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Deadline over, tourist time

The big deadline is over. There's a few smaller projects to work on, but these can be done at a much more relaxed pace. So now it's time to start doing my promised tourist stuff!

Last Sunday, I did the thing that tops every list of tourist activities for this country: I went shopping. Well, window shopping. I didn't expect to buy anything, and I didn't. Other than food; I got a block of Australian mild cheddar. This was the first real cheese I've had in months... sure, melted Kraft plastic cheese slices don't taste horrible... but I like cheese that, when I bite it, it knows that it was bitten.

No, I don't know what that means either. It just sounded cool to me.

Anyways, I spent a girly two hours window-shopping. Mostly looking at laptops; I was thinking about getting a better laptop. But I couldn't find any Asus eee laptops around! Plenty of other small laptops, but not the brand that started the whole craze. I did discover that prices here were't as bad as I thought. Actually, once I factor in the taxes (which in Canada aren't part of the sticker price, whereas here they are), I guess laptop prices are just about the same.

It might be for the best that I couldn't find a laptop, though. I can probably get a better machine in a few months, and I didn't particularly want to go through customs and airport security with two laptops.

I also discovered that the Jurong Bird Park is in Jurong! Yeah, it sounds obvious in retrospect, but it was news to me. That means it's close to my apartment, so I'll go there next.

Some minor points about daily life here:

  • I occasionally see girls sporting the "wearing only a t-shirt" look. Upon second glance -- and believe me, a second glance is involved -- I realize that they are wearing shorts... just really, really high-cut ones. Combined with a long t-shirt, there's only 2-3cm of shorts visible. ... I'm not complaining. It seems weird to be talking about "high-cut" rather than "low-cut", but there you go.
  • Speaking of girls, a few days ago I had a shower in the morning. I didn't want to braid my hair while it was still sopping wet (it'd never dry), so I left it in a ponytail. When I was on the bus to university, I decided that I really was too informally dressed, so I braided my hair on the bus. I felt quite proud of myself for this accomplishment... and I'm sure that everybody who was at the party last Dec 26 and watched the hair-braiding lesson and saw my initial attempts at self-braiding would also be proud. Yes, I take "letting one's hair down" literally here; it's only done at home. To tell the truth, it's mostly a heat thing -- when my Luxuriant Flowing Hair is loose, it raises my neck's temperature by at least three degrees, which (when squared) turns into nine degrees of suffering. ... yes, suffering is the square of physical conditions. I don't know quite what that means either, but it sure sounds cool, doesn't it? (cool... I could really go for some cool right now) That said, only Indian women here braid their hair; the other Asians here keep it loose or in a ponytail. I can't fathom how they can bear it, although their hair isn't as thick as mine.
  • Food-wise, I'm still suffering. I'm even getting tired of Subway food... though their cookies are still fantastic. But a steady stream of almost-daily Subway meals has robbed them of their novely / reward factor.
  • A few weeks ago, I said that weather reports were pointless because it was always the same. Well, not quite; the temperature is getting hotter. Yes, scientifically (or linguistically) speaking that's nonsense; temperature does not get hotter or colder. But in a subjective sense, the temperature definitely is getting hotter. Much hotter. Two showers a day is not at all extreme.
  • University is in their exam period now, which means that most of those pesky undergraduates aren't around, so the cafeterias are much nicer.

Only 35 days until I return to Vancouver!