Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Tourism, Weather, and Printing

As Jason’s photographs suggest, on Saturday, we went to the Jurong Bird Park. The park was rather impressive. We saw toucans, a ton of parrots, hornbills of various types, flamingos, penguins, awesome raptors, and various other birdies. This, all surrounded by beautiful tropical plant life. The shows were good, too. They even had a statue of a cow corpse as a prop for the vultures!

We got to see a little bit of downtown, as well, also captured in Jason’s photos. I was pretty worn out from walking around the bird park, but I’m sure that next time I go to Orchard Rd., I will be delighted to take advantage of the ridiculously large shopping selection. It’s a shopper’s paradise, and the air conditioning sure feels good.

Which reminds me, air conditioning is also a definite perk of being in class. We all started class on Monday, though the actual work doesn’t start until next week (which is also Chinese New Year’s, so we will only have three days of class!). I’m not used to the slow start, but then again, I’m also not used to taking only 14 credits. Classes seem like they will be fine and relatively enjoyable – I’m just having a bit of difficulty finding things to do with the rest of my time.

So far, I have gathered that the student body does three main things: eats, studies, and works out. I’m fine with the first two, but that third one isn’t a natural one for me. I have to make exercise fun by playing Ultimate or dancing. Running aimlessly for miles in the heat is not for me. Even lifting weights in a nice, cool gym doesn’t sound appealing. Jason and I did try out the pool today, though, and that is one type of exercise which I find enjoyable J If I am fair, swimming can be just as dull as running, and perhaps even more so in the confined space of a pool, but it has always seemed infinitely better to me. No sweat clinging to your body, no excessive heat. The relative novelty of being in water. Yes, the pool may well be a common destination for me this semester.

On Monday, Jason and I printed some documents we needed to apply for our Student’s Pass. Getting them printed was unexpectedly complicated. I hadn’t fully appreciated how convenient we have just about everything at Olin, including printing. At Olin, one simply hits the print button on one’s laptop and then gets one’s documents. Here, if one simply wants to print a document using the school’s facilities, one must go to a library and execute the print from a library computer. If all of the free computers are taken, one may sign up to use one of the limited-time-only computers using a different, devoted computer. Then, one must stand in a queue until one can access one of the payment computers, at which one will need one of various cash cards (nicely including the public transit one that I have), to pay for the print. Then, one may wait at the printer to retrieve one’s documents. Several minutes, several cents, and several computers are all that stand between you and a warm, newly-printed document.

Now, this sort of scheme is probably necessary in the larger environment of Nanyang. A lot of the conveniences of Olin can be easily abused, and they aren’t only because we’re a small community. And Olin still suffers from its share of tragedy of the commons. To Nanyang’s credit, several other libraries have printing capabilities, and are not so crowded as the main library at which Jason and I had our first printing experience. No doubt many of the regulations at Nanyang are well-justified, but I’m just not used to them yet.

Hmm, so yes. Jurong Bird Park and downtown are both nice places that cater very well to tourists. At school, things that allow me to escape the weather are awesome, and Nanyang is not so abnormally trusting of its students as Olin.


  1. Rose!
    Printing does sound like a huge pain, I hope there isn't too much other stuff that bad. You should introduce frisbee to Singapore. Yifei was telling me that in China (and it's the same way in Russia) frisbee is considered something you do with a puppy. I don't know how it is in Singapore, but they may be missing out on a lot.

  2. We did actually play frisbee the other day, with NTU's Ultimate team. Their team is ranked fourth in the country... out the of four state universities. I found them really fun to play with, though. The day that we played with them (the only day of practice so far) we played on a wet, muddy field. Not good for traction, but excellent if you enjoy a good mud bath with your frisbee!