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The Adventure
chronicling the adventure that is my life
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16th-Nov-2020 12:16 am - Partially Locked

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20th-Feb-2012 11:09 am - Internship
You know, I was kind of worried that my 'good luck' from last year wouldn't be brought forward to this year, considering that I had such a fantastic 2011. I guess my worrying is unnecessary, at least for now. Last year in November, I applied to quite a few banks, financial institutions, and other non-b&f companies in hopes of landing myself an internship this summer. Truth be told, I got demoralised after I received a couple of rejection emails and I kinda stopped applying for the positions in b&f thereafter. 

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from an unexpected bank, Credit Suisse. The email invited me to go down for their first round of interviews. I was shocked, surprised and very elated. I've never expected them to shortlist me, considering my very average academic results and CV. Last Wednesady I went down to CS' office at One Raffles Quay for my first group assessment...... and in the evening I was called back for a final interview on Friday. Unnecessary details aside, I am now an unofficial intern at Credit Suisse! Unofficial because I've yet to sign the contract. I'll be placed in the IB Ops division. I'm really really thankful for this opportunity. Words can't describe how grateful I am for this opportunity!  

I'm looking forward to my 10 weeks internship at CS this summer. They seem to have a very friendly work environment and from what the AVP has told me, the company culture sounds very positive too. Now I can finally stop worrying about my lack of an internship and focus on my studies. 
31st-Dec-2011 01:31 am - 2011 - Places I travelled to
2011 is ending in two days. It's time for me to sit down and reflect on my year. I've never been an expressive person, so I don't think it will be very lengthy. This is one part of my yearly reflective entry, or whatever people call it. I will write about the rest once I get back from KL.

2011 has been a great year for me when it comes to travelling. I was in Hong Kong from January to May, during which I travelled rather frequently to mainland China and also Taiwan once the school term was over. I then went to USA for 5 weeks in July for summer school in Yale. Travelled to few places in the east coast with my limited time and budget. 
#1 View from Victoria Harbour, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
#2 Ruins of St Paul's, Macau
#3 Dongmen shopping district in Shenzhen, China
#4 Beijing Pedestrian Street in Guangzhou, China

#5 West Lake, Hangzhou, China
#6 Humble Administrator's Garden, Suzhou, China
#7 Tongli Water Town, Suzhou, China
#8 Night view from The Bund, Shanghai, China
#9 Sailing the driver on a bamboo raft, Yangshuo, China
#10 Sun-Moon pagodas, Guilin, China
#11 Kenting, Taiwan
#12 Dilapidated street art in Tainan, Taiwan
#13 Dome of Light in Formosa Boulevard station, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
#14 National Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Taipei City, Taiwan

#15 Pierson College courtyard, Yale University, New Haven C.T., USA
#16 Widener Library, Harvard University, Cambridge M.A., USA
#17 MIT, Cambridge M.A., USA
#18 Freedom Trail, Boston M.A., USA
#19 Niagara Falls, USA
#20 United Nations General Assembly, NYC, USA
#21 Night view from Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Centre, NYC, USA
#22 Charging bull in the Financial District, NYC, USA
17th-Jul-2011 12:44 am - First post in Yale
 Sorry for the lack of updates. Time passes too quickly. Ever since I went back to Singapore, I've been busy spending time with my family and friends. I'm currently in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. I'm enrolled in a summer program at Yale. It's the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) - Global Summer Programme (GSP). The class I'm taking here is International Economics. I haven't been updating much since coming to Yale because the workload is simply crazy! I spend a lot of my time doing my readings and assignments. It's so crazy I barely have time to go out and play properly. 

Luckily enough, my professor has cancelled Monday's class and this means I have an extended weekend. My next class is on Wednesday! In light of this rare opportunity, my friends and I have decided to embark on a 2D1N Niagara Falls trip! In fact we're departing in 4hours' time. I'm pretty excited about this trip. 

Earlier this afternoon, I was in New York City. I was there to watch Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana at Radio City Music Hall. Being in NYC itself feels so amazing. Too much Hollywood I guess. While I was walking down 6th Ave, the song Empire State of Mind kept playing in my head. Lame, but I couldn't help it. Zarkana was kind of disappointing. I was expecting quite a lot since it was Cirque du Soleil... I guess it's alright since I only paid 30USD for a 52USD ticket. 

It's time for me to go. I'll try to write again soon, but I don't think it's quite probable considering the workload I have. :(
31st-May-2011 11:05 pm - End of Exchange/ Macau
 Hello! I haven't posted any entries for nearly a month! I'm back in Singapore for good. My exchange in Hong Kong has ended. I'm really grateful to the people that accompanied me through those 5 exciting months. I got to know a bunch of really great Singaporean friends over there and I'm very sure we'll remain to keep in close contact! I've also get to know some foreigners and locals in Hong Kong. In fact, one of them, a HK local, will be coming to Singapore in about 2 weeks' time and I'll be meeting her again. :D 

Even though my exchange is over, I'll still be blogging about the things I've done and gone to in Hong Kong and my travel to the various parts of China and Taiwan. Expect me to write more often since I'm very free now!


I went to Macau in February, a few days after I returned from my Singapore Chinese New Year break. In fact, I've been to Macau twice during my stay in Hong Kong. The second being in April, when my family came over to visit me. 

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That's all for Macau! Repulse Bay is next!
10th-Apr-2011 03:19 pm - Travel Plans
 Guilin + Yangshuo over the Easter Weekend 21-25 April. Yay or nay?

Confirmed: Taiwan from 9 - 18 May. Will be going to Tainan, Kenting and Taipei! Might drop by Kaoshiung for a day or something. Excited! :)
8th-Apr-2011 02:44 am - I am going to Yale!!!
 Dear Xiu Ru,

Congratulations on being nominated and accepted into Yale University's Global Summer Program for 2011! By participating in the IARU Global Summer Program, you will be joining a new community of global citizens and of future global leaders. Your classmates will be outstanding students from IARU universities across the globe. Together, you will analyze some of the great challenges facing a globalizing world, study with outstanding faculty, and experience the local culture of where you will be studying.

Yale Summer Session is awarding you a $3,000 tuition scholarship. Due to a generous donation by Banco Santander (Bank of Santander) you have been awarded a $2,375 Room and Board scholarship for this course. You will need to pay for health insurance and the SEVIS fee.

1st-Apr-2011 03:27 pm - Venice of Hong Kong
The Office of Academic Links organised a boat trip to Tai-O, Hong Kong's Venice in late January. We had to endure a boat trip that was almost 3 hours long. I remember it being very cold due to the strong winds on board. All I can say is, thank goodness I do not suffer from motion sickness.











2nd-Mar-2011 10:51 am - Ocean Park
Yay! I finally managed to find time to write this post! I know it's not Tuesday, but..... whatever! :) 
There's this market, called Taipo Market, one MTR stop away from my school and a lot of students who  live on campus go there to buy groceries. The vegetables and fruits there are of a wide variety and it's definitely cheaper than those we can get from our school's small supermarket.


Inside the market. It looks just like a typical Singaporean wet market.

There are a  lot of shops in the vicinity of the market, since Taipo is a residential area. We were exploring the streets when we walked pass this Cha Chan Teng, a Hong Kong-style cafe.  They were selling freshly baked egg tarts! We couldn't resist the looks of it and got one each. They tasted pretty good. I like the pastry crust!

Us and our freshly baked egg tarts

Taipo is a wonderful place because it has lots of places to go for good food! This is the tau huey from a little shop in Taipo. It's really popular amongst the residents of Taipo and you'll always see people eating it while standing outside the shop! The orange thing you see in the photo is actually sugar. You add it if you think it's not sweet enough. This definitely tastes as good as Rochor tau huey. It's heaven sent if you eat it on a cold winter day.

Pleased with our tau huey!

Random bokeh shots

Che Zai Mee! I love che zai mee. It reminds me of yong tau foo.

We were having dinner by the roadside, in the cold. It is a shop that sells very good dumplings!

As it was so cold that day, we desperately needed something warm to warm oursleves up! So we randomly entered a dessert shop and ordered some dessert. I had black sesame + walnut paste. 

This is a vending machine at one of the MTR stations. Yes, you're not seeing things. This vending machine sells canon ink cartridges! There's another one that sells earphones.

When in Hong Kong, one has to go to Ocean Park! We went to Ocean Park on a cold weekend, so there weren't many people there. Just lots of tourists.

Ticket to ocean park!

Ocean park is divided into 2 areas - one on the foot of the hill and another's on the top of the hill. To get to the top of the hill, where all the exciting rides are, we took a cable car up! It was an enjoyable ride.

View from the cable car. 

Some of the rides in ocean park.

This is us looking thoroughly defeated by the giant drop ride. Of all the rides in ocean park, that was the only ride that managed to make me nervous. 

Group photo with the girls!

The biggest  attraction in Ocean Park got to be the Pandas. Oh how I wish I could live the life of a panda. Lazing on the ground and nomming on yummy bamboo shoots. Plus they look so cute! 

Red pandas that do kinda look like their black and white counterparts...

An obligatory photograph with the panda in Ocean Park.

With this, I have managed to finish my entry! Hurray! I'll be stuck behind the great firewall of China starting from 4 to 11 March. I am tres excited! Once I'm back, I have to dive straight into my overwhelming workload. 3 projects and countless assignments is definitely not a joke. Granted I do not need to ace them, I still have to put in some effort, especially for my projects, if not it'll be unfair for my non-exchange student group mates. Laundry beckons! Till the next time, bye!
25th-Feb-2011 10:57 am - Travelling
I haven't been writing here regularly.. I've been busy ever since coming back to Hong Kong. I've travelled to Macau, Shenzhen and Guangzhou in this month alone, all of which were short day trips or weekend trips. Come next weekend, I'll be travelling to somewhere further up north in mainland China. I'll be going to Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou and Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) for a week. One of my friends will be travelling with me for the most part of the trip. She'll be returning to Hong Kong 2 days before I do though. This means I have 2 days by my own to explore Shanghai. 

Planning to travel to Beijing and northern China after my semester in Hong Kong ends. If possible, I'll go to Korea too. I really want to check out Seoul and Busan. I made a couple of Korean friends over here in my exchange university, so hopefully they'll be able to host me when I'm there. If time permits, I'd also like to make a trip to Tainan, Taiwan. Tainan is known to be a foodie's paradise. I hear the food over there calling out to me... Finally, if I have enough money and time, I'll go to Japan too. Tokyo and Osaka! So many places to go, so little time, so little money. 

I'm thinking of applying for summer school in the states, which will take place in July. Yale's and Berkeley's international summer school courses really interests me. I'm going to apply for it and not worry about the finances for now. I reckon the chances of me getting selected is really low since it's such a prestigious and competitive program, so I'm not having high hopes...

I will try to update soon with photos! 
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