Expectations and Adjustments
I’ve been here four days and it has yet to rain. It should be raining because all of my research has told me to expect it. The irony of course is that it is pouring rain throughout drought plagued California at the moment. I know it will come, and its absence has given me the opportunity to explore a bit more and adjust to life nearly on top of the equator.
The effects of the heat will take awhile to adjust to. The mornings are not entirely uncomfortable with temperatures in the high 70s to go along with the puffy clouds, but by afternoon it rises to the high 80s and the clouds become more numerous. As I type this at four in the afternoon, it is 87 F, but feels like 99 F with the humidity. it’s not the time for a tender Californian to be outside.
I’ve been able to accomplish quite a bit so far. The journey, as expected, was tediously long but uneventful. The airport had just opened for business for the day and our flight was one of the first arrivals, so immigration, customs, and baggage went smoothly. After a short taxi ride I found myself at the Courtyard Marriott I would call home for the next three nights. It was a very welcome sight and the bed was extremely comfortable. I spent those first days sleeping, eating, and taking a few short journeys around the area which included a shopping mall next door and a food center not too far away.
I purchased a new SIM card for my phone and a MRT (mass rapid transit) pass which allows me to go anywhere at anytime. I’ll be writing a more detailed post about this in the future. I had concerns about many of my website account logins not functioning, but thankfully I’ve had no issues with banks, Apple, Google, credit cards, or my PS4.
I’ve been taking it easy on my stomach and have only allowed myself one spicy meal a day. I’m exploring options and have hit upon Indian, Vietnamese, and Chinese delicacies so far. My other meals have tended to feature foods from my comfort category; potato, eggs, breads, and fruits and veg. There are plenty of “western” options here, but I intend to avoid those as much as possible. I’ll be making exceptions for an occasional burger or a brat.
I’ve now moved into my apartment for the next 6 months and I really like it. It’s clean, centrally located, and it’s in a nice neighborhood of churches and art museums. I have plenty of options within a short walk for food, shopping, and transportation. The transportation part is key as I will be spending about 45 minutes - 1 hour every day, to and from the three schools I will be attached to. I will also be taking an evening class at a university which is about an hour away.
It has been a very smooth transition to this point for me. Audrey and I have been able to video chat each day and we plan to keep that going until she comes to see me after she retires in June. I already have the date circled on my calendar. Tomorrow, myself and the two other Fulbright Teachers here with me will be attending the first day of our official welcoming orientation. We’ll get to meet all the people that we have been corresponding with and learn about the structure of the education system in Singapore. That will likely be the subject of my next post, so thank you for reading and for following my adventures. Cheers!