Day 5 and the Rooster Strikes Again

Singapore Merlion, Mount Faber

I woke up this morning at 3 am from a delicious dream that I wanted to be real (sigh), and I’m handing it all over to the Universe. I haven’t slept much since arriving in Singapore, which has left me with a lot of time to think about every aspect of my life. No sleep till Brooklyn! It’s progressively getting better, and I hope everything will balance out once I officially start at my first school.

There’s a rooster next door, and he begins his song and dance pretty early. It’s ironic because I don’t mind his crowing, my Chinese zodiac sign is the rooster, and it happens to be Chinese New Year. Xin Nian Kuai Le! It’s the Year of the Water Tiger, which is about being resilient, showing strength, and being bold in all aspects of life. I’m all in when it comes to renewing myself and walking into the next chapter open to receiving and grounding my energy.

I’m renting in a beautiful residential neighborhood that I’m now calling the spiritualist haven. If I walk 5 minutes in either direction, there’s a Mosque, Buddhist, Chinese, or Hindu Temple. On my daily walk, I see vibrant colors, pass the smell of various incenses, and hear soft chants. The architecture is beautiful, and I respectfully haven’t ventured in because there’s the belief that tourists can bring in unwanted energy. Singapore is truly an amalgamation of cultures. I’ve heard it described that there could be a traditional Chinese funeral and Muslim wedding with people interacting without issues in the same building. Singapore is the home to many races, and everyone identifies as a Singaporean.

Nature here is breathtaking. I’m amazed by the greenery, walking paths, and various gardens. It’s a 40-minute walk for me to get to the ocean, which is exciting and therapeutic. Everyone walks here, there are cars, but the high cost of owning one has reduced the carbon footprint. The public transit system is the most efficient and cleanest I’ve ever witnessed. I’m enjoying my time people watching and didn’t realize it’s not customary for people to look you in the eyes on the MRT because it’s considered threatening. I’ve been greeting everyone and smizing with my mask on. I hope my eyes are inviting enough. For the most part, the majority of Black and Brown people I’ve come across, we’ve locked eyes, smized, or did the head nod of recognition.

Next post, I’ll provide an update on the first week of orientation, the Singapore team, my cohort, and the previous Fulbrighters who became permanent residents in Singapore.

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