Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chinatown, etc.

There is absolutely no tipping in Singapore, except maybe to round up to the next dollar when taking a taxi. It makes it easier to pay, but it feels so wrong to me.

Men in Singapore must serve in the military for 2 years when they turn 18. So, they don't begin university until they are 20 or 21. For the next 10 years, every year they have to go for yearly service, which can last from 1-14 days. They find out when they must report at least 6 months in advance so they can arrange for it with their jobs. The government pays their companies for their time. Women don't have to do any of this, but they can join the military and serve as officers if they so choose. I wonder if this means that women begin university 2 years before men do.

I'm not really minding living out of a hotel room. It's kind of nice having a maid! Although the price I pay is that every day I move the comfy chair by the desk (where the ethernet cable is) and every day the maid moves it back.

The malls are jam packed on Friday and Saturday nights. Good thing I decided to eat dinner early last night. The wait to get in to the sushi place was only about 15 minutes at 6pm. I was seated at the sushi counter, which is partly why going out for sushi alone is not at all awkward. The sushi chefs kept smiling at me and making small talk. Unfortunately, I couldn't hear them very well so I just smiled and nodded a lot. God knows what I agreed to.

I have been trying various iced desserts, of course. It seems that when I see a flavored soft serve listed on a menu, it's not the soft serve itself that is flavored, but rather a syrup that is poured over a vanilla one. I have had the sesame one and a hojiki (I think that's what it was) one, which was a Japanese tea. Both were really good. I might get the soft serve in a cup in the future, though, because I wind up having to lick off all the syrup.

I finally saw some black people today: fellow tourists in Chinatown. Chinatown was not as exciting as I remember it being on my last trip here with my former company. I think maybe the reason I went to Chinatown so often on that trip is because that office was right on the border of Chinatown.

I will have to go back to Chinatown near the end of my stay, however, to go to Dr. Fish Spa. I don't want the fish to eat off my pedicure, but I definitely want to give them a tasty meal of my dead feet skin.

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