The Big OE: Singapore

“Diary Entry – 24/9/11”

Today marks nine months since I left New Zealand. What an epic nine months it’s been. To date, I have:

Toured Malaysian Borneo on a pit bike;
Explored Penang (several times);
Scored a job with a high end design agency in Singapore;
Visited Kathmandu, Nepal and laid eyes on Mt Everest;
Learnt a new 3D CAD program – Rhino;
Attended Beer Fest Asia 2011;
Travelled to Hanoi, Vietnam;
Sailed around Halong Bay, Vietnam;
Sat in (nearly) front row seats at the inaugural One Fight Championships;
Went to Formula One Grand Prix Singapore; 

and in a few days time, we fly to Shanghai, there to tour China for two weeks. What a year.”

This year has not gone at all how I planned. My original aim was for Europe. Singapore was meant to be a stop-over. But then things changed. I planted. I found a job. I grew to enjoy a life style that seems so far separated from my previous life, it’s hard to remember what my previous life was like. I even call it My Previous Life.  So it is that nine months after my departure from the motherland, I am in Singapore.

A few things I’ve come to learn whilst here:

Taxi drivers in Singapore are crazy.
I’m not talking funny crazy either. I’m talking homicidal/suicidal crazy. So far I’ve seen taxi drivers exit their vehicle to abuse other drivers at red lights, taxi drivers falling asleep at the wheel, taxi drivers launch into half hour rants on how the Government must leave power immediately, or racist slurs against whoever had taken the previous fare. Ok, I understand it’s a high stress job, with possibly low profit margins, and some really really annoying clients. But the levels some of these guys take driving to often leaves me speechless, breathless, and almost empty bladdered.

When communication breaks down, speak Maori
Or at least pronounce vowels as you would in Maori-ora. Turns out, the languages of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Polynesia are remarkably similar in structure and sound. Something to do with all life starting in Malaysia or something like that (note: I believe this fact is skewed by my better half, who by chance is from Malaysia). If this communication technique fails, I also have found talking as if you were a goose often gets good results. This may be due to the comedy factor of it though.

Work Culture in New Zealand is really, really, really relaxed
Or at least my experience of it has been. Gone are the days of starting the computer shutting down at 4.55pm. Now I feel guilty if I ever happen to leave at 7pm.  But in a way it’s a welcome change. I am able to fully immerse in my work, learning and growing with each day that passes. It’s meant I’ve been able to learn Rhino 3D, develop my illustration and visualization skills, and take my design abilities far past where they were when I left New Zealand. I can’t wait to see where my skills are at by this time next year.

The less English a Muay Thai Instructor speaks, the more urgent you are to do his instructions
I joined a martial art gym in March, with the intention of trying new martial arts I’ve never had a go at before, while keeping my skills up in my current areas of strength. As I’ve always wanted to improve my standing game, I have taken to Muay Thai, it’s fitness, conditioning, and brute force pushes me far beyond comfortable limits every session, and then there’s techniques to remember on top of all that. I hope to take up some BJJ sessions towards the end of the year, when I get my Gi from it’s storage box in New Zealand, in order to get my ground game flowing as well.

Friends come and go, but mates cross oceans to hang out
This might get a bit soppy, but I’ve been absolutely amazed at how many friends and family have passed through this year. We have averaged one group of visitors per month thus far. I guess Jetstar has helped make this possible, but the people that have made the trip, wether you were on your way further north, or just here for a Sam and Yean dose, it’s made us feel loved. To the army ruperts Hamish and Tom, the uni friends Kim, Savannah and Stephen, Granny and Granddad, and most recently my old work mate Simon, thank you. No pressure for anyone who hasn’t made it. No pressure at all. *stare*.

Here’s a few photos of the last few months here to sum it up thus far. Needless to say, there will be more updates on life in Singapore as I learn and grow, and develop more vocabulary.

The Infinity Pool at the Top of Marina Bay Sands

The New Office - Holmes & Marchant Asia Pacific

My one and only one photo of the Merlion

Dorito decides to visit. And stays.

Life is incomplete without wheels. So we went out and brought some.

Tom and Hamish visited. Singapore and Malaysia will never be the same again.

Double Baked Crab. The best crab I've ever had thus far.

One FC. Now the largest MMA tournament in Asia.

Singapore Grand Prix. A far cry from Pukekoe Trackdays. Not sure which I prefer watching though.

2 thoughts on “The Big OE: Singapore

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