Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween in Singapore

I spent Halloween in Singapore and found it surprisingly festive.  The streets were lit up and storefronts were simultaneously decorated for Halloween & Christmas.  Giant Christmas Trees fill the atriums of malls while store mascots are dressed like witches and covered in cloaks.  Singapore is a shoppers haven: NYC shopping with Florida weather.  Every block is a different mall with the same designer stores: Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Versace, Marc Jacobs, & D&G repeat after each intersection and inside each mall is a 5 story atrium filled with American labels of all price ranges.  After being in awe at the globalization of labels I went to Raffel's Hotel which is where the Singapore Sling was invented.  I indulged in the gin-based fruit drink which cost $25 but when in Rome I suppose.  That night I felt ill so I caught up on some much needed rest after crazy India.

The next morning, Ali & I took a taxi to the Cornell Hotel School in Singapore.  It is part of NTU and it only has graduate students pursuing their MMH because the business school at NTU has an undergrad program in Hospitality.  The campus is massive and I felt slightly homesick, but in a good way, when I walked into the air-conditioned, glass plated building and saw a mural of the Cornell Clock Tower.  At the reception hung two clocks: one with Singapore time & one with Ithaca time and on the coffee table sat the Cornell Hospitality Book I received upon being admitted to Cornell.  Su Ann, their marketing manager, gave us a tour and explained about the cirriculum which is practically identical with courses.  Afterwards, I explored the campus and saw their dining hall and lectures halls and then took the complimentary shuttle to the metro which is more modern than the US and extremely sanitary.  Singapore is known as a 'fine' city because of their strict law enforcement but I found it extremely pleasant because you do not have to worry about petty theft or crime like the third world countries I have been visiting.  After only 36 hours in Singapore I was sad to leave but anxious to arrive in Vietnam 36 hours later.

Contestants holding onto cars: the last one standing wins

Aveni & I decked in purple in front of the purple Christmas Tree.

Just another Halloween decorated statue

Cornell Hotel School: I miss the clock tower.

Marche-Restaurants: on the roof of the mall.

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