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Kentaro Kuribayashi's blog

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Notes on a Trip to Singapore

lang:en

As I wrote before, I had a chance to go to Singapore.

It was the second time of trip abroad for me. The first was Taiwan in Dec., last year. After the first trip, I have wanted to go somewhere abroad to have new experience. It was happy for me to get a chance to do it. This trip was sponsored by my company, paperboy&co., and I really appriciate them for letting me go there.

Here's notes on the trip.

6/6

We left Japan from Narita Airport at 11 AM., JST, then arrived at Changi Airport at 5 PM., in SGT. To enjoy Singaopre as much as possible, we soon went to Chinatown without checking in to hotel and had dinner in a food court.

The food we had was not so much good, but the atomosphere around the place was so exotic that I was impressed.

We had, further more, some dessert made by coconuts and mango. I was full in my stomach and finally manged to arrive at the hotel.

6/7

The goal we should achieve was to attend RedDotRubyConf 2013. It was held at Matrix (Biopolis) at Vouna Vista. The venue, an university, was much neater and more modern in comparison to Japan's one that I couldn't help sighing.

My proposal had been accepted and I would be to give a talk there. I was very thrilled, but I just managed to finish my talk without any problem and got relieved. Here's my slide for the talk:

After the conference day 1, we went to Little India. On the way to there, we met another attendees of the conference, so we went drinking together. Drinking with guys from various contries was just fun experience.

After we got apart from them, we went to Indian restaurant and had a dinner. We got too much full, again...

6/8

RDRC day 2. In the day, I was feeling relax and could listen to tech talks carefully. My colleague, @hsbt, give his presentation and he did great work. I was really moved when I saw a picture of speakers of RDRC and fouund me in it.

The conference was finished, then we went to a pub near the conference venue. So relaxed I was, I could talk to many people in English and had a great time with them. I found what important to be able to speak English was almost courage.

This day, we had another great experience at The Long Bar in Ruffles Hotel. It was my adoration from when I read Ryu Murakami's "Ruffles Hotel". It was the origin of Singapore Sling. Of course, we had one for us.

6/9

Since my traveling companion had a appoint with his acquaintance, I had a time alone myself. I decided to go to Johor Bahru, Malaysia. It was the first time for me to cross national border line along with a road (this trip itself was my second time of a trip abroad, though).

I got to Woodlands station and came to bus station to JB, but there was a long long line to wait bus. As I didn't want to wait for bus for long time, I didn't have so much time, an idea came to me that I catch a taxi and had it take me to JB. It turned out to be a so bad idea, as a result.

The driver of the taxi, at first, he can take me to JB, but started saying he couldn't because he didn't have a passport. He insisted that he must get me off from the taxi and I should ride on a taxi or bus from the checkpoint located at the exit of Singapore. I felt an alarm, but I didn't bother to argue about it and just got off.

There was no taxi and bus. It was just a checkpoint. I was at a loss at the center of the road on which many cars were waiting for examination to pass through. No sooner was I caught by an officer than I started walking toward somewhere. I was just a strange person who was walking in such a place nobody could walk.

I explained to the officer why I was here. The officer heard me saying I wanted to go to JB and persuaded me to back. Honestly saying, I was feeling kinda thrilled but I continued to insist I just wanted to go to JB and tell me how to go there. After a short while, they kindly take me to the bus station to JB. It was a good and rare experience, I could say, in a way.

It was strange to me that the atomosphere was changed so dramatically between Singapore and JB, Malaysia. Singapore was just so big city, on the other hand, a bit apart from there, JB was a town which reminded me of old Asia. Of cource, the entrance of JB had perfectly modern building, but it turned to old as I walked deeply into the town.

You shouldn't think I didn't like JB because of its old looking. It was opposite. I felt kind of relieved and had a relaxed time, drinking beer, looking people around. I just had a time while I had nothing to do. It was happy, wasn't it?

After I went back to SG, we together went to Clarke Quay, which had so beautiful riverside and fasionable area. We had chinese food there and drunk at Harry's.

6/10

This day, I was happy I had a chance to visit several offices there; Odd-e, SingTel Innov8, and Burpple. I was eager to get to know about real Web industry in Singapore.

At Odd-e, thankfully Stanly invited us to their office, and we talked about Agile things. We're currently working on introducing Scrum into our company, so I've been really interested in the topic.

They are focusing on how to build large softwares with teams which consist of people from several contties. Although what we must cope with is a bit different, I got a lot from the discussion. Besides the invitation, he had me have "souvenir", that is, their papers on Scrum and sets of planning porker. Thank you, Stanly!

Then we went to One-North, which is located at next station from Vuona Vista, and met Akira(@chicken_guy). We got acquaintance with at RDRC. He was a lead engineer working for Burpple and kind enough to invite us to their office.

They are working on a mobile app which allows user to share what they had among their friends, that is, SNS forcusing on foods. Their office was neat and looked very confortable to concentrate on developing software. I felt so glad to hear their doing and was given sort of guts toward our development.

SingTel Innov8 was so-called an incuvation center. There was a place like it also in Japan, but, in Singapore, the government officially encourages startups with a large company such as SingTel (like DoCoMo in Japan).

It was regrettable that we were so excited to have a talk with Akira that I forgot to take photos of Burpple office...

Akira recommended we go to Haw Par Villa. It was a very amazing place! As you see in the pictures below, it was an amalgam of Chinese history and tails, which was built to teach people Chinese moral. However, the sculptures were so cruel that we just got nothing but socked...

After we bought sourvenirs for Japanese people at Ruffles Hotel, we joined another one from Japan and went to the Arab Street. I was almost full, so had sheesha almost all the time there. It was my second time of having it. I have had it in Kyoto before.

6/11

The final day, we wanted to go to somewhere strange to us. Ubin Island was a appropriate place in such a way. From Changi, we got into a boat to Ubin Island. It was like a spy movie!

In the island, we had nothing to do but cycling. We rented ones for us and ran around the island. It was so hard to me to go up and down with bicycle that I just got exhausted...

At 21 PM., we left Singapore to Japan. I wanted to be there more, but it was time to back to Japan. Now I want to get to know more about Singapore and to be there again. I left some place to visit.