Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Singapore :)

Saturday night Ren and I flew to Manila.  I spent Sunday with Des' family.  We went to lunch together, it's a family tradition which they allowed me to crash... and in good Filipino hospitality style they absolutely stuffed me!  Even hours later for supper I was full - proof that I was really stuffed.  We spent the afternoon, between meals, wandering through the Greenhills mall shopping at the pearl market.  Thankfully I was able to bargain and didn't get slapped once!  It really restored my faith in bargaining. I had the true Pinoy experience of visiting 3 malls in one day; one for lunch, one in the afternoon and one for supper.  As Des put it "malling is their favourite past-time"  a good indicator being that the noun is now an adjective.

Early Monday morning Ren and I flew to Singapore.  We are staying outside of the downtown area, and far from the shopping malls - hence off the tourist map.  Our one skill so far is a remarkable ability to get lost, despite the clarity of Singapore's transit system. We went for lunch at a street food place nearby and had plans to wander Orchard Road which is apparently famous for its - drum roll please - malls! I've had a bit of a cold over the past week though, and as much as I do love shopping :p I spent the afternoon sleeping.  Best nap ever! I drooled ;)

We had a meeting with some students at the National University of Singapore last night.  We were told our meeting location was close to NUS, we thought we were across the street from NUS as there is a big sign across the street from us and we're staying in student housing.  Apparently we're by the NUS law campus - as our bus ride was a good 20 minutes even if we hadn't got lost...

Today we met with the National Youth Achievement Award program and the National Youth Council.  Both organisations were very receptive to WYA's work and mission and eager to put us in touch with the youth they work with.  I definitely think we can begin to have a presence here.  Especially as Singapore is a wealthy, ageing country so they especially wish to encourage everything youth there would be great support for any young people who wanted to start WYA up here.

This evening we have a couple more meetings with different students and youth groups, and tomorrow we meet with the Muslim and Buddhist youth groups; in different meetings.  Ren is absolutely crazy, she takes pictures of everywhere we go, everything we eat, and is in 90% of her pictures.  She's started taking some pictures with me in it, as she can't understand what the purpose of taking a picture is, if you're not in the picture - unless it's of the food which you're about to eat or have just eaten.  We've been polling people of various nationalities and it seems to be a western/asian conflict in picture taking philosophy.

Singapore is really beautiful!  Flying in, the water was so clear and aqua I just wanted to go swimming.  The weather here is nice too, hotter than Hong Kong and Manila but not as hot as Bangkok.  Bangkok has been, by far, the hottest place I've visited so far.  Since I also stayed there sharing a non air-conditioned washroom, dorm and transportation every other place I visit seems cold.  Transportation is air-conditioned, buildings are air-conditioned and my room in each place has been air-conditioned.  Ren is finding the heat much hotter than me, and we compromised last night on the air-conditioning as I wanted it at a cozy 29 Celsius and she wanted it at a maximum of 25 Celsius.

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