22 Juni 2016

Current Position: Singapore

*I no longer update this blog, I have moved to: https://noortitan.wordpress.com. Thanks!

Reading time: 2-3 minutes
Language: English

Greetings from Singapore! I don't remember if I have told you this, but I am currently on my second week of research internship at Singapore University of Technology and Design. I am here for six more weeks, working on electric vehicles, especially the cooling system.

Does that sound like a lot of Heat and Mass Transfer? Perhaps, it is. I was scared at the beginning, too. H & MT is not my strength, to be honest. However, I am learning a lot from my mentor!

Driving the P0 (Prototype 0) of the vehicle! With Christabel, my fellow MIT friend.

I regretted my decision to come here, at first. Why? I can hardly deal with the weather! As someone who comes from Bandung, one of the coldest cities in Indonesia, I was having a hard time coming back from the US. It is way too humid, and hot. It was even worse when I came to Singapore. I feel bad for tagihan listrik, because I turn on the air conditioning all the time, haha.

However, when I meet students from SUTD, I was having so much fun with them, that I forgot about the weather. They are all amazing people, with different perspectives than mine. I could ask any questions I have about Singapore: starting from national service (wajib militer), which every young adult male has to do; to where-to-eat-chili-crabs.

Teammate! Our supper session, trying out Singaporean McDonald's.
I also participate in leadership training for both MIT and SUTD students this summer. Isn't it amazing? You get to experience Singapore, learn how to do research, and at the same time make friends (plus, upgrade your leadership skills).

Have I mentioned about the food?

OMG, when the Americans who have been to Singapore said that the food is amazing, I was like, "Meh. I know it should be the same as Indonesian food."

The fact is, it's even better, because it's literally the melting pot of so many different cultures: Chinese, Indian, Malay, everything. I was amazed by the variety of foods they have, and at the same time, I can still find the comfort food from home: martabak, ayam penyet, rendang, malay kueh (basically jajanan pasar).

In short, Singapore is basically a combination of characteristics from developed countries (integrated public transportation, transparent and efficient public service, clean, etc), and the comfort of home. I can still find people speaking Malay in MRT, and I am always seen as a local: so many people offered me credit cards/ asked for donations/ talked to me in Malay.

I don't feel different, because of my appearance/ hijab, but I feel the same as other people. I can easily find a mosque, and there are so many halal foods.

At least, that's my first impression of Singapore. I will definitely write more on the places I have visited, and my detailed work during this summer.

Lastly, Happy Ramadan! It is the 17th day of Ramadan, and soon it will be Eid. I am so excited to experience the last week of Ramadan here, because the tradition is similar to back home. They do sell kue lebaran (cookies/ biscuits/ snacks for guests visiting during Eid), and the varieties are so similar to the ones back home. They also have Ramadan bazaar, with a lot of booths and various food. I am also excited to go home (mudik) for Eid, because my supervisor here approved it! I am so lucky to spend another Eid at home.

So, I will keep you updated on my summer in Singapore! See you.

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