Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hangout @ Singapore

This was another Ma-lat-lou (Bunch of dudes without GF) trip. How pity. Hope I could find dates for trip next time.

Hope it do not sound that sad, because it was fun actually to hang out with the usual good friends.

This trip was planned last minutes when it all started by just normal chatting in Facebook. Our passport still valid, we get a green-light to crash into Ming Tat apartment at Tiong Bharu, and Bus ticket can be purchased online.

So, why not ? a few clicks and we were good to go to Singapore.

Thanks to Jun Yen research (gosh, why he is so hardworking !) he recommended us to buy Konsortium Express online. With only MYR 35.10 We can straightaway cruise from KL to Singapore.

It took about 5 hours to reach Singapore, and 30 minutes+ of it was wasted on Malaysia custom. Of course, a long jam we encountered.

My first sight on Singapore was building with flags hanging on them. Lots of them ! This was something rather rare in Malaysia. Singaporean do really appreciate their independence ?

As this was my first time landing myself in Singapore, it really open my eyes and overwrite my previous thought on it. For what I think of Singapore was:

1) It have the worst traffic jam ever. Because it was a small country with high population.

2) A stone-forest. Where no greens will be preserved. Heck, their land was as valuable as gold, how can it be spared for gardens and forest ?

But I was wrong....

The roads in the city were not jam and they have a lot of greenery everywhere ! And to my surprise...

They have river too ! Not sure if it was a big drain, but it look pretty clean and clear to me. Now tell me, where could I find a clean river in our city ?

I do realize that it was Raya Holiday week that time, so without doubt the hotels and motel will make a killing on us. But we got a solution for that which is why we visited Singapore.

We got to stay for free ! And I am not talking about 3-4 people cramped in a small room. We will be living in a decent service department which was fully furnished.

An apartment with fully-equip air-cond.

3 equal size bed rooms for us.

And a fully working kitchens for us to play fire, literally lol. Really, it did save us a lot of money by cooking. Do not underestimate Ma-Lat-Lou capability to cook. If we starve, we can come out with something nice too.

By the way, who is so rich and kind enough to let us crush in this apartment ? Credit was belong to my friend Edmund. He and his friends was doing their intern in Singapore during holiday. Their intern came to an end but theirs rental agreement did not. They move back to Malaysia anyway and leaving this apartment free for us to crash in. That mean we could actually rot in there for 1-2 weeks till the contract end. Cool isn't ?

Since we have so much time to kill, what were we doing in Singapore anyway ?

We went to Sentosa for sight-viewing and of course, crash in their casino for free drinks.

Watched some free shows at Lake of Dreams.

Not that cool compared to Marina Bay. And that was how we spent our first day. Before we hit the sack, we got ourselves a supper at Singapore Mamak.

Speaking of Kiasuness, I believe it was what we always heard about Singaporean. But I must see and experience with our own eyes. So here I was, in a local Mamak cafe flipping through their menu. I am looking for the cheapest foods available as I do not plan to waste my limited SGD on this crap. So when I am decided to order the roti kosong, Heck ! it stated minimum 2 pieces per order.

Lol, in Malaysia you can order one air-kosong and sit in any mamak to enjoy a football match. But here, in order to enjoy their air-cond, they impose some rules to not lose-out.

Do you know only in Malaysia, you could re-fill your coke / coffee in MCD but you can't do that in Singapore ? Sorry man if I offended any Singaporean reader here. Just stating what I saw.

But I am very impress with their culture and road ethic.

Singapore is a place where road priority is on pedestrian first and everything come second. They have almost pedestrian crossing lane and red-light traffic for pedestrian on every possible junctions. Unlike Malaysia, you cross on your own risk.. expect some respect from rude driver ? they rather run you down first and then blame you for that !

I love their public transport system the most. Especially the Mass Rapid Transit.

It was mind blowing to experience myself their high level of efficiency of handling their system. We were not afraid going out from house during peak hours. No matter how many people were there, we surely could get on board on the first train we see. Less than 5 minutes for every transit ? That was so damn cool. It really defy the law of logic when the more peak the hour was, the more frequent the train came.

Unlike Malaysia, speaking of that bloody bastard KTM, on non-peak hour  = 20 minutes per transit, and when the peak hour came.. hohoho, my favorite... minimum 35minutes per transit and there was no maximum time on it. You could be waiting for 2 hours for that !

My friends told me Singaporean love looking down. I not mean the are looking down on people in this case (but I do agree some of them are looking down on Malaysian) In transit, everyone have an incredible phone, and they love playing it all the time. Maybe this is how they kill the time when boarding the transit. If it was not that data plan and the phone itself was so expensive in Malaysia, I would love to be like them too.

Actually we are not that cheapskate by having all the meal in house. We do ate outside some time.

Such as this nice bowl of porridge with frog-legs.  It was my first time eating a frog. Well, it do taste like crab meat for me. Nothing to be shout about, quite nice I would say.

And Wanton-Mee at Tiong Plaza food court. The portion was small and taste was slightly below average. SGD 4 for this. Damn, I always have to remind myself not to convert to MYR whenever I spend the money. Damn the currency ! MYR 10 for this !! argh ! Otherwise, it was pretty reasonable.

Being a student myself, I am quite curious of University in Singapore, particularly NUS. How would it look like for a top 30 University in the world ranking ?

Because of that curiosity, we paid a visit to that infamous university.

Went by MRT to Clementi Station and then change transport to bus No. 95. It was near. To my surprise, they do not have gates, it look like it was an open-ended university with many possible accessible route. A sign of good security in Singapore.

So we tour around the University and visit their library. We actually given permission to visit the library without going through any paperwork procedure. Just a polite chat with working librarian over there and they allowed us in. Wow, that really make UM suck real bad. I heard that outsider need to pay MYR 20 to access our library.

There were few things that I really love this NUS. First was, it has a MCD inside !

How I wish UM would consider having a MCD inside. Hmm, but on second thought, the reason we like MCD was because it got free refill. MCD in singapore no free refill wor... what a mood killer.

Second, I am in mad with their no-restriction on dress ethic regulation. Everyone could wear whatever they like. Even in library and everywhere else. It was truly a superb eyes-washing moment throughout the university. Girls there were simply amazing, they were up-to-trend in fashion, know good makeup and excellent in preserving their body figure. I am not lying, hardly I could spot any average Jane over there. With this, I do believe there was no ugly girl in world, just lazy girl.

Third, was their foods !

I not mean that their foods were good. Malaysia foods are still far superior. I meant the average of their food price. I am not sure if either their University / government were subsidizing their foods, because their food was so cheap !

Average bowl / plate of foods cost only SGD 1.80 - 2.00. And the portion was reasonable. Of course, looking from Malaysian perspective, the price was almost the same after conversion. But speaking of Singaporean perspective, if you earn as Singaporean and spend it here. It was a great deal of value.

This inflect the seriousness of inflation in Malaysia. Food price was hiked to average MYR 4-5  per bowl / plate of foods. Damn !

Back to the myth about Singaporean was Kiasu, I found something which might favor the myth.

I found their parking rate was funny. Who in the earth would rate it till 4 decimal places of cent ?

and there was this one day when we decided to pay a visit to their IT fair held at Suntec City Mall. Except for the real good deals of electronic items and serious competition between the seller, it was no fun to walk at all.

I am a photographer, when talking about PC fair, Car Exhibition or sort of event like that... we are really looking forward for doll-up model. So I am kinda looking forward for it with my 50 mm + flash gun ready. To hell with it, it was no show at all. Sales man / girl were plain ordinary and some do not even bother to tidy up themselves.

My shooting mode was so dead until I saw something worth to snap. A line of promoter giving flyers. So I put on my flash and fire-up. To hell...

I thought my shutter was fast enough until it was beaten by them ! They could close their face faster than the speed of 1/60 per second of my shutter. Lol !

So I walked away and I heard one of them saying... 5 dollar please ! They have made my day... by confirming the myth.

Speaking of being a techie in Singapore. It was okay to do that. Because of their strong currency, their items were a lot cheaper and affordable for them. Of course, provided that you earn as Singaporean and spend it there. For  Malaysian like me, Neh... it was the same old costly price.. just that they offer more valuable goodies.

After exploring all the six floor of IT exhibition, we decided to go out and went somewhere else. We saw the giant Ferris Wheel afar. And we traveled there by foot.

Well, we did not waste any dollar on it. Just a sight-seeing as it was so expensive ! SGD30 per ride. Or you can booked entire gondola and have your dinner served on sky with just SGD3000+ lol

Perhaps one day, I will fly my dates over here for a hanging dinner.

Overall, Singapore was a good place to leisure. Their weather would not be hot with most of the time cloudy (maybe because it near sea) and their superb public transportation especially MRT enable us to go anywhere with ease.

The last few days for us MaLatLou was very unproductive. Not that we ran out of money. We still have bucks on us, but we were so lazy and so attracted to the house. The comfy sofa, the tv with a lot of great channels and air-condition on for 24/7.... make us caving in the house for 2 days.

This was where we start clearing out the fridge. Eating everything that was edible

Previous house-mate were leaving a lot left-over in the fridge like eggs, rice, oranges, bread, tuna and etc. So we swept it all into our tummy. Most of the time we ate noodles and bread.

Eating at home did save a lot for us. Averagely we spent SGD3-5 for foods per day if we do not leave the house. Foods were cheap in supermarket if you are not after the branded goods. Big loaf of white bread only cost SGD 1 , Tuna Can SGD 2 , 5pack on Instant noodle only SGD 1.40 and etc.

Thank god and of course Edmund that we were spare from forking out dollars for accommodation. Int total I spent MYR 63 for bus ticket , and SGD 50 for overall expenditure in Singapore for 5days 4 nights. Cheap yo ?

Speaking of bus ticket, thanks to YC research, we save up a lot by traveling to Larkin-Johor and from there we buy long distance bus ticket back to KL. It only cost us MYR 28 for that instead of SGD30 if we decided to buy the ticket in Singapore. But of course, saving money won't be sweet when we have to rush like mad to head to Larkin.

Singapore journey was great. There were still some place I yet to visit like Universal Studio and their Zoo. But because of budget limitation, we skipped all that. Maybe next time when either Malaysia currency become stronger ( I doubt it) or I make a nice income in future.

So what is my opinion about working at Singapore ? Hmm, maybe I will leave that in my next post. This was quite a lengthy post. Thanks for reading it till this point yo. Appreciate it =)


Legend said...

Just 2 facts I wanna highlight
1) You cannot ask for refill at McD here but you can ask for unlimited sauce(BBQ, Sweet and Sour, Curry)
2) Weather here isn't any cooler than KL. Just so happens now not so hot. Few months ago got reach 38C - 40C

yen Ho said...

ui ur photography skill semakin bagus!!! sugoi!!!!

holim said...

Legend: Thanks for the correction bro.

38: Ya ke ?? Yippeeee !!!