Today we arrived in Singapore. We have had a lot of information thrown at us about the laws here, which is especially good for those students that like to get in trouble at night. Our conduct officer, Mary, gave a great preport lecture about the things we shouldn't do in Singapore. Here is what we can remember:
·spit gum on the sidewalk
·be drunk in public
·disturb the peace
·urinate in a public place
·have, sell or take drugs
·forget to flush the toilet
The punishments range from $500 fines to hanging or caning! I hope that the students take this seriously. It is Halloween and many of them could be out for a good time so we will see.
So anyway, today we stayed out for 12 hours and saw as much of Singapore as we could. Singapore is a city-state and it is about 270 square miles with a population of 5 million. 1.3 million of those people are foreign workers. We found Singapore to be a very friendly and welcoming city.It is very easy to get around. The MRT (subway) is so clean and air-conditioned and there are also nice buses, shuttles and taxis. It is very clean here, and very efficient. It seems that the people work VERY hard.
Today we saw Little India, China Town, The Botanical Gardens, Mount Faber, Sentosa Island, and Clarks Quay. In the Botanical Gardens we toured the Orchid Garden. This was, hands down, the most beautiful, lush garden we have ever seen. It was such a welcome contrast to the dark and dreary portions of India we had recently seen. Another outstanding place was Sentosa Island. We took a sky bucket over to the island where they are building a new Universal Studios. The whole island felt like you were visiting a Disney resort except all you didn't have to pay to get in. There were rides and beaches and rope bridges and the most southern point on continental Asia. It was truly a full day of fun. We also rode segeways for the first time so that was really pretty cool, too. We ended the day at Clark's Quay which is a downtown area that would remind you of the San Antonio River Walk. It has great nightlife and wonderful restaurants. I hadn't been feeling to good all day so I didn't eat much, but Geno had a local favorite, chili crab. It was a very messy dish but he, of course, finished every last morsel.
Tomorrow we have to be back on the ship at 4:00pm. In the morning, we are going to the worlds largest pewter factory. There we will make our own pewter bowls (I am making Geno do this). After that we will probably explore a little more and then try to get back to the ship before the students come rolling in.
On a side note, we had to leave one of our students in India. She contracted Malaria and had to be taken to the hospital. Her kidneys and liver failed and she is still in the ICU there. This was about 5 days ago and she hasn't been progressing like they would like her to. Her parents said it was ok to share information, and they are with her in India now. If you can keep her in your prayers I know her family would appreciate it - her name is Jenna.
-We passed through the Straits of Malaca to get here and the crew was on pirate watch since it is an area where the pirates like to hang out
-If pirates try to come aboard they spray them with fire hoses. The fire hoses were unrolled and laying on the deck just in case