23 July 2010

Officially A Job Hunter

So here I am after almost a week since my last blog. I started the week by further updating my CV for the inevitable job searching. as much as I'd love to be an expat lady of leisure I knew it wasn't practical and that to be honest I'd probably get a bit bored!!

My original plan was to apply for my Long Term Visit pass which hopefully would be approved and although I still wouldn't be able to work it would buy me more time for job hunting. At the moment I'm here on a social visit visa on either visa I can look for jobs and attend interviews but I can't work without the Employment Pass which I can't get until I have a job offer. For me staying out here for a longer period of time having the Long Term Visit pass would be better to allow time for this to all happen. Unfortunately though my plans were scuppered as it seems I don't qualify for that type of visa and therefore the need to find a job has become more urgent.

So since then I've signed up with a job website, already applied for a couple of roles and met a lovely lady who works in my boyfriend's HR department in the hope she might have some good contacts. Fingers crossed! It feels a bit weird though having to make such a massive effort to find a job, I feel like I've just finished university again.

Away from the job hunting my boyfriend has to go to Bangkok next week with his work and I'm fortunate enough to be going with him. I can't wait, other than Singapore (and prior to coming here now that was only a two week trip in January) I've not been anywhere else in this part of the world so I'm very keen to experience some other countries and places that are on my doorstep. No doubt I'll have some interesting things to blog about once I return from there.

The weekend has come around again so quickly hope you all have a lovely one, take care all and I'll write more soon.

19 July 2010

A Weekend of Fun

I've spent my first full weekend in Singapore since coming back and its been full of action. First off on Friday night I met some of my boyfriend's friends and we went for something to eat and a few drinks. This was good but I made my first food error as I managed to order both noodles and rice. I thought I was ordering a chicken dish with a rice dish but the chicken dish actually came with noodles as well. However I was starving so I managed to eat most of it, you live and learn :-)

We went to a bar called 5 on Emerald Hill Road after that. This area, according to the guidebooks, was granted to an Englishman called William Cuppage in 1845 and for some years after that was a nutmeg plantation. Apparently there are some exquisite crafted houses on this road dating from the period following this man's death and the sale of this land to the Peranakan community that had evolved in Malay as a result of intermarriage between Chinese settlers and Malay women but I'm afraid on Friday I didn't see any of that. Even worse though I've now discovered that this bar is housed in a 1910 built Peranakan style shophouse, this might explain the decoration inside and clearly justifies another visit some time! Instead though I tried lychee martinis - DELICIOUS!! I also observed an interesting concept in the bar with the use of beer mats. The beer mats had messages on them such as, 'back in 5 mins' and it seems that if you need the toilet or want to go for a cigarette you put one of these beer mats on top of your drink so it doesn't get cleared away. Can you imagine doing that in the UK? No, it would be gone or someone would put something in it.....

Whilst on the subject of beer mats there does seem to be a bit of a national obsession with them in bars though. If you buy a drink and dare to put it on the table or bar without first putting a beer mat down it won't be long before one of the bar staff come along put one down for you and put your drink on the mat.

On Saturday we took a visit to Ikea or Ekea as it is pronounced here, it was fun in a had to be done way and the flat is benefiting from the trip. It took a long time to get there and back though as half the roads were shut for a dress rehearsal for the parade on National Day, 9 August. I'll write more on that later but it promises to be good I think as on Saturday evening we saw a number of military jets doing a practice fly past (sort of like the Red Arrows).

Back to Saturday day though we went into the centre of Singapore in the afternoon, an area called Clarke Quay (once an area of colonial commerce) for a late lunch and I had a wombat burger. I'm fairly confident this wasn't actual wombat just rather the combination in the burger that gave it its name (though I did try kangaroo the day after I arrived), which included pineapple, beetroot and a fried egg. We then went to another bar which had a number of TV screens displaying jokes which could easily offend. I'm kind of surprised they get away with it here but maybe no one has noticed......

On the Sunday we went to Sentosa, an island of the main island of Singapore which has been reinvented with numerous attractions, beaches and entertainment. I came here on visit in January and when we came then it was a beautiful day but it rained all day Sunday including an absolute torrential downpour at one point. The weather in general seems to be as rainy as it is sunny and the other night I was woken up by a thunder storm. There was just constant flashes of lightning which lit up the whole room the rain was lashing down and it must have lasted over an hour. On our trip to Sentosa yesterday though we specifically went to Fort Siloso which was built in the 1880's and last used during the Second World War. It was very interesting. We also got the added bonus of coming across a family of monkey's devouring the contents of a bin they had turned over.

Due to the 'wonderful' weather we went to a bar on Sentosa I've visited previously called Coastes which is right on the beach looking out over the sea. I had a chicken curry but in both places I've eaten it now the chicken seems to comes in the form of chicken legs in a curry sauce. No problem with that but there was so much curry sauce yesterday that I couldn't find the chicken to actually cut any of it off the legs! Yesterday's also came with a baguette (which proved useful for soaking up the sauce) rather than rice so maybe I'll have something else next time I visit....

I'll be back soon, take care!

16 July 2010

Where Am I?

Well I thought I'd give you a bit of a flavour of where I am in Singapore.

 Our flat is on the 15th floor of our apartment block and we have access to a swimming pool and gym. This seems to be the norm in appartment blocks here and who knows maybe one of these days I'll be tempted to venture into the gym!

The views in the attached pictures are from our balcony and show the view on a lovely day but also what it looks like when it rains here and how the city becomes engulfed in mist. Today has been one of those days but for me still getting use to the constant heat it has been refreshingly pleasant to sit on the balcony and watch the rain. I'm waiting though to see some flash flooding which I know happens here sometimes after a rain downpour.

I now live in the East Coast area of Singapore not too far away from the airport. Although I can't hear the planes as I could in our flat in the UK (being on Heathrow's flight path) at night from the balcony you can see the lights on the planes as they come in to land or take off. In addition I'm not too far from a military base so every now and again loud military jets fly overhead as well. Finally in the distance you can see the sea and on a clear day the ships too.

Well hopefully that gives you a bit more of an idea of my whereabouts, it's the weekend tomorrow so I'm sure I'll be back soon with more. Take care!

15 July 2010

Welcome to Singapore

Well here I am in hot and humid Singapore!! I visited in January this year for two weeks when my boyfriend took up a new job based here having never visited this part of the world before and I've returned to live here with him. I've now been here since last Saturday so very early days but I hope you'll enjoy my blogs every step of the way in the months ahead.

I've never written a blog before or had any thoughts about doing one (probably because up until now I hadn't really got anything that interesting to blog about) but I came up with the idea as a way of keeping track on what I'm doing and another way of sharing my adventures and experiences with friends and hopefully anyone else who may be interested as well. Please bare with me though as I learn what I'm doing on this :-)

Prior to my boyfriend taking up his job here I never imagined I'd ever have the guts to live abroad and I think anyone who knows me well would say the same. It is still daunting even though I'm here (though I feel better about it than I did before I came out here) but I'm determined to make the most of everything I can and hopefully share some of that with you. Take care and I'll be back soon!
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