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Today, I participated in that great Singaporean pastime

posted May 31, 2012, 1:35 AM by jj pionke
Shopping!  I have more patience for shopping than most of the people in my family however, I am a surgical shopper.  I only go if I intend to spend money on something and even then, I tend to not really window shop.  Anyway, I needed two things: a watch and earbuds for the ipod.  I did eventually find both.  Somehow, I landed up at the swatch store at one of the malls on orchard road and though I was planning on getting a much cheaper digital watch, this white analog with a skull on it called out to me.  The watch reminds me of Erik actually, which is one of the reasons I bought it.  The watch is now my Singapore souvenir.  I tend to pick up one nice thing and then at least a keychain for the Christmas tree wherever I go.  I guess I just need to get the keychain now!  I also went to the Sony store and got earbuds and then to a large bookstore and picked up some postcards which I am hoping I will be able to mail this weekend maybe?  We'll see.  I don't know anything about the postal system here.  The shopping experience was an experience but not one that I necessarily need to repeat.  I am also glad that I went today rather than the weekend.  The saleswoman at the watch store said that the weekends are crazy busy as well as paydays.

Before I went shopping, I made my way to the NUS Central Library.  I didn't got in but I did make sure I could find the building for tomorrow morning.  I had wanted to sightsee after shopping but honestly, my back was killing me, worse than yesterday, which tells me that I should have rested today rather than gallop all over Singapore.  That said, I did have a nice long roundabout train ride to get back to the apt and I found that enjoyable.  When I lived in Japan, everything was very homogenous but here there is a serious crashing together of cultures, styles, and languages.  I've found it fascinating to watch people on the train as they talk and interact and just what they are wearing.  It's been fun.  It's also been interesting exploring the city but it's been a lesson in reminding myself just how big America is.  In comparison, Singapore is the size of a large suburb I guess or in other words, you have America and then you have Singapore which is roughly the size of a postage stamp.

There's no supermarket exactly close to this apt and one of the women from last night told me that many people in this complex will pick up basics at the gas station behind the building so I stopped there and got some apples and bread.  I was looking for peanut butter and jelly, but couldn't find any jelly.  They did however have a small jar of peanut butter and chocolate swirled together (thanks Skippy!) so I got that instead.  People mostly eat out here as the price of food is equal to what you would pay if you were eating in.  The meal I had at the hawker stall yesterday that I posted also had a can of diet coke and my bill was about 7S$ which would be enh, 6.50 USD$. For those of you dying to know, gas was 2.10S$ per LITER.  You do the math and conversions.  Cigarettes are about 11S$ a pack or thereabouts.

Right, power nap time and then my landlady's Bible study is meeting here tonight and I have a bunch of questions when they get here (what's the trash/recycling situation here? how do I work the washer/dryer? where can I get postage and mail postcards? etc)