Another week of updates:
The rains have gone now, which means that the sun just beams down non-stop. I had another case of heat-stroke and my first sun burn of the summer because I went to get a bit of color on the poolside. And, I didn't even deserve the burn or the sun stroke because I had my head covered and had half my body in the shade! I know, I also don't deserve your sympathy, as many of you are wading through heaps of snow. ;)
a group of us headed out to the Singapore Zoo's "Night Safari". Quite interesting as there were a number of animals I hadn't seen before. They were animals native to Singapore and Malaysia. And then they also had the regular giraffes, zebras, tigers and raccoons. The hyenas were pretty cool. There were 2 kinds, one was the laughing hyena, the most common one. And the other was a hairy hyena or something like that, it doesn't laugh, and had a scruffy beard.
It was a lot of fun though, walking around the paths, which was kind of unnerving as you walk past the hyenas. They were on a cliff higher than the path, with virtually no fence between us and them.
Corporate Tax and the Budget 2008
So, Corporate Tax class was rescheduled from Wednesday morning, to Friday afternoon so that we could watch the Budget being announced from Parliament. I was so ready to skip it, but then thought that it would be interesting to see the changes the gov't would propose, but the most entertaining part of it was my profs reaction to the changes.
Singapore got rid of their estate duty (ie. death tax) and my prof freaked! He started calling his colleagues on his cell phone and discussing it with them frantically. So, the reason for this move is to try and attract old money from Europe to hide it here, in Singapore. Without a death tax, people don't have to pay taxes on their money here. They can die without being taxed. And, Singapore is a tax shelter, so it won't reveal to the Europeans whether people have money held here, for the purposes of tax evasion. Sneaky Singaporeans. So, if you have lots of money, store it here, and you won't be taxed on it when you die.
Jazz Club / Sheesha smoking
Friday night we headed to Arab Street to check out this Jazz club with free live music. Had a long night of interesting conversation with Jules and Veer. Learning of Veer's life growing up in Pakistan - Veer's stories start out short, and then morph into hour long epic novels. ;)
Then we headed over to Baghdad Street to meet up with Dan at a Hucca bar. He and another friend were smoking sheesha on the big hucca pipe. It smelled pretty good. It's like a lounge, where everyone is sitting on the floor, with a big bong on the table, and you sit and smoke, and drink coffee or tea. Interesting culture.
Pulau Ubin and Chingay Parade
Saturday morning we (Me, Jules and Tolek) took a journey to Pulau Ubin, an island off the east coast of Singapore. You rent bikes and bike around the island, looking at creatures, and the beaches, and stumbling upon the military training grounds ... oops. The sun was blazing, and we had to keep hydrated to avoid heat stroke.
It is very rural, with gravel roads, sloughs, crazy monkeys, men fixing fishing nets, and random drink stands for thirsty tourists.
It was so lush and tropical. We also saw the Black Knights practicing for the airshow. That was super cool but super loud! We had dinner at a restaurant on the water, squid, chicken and fresh veggies, with fresh coconut juice out of the coconut.
By the end of the day, biking all over the island, on roads we didn't intend to be on, and sweating like man men, covered in crud, we headed back to the city to catch the parade.
We got seats on a power box, which put us at a level way above the crowd. After about 1/3 of the parade we got kicked off the box though, by the police. And we didn't want to get caned, so we hopped off the box without any back talk. ;)
The parade was pretty amazing. and there was an all night street party, for 18 years and older, ... but we were beat from our day on the island, so we headed for home.
Sunday - another full day
We got up and headed to church in downtown Singapore. And since we were downtown, we had to go shopping.
We (Jules and I) spent the WHOLE day shopping on Orchard Rd. (similar to Robson St, but x10) It was pretty great! And then we got our make-up done, to go out dancing. Salsa dancing.
We went to meet Veer and Mahan for Salsa lessons in Chinatown. Veer and Mahan can rip up the floor! WOW! I want to get that good. I'm going to keep trying to learn. It was so much fun! Next time I will definitely wear heels - which means I have to buy some!