The Adventures of Marianne

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Monkeying Around

This morning, Mina asked me, "Should we maybe put on some sunscreen?". Of course I replied in a terribly overconfident manner, "No, no - of course not! I've been here for a week and am just as pale as when I arrived. The sun never even comes out."

Now we're sitting in the living room lobster-faced and I'm eating my words.

It was a great day though - me, Dan and Mina did some hardcore sightseeing, and I came home with 71 pictures on my camera. More than half of these were of monkees, though! Monkeys! It was crazy, we went to the nature reserve, and they were everywhere. Completely tame, too - except for the one that tried to steal my shopping bag and then got aggressive. I ran away like a scared little girl.

We also did some haggling on a digital camera, saw Chinatown, Raffles Hotel, The Merlion again and hiked to Singapore's highest point. Very productive. Then we had dinner at a place where "Fried Mermaid", "Meat porridge with Fermented Eggs" and "Frog Porridge" were menu highlights. Iffy. I stuck to just a drink as yesterday I spent 2 hours where I should have been in class regurgitating a questionable meal in the SMU bathroom. Ah, the joys of local food. It all still tastes amazing though, although I have a feeling it'll get old really soon.

There are so many things here that are so entirely different here - even though there are parts that are so much like home... And I don't just mean menu items. I learned yesterday, that apparently it's good luck to grow the facial hair you get on moles or warts in your face. I saw a bus driver with a goodsized wart with three .5 metre long whiskers hanging down. Charming. Also, when you give money, you're supposed to hand it to the person with both hands because otherwise it's bad luck. So much to learn! And I haven't even been to that many classes yet.

The one class I have though, is actually really interesting - New Product Development. The professor is Indian but just moved to Singapore 2 years ago after spending 7 years in Oslo! And we're reading (well, technically we were supposed to have read it as "background" before the class even started, but I had no idea) a great book called The Tipping Point - about what causes something to befcome a fad or trend. I definitely recommend it (although I haven't read any further than chapter 1).

So I'm not going out again tonight, my feet are broken after the monster amounts of walking we did today, and I want to be frisk som en fisk when we go to Kuala Lumpur!

Oh, Mina is the daughter of a friend of my mother's - apparently we met a few years ago at our "rustic" cabin, but I honestly can't remember. She's staying here for a few days though, then coming with us to KL, then travelling a bit before she starts her exchange semester in Sydney. I love random visitors.

So that's all for now - I'm looking forward to an evening of chillaxing. (Hehe, chillaxing. What an amazing word).


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