Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chapter 3: About Singaporeans

Now i am no anthropologist to critically analyse, human cultures and heritage, but still a few things that any observing mind observes, have been observed by my observation. Here are they.... my observations.

Keep to themselves: Local people, don't mix a lot with others. I have been here for 2 weeks now, and yet I know only the Indians that I have lunch with. they don't greet strangers.. not just foreigners, with smiles. Germans I am told are opposite to this, my mentor is an example of this.

Quiet: They just keep soooo quiet, its unbelieveable!!! On the MRT(local trains) and buses, the only nise is the constant hum and periodic braking. Their mouths are always shut.

Earphones: Though it sounds weird, I bet every child in Singapore is born with headphones. Din bhar gaane sunte rehte hain, all of them. Also the PSP is an extremely popular accessory.

Short and fair: They're usually short(I guess I and Shubham would have increased the average height here by a centimetre or so). They're ridiculously fair, and believe it or not, behind those slits they do have eyes. Women are extremely careful about they're looks, one hand is always cressing their long hair, and men are careful too(or maybe they're just so fair, they naturally look made-up)

Traffic: Seriously good point about people here. Very strict observance of traffic laws, people actually stop when you cross the Zebra crossings. Its amazing, gives you a feeling of power and authority. Bus ho ya truck, just step on the crossing, they will all come to a halt. Blowing the horn, I guess is against the law or something, saal koi bajata hi nahin. Tang aa chuka hoon main, horn na sunkar.

News channels: Its a small country, so nothing newsworthy happens everyday and given the strict adherence to laws by the citizens, they borrow they're top stories from neighbouring countries. Also, small articles that in India wouln't receive more than a mention on the ticker, are full blown 30-min programs. Also the surprise endings of soap operas and high sales volumes of CDs and DVDs figure among top stories.

Driving: Though traffic sense is followed strictly, kisi ko driving nahin aati. Every stop and start sounds and feels like an emergency procedure. Many vehicles are non-geared and buses have female drivers too. Shocking!!

Phone: Incoming is not free. Buhuhoooo!!

Health conscious: yeh to manna padega. Lots os parks, gyms, public pools and places to exercise, and they're all very well used. All throughout the day, you can see people jogging, stretching etc.

Similarity in faces: This is a myth, but its true. the people do look the same. Many times it has happenned, that I have felt as though I have seen this person before, in the same week, on the same day, sometimes even on the same bus, at the same time, sitting at either end of the bus. Sometimes I feel like its my responsibility to fix a meeting between these long lost relatives/twin siblings.

Dumb: By our bad luck, the dumbest of them all are usually running food stalls and take our order. Even sign language doesn't suffice, and we have to rely on pictorially memorizing menus to see that we don't order, some ox tail or pig kidnet stew. (menus are mostly in mandarin... for the dumb fucks-chinese is not a language)

That's it... yeah, for now. Once I think of another chapter to write about, I'll write about it. Au revior.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Chapter 2: My Time-Table

Lots to tell about Singapore, but nothing really different from what you can read on any tourism site, so I'm going to take it lite from here. And though I haven't really had a day where I haven't screwed up, I'm telling you the ideal day, or rather the average one.

Morning, wake up at 7.30, yes... kya karoon yaar, office is an hour's distance and nahane wahane ko time lagta hai na. Then reach office by 9(unless I take the wrong bus like y'day, wherein I reached at 11... I hope that never happens again). Breakfast at Infineon canteen. Then work. Ahem... kaam hai padhna. Am reading recent developments, protocols and a whole lot of stuff i don't yet understand and so can't explain, and which even if I did understand and could explain, wouldn't on this blog because it would be boring beyond your wildest imaginations. Baad mein, 11.45 am, lunch with friends at the nearest food court. We have here a group of Indians, many vegetarians who eat together, and we have been invited there. Also the way there is not straight so you gotta cut through the Siemens building, jump across a railing and run across a kuchha road to reach the place. Then, work again.... tea/coffee at 4(this is optional, the option is whether we have company or not, which technically is not an option, but hell... who wants to be politically correct on a blog) Then around, I stop working. Since, I can't leave early, am scared that my supervisor will see me leaving soon. So I hang around a little. Then at 5.30 catch my bus back home. Reach by 75 mins, more traffic in the evenings. Then I go to INSEAD, fight with the security to let me in, meet Ashok, Shubham and the other guys. There we play pool(with some more practice I might actually be called a beginner), fooseball, have snacks, and later go for dinner. Then back to pavillion at about 9pm. TV, TP, usage of 2TB of exclusive DC++ stuff(its not what you think it is OK :) ) then good night sleep tight!!

PS: I'm joking about a lot of things here, OK. The work is good and I don't try to avoid it. Am just using my blogging license to the fullest. Honest!!! Really.

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I am Arjun P. Kamath, and I am a nice guy to know.