Monday, April 1, 2013

Conference over






The conference has ended and I'm chilling in a hostel in little India. On the bus ride here I had that incredibly satisfying post-week-long-international conference exhaustion. Some girl kept trying to talk to me on the bus and I definitely fell asleep regardless.

Learned a lot at the conference, and made a lot of cool friends, etc and everything you would expect of an aiesec leadership development conference that sticks 300 aiesecers from around the world in the same place for a week.

Had some good times. Alcohol is hundreds of dollars in this country so we'd run dry soon, which suited me fine because things got fun but not crazy. That plus the culture of Asian Pacific region made for some pretty chill nights. I got along really well with the New Zealanders and Canadians, probably because of our similar cultures. 




The venue was pretty nice. It was at some sort of waterpark resort place, with a mall. We were in these little hotel room things that were open to the outside, but at least still had AC. It was goddamn hot all the time. 


Food was real boring, pretty much chicken and rice every day. It was free, so I can't complain too much. At one point they had pizza or chicken and rice, but they wanted everybody (300 people) to form one line, approach the table, ask "would you like-a chicken and rice-a, or pizza la?" then the person would say "pizza" and the FACI would spend like 30 seconds picking up 1 single piece with a pair of tongs. About 90% of us just wanted something in our stomach and we didn't give a shit what it was, so I broke the line and grabbed a chicken rice thing. Someone started yelling at me, I yelled back, walked away, told three random people that they can just grab their food, the queue broke down and I had a mortal enemy FACI for the rest of the conference. Still, it was a stupid system. You'renotmydad etc etc. 

The colors in the country were pretty much perfect in every situation.




All throughout Singapore, we are not men, we are "Gents." Everywhere. Everywhere.
The final night we had a BBQ, which was convenient because I have to do an ethnography on a feast. It was really fun, a sort of cap on the whole thing, but after watching people struggle to start the fire and get a cooking system going I got frustrated and took over with another American to get things moving properly. Cooked for pretty much 3 hours straight, but it was great fun. 









That night, when we arrived at the hostel, I was utterly exhausted. I met a friend of an aiesecer in the us working the hostel, small world. He brought me out front for a drink and we mingled with other guests. Real chill. Met a Japanese guy on his way to Thailand to try out for a national soccer team. His English was terrible, and my Japanese not much better, but we communicated just fine. Headed out to get some pad thai, met some thai ladyboys, tried to explain the concept in Japanese, hit my bed and zapped out.








Woke up dazed and confused, somehow managed to stumble into the shower, into clothes, and out the door for a day of chilling in the various culture centers of Singapore. 

This was at our hostel, "Footprints in Little India." Cracked me right up.



Little India is what I imagine to be a cleaner version of real India. There were like a million Indians dude just lounging around in clothes that were way to fancy for how goddamn hot it was (real goddamn hot). Not really sure where the girls were, except one lady who I bought some souvenirs from just to spite her competition across the alley that had been real annoying with the salesman heckling. 

We were super disorganized, broken into 4 groups of like 10, and it was nearly impossible to keep track of eachother. Our group was all Japanese, three Westerners, and a Korean girl. The Korean girl kept wandering off and coming to meeting spots late, so I grew to wish for a leash or something. It was interesting though that after about 2 or 3 days of us being grouped together, we sort of became close. That was nice. 

Chinatown after Little India, not much to report other than a very pretty temple and some purty delish food. 

Photobombed by a sketchy old white dude. 

Honestly the level of detail gave me goosebumps. 

There was just so much work involved in decorating this place. 

There was a session happening while I was there. I'll upload a video sometime. 

This dude was rocking the drum. Looked real peaceful and chill. 

Fantastic silk art hidden behind the statues. 

SOMEBODY LIT ALL THESE CANDLES

ALLLLL OFFF THEEEMMMMM

This shop gave me an insane deal on little souvenirs. 

Some sort of Singapore famous food. Hella good. It was Indian. 

Poseidon eating. One of my favorite friends from AIESEC Taiwan. 

This is one of the most famous eating places in Singapore, apparently. Filled with locals.

We hit up some sort of indoor garden thing afterwards, which allowed us all to get some really good pictures of the architecture. Singapore has the most outlandish architecture. It was totally weird, totally cool.

Some random downtown building

More buildings


This was the garden. We formed a weekend long agreement here: one camera for group pictures. 

There were plants growing up this thing, so I'm assuming it's fairly new and that they mean for the whole thing to be covered. 

Singapore is addicted to color. It's fantastic. 

Inside of the gardens looked weirder than the outside. 




Poseidon mastering his realm. 



That building is Marina Bay Sands I think. Pretty contentious, people can't decide if it makes the skyline or ruins it. 

In my opinion, it's a massively egotistical building. 

It's way off to the side of the main skyline, saying "Yea, look at me, I'm the weirdest building ever built, and I'm all the way over here so if you want to take a picture of Singapore now you gotta stand way further back. 


I got really grumpy during this part of the trip, as we walked around the city, cause it sucks trying to get like 80 people moving and going towards destinations when they all value independence and want to "create their own post-conference experience" and all this other BS. Also my feet hurt, I was dehydrated, I was hungry, sunburnt, waaah. Soon as I got food in me I was good to go... to bed. Some people went clubbing that night, but the massive entrance fee combined with the fact that it was 1am kept me home. I'll do it laterrrr. 

There is no directing these people.