Sunday, July 31, 2011

Forest Treetop Adventure!

mah lordie... how did we end up here!?

this morning after semi-finalising random housing situations for INSEAD one of my friends suggested we all get together, meet up, and go to this

if you know me at all, the slightest hint of stuff like this and i'm in in in!

so first off we had to get there. this place is located in a reservoir - of which there are several in singapore. so we end up on a trek with a cabbie trying to explain to him where we want to go EXCEPT we got one crucial piece of information wrong: the name of the reservoir.

we kept telling the cabbie to go to bedok reservoir park IN macritchie reservoir which is in a completely different place.

the issue is that macritchie has treetop walks - and is located in "midtown"
and bedok has forest adventure (ON treetops) - and is located "east" on the island

needless to say we missed our 1pm appointment while driving back and forth through singapore BUT SOMEHOW (not on purpose) we convinced the cabbie he made the mistake and so our 20-30 minute cab ride only cost us 5 bucks (a 2 minute ride). i now feel bad, reflecting on it... sorry uncle! (what we all call cab drivers in singapore - affection/respect/singlish mixture)

regardless we finally get to bedok and on the way, the new cabbie engages us in lots of interesting discussions around how great the singaporean gov't is for looking out for its own people - the point being that they built their own reservoirs when water was restricted by neighboring countries that thought they could use the scarcity of water in negotiating matters in their favor with singaporeans.

go singapore!

we get to the spot
and the adventure starts!

4 courses
up ladders
onto trees
wearing harnesses
always RED ON - i.e. attaching the safety harness to a red wire on each treetop

and the fun! it was quite rigorous. jumping from one tree to another or walking across floating planks - sometimes i wondered if this would get me one step closer to shaolin :P

and we even ended up "adopting" a 12 year old because her dad sprained his ankle on the first zip line.

OH yeah! after every course you were high above the mountaintops castles made of cloud there sits wonder... oops. sorry that was a song moment.

sorry - after every course you are high up on treetops and you ZIPLINE down to the next stop OVER the reservoir! It is quite something. It isn't like you're necessarily over the reservoir for TOO long but it is easily 10-12 meters off the ground and for a good 30 seconds (or longer) that you zipline - which, on a zipline is quite a while, honestly.

yes, this is what it looks like.

Anyhow, this girl's dad injured his foot & she was quite keen on continuing but did not want to go alone - and was not allowed to as she was only 12... so my friends and i adopted her on our journey through the next 3 sites across the treetops and i have to say - she put us to shame! she was able to do the courses with a lot less energy (at least that's what it looked like) and minimal guidance.

I did, however, become UBER protective as we had basically taken on the responsibility of her safety and fun on a pretty rigorous obstacle course. I tried to be careful not to suffocate her with questions and instructions - basically I would watch but not say anything unless I saw her forget something very specific. Otherwise I let her figure it out and let her enjoy the trail the way she wanted to enjoy it. But man oh man was THAT a workout too! Seriously!

I can only imagine what it is like to be a parent. JESUS. This was just for 2hrs........

Mad respect Yo. Especially to all the parents of girls. Coz us boys get in trouble, break some bones, and get up and run around (sorry to be 'stereotypical' but i'm really just talking about myself in this instance i guess)... girls got all kinds of things you gots to thinks bout YO.

Sorry for gangsta speak. Influence of my current surroundings.

Anyhow, back to treetops - it was funs of ton! and the other thing too. Highly recommend it in a group of good friends (as tensions do rise especially when you're lost in a taxi on the way to the place getting late for your appt thinking it might all be for nothing - oh and when your muscles are cramping up with the random strenuous activities including muscles you wouldn't one any normal day exercise).

Do it!



sorry about the last post being taken down. i will repost later... when i'm allowed to. as per non-disclosure :P

off to forest safari! or something zip lining and so on!

Monday, July 18, 2011

the hunt for...

My roommate in Singapore requested that I bring back "King's Candy" from Bangkok. Found only in 7/11. The problem is that I don't really remember purchasing actual King's Candy anywhere so I was quite clueless. 

I asked him to give me "more information" at which point he googled for images for about half an hour and found this:


As well as the name of the actual candy: suan dusit milk tablets (and i hope that anyone googling for this in the future to fulfill such requests comes upon this page, because I have here (under) the actual package of King's Candy):

 Ta Da! 

It took some amount of Google, Iphone, 7/11, DTAC, SingTel & RIS brains to figure this one out, but in the end it was (hopefully) worth it.

AND I JUST FOUND THIS OUT (from the website from which above picture was taken): "Broken tablets are also collected and reproduced as milk tablets for pets."

And i receive this email: "OMG the last line of this website.....have I been eating pet food????"

Saturday, July 16, 2011

just one reason why i love (and miss) thailand

met up with a friend from chicago in bangkok first thing after landing and chilling with the 'rents & rex. he's kind of a 'rent by now. or a grandparent! anyways, about rex latah.

but we go out. thinking let's have a beer and catch up. turns out that they are not serving alcohol in thailand today on account of a religious holiday. ok no worries. next best thing? late. night. thai. food.

first off, the place is closed but the lady sees us and says of course boys you can. come on it. because she's maternal like that. like almost everyone. and yes, they are obviously thinking "whats the bottom line impact" - no not really. not at all. there's not much of a change in her life if two kids eat a plate of noodles or rice. 

anyhow, we enter and sit and eat and chat and chew and so on...

comes time to pay the bill. i have 1000 baht - as a note. and the lady comes over and apologizes to say - we don't have change sorry! and so my friend who is about 6yrs or so younger than me says no worries, i have money and i tell the lady, in thai - how can you let the kid pay? i'm the elder brother! so she says you're completely right - and proceeds to tell me, no worries, come back tomorrow sometime when i have change and apologizes instead of taking the money.

now that is service. and amazing at that.

loving thailand every minute i'm here. missing it tons. but knowing that i'm so close by makes it so much more accessible...

just some of the amazing options. all with their own unique taste...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Internship Progress

part of the most important pieces of a successful internship or even a day at work is what you do to keep yourself energized so that you are firing from all cylinders. So that you are really focused. So you are pretty much ready to take on the world.

And no place in the universe (at least not so far as I have explored) is able to provide you with the thirst-quenching, appetite-satiating, quick-n-ready service as the food courts in Singapore.

Thus far, for lunch, I have enjoyed:

- Korean BBQ
- North Indian Vegetarian Delights
- Thai Basil Chicken
- Fish Noodle Soup
- Yen Tau Foo
- Claypot Rice

Hopefully by the end of my internship, I will have tried all the different options so that I can make an educated decision for long term prospects... I mean at work, not the food court, but that definitely weighs in quite heavily.

Am I glad I get up every morning to do a 30 minute swim! Or else next time you see me, I'll be rolling around on my tummy... Here's to great weather that provides the perfect naturally heated pool.

Yes. Yes Singapore, I am having a good time. Thank you for asking.
Yen Tau Foo - Choose 7 pieces minimum! ($4.50)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Finding the Ampas-ible

I'm absolutely loving Singapore. This place has all kinds of conundrums! I can't really explain what I mean right now as I'm still formulating a good way to make it engaging for you to read.

However, I will give you some random thoughts...
1. Public Transport is great BUT they don't have any indication of where you are while ON the bus - i.e. no bus stops listed in the bus as the bus is stopping and no maps on the bus. Now before you say something, trains have it. buses in Chicago have it. This information exists. And yes, it is on trains because you can't always see the landmarks are you are going through subways BUT again in Chicago when you're on the ELevated part of the journey, there's STILL information on the train.

OK obviously you have realized this is a point of pain for me. Mainly because I've been trying to figure out what is the BEST bus for me to take to work everyday. I have finally found one. But it took some time.

2. Swimming pools everywhere. And I mean everywhere! Going to try to get in a morning swim as often as possible because the pool is NOT heated because it does not HAVE to be!!!! Great temperature.

I'll leave it at "a couple of thoughts" for now... And I don't have pictures just yet, sorry. I was going to something for you. But that would be cheating, right?

Friday, July 1, 2011

up up and away!

off to singapore in 7hrs.
can't believe its been 6 months already!
contact y'all in a few days when i get internet and life setup in singapore!
fonty. its been real.