Thursday, 30 November 2006

Snake in the Grass

Saw my first Singaporean snake yesterday.

Every lunch time my library colleagues and I walk through the University grounds to a nearby estate canteen to buy our lunch (usually rice with a couple of vegetables & meat although there are other culinary delights available).

Yesterday we paused enroute to watch one of our ground staff snare mangoes from a very large tree, using a long bamboo pole.

They were green and are used as a condiment - sliced thinly with soy sauce and chilli added. The outcome was that I was given a plastic bag of these mangoes (which we had ripening on plastic plates throughout the library - no book collection yet, just lots of mangoes! Today the mangoes on the library ledge have gone - we suspect the cleaners!)

On the way back down the path a small black snake slithered across the pathway.
According to the same groundsman it was a harmless grass snake - he wasn't running anywhere so neither did I!

There are 60 varieties of snake in Singapore so I was bound to bump into one of them at some stage.
This Blog records stories about these reptiles.

A Short Singaporean Epistle!

Well here are we are - two months into the Singapore experience and discovering the differences and opportunities of living here, mainly the latter.

We arrived Mid September and two weeks later I started my new career as a University Library Manager - the behind the scenes stuff that is. Computer systems, web sites etc.

We have a small but very friendly team (
see this site ) and our first intake of students is in 2007. In 2009 we all move out to the new campus which is currently being built at Changi (near the airport).

After the initial two weeks, the two senior managers of which I am one, were sent to the main UNSW university in Sydney for a fortnight's familiarisation. Then it was back to "Singers". My wife came with me to Sydney and we stocked up on items that we had found expensive in Singapore - good quality coffee and muesli to name but two!

Our diet is almost exclusively "Asian" which suits me just fine although my tailor has noted an expansion of waistline - must be all that
Rojak to which I am mildy addicted.

We are fortunate enough to have bought a two bedroom+1 "condo" at a complex called 'Queens" - in the "Windsor Block" no less. I feel an attack of the 'Corgis' coming on!@!

There's a US guy who has bought in the same complex and he has put his views online. See
his site to get an idea of the place. Ours is more modestly sized but just as well appointed. See also for some panoramas from a real estate agents perspective.

I have absolutely no regrets about leaving NZ or the "Land of the Long White Taxes" as it has become known. No more winters for a start and Singaporeans are so postive about life

Public transport here is superb and cheap, be it by bus, taxi or the very clean and efficient MRT. It takes me 15 minutes by bus to get to work and will be about the same time when we move into our new apartment in the New Year. As a result I have no great desire to buy another car. The cost of running one here is more expensive than NZ.

I should add that I have become a Permanent Resident of Singapore having been granted this esteemed status by the Government. I very much appreciate the opportunity to become a "PR" as it is my intent to forge a new life here.

The above is a start on recounting our experiences - there will be more to come.

Let's Start At The Very Beginning

I feel a song coming on!

As I have been sending regular emails about my new life in Singapore to a variety of friends and destinations, this seemed an ideal opportunity to start a Blog on the subject.

The following will be the "ramblings" on a newly ordained Singapore PR ( Permanent Resident), capturing both the high low points of life here. So far it has been mainly "high points" I am happy to record