I remember it as if it were yesterday. We were 18 years old, had just graduated, and said goodbye to our school friends as we parted ways to attend different universities. Then, just 3 weeks into our school holiday, we all found ourselves in an unplanned reunion at a funeral. The deceased was only 18 years old, with his life ahead of him, but now just laid there as a still corpse.
Upon moving here from the States, I was worried that I would have a hard time adjusting to the high humidity in Singapore. After 3 years of living here, I still think that I perspire more than those native to this area. I didn’t want to be the “stinky” person on the train that British expat Anton Casey described, but after searching through many personal care shops including Guardian and Watsons, I could not find antiperspirant that was free of aluminum and parabens. So I decided to make my own. (more…)
In the States, I used to buy a huge bottle of eyeglass cleaning solution from Costco, and that would last me many years. As there is no Costco in Singapore, I decided to just make my own solution. It turns out that making a solution is way cheaper than buying one, even if you are able to buy in bulk (like Costco). (more…)
Deepavali, or Diwali, is one of the most important religious festivals for Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains. It is celebrated as a triumph of good over evil, and of light over darkness; hence, it is called the Festival of Lights. The festival preparations and rituals typically extend over a five day period, but in Singapore, we are blessed to have the celebrations last for more than a month! This year’s theme is “The Goddess of Furtune: Mahalakshmi”. Here are some (free) things you can do to get into the festive spirit. (more…)
Many people I come across tell me that they really don’t spend that much, and that this by definition, makes them frugal. I myself grew up very poor, and many of the meals I had in my youth were cheap and inexpensive, such as instant noodles, but this was not frugal. And while my parents also had very little discretionary money to spend, this did not make them frugal either (rather, this is just called being poor). Frugality, is a choice that involves being more conscious of the value of a purchase and the associated tradeoffs. It is when a person who has the necessary means instead chooses an alternative to spending or chooses to spend less, and considers the value and the true cost of an item (this includes hidden costs, such as environmental and health costs). (more…)
I recently attended a NTUC appreciation dinner for mature workers and met a pioneer generation crane operator who has worked at the Singapore Port for the last 50 years (and is still working there!). Although my working years are relatively short compared to his, I’ve had the opportunity to work in many different jobs in very diverse industries. Because of this, people often wonder what my background is, and when I tell them that I have a masters in engineering, they usually follow up by asking, “where did you learn the skills you have now?” My answer is quite simple – online. If the person asking is the type that would expect a more noteworthy answer, then I would say “University of Google”. (more…)
I recently moved to a unit that was previously occupied by a family with very young children. Since rent has significantly dropped over the last couple years, to cut costs, instead of hiring professional cleaners our landlord cleaned the unit himself… Needless to say, he missed quite a few places. When I removed the kitchen vent filters to wash them (as it looked like they were never washed in all the years the previous tenant lived here), a whole bunch of debris fell over of the stove area. It was disgusting. There were also bits of food caked onto the areas above where the filters sat. The same sticky food substances were found in between the cabinets and by the side of the refrigerator. Upon trying to reach up in these crevices, that’s when I noticed a trail of ants. (more…)
Health Promotion Board’s Sundays @ the Park Programme, which started last August at Chua Chu Kang & Sembawang Parks will be expanding to Sengkang Riverside and Sun Plaza (Tampines) Parks starting this Sunday, 12 Oct through 14 Dec from 8-10.30am. Here’s your chance to try Zumba, Bollyrobics, Bhangra and Piloxing, a new fitness craze that is a fusion of standing pilates, boxing and dance. (more…)
Ben & Jerry’s ChunkFest, the largest ice-cream festival, returns for the seventh year to Singapore on Saturday, 4 Oct. This year, it will be held at The Meadows at Gardens by the Bay from 2-10pm. Admission is free. Fans will get to try 20 flavours ($6 per scoop; $11 for two), including new and exclusive flavours that are typically only available in the US. There will also be carnival activities, performances, and a free evening movie screening of Divergent at 7:30pm.
It’s been over a week since the launch of the iPhone 6, and the worldwide demand is still quite high. In Singapore, I’ve heard stories of people queuing for over a day and of people getting into fights over this new phone. Personally, I would advise people to think twice before taking the plunge and upgrading to the new iPhone, though not because of its price tag. To me, there is a much bigger and far more important reason and it’s something that most Singaporeans aren’t even aware of.