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First time in Singapore

September 3, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ll be in Singapore for the month of September traveling for my company.  While cross training some of my colleagues on the magic of what I do in New York, I’m aiming to experience as much of Asia as possible.  After all, I’m 19 hours away from home, might as well make the most of it.

The 19 hour Singapore Air business class flight was excellent!  I fully understand why Singapore Air is ranked #1 in most airline surveys.  The food was excellent, the seats were spacious and reclined 180 degrees, the staff extremely polite and accommodating.  I was dreading endless hours confined to a seat when I first heard of travel time.  Thanks SingAir for making it a great experience.

Housing is in a corporate apartment for the month.  I’ve always stayed in hotels with previous business travels, this was going to be a more authentic experience living with other locals.  The first thing I’ve noticed is the inconvenience of having to buy my own groceries.  The supermarket is a 15 minute power-walk away which is annoying considering I’m used to running downstairs and getting a beer in seconds back home in NYC.  Commuting to the office is tricky also, the trip consists of a shuttle bus and a train ride.  There are two shuttle buses, 7am and 8am, weekdays.  I just barely made the 8am shuttle yesterday, would have had to taxi into the office otherwise.  The surrounding area is very suburban, good for jogging but not to good for socializing.  I should drop some pounds while here since I’m buying fewer groceries just to avoid carrying them, and jogging/discovering the neighborhood whenever possible.

The office is a very relaxing environment, no one’s stressed out like in NYC.  It must be partly owned to minimal conversations with NYC staff given the 12-hour time difference.  Everyone’s friendly and others actually smile back in the elevator — imagine that!

Food, Food, Food, I can’t begin to do the food justice.  Highlights include chili crab, Indonesian garlic chicken, authentic samosas, Singaporean chicken-rice and noodles galore.  I didn’t take enough pictures, but plan to edit this post when I have some graphics to show.

The common alcoholic will have a tough time in Singapore.  Liquor, beer & wine is very expensive.  Maybe worse, liquor is watered down in many places.  Nothing gets under my skin more than paying $15 for a watered down gin and tonic.  I’ve been sticking to bottled beer recently since at least I know what to expect.

Stay tuned for more…