We had our first orientation yesterday. The funny thing is that it didn't help me much at all. I had been adequately briefed about the tenure and promotion process at a workshop held by the CRA and learning about teaching I had learnt a bit while attending teaching workshops at Columbia. It's a bit odd to see that I was adequately prepared for teaching after all of my experiences in the states, and in spite of that, thwarted at teaching well by some small parameters here. I won't go much into detail about it.


It's the day after Valentine's day. A long night at work interspersed with some play. I have to start getting used to calling taxis here. I have gotten a bit more familiar with public transport but somehow the idea of using taxis still hasn't really set in my head. At this point, it is more economical for me to try to book taxis ahead of time but it doesn't register most of the time.

Anyways, finally caught up with lecture. Didn't sleep very well, was a bit worried that I would continue to fall behind with lecture. Fortunately that has caught up but other course admin things are starting to get me worried. Paper deadlines are coming and going, a blur of time and deadlines and meetings and research and lecturing. Hard to stay focused and chase down a thread to finish it. Very tired.


Sooo, I finally got around to going to the Dairy Farm. It is where local Singaporeans go for real rock climbing. It's much much closer to me than the Gunks were in NYC, about 45 minutes away by mass transit rather than 2 hrs by private car. It's in the Bukit Timah (Bukit means mountain, I think, in Malay) Park. It is actually the site of an old rock quarry. The cliffs that remain are the unmined part of the quarry. Quite nice I think. I am going to post pictures of it. You'll have to check out the pictures on the site to get an idea.

I went on Sunday, the day after New Year's. Quite quiet. I only bumped into two cyclists, both expats judging from their Western accents and European descent. I guess all the locals were doing their holiday visits.
The dairy farm quarry is quite spectacular, really. It was very impressive being there completely alone, with the low rainclouds overhead as well as the shifting of the uncut grass blowing in the wind. So quiet, unlike the rest of Singapore. I felt so comfortable. I would have sat down and rested, but the ground was so wet (I guess you just get used to that in Singapore).
So those of you who rock climb and are thinking of coming out to visit, please do. See the pictures. I will have to ask around for local routes and grade ratings for the climbs and do up a list as others have down for the Gunks as well the Potomac Great Falls climbing parks in NY and MD in the States....

Well, Chinese new year has come and gone. Something that occurs to me while thinking of *Chinese* new year is that in the States we use the term "Lunar New Year" to be more encompassing and general as other cultures also celebrate the new year. This is of course probably too PC-ish as I would guess Chinese New Year behaves more like a unified term in Singaporean English rather than "Chinese" as a modifier to New Year.

Okay, I'll stop ranting about it. The bottom line is it's just a different system here. Funny that you can only see these things when faced with differences. But I guess that happens to all ex-pats (especially those of you one who got to come to live and work in the US). Oh, it's so funny to have this happen to me this way.



This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?