Singapore Sadness

Ekaterina Kuznetsova

I am homesick! Period three has ended, and I left Singapore a couple of weeks ago. I miss it. I miss the humid heat and the warm rain, I miss the spicy food and the juicy fruits, I miss the fantastic gyms and the great instructors, I miss the ease of moving around and the extended opening hours, I miss the many cultures and their extremes, I miss the city's skyline and the backyards – I miss home. In just 6 months, Singapore became home.

That was an emotional introduction, sharing the depth of my love for Singapore. Now, let me get back to normal and tell you about my experiences over the last weeks. After all, that's what you came for, and you should not be disappointed.

As always, a lot of wonderful things happened, let me thus pick my favorites for you:

  • INSEAD electives kicked off: so far, we were all following mandatory core courses only. The only tailoring consisted of sitting fewer classes if you were able to be exempt. Finally, after completing the base, we are now selecting our courses (electives) in line with our preferences. Given my analytical background in physics, I opted for the soft stuff: negotiations, storytelling, making authentic decisions, risk management, asset management. I loved every single one of them! I have experienced rockstar professors, truly helpful (and applicable!) insights and this has added great value to my future. I continue negotiating my way through life and trust me, I will never blindly follow the advice of an active asset manager.
  • Lebanese national week blew us away: according to clichés, the Lebanese are not the most organised people on earth. What a surprise we all experienced! Every single detail of that week was perfectly planned, and our Lebanese Habibis treated us with charming debates, joyful music, engaging dances, delicious food and above all, their honest friendship and love.

  • The Russian embassy made me enjoy Singapore even more: I am traveling to Russia this summer, and as a German citizen, I need a visa. Given the many May festivities, I had to live without a passport for a couple of weekends, and I quite liked it! My weekends were filled with great gym classes, tanning by the rooftop pool, food discoveries, casual hangouts and long walks – there was actually no need to leave Singapore and go to Bali. I had it all at my doorstep!

  • "Asian culture" became an integral part of my life!

I discovered Muay Thai and got totally addicted. Training in a beautiful gym alongside real champions was incredible. I never thought I will enjoy combat sports this much - it’s like meditation, I forget everything around me. I am very curious to evolve to the next level and start sparring.

  • I got addicted to yet another experience: Chinese massage. Think sports massage on steroids. Sunday evening was my personal 2.5 hours massage ritual, getting me ready for a relaxed week. What’s more, my therapist was incredibly wise! Just one of the many quotes:"You have a brain: it's good for thinking, not for stressing out." So simple, yet such a revelation and so true.
  • I fully indulged in my tropical fruit passion. It's mango season, and Little India is selling at least 7 varieties of different mangoes. Ever tried mango ice cream for dessert? Or how about a blind tasting to guess the mango type? I got quite good at this! Along the same line, I tried some hyper-dimensional lychees (which tasted like nothing I have tried before), fragrant guavas, juicy soursops and other weird fruits I don't remember the name of. Little India was my stop each time I came home after a day out in town.

I hope you can understand now how those last weeks manifested everything positive about Singapore!

So, what's next? Can it get any better? I hope so. And to be honest, so far Zurich wasn't too disappointing neither, and I have exciting travel plans for the next months before I go back to school. To spice things up a little bit, I am going to spend my period 4 at Kellogg, Chicago. I really shouldn't be complaining that much.

Let me tell you about the positives of summertime Zurich another time. The sun just broke out of the clouds, and hanging out by the lake, floating on a platform and enjoying a tasty ice tea is the best you can do in these moments.

Take care,