Fuji Ice Palace

Today a group of the partners went ice skating! I really haven’t been in quite a while so it was a little intimidating but worth a try 😛 We went to Fuji Ice Palace in Jurong East. There were people there having lessons which included little kids under 5 years old. Those little kids were good! But then I guess they do have a lower center of gravity so it’s not as easy for them to fall.

It was slow starting with lots of wall hugging but eventually I got the hang of skating again. I don’t like going fast and it’s kind of dizzying to go around and around and around so we only stayed for an hour and a half before heading back to INSEAD for lunch.

In the afternoon we also had a talk which we were invited to called Business Etiquette and Living in Singapore. The talk was given by a relocation expert to help us settle into Singapore lifestyle. It was a 3 hour talk but well worth the time, she gave us a lot of background on Singapore and also current events.

Some highlights:
1. Singapore has 4 official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil
2. “Salamat Datang” is “hello” in Malay
3. “Vanakkam” is “hello” in Tamil
4. Singapore hs 42km by 23 km (26mi by 14mi)
5. 4.3 million people with approx 1 million tourists per month (!)
6. Singapore has grown larger in size due to reclaimed land. The land was originally taken from its own mountains but now it’s being purchased from Thailand and Vietnam
7. Singapore actually has rainforests!
8. Sir Stamford Raffles purchased part of Singapore in 1819 (you see a lot of buildings named after him and many historic momuments)
9. Lee Kuan Yew was the first prime minister, 1959 through 1990!
10. Singapore’s independence day is September 8, 1965
11. Use your right hand for everything, the left hand is the “dirty” hand
12. Don’t show people your feet, it’s disrespectful (ie, crossing your legs and the soles of your feet are showing)
13. “Tipping is not encouraged”
14. Residents are required to put money into their central provident fund (CPF) for their retirement.
15. It costs approx S$30-40,000 to get a “Certificate of Entitlement” (COE) in order to buy/have a car (you still have to buy the car!)
16. “Kiasu” means “afraid to lose” in Hokkien, you say it to people when people are being pushy without realizing it (ie, pushing their way into the MRT without letting people get out who want to exit)

That’s just a taste of what she talked about with us. She also gave us a great list of places we should visit while living in this area.

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