Week 2 begins!

2/20/2012
I actually saw some of Singapore F2F rather than from inside a taxi! Sunday started out with a luxurious sleep in to 8 a.m. and then a morning observation on the north side of the city. I set out with Joan (Polster), the head of the Workplace Literacy Centre in the Institute for Adult Learning around 10, only to arrive on site at 10:30 and see a big closed sign on the mosque's community center door. Undaunted, we found the class in the back and sat for an hour as the trainer worked with students on the theme of "surprises." Kolsum, the trainer, was very gracious and it was clear her students adored her (one gentleman a bit more than most) When they were working on homonyms and bear/bare came up--there was a definite awkward moment as she began identifying parts of the body that could be bare..but then we were off onto "bare-faced liar" and singing"rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens." (It really often is that random) and he awkward moment was forgotten. (The random, less communicative teaching methods are a little bit why I'm here: to help with the lesson flow and learner-centered instruction. It's clear, though, that it's a big shift and it will take time and patience to help the trainers expand their teaching strategies.)  We left the class around noon and headed out to the city centre so I could see the water. (There's enough of it in the air--but I wanted to see the real thing...) I got to see the Lion of Singapore, which is quite beautiful (see above) --I didn't know this until I read about it this week,  but in the 13th-century Malay Annals, Sang Nila Utama, a prince from Palembang was shipwrecked and washed ashore to an island. There he saw a creature which he believed was a lion. So he named the island "Singa Pura" (in Tamil language Singa puram) which means "Lion City" in Malay. (Thanks Wikipedia!)
We were in the high heat of the day, so we hid in the concert hall and the back of Harry's Bar and then, finally the Science Museum. We went over a double helix bridge to get there, which was a great walk over the water (Breezes!) If you look hard at the picture you will see a woman carrying a parasol. I did that too... I can--literally--feel myself burning if I don't stay in shade or cover myself up. Sunscreen or not!

The museum is really something. But let me just show it to you--that's Joan on the left. There's a lovely pond of water lilies that surrounds the building and there's a backwards fountain (raining down from the ceiling) in the center.  (I didn't take a picture, sorry...)

But here's the silliest thing--I thought that in the Science museum we'd see all the latest technology in Singapore...nope! I toured the Titanic.  (You get a replica of someone's boarding pass (sic) and then at the end you see if "you" survived. I did. I was Polish and Jewish too! I wonder if they do profiling...)
It was a fascinating and really a unique exhibit...but still--not terribly Singaporean! 

From the museum we headed back through the "glamorous" shopping mall that's under that boat building ...it's very Las Vegas with a waterway running through the building. Lots of sparkly magpie things to buy...but I'm saving my SDs for little India and Chinatown.

When we finally got back to my neck of the woods, I got to walk across a bridge that probably symbolizes what I like most about it here...the colors!
This is the Clarke Quay Bridge. (I did not know how to pronounce Quay, which you all know is pronounced "key"--and I found out in a less-than-worldly moment...) Here's another view:

I loved being on this bridge. I even did a little dance going over, but very subtly... I did a bit more grocery shopping on the way to the apt. (All my veggies had frozen--sigh, so I'd had to cook them up and some did not do so well. To celebrate Sunday, I got myself three tiny Ben and Jerry's 1/4c. servings for...wait for it...14.00SD which is probably about 11 or 12 dollars US. I have been parceling out the ice cream a teeny bit at a time. :-)

Yesterday --Monday was quite the day. I started observing at 10 a.m. and got home from observing at 11 p.m. Here's where I went, sort of...

I took 10 taxis and saw four trainers and discovered that the "Bread Shoppe" puts sugar on their garlic bread. (This country is in love with sugar..) By the time I got home, I was quite the dithering idiot...but then I watched "gorgeous"!!"DIVA"!! TV!!and felt much, much better. 

Off to get my employment pass! I shall soon be legal!
xoxoxoxox j/me