We all dream of going abroad at least once in our life time and so did I, but how many of us that how it’ll will feel out there in an Alien Nation without your own people , your friends and yes without your home. A lot of questions go through your mind like How will the food be ? How will be accommodation ? How will the people be out there ? and yes Will I’ll be able to enjoy myself to the fullest and do my work with the same zeal as I have planned?
Well I had all those above questions running in my mind when I got the offer to do a 2 month Summer Internship at the National University of Singapore in the year 2009. I was pretty confident about the work I was supposed to do but since this was the first time I was going to any place far off where I’ll be left all by myself so there were some jitters too. But then God Helps those , who help themselves,
and I actually helped myself during October ‘08 by joining AIESEC, the World’s largest Youth Organization. I was working in AIESEC till that time just as a member and had very little idea what it has to offer us. Before going to Singapore I came across this really cool program of AIESEC called CEED (Cultural Envoy for Exchange and Development)
through which a member of any AIESEC LC can work in a different LC and can help then with his/her skills. Since I was mostly related with the CIM department I applied for this one only and to my fortune they had a vacancy there. I was excited about seeing the international face of AIESEC.
So I set out on my journey with dreams in my eyes of meeting new people and making new friends. My landing was fantastic and Changi really set the bar for what I was supposed to witness in Singapore. An exquisite country which has every thing to offer from the most Natural Zoos, Night Safari and Bird Parks to the Heavenly and adventurous Sentosa to the electric and Nightly active Clark Quay. The hustle & bustle of Little India, Chinatown to the really calm roads of Commonwealth. From the lucky Fountain of Wealth to the really amazing Escape Theme Park.
But where did AIESEC make an impact. Well Beautiful and Gorgeous things need to be discussed separately and well it was exactly the same for me when I was first contacted by Shean(Sleepy) and Amanda(The Orangutan) at the Raffles City Center. Well what can be a better introduction to a new team than meeting to really pretty Girls at a pizza place. It was a start I’ll never miss. We discussed the details of my work and I had a good time explaining the maps of India of Singapore to them 🙂 .
Well after that I was looking forward to meeting the full LC and discuss my exact job profile. And to my surprise it was a completely Girly LC with Elroy(Mr. Laidback ) being the only guy. I met Wenny (The LCP) and yeah Bernice(Nasty). It was a fantastic day for me
as I was joining their EB outing so I really got to know the working of AIESEC in NUS. It was fantastic as I was shown the stats and goals by Nasty I was really awed . They were really optimistic and Realistic goals and that actually made an amazing image of a 15yrs established LC. After the meeting I had the first taste of a Chinese Delicacy called Dan Dan Mian the only vegetarian thing available in the Chinese Restaurant. It was the most amazing Noodles I have ever eaten and its name only is makes me feel hungry. After the meal I had a comfortable ride home in Elroy’s car where I really got the insight into the LC workings.
The Harbor Front Encounter with the Cow and Mai
Well I was invited by Sleepy to Harbor Front as she
introduced me to some of her friends and well it was wow. I met the first Indian origin AIESECer in Singapore, Rita(Brown Cow) and yes a beautiful woman and cute AIESECer from Vietnam, Michelle Mai Pham V ^_^ V. By far she was the cutest lady I met in Singapore. We had a tour of the Vivocity Complex and we ended up taking snaps in different poses. And well it was more fabulous as Rita invited me to her Birthday which was just a few days away.
Meeting at SMU
We all met at SMU to discuss about the progress of AIESEC in NUS and set the goals for the coming academic session. The discussions about Recruitments , Projects and Welcome Tea kept all of us busy throughout the day. We also discussed about tapping in new partners for the LC and creating maximum impact during the College Matriculation Fair. Bernice came up with some brilliant ideas about tapping the IT companies in Singapore. Overall it was a day packed with some real @work but in the end it was all a happy ending.
Cow’s B’day Bash
Well Cow invited me to her B’day in our last meeting and I was really excited about meeting some really new people and also experience an foreign B’day bash. Well it turned out to be a night filled with Ta-Boo & 7up game, Bachata, Salsa , some really interesting talks and yes Absolute Vodaka and Martini. I had my first and only date till now with alcohol as I gulped down 3 shots of Vodka and Martini each. ( FYI I am not a drunkard and
neither do I plan to drink in future for leisure but well when its a sport and I lose then I really gulp all punishments happily. BTW I am proud I didn’t get high after all the above drinking.)It was a day I’ll always remember as I really enjoyed the Party and hospitality of the Cow . (Thank You Cow for that 🙂 ). The night ended with all of us leaving for home at 3 in the Morning.
The African Dinner
Well work was going on fine when I was told about the opportunity to meet some International Interns in Farrer park for an African Dinner. A new intern from UK , Abi arrived in Sinagpore a few days
back and it was planned to organize an African dinner for her. Upon reaching the station I met people from the NTU and SMU LC also there were interns from New Zealand and Canada. But alas mother nature had some other plans . It was raining and the African restaurant was pretty far. So we people decided to settle on an Indian restaurant and well it turned out to be good as I ordered dishes like Dosa, Idli sambhar and Choole Bhatoore for my International Friends.
After the dinner we went for some walk around the area and had small talks amongst ourselves. We eventually landed at a Chinese Ice Cream shop and had some really amazing Mango Ice-cream.It was time to leave but not without a snap and another round of amusement and so we did before we took our MRTs.
Shisha & Karaoke @ Arab Street
One thing I noticed in Singapore was that whenever I thought it was over the country gave me something doubly amazing to enjoy. A similar experience was of Arab Street Shisha and Karaoke when Nasty invited all of us. After going to the Shisha place we headed to a Karaoke Bar which was the place where we had the maximum fun, was highlighted by singing on Karaoke . Another remarkable night passes singing and enjoying.
The Final Farewell
“Everything that has a beginning has an end , Neo.” – Agent Smith, Matrix Revolutions.
The above lines hold true for this amazing experience of my life too. It was the last time I was going to meet Shean and Amanda, as they were the only EBs available. An amazing lunch at a Chinese Restaurant at Raffles Place, followed by a short meeting at Starbucks and the Final Goodbye to Amanda. This is what summed up everything. I accompanied Shean at Starbucks and had some small talk including some Tech Stuff. It was fun and finally the time came as we said goodbyes. I was sad but at the same happy about the eXPerience I had as an AIESECer and the Positive Impact I was able to make on the NUS LC and also the Singapore MC.
Just before leaving I met Mai Pham once again and we shared Sugar cubes which I still treasure.
My journey ended in Singapore but the experience will live on the the friends I made there will always have a special place in my heart.
I would like to thank NUS , AIESEC, all the AIESECers in Singapore and Singapore for giving me the best eXPerience of my life till now. Love you all and Miss you.