Tag Archive for new

Crab in the Bag – Dan’s Birthday Dinner (13th Sept)

What a nice place to enjoy a dinner meal with a difference. I’ve heard of this place, but never been here before – so when I arrived at East Coast Parkway, at the Big Splash.

It was a great concept – it all starts with them preparing your table with a paper table cloth…but the twist is that they don’t provide any cutlery or plates. What you actually do is order Fish et Co in a Bucket…and they then serve it in the same bucket, and they then tip the contents (luckily, cooked!) onto the table top for you all to tuck in. Sauces and other sides are then delivered in little disposable cups.

Crab in Da Bag
Block D Unit #01-25
902 East Coast Parkway
Big Splash
Singapore, 449874
Tel: +65 6440 0083
URL: http://www.crabindabag.com

New SingTel Phone Upgrade

I had purchased a 2-year phone contract from SingTel, and there was an opportunity to get a free upgrade after 12 months…free in the sense there is no additional contract charge, but the handset would still cost me $$$.

I had ummmed and ahhhed for a couple of months already, as I knew the iPhone 5S would be out soon. I decided to take the plunge (or easy option) and simply upgrade my handset to the new iPhone, rather than switching to an Samsung S4 (which was a strong possibility). The key reason is that everyone I had was on my iPhone, it was working fine, I liked the ecosystem and size overall and I knew it was easy to upgrade (in a few minutes), versus having to configure everything from scratch on the new phone type. I also thing that for me it was actually quite a nice size for my hands :)

Anyway, it cost me S$668 (for another 2 years) – which I know is a bit pricey, but I think worth the upgrade. I also set-up my old iPhone 4S for me mum to have – aren’t I nice :)

The funny thing is that I actually have gone for the ‘S’ versions for each iPhone…3S, 4S and now 5S. I wonder whether I should wait for the 6S next year, or whether I would be tempted away at that point…well that’s another year to go…so lets see what happens.

Home Insurance – Peace of Mind

Well I finally sorted my home insurance – well that should be really content insurance – for my condo apartment. I was concerned about things like my electronics, and clothes etc – and as such I feel it would be good to have peace in mind.

I decided to go to Expat Insurance – and it only cost me S$154 for the appropriate cover that met my needs (another quote was over S$500 – so I got a bit of a saving, by reducing the cover to what I need). I wasn’t keen to go for a huge cover, just enough to come by personal effects.

Regardless, I just hope that nothing happens whilst I am here!

I just now need to get my Travel Insurance sorted – and possibly consider enhancing my Medical Insurance (that I get from Amex) to cover any additional coverage needs that I should consider…remember there is no National Health service here – so everything costs $$$ – which is totally a culture shock for my head!

Old tenant picked-up their furniture

I must admit, it should never be advertised as ‘fully furnished’, as the items that belonged to the previous tenant should not be listed on the property listing.  I think the landlord’s agent wasn’t that truthful, or really understood the definition or the difference – but alas, I gave the feedback :)

Well the agreement that I reached with the previous tenant was that they would pick-up their furniture by 15th January, having giving them about 2 and a half weeks grace period.  The challenge is that I didn’t make the purchase straightaway, as Ikea give you a date for delivery which you cannot choose – well at least if you change it, they charge you, so I had to make sure the apartment was clear of the previous furniture before I committed the purchase.  The previous tenant wanted to sell me their second-hand items – the sofa-bed, dining table, 2 dining chairs, 3 cabinets, a book case/side unit, and tv stand – for S$1k – but I said no to this.  Luckily, I didn’t make this purchase, as the items I am looking for only equate to about £$650 which is a nice saving :)

So before the Ikea delivery – the apartment looked a bit empty…

On the positive, I was able to use their items (dining table and sofa primarily) whilst they were in my apartment, but I also now need to make a purchase :)  So have already looked at the Ikea SG website, and think I know what to buy.

  • Solsta Pällbo Footstool for S$10.90
  • Bjursta Extendable Dining Table S$149.00
  • Lycksele Lövås 2 Seater Sofa-Bed S$315.00
  • Lack Side / Coffee Table S$12.90
  • Börje Dining Chair (x2) S$130.00
  • Laiva TV Bench S$25.90

All for S$643.70 exc S$65 delivery charge.  And I get a S$50 voucher for spending over S$500 :)

I even managed to build the items myself without major issue…it finally feels like home, and I have some nice new items that make it personal to me now – perfect :)

SingTel Installation brought forward and successful!

I received on 31st December from SingTel saying that the installation was brought forward from 8th January to 4th January – now that’s what you call service.  It was scheduled for the 2pm-4pm slot, but when I was in Ikea browsing through for Sofa’s and Dining Tables, and buying some bits and bobs for the apartment, the engineer called saying that he was keen to come earlier…So I arranged a 1pm time.  Nice!

About an hour later the installation was completed – a bit of wiring on the phone box and the phone exchange in the building hall-wall, and I had 2 phonelines (one for the broadband and one for the TV (also on broadband)), MioTV, and the 10MB broadband installed.  I just need to buy a cheap phone so at least if there are any calls, I can receive the calls and make outbound calls accordingly.

NOW, I feel at home :)  Good on ya SingTel, a satisfied new customer…just make sure that you services remain as efficient as the installation process.

SingTel or StarHub…which one :)

There are 3 main suppliers of Internet, TV, landline and mobile services in Singapore – SingTel, StarHub and M1.  Apparently, M1 is the last of the 3 in terms of everything, so this really leaves the choice between Singtel and StarHub.  There doesn’t seem to be much between them price-wise, but I’ve heard that SingTel is pretty good (and I used their prepaid mobile services previously).  Haven’t said that, StarHub is more of a cable supplier, rather than SingTel who use the telephone line to supply their Internet broadband services (similar to Sky versus BT in the UK, respectively).  StarHub also seems to have the BBC channels and a few more of the movie and although SingTel had obtained the non-exclusive rights for the UK’s Premiership footie matches, so I think SingTel has the edge.

We visited both shops in the Plaza Singapura shopping mall in the Dhoby Ghaut area, and whilst StarHub was slightly cheaper by a about 5-6 dollars a month (and had the BBC News channel), the waiting time was about 10 days, whilst SingTel was about 7-8 days – and the guy at the store was far more supportive.

Ideally, I wanted to get a quad-package, home-line, broadband, TV and mobile – ideally, I could forego the home-line, but knew it came as default and in most cases was a prerequisite for the broadband, but the two suppliers generally bundled (and were pushing for) the TV, home-line and broadband set, versus the alterative (and more costly) home-line, broadband and mobile set.  I think it’s because they were promoting offers to push their TV services, so without this, there was limited incentive and as such monetary benefit to forego the TV service.  So I decided to play-ball with them and go with TV, home-line and broadband – with mobile as an additional service – the beauty is that you get a discount on the mobile service subscription too, so it worked out okay in the end.

Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 (Android)

Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 (Android)

I got the cheapest handset possible, Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 – it is a Google Android handset, my first Android device, and seems okay.  I just have to get used to it, I guess, having had iPhones for the past 4 years.  Either way, it only cost me S$18 as I received a S$50 discount from SingTel.   If I don’t like the phone, I can always switch the SIM card to my unlocked iPhone 4S, and then use the Samsung one for my UK SIM – which I will only check to see if there are any messages received :)  I will see how it goes…hehe!

The good news is that SingTel are giving the 4G (LTE) service upgrade for free on new mobile contracts, the challenge is I don’t have the phone that can receive it (boo-hoo)…BUT I get a S$300 free upgrade after 12 months, so can make the 4G plunge then.

At least I have a local number and can stay in touch with family friends and work colleagues using a local Singapore mobile now!!

New Apartment – Picking Up the Keys

Suites@Shrewsbury

Suites@Shrewsbury

Today is the day that I can finally pick-up the keys to my condominium – hooray!

I’ve arranged to pick-up the keys (and key-card) for my new apartment early in the morning – meeting up with the agent at my apartment.  It is located at Suites @ Shrewsbury, 84 Shrewsbury Road, Singapore, 307842.  It is opposite a Chinese Temple and Buddhist Monastery – as well as nearby to a Christian Church – so I hope this means I am under the fortune of good luck and prosperity.  Well one can but hope :)

As soon as I pick-up the keys and sign the original copy of the lease, I can then look at what I definitely need to buy to make sure I’m sorted in my apartment for good.  It ended up being a partial furnished – so white goods (fridge/freeze, microwave, washing machine) are supplied, as well as the TV and bed – but the dining room and lounge furniture aren’t (so I do feel a trip to Ikea is in store!).  In fact, I’ve agreed to “look after” the previous tenants furniture until 15th January, so they have permitted me to use them until then, but I still need to window shop before then.

I just need to wait for the TV, Phone line & Broadband services to be installed – and then I will be at home.  The agent kindly arranged for the supply of water/waste & electricity to be activated on 24th December (the actual day that my lease starts) – so everything seems to have been in working order as soon as I entered the place.

Photos of my new humble abode will appear here soon :)

Condo Hunting – How joyful!

Apartment (condo) hunting is very tiring work – after seeing about 10 or so places from a couple of different agents, I think I’m condo’ed out!

I think I started really badly because I set my rental range too high – about S$4,000, my mum suggested that I reduce the range to S$2,500-3,000 to ensure I don’t spend more than I should on the accommodation. I think this is wise, as part of the purpose of coming to Singapore is to continue to enjoy the lifestyle and region. What made this decision more difficult is that I did so after seeing a few really nice apartments at the original S$4,000 range – hey-ho.

After short listing a few – I think Newton Edge, Alexis, 8-Woodleigh and One-North Residences were the apartment condos that’s I was very interest in, I continued to search on www.propertyguru.com.sg and found one at Novena called Suites@Shrewsbury. It was pretty reasonable at the S$2,900 rental range and was located at 84 Shrewsbury Road. It was a bit cramped inside, but suitably located near the local facilities and amenities in the Novena area – walking distance from the Novena MRT, so the red North-South MRT line to Marina Bay.

So I went for this – hopefully it means my needs. It was only partial furnished, so I sense a visit to Ikea is needed once the lease agreement has been signed. I now need to sort out the deposit, paperwork and then I will have an official base in Singapore :). Saved money to spend on Guinness too – hehe…

First Day – and a visit to the MBFC Office

Well I thought I’d be a loyal worker and arranged to pick-up my work blackberry from the office.  Actually, it was great going through the routine the taking the MRT from my hotel to Raffles Place and walk through the mall to the Marina Bay Financial Centre office. Certainly brings back fond memories.

The thing that made this different was that I had to sign in as a visitor as I haven’t officially started yet :)

I picked up my blackberry – which should have taken all of 5 minutes, but about 30 minutes later, I was still chatting way to some of the great folks at the office. It was a great time to catch-up – and probably the only time that I could really ‘dress-down’ without anyone batting an eyelid – haha!

I am finitely looking forward to return on the 2nd January 2013 to start my new work routine…2013 is going to be all-change for me!!!

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