Putanga – Life on the Road

Stories from my journeys around the world…

Singapore Grand Prix

Posted by Monica Johansen on October 1, 2008

Last weekend, the world’s very first Formula-1 night race was held in Singapore, and naturally, some of my friends from Norway, who are passionate F1 fans, were coming to my home town to watch the race. Since they were staying at my place for the weekend they had bought me tickets so that I could come along, and even though I am not a huge fan of Formula-1, I love to come along for the trip and the good company. The last time I met up with these boys was during the F1 race in Shanghai in October 2006, so I hadn’t seen them in two years, and I was very happy to see them again when I met them at the airport on Thursday night.

View from our seats

View from our seats

Now, you probably think that I will give a detailed description of the course of the race, but in fact, the only thing that I want to mention is that the race was interesting despite the fact that my favorite team, Ferrari, didn’t do very well. Felipe Massa was leading the race from the start, but ended up as number 13 after a fuel pump disaster, and my favorite driver, Kimi Raikkonen, ended up crashing in the wall at the end of the race. It was of course a bit disappointing, but you can’t win them all, and I am sure Ferrari will do better the next time.

My friends were thrilled about the way the race was organized in Singapore. First of all, my apartment was only about 20 minutes away from the race track, so we could walk to and from the circuit. Normally, getting home after the race is a big hassle, but this time we didn’t have to worry about transportation. In addition, we could walk straight into the Marina Square shopping mall to grab some food after the race, and everything we would possibly need was within walking distance.

One thing most people are doing in Singapore is shopping. The prices on most things in Asia is a lot cheaper than in Europe, and the guys wanted to look at some digital equipment, so we ended up going to Funan Digital Mall and the famous Sim Lim Square. I was not planning to spend any money on more stuff, but I was inspired by the guys’ enthusiastic shopping so I ended up buying a Zen Creative MP3 player (I am not an iPod fan) and some noise reduction headphones I have been dreaming of for quite a while, the Bose QuietComfort 3. Now I am looking forward to my next flight so I can test my new toys on a plane.

The boys with some Brazilian babes we met

The boys with some Brazilian babes we met

To me, the best thing about the weekend was the fact that I had company of old friends again. The hardest part of moving overseas alone is that you don’t really know anybody, and even if you make new friends it is not the same as the people you have grown up with and who know you more or less like your family. In addition, even if we like to think that we are all the same, you will experience surprisingly large cultural differences when moving to a different part of the world, even when moving between western countries such as from Northern Europe to Australia. I have been getting used to the necessary adjustments when dealing with other cultures, but it is something very relaxing about hanging out with people from your own world.

I ended up having the best weekend in a very long time, and when my friends left on Monday afternoon to fly back to Norway I started to realize how much I have missed having real friends around me, the kind of friends you think of as your brothers and who you feel you can be 100% yourself with. I am beginning to wonder of it is time to pay a little visit to my original home town, Oslo, but I don’t think it is going to happen any time outside of June, July and August when the temperatures in Norway are high enough and I won’t freeze to an ice block on my way out of Gardermoen airport.

Until then I will just have to be patient and make the best out of the current situation, meaning living in a strange country where most people speak a language I don’t understand a word of, with no friends and no family and having to do everything entirely on my own.

Well, at least I have heard that it builds character…

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2 Responses to “Singapore Grand Prix”

  1. Nina said

    Kan forstå at det er tøft å være alene i en by som kryr av folk! …god klem 😉

  2. putanga said

    Det kjipeste er at alle vennene mine er tusenvis av kilometer unna. Det er liksom ikke bare å stikke innom lenger… 🙂

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