Day 3: Company visits, begin!

Yesterday we got to visit one studio, but pretty much from here on out our itinerary is primarily focused on company visits. The first two days showed us the city and got us acquainted with the food and culture, which will definitely continue, but not on the same scale.

We left the hotel around 9am and headed to ST Electronics which is a subset of a government agency. They were a military contractor turned corporate. Along the way, Ricardo told us about Singapore’s compulsory military service in which all males have to serve a term of 2 years when they are 18 years old. After that, they are kind of “on call” for the next 13 years and they are called to a week-long refresher training once a year.

The presentations given at ST Electronics were very informative about how they are a leader in the country and have a good foothold in various parts of the world. They showed us examples of their S.A.G.E. (Simulation, Animation, Games, and Edutainment) work, some of which was stereoscopic and immersive.

For lunch we ventured off to the red light district that apparently is known for its food (by day, haha). Our dish was Geylang ClayPot Rice (local dish) and crisanthimum tea. Very good.

We then vistied Rainbow Media, an Italian animation company located in Tomasik Towers, in the center if the business district. On the way there we passed by a Wendy’s, which was funny to see.  The studio is located on the same floor as Google and we all went and took a snapshot of Google’s reception area.  Just a silly extra.  We were given a presentation by the executive producer of the studio here in Singapore.  She had a lot of interesting things to say about what they’re working on and what is needed at their studio.  At one point, resumés and portfolios came out of nowhere from various people in our group.  Luckily it seems like some of them will be getting at least preliminary interviews with her at some point during our stay.  They didn’t really have an opening for a job that fits my skill set, but I left my card anyway.

After that, we went to the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) and walked around and looked at the paintings they had there.  In some places it was surprisingly warm and humid, especially with artwork being all around.  All in all, it was a pleasant walkthrough.  The building itself was really pretty and there was a funny sign outside near the entrance that said “Flirting Point.”  I don’t know why it was there, but we ended up taking a group picture under it, haha.

Then we came back to the hotel and had some downtime before a group of us were going to go out for dinner at a Japanese Ramen restaurant in Clarke Quay.  I tried to catch up on blogs and emails, but there wasn’t enough time.  When we finally found the place in the mall, we waited in line to be seated.  It seemed to be a pretty happening place to eat since there was a line there and not at many of the other places we passed.  The food was great and put a new perspective on ramen noodles for me.  There’s a lot of flavor and overall goodness (for lack of a better word) compared to the packaged Instant Ramen I had eaten in the past.

After eating, a few of us went off to Bugis, a popular shopping area for “younger people.”  Basically, the shops there are geared toward late-teens and 20-somethings.  I was trying to find something to wear because there were plans of going to a club called Zouk.  I ended up finding and buying a shirt that I liked, but when I got back to the hotel and put it on with the jeans I had, it looked out of place.  That, and I didn’t have shoes to go with it aside from tennis shoes…something I didn’t want to wear out to a club.  So even as girly as that sounded, I ended up changing into something else I brought.  Funny thing though: at the club there were black lights and they showed any kind of lint that my shirt had picked up from my suitcase.  It was a lose-lose situation.  Luckily, down on the dance floor there weren’t any black lights and I felt better about what I was wearing.  Another funny thing is that it was so dark in there that I could have gotten away with wearing anything!

Dancing at the club was different and something I’d never seen before.  It was “retro night” and they were playing a lot of music from the 70s and 80s as well as a few newer songs here and there.  The thing that was weird was that everyone knew all the lyrics to the songs.  And they had hand signs for them!  It was awesome to say the least.  Everyone was dancing and signing and having a great time.  Those of us from the group that went spent the evening enjoying the music and trying hard to learn the signs and dance along.  It’s really hard to explain on here, but it was quite an experience and a sight to see.  I’m sure there are some YouTube videos on it…I’ll have to look for some when I get back to the States.  It was awesome though, trust me.

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