Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Aftermath

Clockwise from left: Heath, Alex, Sophie, Sif, Ritchie, and Julius at Makansutra Gluttons Bay

When we got back from Bali we had two new roommates waiting for us: Sif from Denmark and Ritchie from China. Sif is doing her PhD in Mathematics Education and will be in Singapore for only a month, and Ritchie is doing an internship here as part of his PhD.

The other great thing that happened when we got back from Bali was I received my Work Holiday Pass and can now officially work in Singapore! I picked it up from MOM (the Ministry of Manpower) last Tuesday. I found out I was eligible for the pass thanks to Sophie, who assured me that recent university graduates who are under the age of 30 can apply, as well as current university students. You can visit the MOM website for more information, but just be warned that the information is really unclear, which is why I'm so glad Sophie was "in the know", otherwise I might never have applied. The pass is valid for 6 months and includes a multiple entry visa, so it's actually really similar to the Training Employment Pass that Julius has. It wasn't too expensive at S$120, but up quite a lot from last year's price of only S$40.

The day I picked up the pass I went straight to work. The timing couldn't have been more perfect as I got a call that I was needed for some freelance work doing a voice-over for a company called Koobits. They specialize in educational technology for children and have an online tutoring site to help your kid get ahead (or catch up) in school. I edited then read and recorded about 40 essays in three days. These audio files will be used to help kids improve their listening comprehension. It was nice to be able to work again and earn some money to help offset some of the costs of our Bali adventure!

Then on Friday we went out for dinner and drinks with the new roommates and our friends Alex and Heath. We all met downtown near the Esplanade at a hawker centre called Makansutra Gluttons Bay. All the hawkers there are hand-picked by Makansutra, a well-known food critic group, so the quality is tops and is therefore a bit more expensive than other hawker centres.

A food orgy at Makansutra

By the way, "makan" means "eat" or "eating" in malay and is commonly used in Singapore, like in the Singlish phrase "Makan already?" which means "Have you already eaten?" We learned this, among several other phrases, thanks to the Singlish book Sophie gave Julius for his birthday!

The Merlion

After stuffing ourselves we decided to stretch our legs a little and take a walk along the marina, which Alex explained is really the world's first urban reservoir, and uses a complex system of dams and pumps to separate the salt water, leaving only fresh water behind. Singapore is a very small country with a large population, and they used to have a lot of water shortages, which explains why there are so many reservoirs around. On our walk we discovered a lot of the region's local wildlife: the Merlion, which is half mermaid, half lion and is Singapore's symbol of tourism; and Robin Hood and Cat Woman. How anyone could wear winter boots in a tropical climate, I'll never know...

Robin Hood and Cat Woman


  1. Thanks for sharing your personal experience of your life in a Singapore. Singapore is such a wonderful place for your vocation. It is a golden opportunity to have enjoyment in Singapore while studying in Singapore.

  2. I always glad when I read Singapore country related information. In my experience Singapore is really adventure and progressive country in the world. And I think this is best for spend vacation and studying.