Food for thought: 9 of Singapore’s best eats

Mini-burgers, to-die-for chocolate cheesecake, and fun bubblegum cocktails from New Zealand style eatery The Fern & Kiwi, Clarke Quay

Indian banana bread, BBQ prawns and McDonalds chips! From ‘stall 6’ on the famous La Pa Sat hawker centre, Chinatown.

Tubs of mashed potatoes and peppery gravy from the SevenEleven

Giant crabs in their tanks, sold per kilo in the restaurants that line Boat Quay

A funny note from The Salad Shop at the bottom of UOB – “harmless caterpillars?!”

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10 tips for 10 days…

Traver, expat, student, Singapore, London, wherever. Living somewhere new can be amazing… AND scary as hell. Some are lucky enough to have a job, an apartment, or an internship sorted. Some are just winging it! Whatever your reason, here’s 10 things that got me through my first 10 days…

1) Staying in a hostel
For your first few weeks you don’t need privacy, you need new friends! An endless & revolving supply of them. Not to mention cheap rent!

The Prince of Wales $22 SGD long term stay is in the hear of the CBD, Boat Quay. Other good finds are River City Inn in Chinatown or The Drop Inn in Little India. www.hostelworld.com

2) Be a yes man!
Be a real keen-o and extend your social network. ‘Do you want to go to a party on a helipad? Do you fancy going ice skating? Shall we go for a beer?’

A: Yes! (Although when is the answer to any of these ever not yes!) Invite yourself along to anything and everything. It’s not as weird as it seems. Expats love it.

The Helipad at the Swisshotel opens on the last Thursday of every month, entry until 10pm. Ice skating is at JCube, Jurong East on the Green MRT line.

3) Laugh out loud
The single best think I did to feel connected to life out here was go with friends to a comedy club. Great to pick up local nuances and like watching an episode of  ‘Mock the Week’ at the same time. Win win.

Comedy Masala – Tues 9pm @Home, Clarke Quay. $10 entry with free drink

Fight Comic Singapore – Thurs 9pm @Blue Jazz Bar, Little Arabia. $10 entry.

4) See what the cool kids are doing

MAAD Fridays (Market for Artists & Designers) is on the 1st weekend of every month @Red.dot building, Tanjong Pagar MRT. They had a brilliant life drawing area where anyone can drop in to practice their skills. If you sit for them as a model (fully clothed!) you can pay $10 to commission any of the pieces if you like what you see. All proceeds go straight to the artist.

5) Buy a local Sim card
Nothing screams rookie like a +44 dialing code. The second you purchase a +65 it’s official, you live here! To recruiters and employers at least. Starhub sell sim cards/top ups from $10+ at any SevenEleven. Bring your passport.

6) Be a joiner
New sporting activity = new friends. Join a free running club like 101 club, Tues/Thurs 6.30pm. Meet at the bottom of UOB Raffles Place for 3k/5k/7k circuits.

7) ‘The Usual?’
Get a fave cafe/sandwich shop/street food hawker. Claim it as your own till they know your order from 50 yards away. Memorise the best stalls in the maze that is Bugis St Market. Shop until you know it like the back of your hand.

8) One direction
Revel in the first time you give someone directions. “Why yes, I DO know where Altitude bar is…” (it’s kind of easy to spot by the gigantic skyscraper!)
a) they think you’re authentic enough to live here b) you can be proud you know your city/neighbourhood.

9) Dry your eyes mate
When it all gets overwhelming, and it WILL happen, don’t be ashamed to have that little cry. If you want a good spot try Fort Canning Park or Chinese Gardens. Read a book, write your memoirs, have a little time out to sit and think. We ALL do it. Have a word with yourself then get straight on Facebook or Skype and ring you BFF’s for a pep talk. Seems a million times better.

10) Everything is fixable
You have options. You are only ever three clicks away from Skyscanner! Give yourself  deadline (at least 4 – 6 weeks) and sleep on it. If it’s genuinely not where you are meant to be, so be it. Nothing ventured…

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”  William Shedd

Leaving on a jet plane: Living abroad, Week 1

Who? Me!
Where? Singapore, South East Asia. I adore the city, it’s hot, English is a first language, cool creative agencies have offices here….
What?! Indeed, good question. I’m turning 30 this year, a milestone for many reasons –  mainly as the cut off point for Working Holiday Visas and the fantastic opportunity to live (& work) abroad for a year.  It’s now or never.
Why? After 15 months of traveling  & 48 countries, the question of course, should be; why not!

So I’ll get to all the practical stuff; city living, food, life, re-joining the rat race later. Week 1 is for enjoying!

Singapore’s annual Night Lights Festival, 1st Sept 2012. Features art installations all over the city, seen here at SAM (Singapore Art Museum) at Bras Basah.

Hard-core-par-kour! & aerial acrobatics from Argentinian dance company; Fuerzabuta. Dancers leap from wires into a brightly lit silk curtain and frolic in water inside a perspex fishbowl.

Fitness fans line the boulevard underneath the UOB skyscraper in Boat Quay. Free evening classes gather nightly as well as the 101 running club for our 3k around the marina! (My rookie first timer time: 17 mins.)

The fruit pastel coloured Clarke Quay. A prime spot to sit in the sun & indulge in my fave new past time; Scapbooking!

Finally, here is what you get if you mix a ‘temptation bell’ (you ring it, you buy the whole bar shots!) with a load of city bankers in the heart of the financial district = A night of free drinks! @ Magumbos Boat Quay.

An.an.tas.in : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

Blasts From The Past…

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