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More of Singapore daily life

More misc updates. Photos are taken, loaded into Picasa on my university computer, and waiting for some brief descriptions and being uploaded. I might even skip the descriptions. Basically, all I need is ten minutes at my computer when it won't look like I'm goofing off.

Friday had initial project meetings. I managed to cancel one project when I pointed out a bunch of previous work, including commercial X-box games. This leaves me with two projects: a mobile music-making project which involves me, two students, and three professors, and my mewer-for-ipod game. Tweaked a bit to use jianpu notation (also known as "numbered musical notation" or "simple musical notation"). I'll have fun getting LilyPond to output this stuff!

Saturdays are apparently the normal group meetings. I presented my Master's defense to 14 people (there was one extra professor, but two group members hadn't arrived yet), followed by a normal day of work. I guess that's one way to get students to work an extra day! I got home at 7pm or so.

On Sunday (my "tourist" day) I went to NUS to take pictures for you guys. I then started doing a bit of work, which turned into inviting the other people (about half the group was there!) to dinner, which turned into accepting an invitation to visit a nearby person's apartment, which turned into getting home at 8pm. I also didn't fall asleep until past 1am.

Monday sucked, so I left "early" (around 4:30pm) and ended up sleeping for 12 hours. That's my traditional warning sign, so I'm going to cut back on working hours. I must admit that I'm quite confident in my productivity, and my supervisor told me that he values results rather than the amount of time spent, so it was actually quite stupid of me to try to spend the same amount of time working as other people. I might even try to convince them to work harder for less time... no, wait. That'll never work. I just need to lead by example. It probably still won't work, but at least I can try.

On to other matters... electronics are expensive here! I thought that Singapore was supposed to have cheap gear, but prices here are higher than Canada! Not that Canada is particularly expensive... but I was looking forward to buying stuff here, and I'd never buy things unless they were on sale. For reference, the Asus eeePC 1000 (10-inch screen, intel Atom, etc) is S$888 here, and CDN$ 500 in Canada. S$888 -> CDN$750. I suppose that just fits into my personal exemption for import duties... but why buy it here? I'll get it when I'm home!

I found some instant milk tea packets. "Milk tea" is what they call English tea here. Now, I know you're all thinking "that sounds completely disgusting"... and to be honest, that's what I thought when I saw it... but they're actually not terrible. Don't get me wrong; they're definitely not good. But they satisfy my tea cravings.

Next weekend is Chinese new year. This is a huge thing over here. Bigger than Christmas in Canada. Stores are closed for 2-3 days. Even the supermarket -- I need to stock up on food on Friday or Sat, otherwise I'd starve. :( This is a problem, since I've been eating out for all my meals. Hey, at S$2 per meal, that's not luxury. University is of course closed, and the bus from the MRT to university isn't running. I couldn't go in to get work done even if I wanted to! (which I do, actually -- it would probably be nice and quiet)