This past Friday, I moved into the new apartment. It's just down the river from the old hotel, so luckily I already know the general area. And even better, I don't have to learn a new way to get to work. I've still yet to take the subway, and I can't read a bus map to save my life so that won't be happening anytime soon. Seriously- have you ever looked at a bus map? Those things a jumbled messes of confusion.
The new place is very much a short term apartment. It has cable, but only certain channels and virtually nothing good. There's HBO, but it's odd in that it shows things like the 1991 classic Necessary Roughness, starring Scott Bakula and Kathy Ireland (fun fact: Kathy Ireland was a mega babe and one of the worst actresses of all time).
There's a kitchen, which means I'll be able to eat in occasionally and not have a $30 bowl of ramen for dinner each night. Interestingly, it took me several days to notice that the only room in the whole place with a window that's permanently open (though with angled slats) is in this kitchen. That explains why that room is always slightly hotter. But maybe it's just me, but I'd vote 'The Kitchen' as one of the rooms I'd least want to have a permanently open window. You know....the room with the food. I await the day when I walk in to find a gigantic Singapore tropical bug going through my fridge.
There's also a washer & dryer- score. One more item off the checklist- find a laundromat. And yes, I *did* get excited about having a washer & dryer, and yes, that gave me a moment of sadness. I hate laundry- worst chore of them all.
It's also a 2-bedroom apartment. It's all they had available, and yes they'll be kicking me out into a studio as soon as one opens up. Which is....when now? Oh yeah- they don't know. Super!
I also learned that both the hot water and the various wall outlets have switches on them. And yes, they've got to be turned on for them to work. I figured that out after wondering why the shower was going for 10 minutes and not getting any warmer.
With the kitchen available, I made my first trek to a grocery store this weekend. I've been eating out for every meal since I left Atlanta, so the grocery store was paradise. It was like I was high. Every single item on the shelf was almost bought. Star fruit! Frosted Flakes (which they call 'Frosties'). I put back the Cheerios since they were $10.90 for a small box. Haagen Dazs! Lays Sour Cream and Onion Chips! Peanut butter! In the end I only bought about $40 worth of stuff, but it was all quality junk food so it was worth it.
As far as the sights and sounds of Singapore, I've learned that it has much in common with Atlanta: aside from shopping and restaurants, there's nothing to do here. I've verified this with the coworkers. I asked them what there is to do- "we go to restaurants."
There are things here and there I'll be doing, but by and large this is a city of malls and restaurants. Not joking about the malls either- there are at least 3 within a 5 minute walk of my apartment.
So what's on this tourists agenda? A visit to the Botanical Gardens (coworker Kalyn's report: "it's nice if you like looking at plants."), the Singapore Zoo (I was wisely advised to take their Night Safari option, as the animals are more active and it's cooler temperatures), a casino where I will redeem my wallet from the Las Vegas disaster, and some smaller trips. No plans yet to travel abroad further, though that's a possibility. I've been advised that Malaysia isn't the safest place in the world, and that I should go with some sort of tour group if I go at all. Encouraging.