html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" ""> I Need an Invention, Intention, to stop Temptation to Scream...: January 2009

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Shopping at Concord Mills in Charlotte

We signed up for the free shopping trip to the nearby city of Charlotte, organised by the International Student Programs Centre in conjunction with an external activities organisation. We were picked up from our school and driven about an hour to Concord Mills, one of the biggest malls in North Carolina.

When they say its huge, we're not joking. We were there before lunch and shopped for about 4 hours and we only had time to walk the mall one and a half times over! There was just too much to see, too much to poke your head into, too much to consider buying! Arrgh. Well there's one complain. The mall's single storey, meaning that we walked A LOT.

The Lunch:

We had lunch at the 'foodcourt' of the mall which was located right in the middle of a huge circle of stores and outlets.

Some funny cute pig hangings on the ceiling

Cute graphics. Did you guys see anything in the corner of the picture?

Yes there is a carousel...

Right in the middle of the food court!

I had this sweet and sour chicken with fried rice set. Not cheap! Cost 7 USD. I'll never complain that anything is expensive in Singapore again.

The mall at a first glance:

SOME of the many outlets:

Because I'm lazy to type more...

These outlets rock. Some stuffs are expensive and some are a steal!

Example of a steal:

Woman shoes are expecially cheap! Ana bought a pair of new shoes for close to nothing.

Not to fret, there's still the best store of all time...

Wait for it....

Its coming...

Taa-Daa! These are where your souvenirs are coming from folks! Satisfaction guaranteed! For me la of course.

Ay complain somemore and all you'll get is a used Wal-mart plastic bag man. USED!

Some interesting stuffs around the mall:

Very well drawn grafitti wall displaying posters of current shows

And its uber cool cinema...

Donate your loose change! And watch it roll for seconds before it falls into a bottomless pit. I lost quite a few pennies that way. But its for a good course!

The crazy chocolate factory and its sinful delights...

I especially love the mini stalls that were set up. They sell the queerest things.

Ana the forgetful joker tying her hair with her room key attached to the band for she fears misplacing her key. Haha!

I love the hanging lanterns of this very Asian concept based decorative pieces store.

I'd load more photos but I'm just too tired! Here's us saying goodbye from the Concord Mills Arcade! Good night!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What the???

A small paragraph off my International Economy syllabus (Singapore's equivalent of a course guide):

Course Grades: The following course grades correspond to the following percentage of the total points:

A+ :100% and above
A :93% to 100%
A- :90% to 93%
B+ :86% to 90%
B :83% to 86%
B- :80% to 83%
C+ :76% to 80%
C :73% to 76%
C- :70% to 73%
D+ :66% to 70%
D :63% to 66%
D- :60% to 63%
F :below 60%

Note: Grades are not rounded-up. An average of 89.99999% is still a B+. An average of 90.00001 is an A-.

And there exist people with GPA of 4.0. Ie. they got above 100% for all modules. Its amazing! Either the Americans are very clever or their tests are very easy. We shall see.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

First non-junk mails

Happy New Year to all!

Though there was hardly any new year spirit here anyway. Ha!

The UNCGians had a good time over the weekends just hanging out at different places with all the nice Americans and International Students.

Lo and Behold! I went to the mailbox on the very first day of the lunar new year thinking all I'll be getting is a probable handful of junkmails. Eg. Invitation to a UNCG VS Charlotte basketball game, or a flyer about some upcoming seminar etc.

But no! The mails were actually good!

Good mail #1:

Important looking letter that actually contains...

My checking card from Wachovia! Hmmm. Looks as hideous as my POSB card back in Singapore. In blue colour too. Urgh.

Good mail #2:

A CNY card from Singapore!

Many thanks to Doris and Sok Wan for their card! Its the first super red item in my room. Hahaha. I shall paste it somewhere.

Alighty I'm off to do my German tutorials.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Department Team Building on 16 Jan 2009

All of us had half day work on the 16th Jan, and spent the other half of the day having team building! We had free yummy food which consists of my favourite prawns, spaghetti, fried rice, fish and lemon chicken and of course lots and lots of fruits.

With my team members.. We got first for one of the games but din get any prizes. But it was really fun!

The whole department!



Will try to do a proper post if I have more time. Anyway had booked my tickets to London in end May. Will be there for about 2 weeks for dear Florence's wedding with Sel! So exciting!! And we will be sitting down sipping tea wearing nice dresses! And next month I'll be going to the land of giant flies, S-sized clothes and beautiful beaches for my convocation!! Can't wait!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A week's worth of fun

Guten Tag!

To you guys in Singapore that is! It's been a heck of a first week of school. There's so little time here to really sit down and do something that your really like or would like to do. I'm still bogged down by the constant need to finish up WIL2 individual project, prepare for lessons before hand, and socialise with the the international students here.

But when there's work, there must be play! So here's a short lazy picture post on what's been going on this week:

160109: Bowling at Wendover's

I really suck at bowling. And the fact that I average 70 points for both games is because I insist on using only the lucky green ball.

Some of the other International and American students:

The alley is huge and despite almost all the International students and other American students being there, we only occupy about half the venue.

180109: Sunday service at Mosaic

Mosaic is a relatively new and rapidly growing church in this part of Greensboro.

The band is really cool and the people are all so friendly and hospitable.

I enjoyed my first service in America and look forward to many more fruitful Sundays here!

190109 : And so it snowed

Its really rare to get snow here in North Carolina, especially at this time of the year so late in winter, so its really fortunate that I get to see it!

It all started when little flurries of flakes began to descend at about 8pm at night.

People start rushing out of their rooms bringing along their cameras with them. It was quite a funny sight as there are many Asians, Mexicans, South Americans and Africans who like me were seeing snow for the first time in their lives.

Then it got heavier, and it almost became impossible to take photos. We would rather protect our cameras and just stand back under the shelter and heat of the building and admire the lovely night scene as more and more snowflakes descend.

Some of the little photos we took:

My U-pal David. He's such a lovely chap. Has been emailing me even before I came and helped me with what ever questions that I had about preparation. He also ensured that I settled down well in UNCG.

Yan Hao and myself. Its not Yan Hao's first time seeing snow but he's still equally amazed as I was I'm sure.

I was so excited I ran out in my thin track pants and my gay green room slippers on. Fortunately I remembered my beanie and gloves.

Yan Hao having fun staring at snow falling

A spastic picture of myself (which I will use as my FB profile pic soon) trying to catch snowflakes with my tongue. Tastes pretty much like crushed ice.

Back to David being such a nice pal. He saw my facebook nick when I mentioned: "Shaun is here in UNCG for almost a week and all he's seen is the college caf and his room. Damn those S'pore assignments!"

So he called me and offered to take me out that very night to Crispy Kreme! He has heard how it became a lifelong ambition to bite into one so he very kindly got one of his friend Rebecca to drive us to the restaurant just a little off the school.

A little bit of history: Krispy Kreme so happens to be based in North Carolina. It began its first operation here in 1937 right in Winston-Salem and slowly, the addictive donut became a global name. Check this out.

In North Carolina, people don't buy donuts over a counter. They actually walk into a huge donut restaurant, sit down and order pretty much half a dozen per person at a go along with ice creams and milk shakes. Or so I heard. I gotta see this.

Sadly it was closed! They would usually stay open till midnight, but it happend to be Martin Luther King Jr's day, so they were closed early.

We shall return! Haha. This has been corrected now. We managed to try some takeaway Krispy Kreme at Friday Fest (will be elaborated at another time) today. It was lovely but I'm definitely coming back soon.

So we made a little detour and headed to i-hop. Another famous American food joint, made popular by the movie "I am Sam". I-hop is famous for its pancakes and we wasted no time ordering those sinful flat cakes even though its really late at night.

They're not cheap! But its worth every penny that I blew on it.

The tall strawberry stack of pancakes with strawberry sauce, whipped cream, fresh berries and bananas

Myself, Yan Hao and Isaac. Isaac is an American who speaks fluent chinese, having grew up in Taiwan.

They taught us how to play a new game. Its really fun! I-hop provides free crayons for its patrons to doodle on.

The 6 of us had such a great time. Must really thank David, Rebecca, Isaac and Kathy for taking Yan Hao and myself out.

200109: Snow covered UNCG

The usual view out of my window, only different

The school looks much prettier covered in white

These pictures are the ones that I took from within the i-house itself. I haven't got around loading up photos of the school that I took when I'm out.

I managed to see a squirrel digging up nuts again. Haha.

That's it for now! I must really be getting on my WIL2 now. Got a huge shopping trip down to Charlotte city tomorrow too! Take care all you folks back home.

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy New Year!