Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Week 0 at NUS

03082009519This week is what’s known in NUS as Week 0. It’s freshmen orientation week. The week where everyone (students, that is) are still having fun. The campus, surprisingly, is not as crowded as I had anticipated it to be. We were able to find seats during lunch, even during the peak lunch hour. But there was one place that was unusually crowded, and that was one place that I had to visit.

It’s the University Health Centre. It was really crowded. There was a super long queue to get to the registration counter to get a queue number. You would have thought that the crowd might have something to do with medical check-ups for new students. But now, there was a separate queue for “pre-admission medical check-up”, and there were no one in it. I re-read the sign a few times to make sure I did not misunderstand where I was supposed to queue. Nope, I made no mistake. The super long queue was for seeing the doctor. Sigh.

It took me all of 25 minutes just to get a queue number. Such a terribly long wait. Even the queues at polyclinics seem to move faster. I don’t know why so many people were at the health centre.

Yet, places like the canteen, bus stops, etc were hardly any different from the holidays. Oh, there were many more students around, of course, but they’re mostly seen occupied with float building or other orientation activities.

A funny thing that they are doing at the bus stops: People holding up placards informing bus passengers to board from the front and alight from the rear. They seem to have been engaged by the internal shuttle bus service operators. I think they were trying to correct a behavioural problem in NUS where passengers alight from both the front and rear, and also board from both the front and the rear.

Perhaps NUS should just consider using trams or trolleys, where the vehicle has no walls. Anyone can hop on or hop off anywhere along the whole length of the vehicle. It would make getting on and getting off so much easier.

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