Blog 6: Feeling like a celebrity in Asia!
This week, I got a new Professor for the Management and Organization Course at the NTU. In previous blogs, I already explained about the way Singaporeans tend to talk. “Lah”, for example, is a slang used by man Singaporeans to put emphasis on a word or situation. This new professor had a strong Singaporean accent, and used “Lah, Leh, Loh, bah, Walau-eh” in almost every of his sentence. Personally, I had a difficult time understand what he meant as each suffix have different meaning based on the context. You have to be living in Singapore for at least 6 months to fully understand it. My fellow exchange students in the same class had the same problem trying to understand him, which can be frustrating. It withdraws exchange students from participating fully in in-class activities. Fortunately, the PowerPoint slides are very helpful.
At the end of the week, some exchange students and me, total of 4, decided to go short trip to Jogjakarta Indonesia, from Friday until Monday, to visit the infamous temple Borobudur and Prambanan. The moment we arrived, a large group of locals offered to help us. Eventually, a kind man offered to help us to go to the guest house which we rented. We rented 2 rooms, 2 beds in each room with a bathroom attached.
First, we cruised through the city with the motorcycles we rented for only 3 dollars per day! It felt like everyone was staring at us, like we were famous. Jogjakarta does not have many tourist despite all the tourist attractions. Everyone was also willing to help us to find the way. Also, there was one lady who offered food for free, just for us to taste the fine cuisine of Indonesia. The food that we ate was “Padang Food”, which is rice with side dishes made with coconut oil and spicy chili. We received it on a plate without any fork, knife or spoon! They expected us to eat it with our hand. Before going to Asia, I learned how to eat with Chopsticks, but eating rice using my hand was very new to me!
On the second and third day, we went to the temples by car. We hired a tour guide to bring us to the destinations. Again, the first time we left the car, a bunch of people ran up to us screaming: Mister, Photo Please! They even asked for our autograph. We felt like we were celebrities in Indonesia. We received gifts, such as the rice hat and the blue robe you see on the picture below. In the end, we were stuck for one hour as everyone wanted to take pictures with us! This was the most interesting trip had so far during my stay in Asia.