A Travellerspoint blog

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One week down...

...Seven to go

semi-overcast 80 °F

There was not much of any interest to report since my last entry. Randall and I have spent the last week in a training room learning (or in my case, re-learning) the computer reservation system used by the Carlson office here in Singapore. Let's just say that I've probably spent time in less stimulating pursuits, but I'm not sure when.

It didn't help that, once we got on the MRT at 845 AM, we didn't usually see the light of day until after 6P that same day. The MRT, office building, shopping center, food court are all interconnected; and, there were no windows in the training room.

As regards some of my personal adventures – I never thought I'd say I had trouble boiling water. Earlier this week I attempted to heat water in order to boil some pasta. This apartment has an induction heater for a stove top. I did remember to turn on the switch to get power to the hob (stove top). Then the adventure started – how to actually power up the “burners”.

After some experimentation I finally figured it out, put the lid on the pan of water and went to the living room to work on the computer (maybe 20 feet away). I'd not been sitting down for more than five minutes when the pan lid rattled and water poured over the edge. Water, water everywhere. The stove top automatically shut off. Once I cleaned up the spill, I could not get it to come back on. So, the pasta was cooked in the microwave. That I had no problem figuring out. It may be awhile before I try any stove top cooking again.

On Friday night Randall & I met up with Donna, the Training Manager in the Singapore office. We went out for dinner with her and got a feel for what to expect during the upcoming weeks. Next week we'll be in training again for CWT processes and procedures. Once that is done I'll be working on the same account I did in 2010.

Our U.K co-workers arrived Friday night. This time around there are eight of them and only two from the U.S.

This morning (Saturday) we all have to troop over to a medical clinic to get checked out as a condition of obtaining our work visas. After that the plans are a bit up in the air. I am evidently the only one who's been here before, so they're all anxious to get some sightseeing in.

I did find out what the two humpback buildings are down by the Singapore Flyer. They are conservatories for the new botanical gardens, which are not yet opened.


Posted by uktvlr 14:54 Archived in Singapore Tagged day_to_day Comments (1)

The Great Grape Jelly Hunt

(or all I wanted was a PB&J sandwich)

semi-overcast 81 °F

I went grocery shopping Sunday (for the umpteenth time it seems). On my list were a few simple things – cereal, cheese and grape jelly. Nothing exotic, right? Wrong!

The cereal (Corn Flakes because Cheerios are still way too expensive) and cheese (local brand because Kraft singles fall in to the same category as Cheerios) were no problem. It was the grape jelly that caused me problems.

I've been to 3 different grocery stores over the last 10 days. Grape jelly of any kind has not been found. At the place I went to on Sunday there were 4 shelves of Nutella and 6 shelves of various jams and jellies. Alas, no grape. The only thing that came close (and it was H-bomb close) was a mixture of peanut butter and grape jelly in one jar (insert shudder here). Yes, I wanted the jelly to make a PB&J sandwich, but I wanted to mix the 2 together myself, not find it pre-mixed! Ah well, the search will continue.

Have I mentioned that our U.K. co-workers have arrived? They got here on Friday night – all 8 of them. They come from various offices around the U.K. - London, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh. Lovin' the accents!!

On Saturday morning the 10 of us had to report to a medical clinic in order to get check-ups to be eligible for our work permits (a new law effective this past January). We had to start the day with a visit to the MRT station so the newbies could get their MRT passes. Then, it was off on the train.

We reported to the clinic at about 920A. By the time all of us had a chest X-ray, blood drawn and a visit with a doctor it was almost 1230P. There was a lot of waiting around for your name (or number) to be called.

By then we were all hungry. So, to introduce them to the local food, we went to La Pau Sat, a 24-hour food market where one can sample almost any kind of local food. I went with Indonesian smashed fried chicken. A few of the others, once they ceased being overwhelmed by the choices, also chose some local food. Sad to say, 4 of the 10 chose to get their food from Wendy's. In defense of the U.K. folks, they don't have Wendy's where they're from, so it was an international food to them.

After lunch it was back on the train to our station and a visit to the grocery store. There, they experienced the same sticker shock that Randall & I had had. Finally, it was back to the suites so everybody could 'crash' as they saw fit.

Monday started our in house training at the CWT. There are 12 of us in the training room (including 2 local new hires) and technical issues were the theme of the day. Eventually all was sorted out and we seem to be moving along fairly well.

(I mentioned the search for grape jelly during class today. I may have a source. I'm going to check it out during tomorrow's lunch break.)


Posted by uktvlr 06:01 Archived in Singapore Tagged food day_to_day Comments (0)

A Day at Sentosa

a/k/a Edna's Farewell Tour

sunny 90 °F

I've not written in this blog as much as I did in 2010, mainly because of the sameness of the day-to-day events. I didn't really feel as if I had anything new to share.

But, that changed on Sunday when the majority of the group headed to Sentosa Island for the day. We'd received passes from the company which gave us a free ride over to Sentosa and discounts throughout the day.

And, because I am leaving Singapore on Monday morning, we referred to the day as my farewell tour. I'm heading back after 2 weeks for a number of reasons, all business-related. Let's just leave it at that and enjoy the day.

We left the hotel right around 10:00 AM (and that was a near miracle – getting 9 people up and out on a Sunday morning) and boarded the MRT for the ride to our starting point. A trek up 4 levels of a shopping center got us to the departure point for the Sentosa Express (a monorail system). Once on board it was a short ride over the water to the Waterfront Station on Sentosa Island.

We all got maps and got our bearings and headed out to enjoy the day. We didn't get far fast as it seemed that we stopped every 30-40 feet or so to take group pictures. And, not with just one camera – oh no! There were usually 4-6 (at least) snapping away.

As a matter of fact, here's one of those group shots. I'm not in it – I had 4 cameras to juggle!
That's members of our group posing amongst the letters.

Our first stop was the Sky Tower. I chose not to go up it, so cannot describe it accurately. I was sitting in the shade, in front of a fan, eating chocolate ice cream. Have I mentioned it was very hot today, or did that description give you an idea?

The next stop was the luge, an attraction all of us took part in. (And we all looked silly in our safety helmets.)

Laughter and screams were heard all the way down the course. At the bottom of the hill we found ourselves practically at the beach, so decided to make our way to an attractive spot and claim it for the day. Now, I chose not to wear my bathing suit today, nor did I get in the water. The sight was not one I wanted to leave with this group, nor did my midwestern US lily-white skin need quite that much sun!

After sitting in the shade with my Kindle for a while, my roommate Tina and I decided to do a little exploring. We headed for another beach and a spot marked as the Southernmost Point in Continental Asia (and I have the photo to prove it!).


Shortly after our arrival the seemingly daily deluge occurred, accompanied by thunder & lightning. We found a safe, and relatively dry, place to wait it out.

A return to the beach area we left put us in a restaurant names “Coastes” to await the arrival of our CWT trainer Donna and her husband, Paul. They were going to join us for a quick visit and a bite to eat.

Tina & I were joined by 2 others in the group and we all ordered a meal as we waited for the others. Just as Donna & Paul arrived the second deluge of the day hit. Fortunately we were, once again, under cover.

The remainder of our group were not so lucky. They'd just started down the hill on another luge ride when the rain hit and they all got absolutely soaked. Those of us sitting high and dry were feeling a bit smug!

After the rain quit and meals were over we headed back toward Singapore. The group split in half – some headed immediately back to the hotel, the rest of us headed toward the gift shop of the Hard Rock Cafe to purchase souvenirs (my HRC t-shirt purchase was my only souvenir of this trip) before heading home.

Once back at the apartment it was time to finish up the packing and get ready to travel for about 24 hours. Before I could do so, our room became Grand Central Station with everyone stopping in to say good-by, exchange email addresses and make Facebook connections. I've only known this group of people for about a week; however, I feel as if they've become very good friends during that short period of time. I'm looking forward to the possibility of seeing them again during future visits to the U.K. (and, there WILL be more of those.)

Thus begins the end of this particular adventure. The car service will pick me up at 3:30 AM local time for a drive to the Singapore airport. I'll board a plane at 6:00 AM. By the time I reach St. Louis, and the end of my journey, it will be about 5:00 AM Singapore time on Tuesday morning. Blech!!!

Oh, BTW - I did find grape jelly. But, because I was leaving I chose not to buy it!

Posted by uktvlr 10:35 Archived in Singapore Tagged sentosa Comments (0)

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