Thursday, February 23, 2012

Marina Bay and Esplanade - just a few photos

Yesterday a friend from Switzerland who's been here for nine months took me to the Esplanade on Marina Bay...

















... and to the Marina Bay Sands hotel - you know, the cool, ship-shaped one.


And the view from the roof is really marvellous!  


And this one just because I love the shot:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lazy Weekend (Day 2)

Hm... I titled my last post 'Lazy Weekend (Day1)', so I guess I was planning for a 'Day 2' post.
But as the weekend WAS really lazy, I only went to the Botanical Garden. Took the bus there, got out on the way to buy a Singapore SIM card (so now I have a S'pore telephone number - don't really know why...). Arrived at the Botanical Garden and just had a nice stroll around, lots of people and therefore lots of people-watching for me.
I didn't take my big camera with me, but had the small 'point-and-shoot' with me. I ended up only take very few pictures, mainly because the sky very often is hazy, almost cloudy. And that doesn't really look good on photos.
BUT - I had to take a picture of this huge bronze scuplture in the Swan Lake. It just reminded me so much of the Boston Geese. So Kelley, this photo is especially for you!


And another taken near the visitor center - there were lots of kids on rollers or skate boards, but I didn't want to post them here. 


There's also an Orchard Garden within the Botanical Garden, and I'll definitely come back to look at that one. Oh, and I did take the bus again on my way home. Only had to change twice. Made it! Lots of buses in Singapore - the bus directory is a little book you buy at the book store. Still looking for a useful App ;-) instead...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Lazy Weekend (Day 1)

My first weekend in Singapore - I must admit, I didn't 'do' a lot. But that's the nice part of being here for three months, I don't have to do everything at once.
So I did sleep in on Saturday only to be woken up by this loud noise: rain! And as expected not only a light drizzle, but a downpour! I had already rained a few times last week, but this time it didn't stop after 10 or 15 minutes but kept up for almost four hours. No sense in going out in the rain, I'd be soaking wet before I'm even out of the front gate. So instead I stayed in and read up on a few things.
I finally left around 4pm and walked to Orchard Road - around 15 minutes from my apartment.

Photo from Wikipedia


Orchard Road is 'shopping mekka' with shops no end, all the labels you'd expect (and some you don't - more than 2000) and plenty of shopping malls (22 by the latest count!). As wikitravel states: "Weekends in the area are often packed with locals and visitors alike out to consume en masse". I can only agree (the photo above must have been taken early on a weekday...). And of course it's not only crowded, hot and humid, but also noisy - traffic, loud music from the shops and even construction work going on. I decided to do people-watching and leave the serious shopping for another day... 

What I DID find was an art supply store - yay! So I bought some mineral spirit, but didn't find painting boards. Will have to look further for them...


Friday, February 17, 2012

Ready for the Weekend!

Well, I haven't really been here for a week yet, but I definitely look forward to the weekend. My first few days here in Spore have been very good. On Wednesday I moved to my apartement for the next three months. It is very well situated (bus stop is only 1 minute away, another 15 minutes and I'm at the office) and quite a new building. I've looked it up on google maps and the building was still being constructed when they took the photo.

It's a one bedroom appartment with a (very) basic kitchen (one pot -  that's it) and a great AC system. I'm NOT a fan of air conditioning, but it still is really great being able to cool the appartment down a bit.


Tomorrow I'll explore a bit more, probably do some shopping, get a pre-paid SIM card, stroll down Orchard Road... and look for an art supply store! ;-)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Landed!

Here I am! - After a perfect flight in the A380 that didn't seem like 12 hours at all (so I probably did get some sleep) I was actually surprised to 'already' be landing in Singapore. Then I thought how a big part of my 'co-flyers' in the plane were probably catching a connecting flight to Thailand or Australia and deceided that 12 hours are enough.
When we took off from Z├╝rich it was cold (-10 C / 14 F), cloudy and everything was snow-covered. Arriving in Singapore everything was... dark. It was only 5.45 am, and apart from some lights I didn't really see anything of Singapore. But already the temperature was 27 degrees Celcius / 80 Fahrenheit! I quickly got through immigration, found my suitecase (after being convinced for 20 seconds that it had disappeared) and got into a taxi to my hotel. A nice 10 minutes drive - still dark. Arrived at the Mandarin Oriental - still dark. As Singapore is near the equator, sunrise is around 7am all through the year.
As my room was not ready yet I was treated to a complementary breakfast (Continental, British, American, Japanese, Chinese, Vegetarian, Indian - anything you can imagine!). Around 10 am I deceided to go for a stroll but just then my room was ready and I was escorted to the 16th floor.
Beautiful room - you can even see the Singapore Flyer through the window!


And looking to the right you I am looking straight at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel - I'm already looking forward to a night view this evening!

Oh, and in the front (this side of the water) you can see the yellow and blue seats for watching the Formula 1 race that's running just along the water in front of the Hotel.

I'll only be staying one night at the Hotel and then go to the appartment that will be my home for the next three months...!

Update: It's 8 pm and I just had to post this night-shot as well...




Monday, February 6, 2012

One week and counting down...



As expected everything is moving quickly now. The flight is booked, the lodging as well, and most importantly: I've got a working permit for Singapore! - and how strange does this sound...?

So, the countdown is on: I'm leaving on Monday 13th!

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Begining

If you'd asked me end of last year what's in store for me in 2012, being sent to work in Asia would be very low on the list - to be honest, it wouldn't have been on the list at all!

And still, early January 2012 the opportunity came up and I was asked whether I'd be ready to go to Singapore for three months. Beginning mid-February.
Yes, I was. I am.

So now I'm in the middle of getting prepared and organized. It's a good thing I don't have to worry about the 'formalities' like lodging, flight and immigration requirements - working for a big company I can leave that to our experts... And they are doing their job, yesterday and today I received emails, forms to fill in, schedules to discuss... Apparently all signs are on green for me to fly to Singapore around the 13th of February!

What an adventure!