Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 2 in Singapore - Monday April 4, 2011

Today was my first day at work! I took the MRT from my hotel to the lab. It took almost an hour because I'm sure I took a big detour walking from hotel to MRT... along the way I was tempted by various coffee shops, bakeries, and local eateries, but I already had the free breakfast at the hotel, what a shame. =(

Lab was quite uneventful. It was surprisingly an all male group, so I felt at times out of place. Not that they weren't friendly when I talked to them or anything - they just seemed to keep their distance and didn't really talk to me unless talked to.

For lunch they took me to a local hawker center - kinda like a Dai Pai Dong in Hong Kong. I had what was supposedly the best HK style roast meats there. It was very tasty, almost as good as the stuff you get in HK. Forgot to take photos since I ate it so fast... =D

Started to feel sleepy at around 4pm, and non-stop yawning... especially when the labmate switched off the lights to do a photosensitive assay. =P

The boss of this lab is very nice. He saw me yawning and said I should just take off early to recover. I left at 5pm, and found the public transportation (MRT) to be super jam-packed, but still highly efficient. Although, with all the people waiting to get through the gates, it was highly embarrassing when my MRT card (kinda like octopus in Hong Kong) just wouldn't read!!! You know that feeling you get when you're holding everyone up - you start to sweat, and feel flustered, and feel as though everyone's eyes are boring into your back? Yah... in the Singapore heat, the sweating part of that reaction really doesn't help.

I got back to my room and put my heavy-ass mac down, and with my bag much lighter, I figured I should really force myself to go out so that I don't fall asleep early again. While wandering around the massive catacomb-like labyrinth of interconnected malls, I passed by this Hershey's SUPER FAN STORE:

I don't know about you, but Hershey's chocolate to me tastes like it's been eaten and then pooped out by a skunk. I hate it. To think that anyone could worship this brand of confections is ridiculous. And here I am, faced with a massive store (think SF Disney store sized) full of Hershey's candies, t-shirts, GIANT (like, industrial grade ethanol jug-sized) bottles of hershey's chocolate syrup, and other nauseating products. I took my photo of this monstrocity and quickly moved on.

More pleasingly I later happened upon a pet store. They didn't have puppies for sale (which I guess is sort of a good thing - there are too many abandoned dogs we should adopt before buying, but that's another conversation for another day), but they did have many varieties of hamsters and wabbits. One of them looked suspiciously like a nude guinea pig - you know, like the nude mice they use for lab experiments, but a guinea pig. I felt sad for the poor guy, naked and all, and to save his dignity, I refrained from photographing him. Here are some baby hamsters though!


Now to find some food. I went to a food court in a mall (Food Republic) and wandered around wondering what I should eat. Saw a sign for Oyster Omelette. That sounds good. Wonder how it's different from the Taiwanese version?

I have to admit that I like this version more than the taiwanese one, simply because this version has a lot more wok-breath flavour, and more crunchy bits. mmm... The oysters in this particular one was a bit fishy tasting, but I could see the potential of this dish. The soy milk sweetened the meal. I also had this red bean filled donut thing, which wasn't really a Ma Tuan (麻团), but wasn't quite like a red bean bun, either. It was good though. I could have eaten five more of those.

The decor of the food court was also very interesting (I guess these are the kinds of things you tend to notice when you're eating alone. There's nothing else to do but gawk at every minute detail in your surroundings). It was fashioned like a library, with book wall paper and brassy lamp fixtures:

After my lonesome, thought yummy meal, I made my way to Carrefour to buy some vegetables. The local cuisine sorely lacks greens. Then when I got to the store, I learned why. They cost an arm and a leg! Two stalks of celery was S$3 (~USD2.50); a bag of baby carrots S$2; bananas were S$0.50 EACH; and milk S$5 for a litre. Insane. They also don't take credit card unless you spend more than S$20. =(

I wearily ended the day by walking back to my room. It was barely 10pm, but I could not keep my eyes open any longer!

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