Sunday, August 30, 2009
There are two main companies in Singapore from whom to select internet and TV services. Internet service is probably the same, but one has cable and another has internet TV. I wasn't convinced on the internet TV as it seemed to be strictly pay per view, which I can get on my iTunes and actually have current seasons/episodes. So, I went with the cable company. Set it up last Saturday. You get three "themes" to choose from on my basic plan, so I got news (CNN, BBC and several others), education (Discovery, Nat Geo and the other various offshoots) and lastly lifestyle, which gives me FX, E!, Bio Channel, etc.
My internet is also up and running, however I don't get my wireless router until next week (it's free, so I'm willing to wait!). In the meantime, the computer sits next to the TV since the cord isn't very long. Thankfully my Skype headset has a long cord and I can sit on the couch and still talk to everyone.
I also have DVR now! Not having cable back in Peoria, this is new for me (I realize I'm behind the rest of the world). I'm forgetting I have it though. Something comes up and I should just hit pause, but I don't. I still wait for commercials to run to the kitchen/bathroom/wherever. The last couple of days I've made a point to start recording series, movies etc. when I see them advertised during commercials. Slowly getting the hang of it :).
Thankfully, it seems there's A LOT of repeat programming - which means I'm less likely to become a Singaporean couch potato! It's a dangerous line I'm walking, I know :).
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
No one cared for #4, however this was my favorite, if only it had an extra bedroom. My bus this morning stopped there and picked a few people up. There are some good-looking expats living there that I'm going to miss out on ;).
#3 Harbour Lights was nice, but the tenants were still living there (but saying they could quickly move out) and they were taking all their furniture with them. Decorating the place from scratch might be fun if I had someone to go with, but finding friends is still on my to-do list ;).
The overwhelming favorite #1 Emerald Garden was too close to work for me. There are so many people all over, all the time, that sometimes I need a breather. Living on top of everything, I didn't think I'd get my breather. I also wanted to make myself get out and have to go places. Living right there, I would be back and forth from the office and don't know that it would be good for my work-life balance. :) Today, while I waited for my bus home out on the street between work and #1, the loud construction drilling, clanging and what-not helped me feel good about my choice!
We are left with #2 who is the winner!! I decided this very shortly after my original post and once the poll results started to come in, I was second guessing myself. But come move-in day, it was great! Ultimately some of the factors included: not claustrophobic, easy transport to work (PwC office and client sites), nice pool area, lots of greenery/trees and suitable furnishings.
The owners came on Saturday to "see" me. They said hi, checked me out and took off, leaving the realtors to finish paperwork, hand over keys, etc. Glad to know I passed the test!
I will begin to introduce the new apartment room by room in the coming posts. There is something unique and different in each one.
Have a great week everyone!!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Today I had to complete my mandatory medical exam before starting work. Here are some observations:
- No appointment needed - I walked in, got a number and really didn't have to wait. It was like a fast drug testing clinic but they did more than just collect a urine sample. I got a number and there was an actual "ding" that went off as people moved to various stations :).
- Everyone working there, except the doctor, wore the face masks over their nose and mouth. I thought I understood English spoken with a Singaporean accent - WRONG! I didn't realize how much I needed to see their mouths in order to understand. The lady was trying to tell me to collect my urine sample mid-way through the pee (as in go a little first, then collect, then finish). Took a while to get that one communicated.
- I was sent to the public bathroom for my urine test. Sorry, maybe I'm a snob here, but I'm use to having an individual bathroom to complete this job. It wasn't a big deal, but took me off-guard.
- I got called back, "your pee had protein in it, need another sample. drink water and go again." Umm, are you serious?? I just emptied the reserves and now I need to go again?? So I sat and drank.
- While waiting I get called for my height, weight and eye exam. I stood on the scale, she pushed me back until my head bumped the height arm and then something dropped down on my head, beeped and she said "all done". Fully mechanical scale for weight and height.
- Saw the doctor, she did the blood pressure, stethoscope, etc. Didn't even ask me about the fact that my history says my mom had a stroke - that is a first! She hears I have to pee again, she's like oh, just drink lots of water and wait out there for half an hour. What!? Seriously? Not in the USA would we just sit in the doctor's office waiting half an hour to pee :) (maybe wait half an hour to be seen). Luckily I passed with the minimal sample I could provide.
- You're done - leave. No paperwork, billing, nothing. Now I'm wondering if I shouldn't have gotten a copy of something to prove that I went.
It's funny the little things that can seem so different.
Side note - should move-in to the apt on Saturday and will have full pics and my final decision up then!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Today we are visiting Singapore with a single, young professional and are looking for a new apartment! The renter has some "must haves":
1. Near MRT (train) or bus since she has no car
3. Space for visitors :)
4. Safe location
I spent time yesterday and today looking at 14 apartments in 7 buildings, and I have chosen my top four. We will revisit those today before deciding on the final new home! All are within S$100 for monthly rent, so price is not a decision factor. First, please note the places that did not make the list.
Icon - Great location, amenities but small size, only one bedroom or studio.
The Sail - Super new, great amenities (aqua gym!), larger studio with partiton, but surrounded by ongoing construction, so not a lot of development for supermarket, dining options, etc.
The Plaza - Low budget option was very appealing from a pricing perspective but can't compete with the layout, location or updates of the other buildings.
#1 - Emerald Garden
Only a couple blocks from work, but a little farther to the MRT. Pool is in the central area - it's very nice but a little small. However, these units were much more spacious, each having 2 bedrooms and a larger living area. It is an older development, but still very safe. It has good views of the city and is off of Club Street which has a lot of good, trendy restaurants. Apparently a really good pizza place right next door to the property. Follow Club Street a couple blocks and you're into Chinatown. There's a Cold Storage (supermarket having more "European" foods) a block away as well. There is currently construction between the property and my walk to work for the new MRT line that is suppose to start carrying passengers in 2012. Mostly couples and singles live here. The apartment has a nice closet in the master, but none in the guest. The kitchen is a little smaller. Furnishings were nice with a new couch and the morning sun comes into the master. On the 5th floor.
#2 - Tanglin View
Out farther from the city, but not surrounded by other high rises. The MRT is just across a busy highway and another block (there is a pedestrian overpass to cross the highway) and a bus stop is nearby as well. There are trees and green all over the property so it feels less concrete jungle. The pool and club room area look very nice, pool is big. More families here. The apartment itself is nice, a little older. A king bed fits in master, so my queen would be okay. There was a great breeze flowing through the apartment and there's a gate on the front door so you can have your door open too, but the gate locked. That was a nice feature. Again, good closets and even a small storage room off the outside next to the washer and dryer. Included rods to hang and dry clothes as well. The gym was fairly small, but equipment seemed good. The kitchen was a bit older. Shops, supermarkets, etc. are either just past the MRT station or take the bus/train one stop. I had a view of the MRT and even towards the city, 14th floor.
#3 - Harbour Lights
Again, outside the city but down by the harbor. Across the street from Vivo City (Singapore's largest retail destination) which has 2 supermarkets and plenty of other shopping I'm sure. Sentosa Island is also just across the way and apparently you can ride your bike there (doubt that will be me). The bus/MRT stations are just outside the property, less than a block of walking. The pool is a little smaller as is the gym, however both are right outside my front door. The apartment is on the first level looking at the pool (current tennant says not that noisy) and the gym is in the basement level below. The master in the layout also faces the pool, but the current tennant swapped it with the guest for more privacy. Both have big closets. Need to work out the furniture as the tennant owns everything currently there.
#4 - River Place
Closer into the city but only a bus stop nearby. Closest MRT is 0.6km, which I realize isn't that far, but it's hot and humid here! Next to the river with an easy walk across and down to Clarke Quay and Boat Quay where there are lots of restaurants/nightlife. Supermarkets and other shops are also across the river. Even though in town, there's not too much building around it. The apartment is on the 8th floor and has a great view of the river area and downtown. There are nice big windows with a balcony - the only one I saw. Master bedroom faces same direction, but 8 floors up no one's peering in. Only one bedroom (unless I'm remembering wrong), but the bath does have slider to block off the tub for guests. Apartment is quite updated and furnished well. There are lots of closets and the front closets go very deep, which is nice and not common. There is a maze of pools and lots of green landscaping outside. The club house is also very nice with a BBQ pit, game room and home theater. Security is very tight and it was hard for us to even leave!
So there you have it. Which one will it be?? I honestly don't know, there were features of each that I liked. If I gave it away in my descriptions above, please let me know b/c currently I'm a bit torn. I need to let the realator know by morning so that I have a chance of moving in this week. Vote your choice or which one you think I'll pick in the poll.
Monday, August 17, 2009
What kind of tree would you be??
Hopefully the weeping willows out there are just flowing, free spirits and not all totally depressed :)
Thanks for voting!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Anyway.....I got to meet the newest addition to the family - Lily, the super cute bulldog puppy. Don't you just love her! She was lots of fun in the kitchen with her toys. And for a puppy who hasn't gone to training yet (she started as soon as I left - coincidence only), she was really well behaved! Some barks, but nothing like Barney last night (dog next door to Party House).
Monday, August 10, 2009
If you know me or my family, you know we live in somewhat of an organized chaos :). When required, we can tidy things up, but often still have piles here, piles there, a junk drawer or 5 and it can take us a while to find what we're looking for. But amidst the chaos, we almost always find it. Albeit usually too late for its purpose.
Case in point - This afternoon I'm cleaning out my food. No food through customs in Singapore. So, I've got my three piles, what's expired and should be trashed, what's not expired but still sealed and going to the food pantry and lastly, what is open, still seems good and is going to mom & dad :). I finish the food and see my medicine kit (a large hot pink caboodle for you kids from the late 80's/early 90's) because it's also in my kitchen cabinets. So I grab it and a couple of what I assume to be empty baskets. I pull out one.
(Right now you should be thinking to yourself "it wasn't empty and what could have been in there??")
The answer: my Nike+ and my iPod arm band!!!!! !!!!! !!!!! It seems trivial I am sure. However, I have been looking for these bad boys since I came home from Singapore in May. I had planned to start back up on my running with the "couch to 10K in 12 weeks" program but completely gave in when I searched high and low for this and never found it - assuming it was left somewhere in Asia. Clearly, the title including "couch" and fact that I so easily gave up indicate how dedicated a runner I am, but still. And of course now I remember putting them in this safe place. I had new shoes for the Nike+ and haven't used them yet b/c of this!
Okay, that concludes my rant for the afternoon. I'll have to see what other random lost items I turn up in the next couple of days of packing.
Stay cool on this super hot day!!