Friday, 17 August 2007

The Wet Fish Slap

It's the end of week one of my new job so why do I feel why do I feel like I have been slapped between the eyes with a wet fish?!

A new transport system to negotiate coupled with the need to adjust to a new work environment is always tiring.

My routine sees me leaving the house just after 7am and taking the MRT (two stops) to Buena Vista. This leg of the journey is air-conditioned comfort and takes 15 minutes at most. Then it's a brisk stroll across the overhead bridge to catch the 95 bus. It is here where the quality of the journey deteriorates markedly.

The aforementioned '95' is invariably a clapped out vehicle with shabby livery and a malfunctioning air-conditioning system. Cleanliness may be next to godliness but it is certainly not next to my clothing.

Maybe the powers that be have figured that a large proportion of those onboard are university students on reduced fares, so they provide a reduced service to match?

Either way, there is a definite need to get on board before the "breakfast crowd" arrives. This description identifies staff and students who breakfast at the university canteens before lectures or work. If I am running late and caught up in this group, it is standing room only on the 95.

Usually it takes me half and hour from our condominium to our office door. I discount the additional quarter of an hour, post arrival, to freshen up after the sapping humidity that literally dampens the day.

The NUS food outlets are very good and the pricing reasonable. As befits its stature as the pre eminent Singaporean university, NUS is well endowed with facilities. In April of next year our Alumni staff will be moving in to the new Shaw Alumni House. This complex has some exciting architectural features and should be a pleasure to work in.

I have been made to feel most welcome by my colleagues and they also signed a greeting card and presented it to me. Today we all shared a Malay lunch brought in from outside caterers. I don't think that I shall be losing much weight here either.

With several major projects ahead of us I suspect that time will pass quickly.

There are others who are feeling the "wet fish slap" and I refer to investors with major share portfolios. At time of writing, the sharemarket is similar to a rollercoaster and large sums have been lost in the process. Investing in shares is a popular Singaporean past time which no doubt explains why there are some fairly glum faces visible on the streets - and not a wet fish in site!

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