Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pepper Crab

Just a quick note, last night we went to small place which is about 5 minutes walk from our serviced apartment and tried Pepper Crab for the first time.
I have to say evrything I have been told is true and Pepper crab may be my new favorite food especially when it comes with the yummy fried bread rolls that taste like they are made with golden syrup.
We also had black bean fish and kai lan ( a green)with oyster sauce the boys had fried rice with shrimp and every time I tried to take Henrys spoon away he cried he liked it so much.
Crab is probably the most expensive thing on the menu there but I am definatly tempted to go back for lunch.


For some reason this did not attach to the last post!

Toy museum and Water fun

Sorry its been awhile since the last post, we have filled up the time mostly by eating and shopping because after all that is what one does in Singapore.

I am really enjoying it here now and starting to find my way around the city fairly well.

We have now eaten most of Singapore's favorite foods but for some reason Satay is becoming hard to track down.
Talking of food Nick and I had our first night out on the weekend and headed out for Chilli Crab, I have to say I was a little underwhelmed by it but every Singaporean I have talked to has said that pepper crab is the thing to eat, so we will try that next, unfortuantlly the silly photos of nick and I wearing bibs and eating crab got lost when our other cameras memory card crashed oh well.......

The photos are from the Toy museum where we took the boys on Saturday please note the photo of Nick looking disapproving in front of the golliwogs (that photo is especially for mum).

We get the keys to our apartment tomorrow but won't move in for a while as nick has to go to Melbourne on the weekend, while he enjoys wine and chesse I plan on eating out at the local parata shop every day with the kids its super cheep and the kids love there Roti.

These photos are from a Mall I took the boys to today which has a water play area so they stripped of and went in there was only one other kid there and as you can see from the pictures she was super cute and was trying to give Henry a bath.There is also one photo of Felix in front of the formula 1 lion.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


The last few days have gone pretty quickly it feels like we have been here for ages not almost 2 weeks, the homesickness is starting to really kick in, so in a effort to get over it I have made a effort to make some new friends and set up some routine for me and the boys, first stop was music class for Felix which he really enjoyed, the format is that I drop him off for 30Min's and then I come back for the last 15 Min's so it means he gets some time off and so do I.

We also joined the Australia New Zealand Association (ANZA) which put us in touch with a playgroup which we attended today, both the boys loved it and I got to have my first flat white since we moved here.
The playgroup is held at a indoor playground, we got there a little early and it had not opened yet so while we were waiting outside I got talking to one of the other mothers and it turns out, that her husband was someone Nick went to school with that and he had been in contact with on Facebook but we had not caught up with.

I also got the number of another women who has just moved here so we can catch up during the week all and all a productive trip to playgroup.

I have also just discovered Muji www.muji.com thanks to Lily and I am totally smitten with this shop and went a little crazy today on my first in store visit

Tonight we have a babysitter and we are off to Jumbo Seafood on the east coast for what we have heard is the best chili and pepper crab in Singapore.

Singapore is awesome its just a shame I miss everyone at home so much and especially coffee at North Island can some one please tell Matt me and Felix miss him, and Felix keeps telling me that the muffins here are nice but Matt's are better.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Asian civilistaions museum and lost cardis

So I figured it was time the boys and I tackled the MRT into the city to do some tourist spots before we got settled into daily life, so We caught the bus and 2 trains into the city, and found a new cafe with good bread and ok coffee (well at least it was fair trade)at Raffles Place, and then Made our way over to The Asian civilaisations museum ont he way felix took this rather random photo of a guy with a banana on his head.

The museum was pretty cool although we did have limited time as Henry got bored, it held Felixs interest though and I had to promise we would go back.

We had a picnic next to the river and this is where the day started going down hill first I got hustled by a Buddhist for a prayer card and then lost my favorite cardie,although we did get to wave at the boats going past and the kids really enjoyed running around in the city.

On the way home in a fluster I jumped on the train heading the wrong way but we managed to correct that and get home easily and in time for a swim. I did manage to get a little sunburned and scare a few people with all my Tattoos because of not having the cardie, but I think overall it was a successful trip and the MRT is easy to use even with having to change trains etc.

Our pet gecko David

David the Gecko lives in our bedroom and keeps us company at night...

Next time I get married...

I saw this outside the Carlton Hotel today - it's a suped-up boy racer car, with wedding fringes.

Felix considering the Merlion & heavy rain

Monday, September 21, 2009

Singapore & censorship

When I lived here as a teenager, I rememebr when they introduced the new Restricted (Artistic) 21 rating to Singapore which meant that far more films could be seen. I also remember Mum getting me into The Piano.

These days Singapore has a much more sophisticated rating system for film (G, PG, NC16, R18, R21), not to mention a better video game rating system than Singapore! You can also look up all movie ratings and level ofcensorship here.

This doesn't mean that you can get Far Eastern Economic Review in Singapore, but hey, improvement is improvement!

New house

Hooray we have signed a lease on a apartment, we will take it on from the 1st of Octaber but probably won't move in till later then that because Nick has to go to Melbourne and our stuff won't have arrived yet


this will give you abasic idea what it looks like but these are the show pictures so its not exact.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Henry walks!

More zoo photos

House-hunting and the Zoo

In the last two days we've looked at 10 different flats, 4 in the same complex. It's a intensely frustrating experience, in part because there seems to be little rhyme or reason in the pricing of places. It's made worse by the very odd agent system in use. You can call a specific agent who will go find places for you and then show you through them, or you can find places yourself (online or in the paper) and then call them up and an agent will still show you round. Most rents seem to be negotiable, so you make an offer and they'll decide based on what they think of you, who signs the lease (you or the company) and how long you want it for.

That said, we have fund a place we liked a lot. It's more expensive than our allowance, but we've made an offer and I'm meeting the owner this evening. It's huge, has a great view and big kitchen etc. I guess we'll find out tomorrow!

In order to break up the monotony of flat hunting, and to stop Felix from losing the plot, we went to the Singapore Zoo. It's a really great zoo to be honest and we took lots of pictures!

We went really early so that a) we could look at apartments in the afternoon and b) we could hopefully se things beflore the heat kicked in.

These orangutans were pretty cool - they live in the trees above the path ways you walk around. Apparently they sometimes come down to where
you are and wander around, but not today.

There were also these awesome white tigers. It wasn't just us who felt more active - the animals did as well!

You can get really close to the annimals in some parts of the zoo. I read some where it was 'no-cage' which is rubbish, but they have minimized it where possible. The lemurs were literally right above us.

Same with this sloth (which sloth?). We joined the zoo which allows us to go anytime we like. You can join the bird park and the night safari as well but that was going to cost all up nearly $500. Anyway, there's some more pictures to show, so I'll stick them in a different post!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Adding to what nick said

ok I just need to add to Nicks post that Starbucks is NOT my new favorite place but it is where Ican stop my headaches, if anyone can suggest where I can get a good coffee in Singapore I would be very thankful.

I do how ever like the waffle biscuits at starbucks.

Bureaucracy, Merlion and storms

I got back from HK last night with an extremely runny nose and a bit of a cough. Everytime I sneezed, the people sitting next to me edged further and further away, presumably fearing the dreaded swine flu! But no matter...

This mornign we had our direct experience of the Ministry of Manpower and I have to say that it was the most efficient, friendly and helpful experience of bureaucracy I have ever had in my entire life! The whole experience took 30 minutes from arrival to departure, they prioritised us because of the kids, the fingerprinting was electronic and extremely fast and you're allowed to smile for the photos. Amazing.

After that we went for a walk down the river and to Merlion which Felix has been asking about since he first saw it in a book. Unfortunately the camera had a flat battery and while I took pictures on my Blackberry I can't seem to get them off. Anyway, this was the first time I ever visited Merlion, despie having lived here for over 4 years previously. It's kind of cool, and Felix liked it, but I'm not sure I'll be making it part of our standard Singapore tour.

On the way there we got a little lost and overshot. As a result we ended up next to the Esplanade Theatre building. This famously looks like a Durian but luckily smells quite nice! I'd like to check this out a bit more. The Grand Prix is on in a few weeks as well so the whole area is getting ready for that, with large barriers being erected. The papers are full of scandal about cheating in last year's Singapore GP. It's a bit deal over here!

The weather was suppsoed to feature 100% humidity today which meant that although it wasn't super hot, we were all sweating. Then the skies opened with a massive rain storm. We retreated to Starbucks, Abbie's new favourite place, and then caught a cab home. This afternoon we're looking at an apartment and then getting ready to watch the AFL final on the telly!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

malls and coffee

So Nick has been in Hong Kong for the last few days leaving us here to explore by ourselves, so we did what everyone else seems to do in Singapore and went to the mall, 2 malls in fact the first which is the largest in Singapore and that is really saying something, this mall has a great playground and a coffee shop overlooking Sentosa island, also dangerously it has a Ben and Jerry's ice cream shop, which we gave a wide berth too.

the second mall is mainly a expat hangout which gave the boys a break from being swamped with attention it is also where Felix will be starting Kinder music next week.

I have had to drink Starbucks all week and apart from the fact its to weak and to large it has been feeding the caffeine addiction

Today we are off to look at some condos with a new agent as the first agent was a bit of a dud I am looking forward to seeing whats available I only help that my boys are well behaved, as we are being driven around by the agent.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hyper marts and Ikea

Today we had our most relaxing day so far and believe it or not we went to ikea and a hypermart,
I never thought I would say I enjoyed Ikea or that I would drink coffee with creamer in it but today was a day of firsts! Ikea was made even better by Felix being able to play and Henry crawling up to complete strangers and giving them cuddles, he is definitely a hit here.
As for the hypermart it was just a really big supermarket meets Kmart but a bit more random and you could buy steamed buns in the middle of it.
The boys were a lot more settled today although Felix had a melt down and fell asleep on me on the bus and I had to carry him for about 45 minutes while we set up bank accounts etc which does not sound to bad in to you factor in the heat and humidity
Hopefully on the weekend we will get to do some of the really fun stuff like the Zoo or little India.
Nick goes away tomorrow and there a thunderstorms forecast so don't think we will be venturing out to far, house hunting starts for me and the kids on Thursday.

The definite highlight for us so far has been the Indian restaurant across the road it is so good and so dangerously close.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Our Second Day

Sorry - this post is still without pictures!

I went to work yesterday to sort out some bureaucratic stuff - in order to get my Work Pass and everyone else's Dependent's Passes work needed to do a bunch of application stuff and make an appointment. Without the actual ID cards saying we have the passes we can't open a bank account. Pay day in the 23rd of each month and as a result there's no way we will have a bank account in time either so we'll be getting paid in cash!!! It's all slightly annoying but hopefully these things will just be teething problems.

The other issue is that we need to get finger printed and photographed at the Work Pass Processing Centre before the passes can be issued so we need to go down there. There were no appointments available today and tomorrow I go to Hong Kong for three days so we have to go down at 8.30am on Saturday morning.

Once I got back we headed into town to try to get some essentials and stopped off for Abbie's first outdoor hawker stall experience where we chowed down on some Mee Goreng and Nasi Goreng. It was actually pretty average but it was incredibly cheap. Then more MRT trains and a wander around Raffle's City Shopping Mall. The trip was spectacularly unsuccessful - the big Robinsons department store in Raffle's City only seems to stock big designer lable stuff, not smaller things like beach towels and woks.

Felix is obsessed with fountains - I hadn't thought of it before but Melbourne doesn't really have fountains anymore due to the drought so he wants to spend endless time watching jets of water shoot into the air and gets pretty grumpy if we go past a fountain without stopping to let him watch. Henry on the other hand is just a bit grumpy - he didn't sleep in the pram yesterday afternoon so he was just hot and tired. The lesson we're learning is that we can't just blast around all day - it's too hot and Henry and Felix both fall apart (as do we!)

Everything was made better by coming home for a swim and some dinner. Today we're off to Ikea (groan) to see what we can get in the way of cooking utensils etc. And then we need to find a flat...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Adding to what nick said

First of all a warning about my posts they will probably be badly spelled and have terrible gramme, but I will try to improve on that over time,
So far we have only got as far as the Supermarket, where we spent a lot of money but don't seem to have any food, we will venture out for some murtabak for lunch soon and then maybe hit one of the big shopping malls for some more basics especially a coffee plunger!
I will post some photos soon of where we are staying hopefully this week and try to capture a picture of David who is the gecko who lives above my bed
So far Felixs best quote has been "Singapore has a pool"!

In Singapore...

After a very long day, beginining with sick children and slight hangovers and ending with a long flight, we finally arrived at our serviced apartment to about 10.30pm Singapore time. The kids flew pretty well considering and we all felt sorry for the woman next to us who was taking her 15 month old all the way to Heathrow solo.

The apartment is fine, but certainly not designed to make us want to stay here longer than necesary. Apart from anything else, the aircon in the main room is broken which can only add to our rapid aclimatisation.

Henry seems to magically know what time it is regardless of time zone - 5am is when he wakes up. So I'm hanging out with him while Felix and Abbie try to catch up on some much needed sleep. Today is our only 'free' day before I head off to Hong Kong for two nights so we'll try to do soemthing fun in addition to supermarket shopping etc.

Pictures of empty houses and the like to come soon!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

We're packing up and moving on!

Welcome to Nick and Abbie's blog about moving to Singapore. This will be a place for us to talk about the stuff we encounter, the experiences we have and to put up photos and the like.

We're packing up this week, flying out on Saturday, and then we'll be positing in earnest!