Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Law & Order

Like I said, "I can't promise weekly posts!" I know, I am already way behind (Bryam and Kari reminded me last night)! Well, the past few weeks have flown by considering that we have been consumed by trying to get our sleep schedule adjusted to Singapore time (not as easy as I thought it would be), learning our way around Singapore, finding a place to live for the next 2 years (not as easy as I thought it would be!), and planning a wedding half way around the world (easier than I thought it would be!...other than having a dress). There is so much to talk about, but for today I will just fill you in on a few things we have quickly learned about Singapore.....

1. The 'Fine' City. Singapore is famous for being the cleanest city in the world. Tourists will be astonished and impressed by the strict rules and regulations formed by the Singapore government. There are many posters in buildings and parks telling people what they should do, what they shouldn't do and how much they will be fined if they break the rules. That is the reason why Singapore is called "the fine city." The following list of fines comes from a tourist t-shirt:

1. No Smoking -FINE $1000
2. No urinating in lifts - FINE $500
3. No Feeding Birds - FINE $1000
4. No eating and drinking in MRT(subway) - FINE $500
5. No Littering - FINE $1000
6. Not Flushing (toilet) - FINE $150
7. Possession of Fire Cracker - Cane
8. Possession of Drug 30g - Death Sentence
9. Vandalism - Jail and Cane

It does seem that these fines are rarely enforced though. More for show.....

2. Grocery Shopping. Our first shock of this experience was having to pay a dollar to get a shopping cart at the local grocery store, which appropriately set the tone for the rest of our first week (finding an affordable apartment will have its own post!). As we made our way through the store, sans grocery cart (we didn't have a dollar), it quickly became apparent that our grocery bill is going to double. $16 for a gallon of Florida Orange Juice? No problem. $14.25 for a Lean Cuisine. Sure. A bag of Shredded Cheddar Cheese, $13. Bogus. Eating as we do in the US is probably not going to fly for too long...Basil has already stocked the cupboards with Curry Noodles and Potstickers. On a positive note, we found all of the isles crowded with store employees checking the expiration date of every single item in the store to ensure compliance and every vegetable and fruit is saran wrapped for the ultimate sanitation. We later found out that this particular grocery store was the most expensive in Singapore. We have recently found a more reasonable place. Only $13 for Orange Juice........

**Other random things we have learned about Singapore:

  • They don't show any kissing or have cussing on TV but you can walk into any trendy store and they will be blasting rap songs with the 'f' word.
  • Restaurants do not provide napkins and they discourage you from cleaning up your table when you leave, even at the outdoor wet markets, or else you are taking away jobs of poor elderly citizens who are paid to clean up. Kind of sad, but apparently the systems works well over here.
  • It is illegal to be gay, but prostitution is legal in some areas of Singapore with the proper license.
  • It is illegal to honk your horn unless you think you are absolutely about to prevent an accident.
  • The escalators go so fast you literally have to run onto them and jump off.
  • The ever-so-popular 'no chewing gum' law is true but not enforced.

PS. Byram and vonBargen booked their tickets last night to come out here in October over OU's bye-week. Any and all are welcome to come. Riding elephants on the beach in Bali will most likely be on the agenda.

Emily & Basil

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Our new home!

Well, after 25 hours of travel time, at least 14 of which I slept without medication, we made it to Singapore! After being spoiled with business class and bottomless mimosas, we arrived to our new home at Treetops, and were immediately handed spa vouchers. Basil has repeatedly emphasized that I should not get used to this lifestyle! It's going to be pretty hard considering we have daily complimentary breakfasts, which are filled with fresh fruits, pancakes, eggs, toast, any kind of cereal you want, and the list goes on..., a maid Monday through Saturday, laundry service, a spa one floor below us (extremely dangerous!), an indoor/outdoor gym, and a massive pool, where I am soaking up the sun and typing at this moment! So, I think it is safe to say Chevron takes pretty good care of its employees!

The last couple of months have been extremely exciting and also very emotional. Between our engagement and preparing for our new adventure and saying our goodbyes to family and friends, we are exhausted! It is nice to finally arrive and take a deep breath and relax! Well, I get to relax.... Basil went to work 6 hours after we landed!

Thank you to all of our friends and family who helped us celebrate this exciting time in our life! We miss you all already! We welcome anyone who wants to come visit!! It won't be the same if we cannot share this experience with our friends and family, so book your flights!

Contact Info: We still have our cell phones, so you can text us, but we cannot text back or receive calls because AT&T charges a ton(unless it's worth 50 cents to reply or $2.99 a minute to talk!). We purchased a magicJack so you can call us just like it's a local number. If our computers are off, it will take you to voicemail so leave a message and we'll call you back when we get on our computers. The number is 405.316.9709. We are 14 hours ahead, so the best time to call would be before 9 am or after 5 pm (US Time).

I am new to the 'blob' world, as my brother-in-law calls it, so bear with me as I figure out how to post everything! I will try to be consistent with weekly posts, but I can't promise that. Basil said he will be a 'guest' writer every once in a while, so hopefully he will help me keep you updated! Please stay in touch and keep us updated on your lives! We love you all!

Emily and Basil