Monday, January 17, 2011

First month back in SG

It's been more than 2 weeks since I returned to Singapore, although I did make a 3-night trip back to HK in the last few days to settle my income tax and MPF. Any massive changes to Singapore? Not that I can see... but I sure feel that the weather after office hours have dropped quite a bit. I actually felt chilly when I went out for dinner at the roadside stall last night!

Of course not HK-chill they are experiencing right now but given that this is Singapore, I never expected chills like this on a non-rainy day. Its 28degC, on a mid-day, in tropical Singapore. Normally its more like 34degC. I came back from the neighbourhood hawker centre at 11am without breaking a sweat, that really sums up the recent temperature here.

I've been writing about food, gathering food, eating food and finding more food. I guess apart from unpacking, fixing loose ends in the apartment(moved here last April but only stayed for <10 days) and preparing my C.V., I'm really just interested in reintroducing my tummy to food in Singapore. And its quite amazing how little knowledge of Malay cuisine many Chinese in Singapore have! We live together, study together and work together but many people have never eaten Ball Kentang or Nasi Goreng Ikan Bilis in their entire life~ I've known this dishes since young because I've always stayed around the Malay District of Geylang Serai but after staying overseas for so long I'm more open to trying other dishes as well.

HK is a pretty homogenous society and virtually everyone knows the dishes served in Cha Chaan Tng and restaurants. Still there are minority groups staying in many areas of HK although not in great numbers. In Singapore we have diversity everywhere we look and its a pity if we don't embrace the culture and cuisine thats so easily available. If its at your nearest hawker centre then it shouldn't take you 30 years to try it~

Cost of living has risen, no doubts about that. 5 years ago HK seemed like an expensive place to stay in. 5 years on HK is not that expensive anymore. Pigeon-hole apartments are beginning to pop up in the real estate market but they are marketed to singles or retiree couples whereas in HK they are expected to house a family of 4. Carparks and swimming pools still come as part of the package as opposed to HK where you are expected to either buy a carpark lot or rent it on a monthly basis, and you enter the swimming pool on a per-pay basis. But the govt has come down hard on the property market, slapping 16% stamp duty on fast resellers. Much harder hitting than HK but I read somewhere that if you have real financial difficulties (meaning you are not flipping for a profit) then they may waive the stamp duties. That's a nice gesture although I'm not sure how they determine financial difficulties.

And so now I'm looking for a job... off to writing my C.V. in a moment. Government posts everywhere... I had enough of travelling so I'm not really looking for MNCs but government jobs are known to be boring and thats not my cup of English tea, teh tarik or teh halia... I guess I should just send out my resumes to a bunch of companies and see who bother to reply... yeah...

And if any overseas reader out there is interested about things in Singapore, just about anything, drop me a comment and I'll see if I have the answer. If not then I'll go find out. I'd like to know more about Singapore myself~

WD@1st post in SG
Signing off~


Flora said...

I think this weather is great, but I've been told not to get used to it as it's unusually cool for this time of year. I love not breaking a sweat when I go out to walk the dogs!


WhiteDuskRed said...

Its really wonderful... but a light compact umbrella is a real necessity whenever I leave home... Hey its raining as I'm typing this! Amazing!

Uncle Phil said...

Good to hear that you have climatised back to Sg. pretty well. We were back home for a couple of days in early last December and were drenched in our own sweat. Looking forward to read more of your future plan and adjustment in Singapore. Gambarimasu,

MING said...

come on man.. how can u be a sporean when u dono what's Ball Kentang or Nasi Goreng Ikan Bilis.....???? hahaa..!!

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