Tuesday, 5 November 2013


Today was a good day.  I got 6 hours sleep which was a start, and woke up feeling much better than previous days.

I made it into work all on my own, very proud of myself for that.

The day started with a H&S induction in a room full of construction workers and me and 2 of my colleagues.  It was very funny (it shouldn't have been) but the guy doing the induction was speaking 'singlish' the majority of the time, which meant I barely understood a word he was saying.  each time he said 'also' I thought he was saying 'asshole', which made me laugh each time. The induction went on for 2 and a half hours (he kept getting interrupted and having to walk out of the office and do something else), and at the end it got very dark - H&S guys love to do this, he started showing us photos of injuries and dead people - really pleasant first thing in the morning!! I guess they always try and go for the shock factor.  The induction ended with us having to pump our fists in the air and say 'safety first' three times. Cheesy!  Even cheesier is the fact the construction workers start every morning with exercises in the yard! I might join in tomorrow -still haven't been to the pool or the gym yet!

Interesting facts I learned today in the induction was each worker has a different coloured hard hat depending on their job (to be fair they may have this in the UK I just didn't know about it).  Another one is they have a lightning warning - a minute long siren.  There's a lot of lightning in Singapore and obviously it's dangerous to work on a construction site with lots of uncovered conductable materials around, so when it storms they have to evacuate until it's safe.

The induction took up most of the morning, so it was soon lunch time.  I got the shuttle bus with P & L to the Hawker Centre (basically a food court) which had about 25 different stalls in a square, with lots of seats in the middle.  There were many choices (when I say many, I mean many different choices of Asian food - not much western food) and it's all very cheap.  There was one stall selling western food for $6.50 which is £3.25, and they sold things like steak and chips, ham egg and chips etc.  The other stalls sold different varieties of Chinese and other Asian cuisine.  I had roasted chicken on rice with chicken soup, for $3.30 (£1.15).  It was lovely and filled me up but the chicken looked very pink in places so I left those bits.
P had fish soup and L had king prawn laska, both of which were priced the same as my dish - what a bargain!!

ready to eat and used chickens

what the chicken in the abve photo turned into

We had some time before the bus came back so we took a stroll b around the shops.  There was a bubble tea shop which caught my eye as we have these in London but they're quite expensive as it's a novelty - here it's the norm, so L purchased me a lychee milk bubble tea at the grand price of 60p (I was going to buy my own but she insisted, very nice of her).  It was lovely but odd - it wasn't milky enough to be a milkshake, but not fruity enough to be a fruit juice, and the 'bubbles' are pearls of tapioca that get sucked up the straw into your mouth for an added texture - a bit weird if you ask me.  I liked it and would have another - they had very interesting flavours - sour cherry, lychee, durian (the smelliest, most vomit inducing fruit in the world) and - Bird's Nest flavour.  I asked P what this was, and apparently it's made out of swallow's spit - so called bird's nest as that's what they build their nests with.  I don't know if I should believe him or not but really anything is possible - I forgot to mention there was a food stall at the hawker centre called 'Pig organ soups'.  Though it must be really hard to collect swallow spit....

Interesting flavours - birds nest, soursop and white fungus anyone?
The rest of the afternoon was spent giving a mini induction to my new colleagues, telling them about my company and our history and why we're so great.  At about 4pm I went outside and saw big grey clouds, and sure enough by 4.30 it was pelting it down, so hard that we were having to shout to each other in the office to hear each other.  There was thunder and lightning, and I ended up staying at work until 6 just so I could get the shuttle bus back to the MRT.  The storm was literally thunderous - that big booming thunder that's right overhead.  The lightning was incredible, I managed to set up my camera when I got into my hotel and capture some of it (unfortuntely I didn't think to do it as soon as I got in so only captured a little bit, when it was really spectacular).  I got a bit lost on the way home as I came out the wrong exit at the MRT station, but it was a nice enough walk and was only spitting by this point.

I had my leftover pizza for dinner and then spend the rest of the eve working - both work and the rain scuppered my plans to heat to Fort Cannon park, which is right by my hotel.  I will go tomorrow instead!!!  See below for a short vid of the lightning.


Clarke Quay at night

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