Tea in Singapore


Now that I’ve been in this Island City for a week, I already know what I really want from back home – a decent cup of Tea!!

The hotel where I am put up has the most outrageous (well, outrageous to a tea-addict like me!!) teabags in the room – Earl Grey, English Breakfast and Peppermint Tea!!!  Of these, English Breakfast is tolerable if I add a minimum of 3 teabags in a cup.

And for breakfast, they have Lipton Yellow Label teabags – again, tolerable with at least 2 teabags. But they never have hot milk and water….it’s almost always lukewarm (probably ‘coz its too close the aircon) and I gag nearly everytime I try to drink the tea I make. Imagine drinking cold milky tea! Bleh!

Thank God for the Teh-Tarik centre near my office….atleast they have a fairly decent cup of tea – Teh-Halia being my favourite (that’s ginger tea for my non-Malaysian speaking readers). The tea in office is another story – they have this huge vending machine – a Hot and Cold Cup Machine – which lets you decide how much sugar, milk and concentration you want, but even after setting it all to the highest setting, all I got was a sugar-water syrup.

Coffee and Milo seem to the beverages of preference here in Singapore – being available in all shape, colour and size. And I detest coffee. Milo is okay, but how many times a day can one drink chocolate?

Is it just me who is facing this problem in Xing? Does anyone know where I can get a good cup of tea (sans me making it)?

 

In Singapore – Week 1


Been quite some time since  I published any musings here in my space. And there’s a reason – a quite life altering change in my life – I have been transplanted to the Lion City – Singapura. Arrived here last week Sunday.

Since Hubby and Little One are arriving next month, the first thing I needed to do was to find a house, and then to find a school for Little One. I am glad to report that the house part is taken care of – found a house on Monday, and should be moving in within the first week of July.

As for the school – now, that’s more troubling than the house. Little One has never been to a school, or any such structured environment. Whether to put him in a proposer school or a Kindergarten is something we are worrying about. If I were to go for a Kindergarten, then they have openings only in January 2014. Plus all the schools are closed now, since the summer vacation in Singapore is during June.

Well, that aside, I have been to Bugis Street for a good dose of street-retail therapy. And there were 4 exhibitions at Singapore Expo Halls, three of which I visited. The book exhibition was expecially good, with all kinds of student textbooks and guide books available at lowered prices. Bought a couple of colouring books for Little One. I was too tired to walk to the next one, and I had a bad case of shoe bite.

And today has been quite relaxed, with me doing the laundry and watching the Chinese serial ‘The Guest People’ on Channel 8, and two Tamil movies.

But I miss Hubby and Little One dreadfully 😦

And with that I leave you folks….wait for my next update.

 

 

Second Move in 8 Months


So, the title says it all. We have moved house yet another time, the second shifting in 8 months. Yesterday was the grand day.

After getting all kinds of reassurances from the owner that the house was in spick-and-span condition, we had a minor shock when we moved in. The house reeked of fresh paint, the floor was covered in a layer of dust, the calling bell wouldn’t work, the newly installed wash basin had a leak and neither our bedroom, nor the kitchen balcony had a lock.

Of course, we immediately got into touch with the owner and he agreed to reimburse the one-time cleaning charges for the house. ANd then we got to work, cleaning and scrubbing. Of course, Little One was completely bewildered. He was in an unknown place, and neither his Dad nor Mom seemed particularly interested in him, with a scolding every time he tried to explore a new shelf, cupboard or even the floor. Finally, irritated with everyone and everything around him, he decided to do what he knew best. He sat on the floor and started to bawl.

Of course, that got everyone’s attention and soon he was in my arms. And when he got bored with me, he would jump into his Dad’s arms.

To tell more about the house, it is on the fifth floor, just 5 minutes away from my office and is very bright and airy. It has four (!!!) balconies, where we have a very nice view of the road construction and get a great opportunity to inhale all that dust into our lungs. Here are some pics –

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In the 5 years of my marriage, I have lived in 4 different houses, with this being the fifth one. I hope the next move will be to a home of my own, and I finally can live a settled life after leading a nomadic existence for ages.

Discoveries in my Neighbourhood – Books and Malls


CrosswordsThis weekend has been spent in discoveries around my neighbourhood. I have located my favourite place around my home – Crosswords bookstore right behind my home 🙂 I haven’t set foot inside and I already know that it is going to be my favourite place. In addition, I saw them advertising an 80% off sale. Yum Yum:-)

Then, I discovered Total Mall – at 8 minutes’ walking distance from my home. It a cool place if you don’t mind traversing across all the 4 floors just to buy a kilo of green beans. Total MallAll essentials (namely, staple foods, veggies and meat) have been placed at the topmost floors and at the farthest corners, so that you have to wade through all the other stuff before getting to the things you really need (Yes, I am referring to the things you have jotted down in that list and not the things you feel you will need).

You have to start your journey at the Ground floor, take the escalator up to each floor (I looked for the lift but it was broken down), then walk across the floor (in the meantime covering all items on the floor), and continue the process till you reach the floor you actually want (which in my case is usually the top-most floor where they carry the veggies). Shopping CartFor instance, at the floor where they have the greens, the moment you step out of the escalator (they call them ‘Travelators’), you are greeted with the sight and scent of all kinds of baked goods and savouries, and unless you have real good self-control, it is a tad difficult to escape the clutches of the sugar monster. So, they tempt you with lots of the non-essential things and only then do they let you get to the actual things you need.

Actually, the store strategy is excellent – something all marketing guys ought to copy. Using the kind of floor layout described above, they make sure that customers breeze past all the wares at any visit, thus guaranteeing that shopping carts are filled with things that are not in the sacred List.

I know, because it happened to me too. I ended up buying a wall hook, a pack of pens, a writing pad and a memo pad, all because I went past that floor, and felt that I really really needed them.

A Bull Visits Homes and gets Hooves Cleaned


The other day, while on the balcony coaxing Baby to eat his food, I observed a curious sight.

A decorated bull with smoke coming out from its forehead (later I realised that it had agarbathi sticks stuck to its forehead) was being led by a man to all the houses. At each gate, the man would take out his nadaswaram and play filmi and religious tunes.

At one home, a lady came out and started a weird ritual. She came out with a platter of fruits, coconut, water, vermilion, turmeric and a lamp (at least that is all I could see from my vantage point). She started off washing the bull’s hooves with the water, applying the vermilion and turmeric on its legs, rump and forehead, and then she started waving the lamp in front of the bull and chanting something. Then fed something to it.

Does anyone have any idea what this is all about?