Its been two weeks since I touched down in Singapore. Everyday copious amounts of sugar is transported to my tummy in the form of iced black milk tea, iced coffee, and avocado milkshakes. Of course, between these periods of intense sugar intake, my days have also been filled with other wonderful experiences.
Food, food, and more food
There are several ethnic groups that make up Singapore; primarily Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Euroasian. With the diversity in cultures, Singapore offers a crazy array of foods. Food courts that give you endless options of different cuisines litter every neighborhood. Highlights were Dim Sum and Chili Crab with the other exchange students. Chili crab is a Singaporean staple and a must try when visiting. The hawker centres, large open-air food courts, offer reasonably priced dishes at around $3-$8 SGD.
Aside from eating my way through Singapore, I also learned how to cook traditional Indonesian dishes with my Bahasa Indonesia class. We learned how to make Rujak Pengantin, a salad type dish with a peanut dressing, and Bakwan jagung, corn fritters. Although I don’t cook, I did enjoy eating.
Lastly, I ate chicken feet…
TIP #1: To eat chicken feet, put the thing in your mouth and suck all the skin and cartilage off the bones. Then spit out the bones on your plate. Trying to nibble off pieces proves pretty unsuccessful as the bones are quite small to grip.
Although my summer program has turned out to be quite intense, with around 6 hours of class each day, it does offer several trips that allow me to explore Singapore’s background, culture, biodiversity, and natural beauty. Trips included the Singapore Zoo and River Safari, the Chian Natural History Museum, the Malay Heritage Center, and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. Definitely far too many great experiences to talk about.
A few highlights are below:
- Ate a cute panda bao at the zoo (pic in food section)
- Explored the mangroves- serious amount of biodiversity and insane plant root systems adapted to such a harsh environment
- Enjoyed es campur, a mix fruit and ice Indonesian dessert
- Saw some animal species that I never have seen before: the mudskipper is officially my new spirit animal
- Displayed sperm whale was found off the coasts of Singapore in 2015. My professor helped prepare it for display.
TIP #2: Do not touch the railings in the open monkey forest exhibit in the River Safari. The monkeys pee on them to mark their territory.
Finally, as cliche as it is, the friends I have made have been the greatest part of my trip. We always have a blast eating and exploring. They have taught me so much about their own cultures and enhanced my trip immensely. Travelling so far has consisted of a lot of shopping and eating. Both are much better with company.
Teman teman saya translates to My friends in Indonesia.
TIP #3: Make friends and be open to new experiences. It will make your trip.