An Unforgettable Experience

Semester in Singapore: Aug – Dec 2014

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These past 4 months were perhaps one of the greatest times of my life. I cannot believe my study abroad has come to an end already. It saddens me that I must now take leave of this place that I so much admire. Singapore maybe just a small island, but hell, it is one to be admired…especially for its people. I am blessed and forever grateful to the people that I have befriended here in Singapore.

Special Shout Outs:

Firstly, Beth, you may not say much every time we hang out, but trust me that did not discourage me from hanging out with you or make it feel weird. I get it, you’re more of a listener and that’s fine. I am just glad that you never got bored hanging out with me. I appreciate your help with coming up with ideas for what to do or eat (feels great to know someone who enjoyed food as much as I did in Singapore). Even though you only put forth ideas, and left me responsible with all the plans, I honestly did not mind. I am just glad to see that you wanted to hang out with me. Plus you helped me grow as a leader (which is something I have honestly always lacked). For that, I am very grateful for your friendship. Not only that, but every time you did give input, it never fails to make me laugh. Your jokes are unique, sometimes weird, clever, and most of all…FUNNY. Thank you for the laughs and teaching me the Singapore slang. Oh and also, thank you for speaking slowly and without the slang when you were around other Singaporeans. It made it easy for me to understand and it made me feel included in your conversation.I will never forget the laughs or your willingness to come hang out and have fun every time I made plans (despite having homework or the need to “mug”).  Seriously, you are SUPER DUPER AWESOME. Don’t forget it, or about me.

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“No. 1”

Rachael, I swear you make situations SUPER awkward for me. It seriously makes me speechless most of the time…I cannot emphasize how AWKWARD it gets with some of the stuff you say. Like seriously woman…However, it is probably one of the best qualities that you have. You taught me how to be comfortable with who I am, accept who I am and to just embrace the situation. I truly believe, after meeting, that “it IS only awkward if you make it awkward”. Rather it is just a moment to just laugh at and enjoy it. It is a memory you can just look back at and laugh at how silly we were. Like No. 1, thank you for always coming out to have fun on various adventures throughout Singapore every Thursday nights. Even though you were late 95% of the time, I appreciate that you still came out! Seriously dude, it was always a blast when the Dynamic Duo was with me. I honestly don’t know what I would’ve done without you guys. I would never trade the memories I have made with you two for anything. It was always a Jolly Good O’ Time. Thank you for that 🙂

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“No. 2”

First and foremost, 谢谢 慧敏 (Look at my chinese skills go!). I am very touched and grateful for your act of kindness. You have a big heart, for people and animals. I was able to learn a lot from you about stray animals, treatments and the need for the shelters. Just from accompanying you that one time, I could see your passion for volunteering and helping the cats and dogs (And just volunteering in general, so keep volunteering!). On top of that you are very welcoming (not to me, but my friends as well). It has been a blessing to have met you in the last few weeks of my time in Singapore! Thank you for the laughs, the nicknames (Counterfeit Asian, American Chai, and many more thanks to you clever, creative person), memories, company and dinner. I appreciate you treating me to the “Soup Restaurant”. It was very delicious, especially the chicken! The chicken was so tender and juicy. Plus the boiled peanuts were also a bonus 😛

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“The Soup Restaurant and Min”

Thank you Wei En, for inviting me to your church and sharing your faith with me. If it was not for you, I would not have met such amazing people. When I look at you guys, I see a big happy family who supports and looks after one another. Just like brothers and sisters. Despite meeting you guys only twice, I never once felt out of place or excluded out of the group. You guys have one of the biggest hearts that I have ever seen. I wish I had met you guys sooner and had more time to get to know you guys better. Lastly, thank you for the thoughtful card and your messages! Thank you for allowing me to become part of your family. Until the next time guys!

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The One Big Happy Family”

Whether you were mentioned above or not just know this: I am very lucky to have met and to be able to call you guys my friends. You guys have taught me how to enjoy life. To live, love, have faith and laugh. To be appreciative of the people (the old and the new) and the things I have in my life. You guys have helped me grow, to become more confident and accepting of myself. To not be afraid to meet new people and just go with the flow. I am grateful, truly grateful for you guys. Thank you everyone for making this chapter of my life in Singapore a very memorable and enjoyable time. You guys are the greatest. Until next time!

Other Good O’ Fun Times

Honestly, I had no clue what the F1 was, let alone ANYTHING about racecars other than that these vehicles were super fast and had such an amazing engine sound that literally went “VROOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM” as it went passed. It was numbing to the ears. Also it was incredible how fast they are able to accelerate/decelerate and successfully make turns at incredible speeds. In addition to the Grand Prix, I was able to attend a concert after the qualifying rounds. That night Robbie Williams, a British Pop Artist, was the star. Not only that but it was pouring in Singapore. Still he sang and pranced around on stage. No rain was going to stop him, and no audience retreated from the rain. Instead the concert went on!

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“Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix”

There was no way I was going to forget to visit the Giant Pandas during my stay here in Singapore. These Giant Pandas, Jia Jia and Kai Kai, were definitely the main attractions to the River Safari. My friends and I had the opportunity to see the Pandas walk around and search for bamboos to eat. Such incredible animals, to be able to tear away at the hard shells of the bamboo. Aside from the Giant Pandas, we were able to see the cute little red pandas. These creatures were so adorable…too bad they were asleep when I arrived! It was quite cute to see it passed out on the tree branch.

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“Singapore’s Giant Pandas and the Adorable Red Panda (River Safari)”

A brief shout-out to my Biomedical Engineering group! You guys rock and I appreciate your guys’ hard work and sincere consideration of my travel plans. With everyone working together so well we were able to not only complete the project a week in advance, but also acquire our mentor’s approval quickly! Thanks to everyone’s hard work we were able to get our poster hung up in the Bio department! I enjoyed getting to know and working with you all. Best of luck to the rest of your studies! Continue to work hard and excel!

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“Intro to Biomedical Engineering Group and Final Presentation”

I will never forget the great times at the Swee Choon. It was the place that I kept going back to the most. Not only was their dim sum delicious (especially their Salted Egg Yolk Custard Bun!) and cheap, but it opens from 6PM – 6AM. How AWESOME is that? Perhaps the most memorable night with Swee Choon is being there at 3 in the morning for some late night delicious meal. My friends and I had gotten hungry after hanging out at the Clarke Quay bridge that we decided to adventure out to the Mustafa area for food. It was a 45 minute walk, but none of us cared…it just meant more BONDING time for us. Plus, it was worth the trip to be able to have Har Gao, Salted Egg Yolk Custard Buns, and much more. Afterwards, we waited in the restaurant till about 5 in the morning just so we can catch the MRT back home…Yes we waited all night just to save a few bucks on taxi. Looking back it may have been silly, but heck it was one of the best nights in Singapore!

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“Swee Choon and Friends”

Despite having upcoming finals, we made sure to celebrate one of my friend’s birthday. We grabbed Thai food, at the Ban Beer Thai (which had delicious Green Curry and Tom Yam Goong Soup) and then proceeded to celebrate her birthday at the Clarke Quay bridge. It was an incredible time to be having a festivity publicly! I especially will not forget the pictures we were able to take with a group of people who were dressed up as wrestlers. Clarke Quay bridge was certainly a place full of random surprises and excitements. After the bridge, we topped off the night by going clubbing. We danced the night away!

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“Beth’s Birthday Extravaganza and Fun People”

For the last couple nights in Singapore, I spent the time visiting other Singapore attractions: the Singapore Flyer and the Marina Bay Sands’ Infinity Pool. The Singapore Flyer was similar to a big Ferris Wheel, only it was very spacious inside each of the little pods. My friends and I went there at night to see the city lights. It was a very quiet and relaxing atmosphere in the pods. Plus the view of MBS from the back side aloud us to be able to see the Gardens by the Bay as it was lit up by purple, green and blue lights!

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“The Night in Singapore’s Flyer”

It felt nice to be able to spend the evening relaxing in the pool while enjoying the magnificent view of the city from above. Not only that but MBS also had several hot tubs as well! In the hot tubs you were able to enjoy the view of the Singapore Flyer and the Gardens by the Bay.

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“Infinity Pool and Gorgeous View from Marina Bay Sands”

For all the Food Lovers

The black peppered crab is smothered in a black peppered gravy like sauce. It was not just spicy, but it was also sweet. It is best to quickly eat it while it is hot. There is much joy in breaking apart the protective shell for the juicy crab meat! It is worth the work. 🙂

Yes the fish head is quiet odd, however, do not let the fish head frighten you. The fish meat is very tender (especially the meat at the cheeks of the fish) and juicy as it soaks in all the curry. The curry itself is very creamy, sweet, and has a kick of spice to it. I have never been a fan of eating fish head, however this particular dish changed all that. I had the joy of digging and slurping the meat from the fish bones. It is a must try in Singapore!

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“Singapore’s Specialty: Black Peppered Crab (Eng Seng Restaurant) and Curry Fish Head”

Bak Kut Teh is a dish that consists of pork ribs that are boiled in tea based broth with the addition of black pepper balls and garlic. Although it seems a bit odd to be cooking ribs in tea, but rest assured it is VERY delicious. The meat easily comes right off the bone and is SUPER tender. Plus it instantly clears up any sinuses that you may have!

The other dish is a hot plate tofu. You can still here the sizzling and the boiling of the sauce as the waitress brings the dish to the table. The dish is spicy and has very soft and tender fried tofu.

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“Bak Kut Teh and Hot Plate Tofu”

The porridge below is not a typical porridge. It is cooked with frog legs. That’s right, FROG legs. It is very exotic and tastes like CHICKEN but the meat is much more tighter. Forget that it is frog legs and just try it!

This laksa was perhaps the best laksa I had in Singapore. It is noodles with seafood and curry like soup base. The noodles are soft and cut to short lengths so that customers can simply enjoy the meal struggle free. There is not a need to use chopsticks or be at risk from splashing yourself from noodles slipping back down into the soup!

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“Frog Leg Porridge in Geylang and Laksa 328”

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