Rhythm and rhyme

Trip Start Jan 09, 2010
Trip End May 20, 2010

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Monday, February 8, 2010

Well, I've finally started settling into a rhythm here. Two weekends have gone by since I wrote last (though only one full week!), and things are shaking themselves out into some semblance of order.

Last weekend, the 'rhyme' part of this entry began: on Saturday, I joined a local choir. It's called Vox Camerata, and is a classical choir, which is definitely a new experience - flashbacks from M3 not withstanding. I thought I was going to have to audition, so I was really nervous when I showed up slightly late, but they just pointed me to a seat in the soprano section and told me to see how I could fit in. So I did - and it was really awesome. Despite some early misgivings regarding the repertoire (classical choral music has never really been my thing), I think this is going to work out brilliantly. I hadn't realized how much I missed having a regular singing .... thing. And having to sing the soprano one part means I am definitely stretching my range! I have to find a way to hit a high B - I can't quite hit it yet, but soon!

After 3 and a half hours of rehearsal, I went to the mustafa center again, just because I was so close, to pick up some groceries, and en route ended up at this festival in Little India. I have no idea what it was actually about, but there were guys with long sticks piercing through both cheeks, and inside these crazy round cage-like outfits decorated with peacock feathers that would bounce with the rhythm of their dancing, as people chanted all around them. I tried to take some pictures, but unfortunately, there were lots of people in the way.

Then, on Sunday, I went back to the flying trapeze place on Sentosa, and spent about 2 hours flying around, learning two new tricks: 'the splits', and something called 'the whip,' which were fun and reasonably easy to pick up. The instructors are super helpful and really friendly! This is definitely shaping up to be my new favourite activity. After, I went to that free Jazz concert at the Esplanade, and it was really cool; I really must start taking advantage of things like that in Toronto. I walked around a bit more after it was over, before going home - I got to see the Merlion statue.

The rest of the week passed relatively easily - I handed in my first assignment, got to play with dirt in my soils lab (fun, in a weird 'this-cannot-possibly-be-considered-real-lab-work kind of way), saw Avatar again with Beatrice, and went shopping briefly with Hayley on Friday, culminating in an hour long conversation at a cafe that had these cool swing seats, overlooking the channel that separates Sentosa from Singapore, and Sentosa itself. Midweek, there was this really cool dance show called "Infusion", that really reminded me of Culture Show at UTS, though with better costumes and evidently more experienced dancers, as well as official sponsors. It was super cool - there were dances from Bangladesh, Indonesian, Malaysia, India, - even a traditional Chinese fan dance! All performed by students. The Indian dance was awesome, definitely my favourite, though sadly the photos can't quite capture it.

I also somehow ended up attending a recruitment event for new Eng Scis here, and was simultaneously the token blond, the token girl, and the token exchange student. And I almost burst out laughing as Professor Wong brought up a picture of Carson and David Wang, talking about the research options abroad, because of Carson's goofy and completely typical smile. Congrats Carson - you made it into the promotional material! Then I got a tour of the various labs, which was kind of cool - I met Carson's old supervisor, and ran into the the gals (and guy) from the Eng Sci club that took me out the week before, and ended up having dinner with Alvin and one of his friends.

Finally - the whole thing started again, and I went to choir rehearsal on Saturday, and back to trapeze class on Sunday - and I learned another two new tricks! The 'straddle whip' - a variation on the one I learned the week before, with different leg placement, and a 'reverse single-knee hang" - which was the first trick to really stump me for a while. Happily, I got two good runs at it, in a row, at the very end of the day, so I think I've got it down now. There was just so much more to think about in this one! Turning around, and re-gripping and the kick timing and my head placement and the single flip dismount... ahhhhhhhhhhhh. Pictures of these may come soon - Hayley was supposed to come along, but lost her phone and was out of contact for a while. I walked around a bit afterward, and realized that there's actually a lot of Sentosa that I haven't actually seen yet. It's really beautiful at night, looking out over the ships in the harbour - I wish I could take better night photos to show you all.

And that, my friends, is a week-in-the-life (with the boring and work-related bits glossed over).

P.S. Drop me a line sometime, guys! I want to know what's happening in your lives.

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Sam on

I'm slightly jealous I don't get to be in Singapore with you. But Catherine and I got your post cards! They were awesome, I love getting postcards. Class just isn't the same without you, and I miss you sooooo much!

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