Every weekend I go out trekking Singapore with my baby. I am on a mission to discover every pram-friendly walk on this island nation – from the beautiful, to the touristy, to the wild and grassy. There are more than you think!
Are you contemplating moving to Farrer Park? You have my vote of confidence. Farrer Park was a wonderful neighborhood to me. I lived there for four years. I still remember arriving in Singapore and signing a two-year lease at City Square Residence like it was yesterday. Back then, City Square Residence was considered a dive. I suppose it still is! The condominium attracts many young foreigners, including students, due to its cheap rents and the fabulous pool. Naughty subletting was rampant once upon a time. Imagine 10 people squeezed into a 3-bedroom flat! These days, that’s all been nipped in the bud thanks to COVID19 and the introduction of a strictly guarded entrance.
Congratulations, you just gave birth! But in addition to swaddling, burping, never-ending sleep deprivation, and, of course, plenty of precious cuddles, there is also critical paperwork to complete. Foreigners living in Singapore have 42 days to obtain a Dependent Pass (‘DP’) or another valid immigration status for their newborn. Otherwise, your little one could face financial penalties and/or deportation.
Living on Petain Road by Somme Park has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I have enjoyed many special memories here such as getting married, having a baby, and a COVID-related lockdown! Calling a shophouse home was on my bucket list (as discussed in a previous blog). That’s why I decided to film a three-part mini-series about a life we love at Petain Road. It will be something my family and I can look back on for years to come. Plus, who isn’t curious about shophouse life?
A day-trip to Coney Island is a wonderful way to enjoy nature and the great outdoors in Singapore. Coney Island is also known as Serangoon Island and is located in the Northeast. The island boasts pleasant beach views as well as lots of lush greenery for those in need of a dose of nature. Keep reading for my detailed itinerary of what to do and how to get to Coney Island! Click here for other walks around Singapore.
In a previous post, I mourned the death of leisure travel. Call me pessimistic but I believe international trips are dead. It’s back to domestic holidaying and that is fine by me. So I went ahead and booked myself a weekend staycation at the Oasia Hotel in Tanjong Pagar.
It was always my dream to live in a Singapore shophouse – such a quaint experience I envisioned it would be! And, fortunately, my wish was realised just over a year ago when I moved to Petain Road. Like many of you, I have spent the last six months stuck at home. So, with not much else to do, I decided to research the history of my local area.
The row of 18 even-numbered shophouses at Petain Road reminds me of a delicate Nonya ceramic. Sitting primly upon Roman-Greco columns, the shophouses are a romantic swirl of pistachio green and pink blush shades. Ornate Peranakan tiles with tropical flower motifs embellish the facade alongside plaster mouldings of exotic birds.
When it comes to the world of alcoholic spirits, I’m a very boring drinker. I prefer drinks that don’t taste like alcohol. Daiquiris blended with lumps of fresh pineapple, caipirinhas muddled with lime and spoonfuls of raw sugar, or sour-lemon margaritas (sans the salt) are a few of my favourite tipples. So I was not expecting to enjoy Gin Journey as much as I did.
It usually starts with a photo; one awful photo of yourself looking fat and horrible, which is your wakeup call. For me, that photo was from my recent holiday to Gili Air. I was standing in front of the pier wearing a yellow t-shirt and some elephant-print pants (the typical female backpacker uniform). It made me realise just how much weight I have gained since coming to Singapore. It also made me reconsider my diet and lifestyle.
When I moved to Singapore the most common question I was asked was how I managed to adapt to the weather. Singapore doesn’t have seasons and it is hot and humid all year round. However it was not the weather that I found hard to adapt to but rather Singapore’s unhealthy obsession with air conditioning.
When you first move to Singapore, it is a slow awakening to discover that it is a damn expensive place to live. Like a mirage, the cheap transportation and hawker food lures you into a false sense of financial security. The realisation I was living in one of the most expensive countries in the world hit me when I wanted to get back into fitness. I had to ask myself, why are gyms so expensive in Singapore? Holding gym membership here is both prestigious and a luxury. Running along the river or doing tae chi in the park are more popular ways for locals to burn calories however as a foreigner, I would struggle to exercise outside in such extreme humidity. And if you think doing yoga is a cheaper option, forget about it!
I was wandering around Raffles Place deciding what to buy for lunch, when I came across a crowd of people watching a single man in protest in Singapore against the Terrex conspiracy. He was holding a flimsy placard calling for the Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to resign over the Terrex conspiracy and repeating the mantra via loudspeaker. In typical Singapore fashion, I copied what everyone else was doing and started videoing the guy without understanding the significance.
One of the first challenges I faced moving to Singapore was finding a place to rent. I learned quickly that the system, which is designed to protect renters, is full of unscrupulous real estate agents. Nonetheless, luck was on my side as at the time rents were low and there were plenty of vacant modern condominiums. I found a convenient two bedroom apartment close to the city centre… and I lived to tell the tale.
There is a well-known saying in the UK… you know you’ve become a Londoner when waiting more than 2 minutes for a tube is frustrating. While Londoners love to complain about the tube (signal failure on Metropolitan, District, Central and Circle lines, otherwise good service on ALL OTHER underground lines), how do you know when you’ve become a Singaporean? After several years of living here, I would like to propose the following: you know you’ve become a Singaporean when getting an elevator to yourself is the highlight of your day.
Welcome to Singapore. The hub of Asia and land of food and calories. I was living in London before moving to this beautiful country and remember thinking that I was in for an amazing new lifestyle. With such awesome weather and the fact every condo comes with a pool and gym as standard, I was expecting to be a more toned, tanned and fit version of my pasty British self. Fast forward to the present, and whilst I still think Singapore is an awesome place to live I have learnt the hard way that gaining weight in Singapore is totally unavoidable.