August 5, 2014
For the first time ever, and in a country completely unfamiliar, I live alone. Here in Singapore, I have rented a room at an HDB, about a 10 minute bus ride to campus, that is owned by a Chinese family. It is a very small box-like room which had: a bed, small work table, a closet, a small dresser and a mirror. Nothing more, and nothing less. It was a simple room.
After the first day of settling into my new room, all my excitement I had slowly dissipated and was replaced by fear and loneliness. Not having anyone I know here really sucked. Even more so since I did not live on campus. I had never been so lonely before in my life, and was very homesick. I was worried about not fitting in or making new friends (for those of you who know me, I am pretty shy and would never approach a stranger. Honestly, I struggled with meeting new people. It was VERY hard!). However, that soon changed. I realized that I was approaching this all wrong. Having those negative It was a complete waste of time, and unhealthy for the soul! There are dozens of international students who are in my exact position and are looking to make new friends. It was time for me to step out of my shell and try something new: taking the incentive to meet strangers.
On orientation day (August 7), I made sure to approach everyone who looked like an international student. With a simple “Hello” and a smile, I approached multiple students and introduced myself. To my surprise, I received very kind responses, and soon enough we were having actual conversations, lunch and even made plans weekend plans. I could not believe it, making friends was A LOT easier than I had thought. I really have been missing out by being so uptight and concerned about whether or not people would like and me. What I originally thought was all wrong.
From my time here, I have realized that people are friendly. Just take the incentive and approach. Create a friendly atmosphere when meeting someone new, and the response will be reciprocated. If not people do not respond in a friendly manner or like you for who you are, well that’s fine. It just means you should not be hanging out around that person anyway. Don’t let it discourage you from meeting new people and being who you are. There are millions of people in this world, so do not worry. You will have friends. No ifs, ands, or buts!
August 8, 2014
The next day, I headed out to explore Singapore with my new friends. We ventured out to see the Merlion (A lion with a body of a fish), Marina Bay Sands, the Avalon, Esplanade, Marina Barrage and Gardens by the Bay. It was such a surprise to me to be able to travel to so many places in Singapore in one day and at a very cheap cost! Traveling in Singapore is very convenient and safe. It is impossible to get lost here! Not only that, but during the journey I instantly noticed how clean the city was. It is unlike anything I have ever seen. This country is truly amazing!
City from Marina Barrage Gardens by the Bay
The city lights up like nothing I have never seen before. Singapore is a completely different country when night falls. It is truly a country that does not sleep!
Aside from the sight seeing, I cannot resist but to recommend trying Stingray if the chance is there. The meat is very juicy and tender. It is perhaps one of the best seafood dish I have ever had!