In the Depth of Winter
After two periods of sunshine and humidity in Singapore, I moved to Fontainebleau campus for P3, and only P3.
People are questioning why I'm going to the France campus in such a bad season, but people probably don't understand how much I desire for some cold winter and snow after spending ten years in this tropical island with eternal summer.
Indeed, the wind was harsh; my hands were always frozen; took way too much time putting on and taking off clothes; waited over an hour for the bus that was actually cancelled by the heavy snow...
But you also have the snow-covered fairytale-like Fontainebleau forest, freshly made crepe from morning market in the flying snow, the chilling breeze that cools you down from whatever frustration you might have, quality time and meaningful conversations with your best friends from school around heater and good wines.
The vibe at Fonty campus is a bit different from the Singapore campus. It's more like a real campus bringing back your undergraduate memories. It has a rustic feeling because of the intensive use of red bricks and greenery.
The students wearing the INSEAD hoodies and t-shirts visually displayed how we all believe in a common identity - I'm proud to let people know I'm a INSEADer.
One interesting memory at Fonty is the Chinese New Year. On the first day of the festival, the school canteen was fully decorated with Asian elements and the menu was full-on Asian, even with chopsticks and dark soy sauce provided. From a Chinese perspective, the dishes are more of a fusion from all sorts of Asian cuisines but it was not the point. A for effort, that's the point and should be appreciated. And I sincerely do.
The winter version of Fontainebleau charmed me with a good balance between "this is unbelievably awesome" and "omg how could this possibly happen".