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Well Singapore, I guess this is goodbye for now.

I meant to write a really thoughtful post to sum up my experience in these last 2 years, but in typical kiki-style I saved all my packing until the last minute and now I’m pressed for time!

In summation: this has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll already know that I’ve met some of the most amazing people, had loads of adventures, and traveled to corners of the world I never dreamed I’d ever see (let alone be able to find on a map).

Now it’s on to a new chapter of my life as a nerdy, impoverished grad student, and I’m quite excited about it. In the meantime I’ll be traveling a bit over the next few weeks, visiting ze bf in London, visiting chlochlo in Madrid, going home to my family in the States, and popping around the east coast for some weddings before heading off to grad school.

My dear friends and family: I miss you so much and I can’t wait to squeeze you!!!!! I’ll try to post pictures and update the blog as much as possible over the next few weeks.

For now, I’m Suddenly on a New Adventure ;-)

Love, Kiersten

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I’ve had my fair share of whose-life-is-this? moments in Singapore, but this weekend was particularly bougie.

Saturday night S and I went to the Ford Supermodel of the World competition at the Ritz to support a Brazilian girlfriend of ours (2nd photo below in stripes) who fitted all the models for the swimsuit competition.  All week, S and I had been affectionately referring to the event as the “skinny bitches” party, but it turns out it didn’t feel much different from my daily life in Asia, except the girls were taller.

On Sunday a British girlfriend of mine (above in red) chartered a yacht for her 30th birthday party. Actually, I was shocked by how ridiculously affordable it was relative for what one would pay to do the same in the States.

It was all a ton of fun! We sailed out to some small islands, swam to the beach, and had a BBQ on board to celebrate A’s 30th.

It’s all a bit surreal for this nerdy research assistant from the South, who spends most of her days wearing heavy reading glasses in front of spreadsheets of obesity data.

Somebody remind me again why I decided it was a good idea to leave all this and become an impoverished graduate student…

Basically all you need to know is (1) that I went to an art exhibit of a bomb, shaped like a boob, and (2) I have the maturity of an 8-year-old…on a good day.

Alright, fine. So it’s not called the Boobbomb. It’s called the Lovebomb. The artist’s (Iskander Walen) intention is that you reflect on “the increasingly graphic depiction of violence in the news media and entertainment, versus the continued taboo of nudity.”

The Singaporean gallery advises visitors that the exhibit is “not suitable for children.”

Ironic? I think so.

     

I don’t listen to a lot of Chinese music, unless it happens to be when I’m in the backseat of a smelly taxi during rush hour, jolting back and forth because Uncle decided to alternately slam the break and gas peddle in 2 second intervals. Combine that situation with the crooning voice of a Chinese woman set to cheesy, high-pitched keyboards, and you have a recipe for distaste.

I decided to ask a sweet colleague of mine for some Chinese music – good Chinese music. Surely she can’t listen to the same stuff my 70 year old cab driver is cranking out?

Well, she gave me a gem: a local artist named JJ Lim whose poppy/jazzy/acoustic melodies appeal to me. I’d thought I’d share the love with everyone else.  Happy Monday!

It’s winding down time (T-39) and there are a few items on my “Singapore Bucket List” including:

  • Go on the Night Safari
  • Visit the Red Dot Museum and Chinese Heritage Center
  • A final bike ride along East Coast Park
  • One last 3am dance party at Attica
  • Sail around the little islands of Singapore
  • Relax for a weekend in Bintan (technically the Indonesian bucket list)
  • Try Laksa – preferably at Katong Laksa
  • BONUS: Taking my picture in the infinity pool at the Marina Bay Sands

Am I missing anything crucial here? Anyone interested in making these things happen?

General elections are on Saturday here, and while I’m too terrified to make any kind of political commentary, I will say that some recent headlines concerning the People’s Action Party are killing me (a la 12-year-old-boy-in-health-class style).

Pap smears…tee hee!

If you’re following the elections you probably already know that the PAP has a totally awesome superhero logo and trucks with loudspeakers that blast “messages” all over the city.  It’s like the Captain Planet of political elections.

And the Democratic party has a star trek logo. Umm… SWEET.

I can’t help but wonder how we got stuck with a donkey and an elephant. Lame, Americans, lame. Let’s get that donkey a cape or something.

Accompanied by blogger friend Flora, I finally ate at the popular Taiwanese chain Din Tai Fung – famous for its xiaolongbao (small steamed soup dumplings). While the dumplings were indeed delicious–especially the pork dumplings and red bean dumplings–the highlight of the menu was dessert: the double-boiled papaya and snow fungus soup with rock sugar.

Clearly such an item merits a try, right? Well, apart from the fact that I blurted aloud that it looked like a venereal disease in a pot (more inappropriate jokes followed), we still ate it and survived to tell the tale. In fact, it was rather bland and anti-climactic but the dumplings and appetizers were wonderful enough that I plan on returning here soon.

Pictures: (1) Shrimp & Pork steamed dumplings and Pork steamed dumplings, (2) seaweed peanuts, drunken chicken and hot & sour soup; (3) the infamous dessert.


What should we really take away from this latest and greatest in public health posters?

Clearly the construction worker should not be sitting next to a man with his head on fire. And if you have a saw and/or flower pot spliting your brain open, it might not be the best time to read a first aid pamphlet.

 

A fascinating look at Singapore, Crossroads of the East, in 1938:

and then 2 decades later, Singapore, The Lion City in 1957:

Amazing. Singlish is Amazing.

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