Thursday, June 16, 2005

Broadcom Singapore

Broadcom's Singapore office is located in the Woodlands Industrial Park, near the border bridge with Malaysia. The office is pretty modern but is surrounded by other offices so there's not much to do or places to eat so they usually order lunch for us each day. The office is on the 3rd floor of a building and we even have our main warehouse on the 3rd floor. After work on Wednesday, the Singapore country manager took us to dinner at Seafood International. Originally, we were supposed to go to Tandoor, an Indian restaurant, but I guess a lot of Singapore people didn't want to go. The funny thing was that they didn't come out and say it but made up excuses not to go; maybe it's not so funny since it's the typical Chinese way. Anyway, everyone says that you have to go to Seafood International when you're in Singapore. Essentially it's a seafood restaurant where you pick your food from aquarium tanks and they cook it the way you want it. In the tanks are lobsters, crabs, fish, and other live seafood. You can also order vegetables and other dishes as well. We picked out a couple of lobsters, rock cod, crabs, and prawns and each one was cooked and served. The seafood speciality for Singapore is pepper crab and chili crab and we had some of each. By the hype surrounding the place, I was a little disappointed. The food was pretty good but nothing really special. I'm not sure what Singaporeans think of the U.S. but they kept asking me whether I've had this or that, including whether I've had whole steamed fish with the head and tail attached. Uh, every Chinese seafood restaurant has that in Los Angeles.

After dinner, the Broadcom finance people decided to go to an Irish pub near our hotel. For some reason, there are a lot of Irish pubs in Singapore. I tagged along but didn't really drink anything. We hung out for a couple of hours discussing foot massage/pedicures for men, and walked back to the hotel at about 1am. The hotel had changed my room from the service apartment to one on the 21st floor. Intially, I noticed that the room smelled like cigarette smoke but it wasn't too bad. After trying to sleep for 30 minutes, it was really bothering me. I guess the smoke was all in the bedsheets as well and I was having problems breathing. I finally went down to the lobby and asked them for another room. I thought there would be lots of problems but by then a lot of people had checked out so they quickly moved me to the 19th floor which was a non-smoking floor. After all the 2nd hand nicotine, I couldn't sleep until about 5am so I ended up doing work which worked out since it was afternoon time in Irvine.

The second day at work was about the same as the first day except we went on a tour of a Chartered fab. I think we toured Fab 6 (CSP) which is an 8" fab capable of 0.11um geometry. Coincidentally, this was the same fab that our current country mananger ran while he worked for Chartered 6-7 years ago. We had to put on booties, gloves, hairnet, cap, gown, and goggles if you didn't wear glasses. Since the fab was only a class 10 fab, we didn't have to get into the full bunny suit. It was a pretty quick tour but we got to see some of the equipment used to make the chips we sell.

Lunch today was pizza and KFC... you know, stuff we can't get back in the U.S. I'm not sure why they ordered that for us instead of more local food. The food was pretty bad so after another afternoon of meetings, I was dead tired from only sleeping 2 hours the night before and no real food for lunch. That night, we had dinner at Tandoor, courtesy of Ernst & Young, our external auditors. The food again was pretty good but nothing spectacular, especially for the price. One dish was Lobster Tandoori which were small lobster tails cooked in a clay oven. There were three lobster tails in each order and costs S$68 (US$1 = S$1.6); I think the dinner for 9 probably went over a thousand dollars U.S. After dinner, several of us have had enough so we took a cab back to the hotel and I crashed, sleeping from 9pm to 6am straight.

So here I am on my third day of work in the Singapore office. I had a couple of meetings already and I'm ready to go. We're getting picked up right after lunch and I'll have some time to kill in the Singapore Airlines lounge. I heard it's pretty nice since this is their home airport. The plan is to arrive in Taipei by 9:30pm and find a bus to Taichung so I can get to the hotel where Shirley and her family is staying. Now I've gotten used to speaking English again (and listening to Singlish), I need to switch back to Mandarin.


closetmusician said...

wah lah, singapore is like, so hot lah!

go to little india (or whatever indian district is called) if you can. the food's good there. and you must have lak sah! oh man, i miss authentic lak sah, so good lah...

totochi said...

My mom makes pretty good laksah although she has to wait until someone brings the authentic soup base from Malaysia.

This trip was too crazy... all work, eat with co-workers, and sleep. Next time I'll need to come earlier and tour the island.