodles for breakfast. Speaking of food in Singapore, did you know that hawker centres and universities  are subsidized by the government? This is done in attempts to preserve Singaporean food culture.  I pay on average $4 for lunch, which means a fresh fruit smoothie + hearty dish with rice or noodles in my belly. Yum. More on my food experiences in Singapore and neighbouring countries later!

This isn’t my first time being away from home, so I’ve become immune to feeling homesick for more than a couple minutes at a time. However, when I DO start missing my friends and family, I look to these things to make me feel a bit better:

My mom wouldn't let me leave the house without these.

My mom wouldn’t let me leave the house without these.

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This can of good ol’ spec’ has been to at least 3 continents in its lifetime.

Although my room isn’t as decked out as I’d like it to be, it’s quickly feeling like home. As the weeks progress, it’ll become more of a “home-base” as I am aiming to travel as MUCH as I can during my four day weekends. How did I manage to get Fridays and Mondays off, despite taking 4 classes (each with a tutorial)? Well kids, the answer is simple. Witchcraft.

Joking! Don’t stone or drown me. Really it was a combination of being an arts student & this website (http://nusmods.com/2013-2014/sem1) that allowed me to find classes that fit my nomadic needs. Speaking of traveling, I’m heading to Tioman Island tomorrow via cab, bus, and ferry. The total trip should take about 5 hours, which as a Canadian…is a piece of cake. To Malaysia I go!

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