Saturday, October 20, 2012

Singapore 5: condominium

From wednesday, before phone incident: I'm afraid the tales of house hunting shall have to be on hold. It's been a crazy 3 weeks (today!) but contrary to what everybody said was achievable I'm sitting in the new apartment waiting for both our air and sea shipments to arrive. And when I say crazy I mean I'm having to be a jogging snail instead of a crawling snail.

It will take us about 3 days to put things in their place from the floor where the unpackers will no doubt unceremoniously dump them. To set up a working kitchen. To organise the Internet, phone, tv installation, cable connection.

I love this apartment and can't wait to live in it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Singapore 4: Found

This afternoon, to celebrate three weeks of being in Singapore I left my brand new iPhone 5 in a taxi. Or rather it slipped out of my pocket where it should not have been to start with.

Of course this being ever efficient and honest Singapore it's been found and handed back by the driver.

I have so many things to tell you - I even started another post this morning - it'll all have to wait till tomorrow. In the meanwhile I still have my shiny new toy.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Singapore 3: Din Tai Fung

Two weeks in and SOME people are already complaining about all the rice and noodles they are being FORCED to eat. I say get with the program yo! Isn't this what we came for, The divine food?

Maybe it's my Malayali genes doing their thing, coming out to play now that they are in paradise - but i find I could eat this very carb based diet easily. I shouldn't but I oh so could. And with an absolute plethora of places to eat in this city we are so so spoilt for choice.

We are staying with family so there are plenty of home cooked meals but ever so often when out trying to get phone connections or look at apartments or just entertain a small person we find ourselves eating out. And what a treat it has been!

So the first of my reviews is for a restaurant chain called Din Tai Fung.
It's a Taiwanese dim sum place with five branches around the city. We went to the one in Visma Atria (one of the many many malls that Singapore is dotted with) for lunch a few days after we arrived and were trying to forge a normal routine. It serves dim sum and buns and the odd sautéed vegetable and noodle. You get a little clipboard from the lady at the entrance and while she tries to find you a table you are expected to look at the picture board with it's codes and tick off what you would like to order. There's a board with pictures and numbers and the briefest of descriptions to guide you. As you are guided to your table they take away the clipboard leaving one copy on the table and shortly the piping hot dimsum begin to make their way towards the hungry folk. Simple and effective.

We were four adults and two children this fine weekday, between apartment viewings. Hot bothered and starving. We all pointed at things on the board and ordered way too much. We sat at a table outside the glass fronted kitchen, this kept the kids busy for a bit. Soon there were divine dumplings and stuffed buns, rice and vegetables and nobody talked or looked up for a long long while.

Notable were the vegetable dumplings (bursting with flavor) and the pork buns (fluffy and light and moreish.

I'm told by more than one source that it's only the one at Visma Atria that is this good. The other four are disappointing in comparison. It's a test I intend to carry out myself. In the meanwhile if you are in Singapore I encourage you to go try these.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Singapore 2: reading material

Not sure how but I managed to travel
across the continents without a book to read. The Tiger who came to tea
does not help. Especially because I cannot read it (I recite now having read it about 12 million times).

Jetlag and the dramatic change of temperature meant it was about 5 days before I noticed the lack of reading material.

With the aim of rectifying this terrible injustice (insignificant in the face of world peace and famine but much like a famine for my mind) I legged it to Kinukonya which is a fabulous bookshop in the famous takashimaya shopping mall. Resisted the purchase of Joseph Anton and Casual Vacancy (too new and expensive) and bought two other books instead - Am reading 'may we be forgiven' by A.M. Homes to start with. Shockingly these two cost me $42. Thats £21. Brings into sharp focus how expensive this city state is.

Am very pleased that our shipment has arrived and is only awaiting an apartment to be confirmed before being delivered and unpacked. It's chock a block full of new books. I kept amazon propped up before our packers arrived. Can't wait to see my books and am only going through my two new books slowly so that I don't have to spend another $40 too soon!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Singapore 1: the jetlag

So near on a week in lush tropical Singapore. Flight over was pretty good and we all had about 8 of the 12 hours to sleep. Huge big comfortable beds made it a blissful slumber - I didn't even get through my first movie without dropping off! Kid was impeccably behaved thanks to a well timed and executed bribery with Thomas trains plan. Pat on the back thank you. Mini meltdown as we came out of the airport but for the 15 hours before being tear and scream free that was but a small aberration.

Staying in utter comfort at V's brothers home - ready made companion of cousin with similar taste in toys (trains and cars) has made it brilliant for the Kid. He's having showers, playing, fighting and generally loving the attention. This is the reason we moved, sibling fathers and sibling sons.

Our body clocks are crazy though. Every night is different and some we are awake till 3am, some we are asleep at 5pm. We are having random naps and struggling to catch a whole night of rest.

We have done 4 days of house hunting. More on that later.

At the moment all I can say is that we are here and are not missing London but certainly missing our friends..... Hello Singapore!