Thursday, March 19, 2009

Colours and More

Everyone in India knows it's the festival of 'Holi', but I bet everyone in my hostel also now knows it's Holi. We created a big mess of colour at the back of our hostel, which by the way we cleaned ourselves later, after the celebration. We had pre-planned the celebration so we got the colours form India when we went home for the holidays. We celebrated with a few Srilankan girls. Once we began running around and throwing coloured powder at each other, every one in the hostel got very interested and became our audience. They clicked lots of pictures, shot some videos and were quite curious to know what we were up to and why Holi was celebrated.

The truth is, none of us knew why exactly Holi is celebrated but we somehow managed to tell them the story of Lord Rama, Ravana etc. Since I am from South India, I've never celebrated Holi before. It was very exciting to throw colours at each other, though it was a pain when it came to cleaning. All in all, it was the best first Holi I had.

I've been having quite a blast this week. After all the Holi celebrations, I attended a spectacular event for Electronic shopaholics. It was the IT show in Singapore. The show was being held at the Suntec and covered an amazing 330,000 square feet of exhibit space, on 5 levels. It was a really huge area and packed with people. I could hardly walk through the crowd. I couldn’t see the floor because it was full of people.

More than 800 exhibitors featured a dynamic and comprehensive line-up of the latest and hottest gadgets from digital televisions, wireless HD, coolest new multimedia phones, ultra mobile PCs, Digital Imaging, Wireless Technology, Portable Entertainment, HDTV, Plasmas, Gaming, MP3, Networking, Digital Media, Audio & Home Entertainment/Lifestyle Products, Broadband Technology, Multimedia, Security, Software, etc.
It was so tiring to cover all 5 floors. Despite the worse economical hit in Singapore, this show generated a sale record of S$58.5 million, which is S$4.5 million more than last year.

The most interesting thing I saw was a Korean made laptop for 350$. It is really amazing. It was tiny and had an 8 sec boot up. I kind of forgot the name. It sounded some thing like EeePee. Hehe...I'm sure that's not what it's called but I really want to know what the name is. Anyone out there who knows, please tell me. And it was available in cute colours too. The other interesting thing was the duplicate Apple iphone, nobody will be able to tell the difference between the original and the Korean made. And it costs only 150$. I couldn’t take a picture because of the crowd. I really wanted to. It would have been a real treat for people who wanted to buy mobiles, TV, broad bands, and home theaters.

I wanted to buy some stuff too but maybe later. You guys can check it out on Google. I'm off, see you all later.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Fun in the Sun

After all the exam tension, my friends and I wanted to relax and have some fun coupled with adventure. There's no place better than Pulau Ubin for a adrenaline rush. It's a small island off Singapore. Just 20 min from the main land. Shaped like a boomerang, it is also known as the Granite Island. The abandoned granite quarries remain picturesque relics of Ubin. To reach the island, one has to take the Bumboat which can carry 12 people at a time, from Changi Point to Ferry Terminal. A one way trip costs only $2.5. We were allowed to carry our bicycles on the ferry. Let me tell you of some interesting things to do in Ubin. The major adventure sport there, is mountain biking. The wild life, small ponds, quarries, bicycle tracks, camping, fishing and beaches make for interesting photography. We just went there to ride our bicycles. We needed a stress buster.

We started our trip at 9 in the morning and reached the ferry point at about 10.30 am. We took the Bumboat to Ubin. Though it was short ride which lasted only 20 min, it was awesome! We took some videos of the landscape around. As soon we landed in Ubin, we got bicycles on rent. There are a lot of locals who rent out bicycles of which most are in really good condition. Then we went to the Information Kiosk to get a map. Since this place has very few hotels and more importantly, there is no vegetarian food available, we had to pack our lunch. We had a few sandwiches and some salad. First we visited the Chek Jawa wetlands. I have to mention, the place looked really close by in the map, but we had to ride really, really far to reach the place. By the time we reached our destination, I was almost exhausted. This place is supposed to have some rare species of sea creatures, but we couldn’t find much. We managed to spot only one fish which had wings. It looked as if it was flying with the wings, but it was disgusting to watch, it was in the muddy area near the shore. Guess I'm not much of a fish person.

Then we rested for a while, played some music, sang songs and had great fun. All of this was post lunch as we needed to re-energize. Then we went to the Balai Quarry. It was just a Quarry view from the top. Nothing much to talk about. Now here's the funny part, I wanted to perform the cycle stunts. They had set ups for it, like a few rocks with wooden logs to ride over. I was so close to riding on it, but I got super scared of two things; the height and the two narrow wooden logs. I tried twice, but couldn’t make it.

The day was extremely hot. Believe it or not, I was half toasted under burning sun. After 3 hrs we couldn’t go any further, so we turned back. The sun was burning, we were all exhausted, and to make it worse, we got lost! And we had all separated to meet at the ferry. After an hour of struggle, our gang, somehow, managed to reach the ferry. We just plonked ourselves down until the ferry came. The moment, the ferry arrived, we jumped into it and finally reached home sweet home. Oops, hostel sweet hostel.

The whole trip was too tiring, but the adventures were awesome! Ubin is different and beautiful, away from the city crowd, noise and tension. Ubin doesn’t have a mechanical life, it has nature's true beauty. A must see place for everyone and friends just make it better.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bulls Eye!!

March 6, 2009.Today is Friday, the day I go to the temple each week. But today, I had an event on my calendar, that I had to attend. The Career and Education Fair 2009 at the Suntech Conventional Hall. This is the first time I went to a job fair. My friends and I decided to go have a look at it. We took the SMRT and went to level 6 at Suntech. It was not as crowed as I expected. They asked us to fill a form and then we registered at the counter where they gave us a visitor pass. We then entered the hall. It was huge and was host to so many educational institutional stalls. I had never even heard of most of these institutes before. And the jobs were only for tourism and Casino management. The stalls were so colorful and dramatic. But the crowd was not much. Anyways it was nothing related to my field.

So the next thing we did, as usual, was to roam around the Plaza. Suntech is the biggest shopping mall in Singapore with 5 huge towers full of shops. I have been to these places many times but I have never been to the top floor called SKY GARDEN. The open garden at the topmost level was very peaceful and green. It had a small play area for kids and a fountain. We chatted there for a while and then we went to the gaming zone in the next tower. The place had all the video games possible and it wasn’t too expensive either… 10 tokens for 5$. I played a car racing game and won. The games were really addictive. We were watching others playing some shooting games and we had lots of fun there. Then for the very first time I tried my hand at Archery. I held a bow and arrow for the first time in my life. It was a little heavy and my first 3 shots were way off target. But then, I got the hang of it and bulls eye!! Got it absolutely right. It was quite an adventure. I think I will be going to that place often. I love the bow and arrow.

Then we were too tired to even walk… some how we managed to walk back home. And now here I am writing this post. That’s it for today guys. I am too tired. Going to have good some rest. Catch you guys in the next post.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sentosa Calling

Singapore is full of tourist attractions. The one which caught my attention is Sentosa Island. What's interesting about the place are not only its artificial beaches but the Flying Train. I've never travelled in a sky train before! So this was something I really wanted to check out.

Sentosa has many attractive places to visit like the Tiger Sky Tower, Underwater World and Dolphin Lagoon, Songs of the Sea, Sentosa 4D Magix and Sentosa CineBlast. These are the few I know of.

The best way to reach the island is by train. So we went to VIVO city, 3rd level and took the Sentosa express from there. The ticket, including the entrance to the beach, cost only 3 S$. The train that arrived was purple in color and had a party picture on it. I want, specifically, to mention; here in Singapore, they paint everything very colorful. (From buildings to the trains. You name it, it's coloured. The first time I ever saw 3 coloured buildings {red, green, yellow} was near Rochor Center). It was just 7 min ride to the beach. Sentosa has 3 beaches, Palawan Beach, Siloso Beach, and Tanjong Beach. These beaches are artificial, made using sand brought from Indonesia and Malaysia. We visited the first 2 beaches.

Once we got off the train, we had different transportation options to look around the Island. We could take a bus, mini bus or bike it. We decided to take the bicycle. I have to mention, I rode a bicycle after 5 years. Initially, I was scared to get onto it, but after a few seconds I felt like I'd been riding all these years. We rode the bike around the beach. It was very hard to ride the bike in a few places where it was really steep and windy. But on the whole we had great fun riding the cycles. After 2 hours, we returned the cycles and went to play in the water. We played a few games in the water, took lots of funny pictures and saw the beautiful sunset from the beach. It looked amazing. You can check out the pictures in my Flickr account.

Around 7 in the evening, we went to check out the Songs of the Sea. It is a laser light show and a play. It was mind blowing. The lights were so fantastic. It went on for about 20 min and cost us 8 S$ but was totally worth it. We didn’t have time to browse the other stuff at Sentosa. And plus we were so tired after riding the bike and playing in the water. So we decided to leave by the next train. The whole trip was wonderful. I told my friends,we had to come back to see the dolphin show and tiger towers.