Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pictures from around NTU

We're staying in an on-campus hotel until we get an apartment. We've been running around town though, checking out apartments and studios, checking in at quarantine on Simon and Maybe, getting our S Passes (like a green card) at the Ministry of Manpower (total wait time: 3 minutes), and eating eating eating. I will admit we've even visited a few of Singapore's mighty malls. And even liked the experience.

Here's some snapshots from our first 72 hours. First, "Breakfast Set A" at the nearest student canteen: strong coffee with condensed milk and sugar, two half-boiled eggs seasoned with soy sauce and pepper, and three mini-sandwiches of wheat toast with butter and kaya (the word means "rich" in Malay) a sticky sweet local jam made from eggs, sugar, coconut cream and pandan essence. According to Wikipedia, pandan essence is extracted from the local screwpine tree. I can't get enough of it. My second night here I bought a bag of ten croissants slathered in the stuff, then thought better of it and shared the rest around the office. This breakfast, a perfect blend of savory and sweet, costs S$1.50, but probably 1500 calories.

The new Humanities and Social Sciences Building, still in the late stages of getting ready for the semester. My office is on the third floor overlooking an atrium that opens up in the center of the building. I don't get a lot of natural light, but I imagine once the courtyard fills with students and a coffeeshop, I'll have a good view of the local social life. My mailing address is Asst. Prof. Jessie Morgan-Owens, HSS-03-71, 14 Nanyang Drive, Singapore 637332.

The residential area of campus, over by Canteen 2. The covered walkways are lovely when it rains -- besides keeping us dry as we walked around, they sound like rain on tin roof. This shot was taken from the bus stop, a vital piece of campus real estate. Six buses loop around campus, making stops at other residence halls, the library, the administration buildings, and the academic buildings. Two public buses, 179 and 199, and one NTU shuttle leave campus and drop passengers at the MRT (subway) station, passing through the neighboring apartment buildings on Pioneer Road. We've caught buses here several times a day since we arrived. You touch a metrocard to a reader as you board and come off the bus. For the most part they seem reliable, but I'm building 20-25 minutes into my commute any time I need to catch the subway into city center.

We take the 179 to Boon Lay MRT station, which features an adjacent megamall, Jurong Point, which my colleagues tell me recently doubled in size, which is considerable. Check out the food court on level one. This is one of five food courts in this mall (that I've seen, there may be more). We saw Harry Potter last night, which was fun, but made me a touch homesick, especially when I left Hogwarts to wander this busy, bright, extrasensory experience in search of a late night snack. That said, James did catch me gushing about the mall before the movie, and did not hesitate to point out that he never thought I would get excited about a mall.

When in Rome, shop like the locals do!


David said...

HI!!! that breakfast looks great!! ummm
miss you guys! glad to hear you are to a good start!!
keep the pictures coming!!

Anonymous said...

Hello New Yorker!

It was great meeting you the other day! Have a lovely stay and do keep in touch... it's only singapore, we are always at most 45 mins from each other!