Tuesday, 17 June 2014

A week in Singapore tagging along expat life

My dear friend Theresa unfortunatley is moving to London in July, so this was (we though) our last chance for another visit. Ir was my fourth visit over the last year, but this time I left Phil and Sophia in Langkawi.

Basically I just tagged alone with Theresas's expat easy life. As easy as anything with three little kids can be. Baby Martin was now half a year and the girls has improved their swimming immensely. They are little mermaids in the water, 3 and 4 years old and already great swimmers. I came along to the dentist, gym classes, kids party, Danish girls nights out and so on.

The reason I say easy life is because almost all expats (and many Singaporeans) have helpers, usually from Philippines. It's a massive help to have somebody cleaning, cooking and helping with the kids, six full days a week, but it's also interesting how much impact they have on their employers, or so it appears to me. Helpers are the topic of many expat conversations and it must be only natural as she is right there the whole time. I do wonder if Singaporeans who have had helpers their whole life pay less attention to them.

We're going to continue the success next week after I have been to Kuching for the rainforest world music festival. Yay, already looking forward.
I love how green Singapore is

Monday, 2 June 2014

May's cruising expenses for Thailand and Malaysia

May was our most expensive month EVER at NZ$ 4573. This was no surprise as a lot of expensive things happened this month. Travelling and shopping is expensive. We spent ten days away from Sophia in Thailand and Kuala Lumpur. The main purpose was to do the TOG regatta and we then spent two days in KL on our way back. The tickets were a bit last minute, so not the cheapest. We spent about NZ$1768 on flights, accommodation, race fees and food in Thailand and KL.

Shopping is another big item! My old second hand computer that I had in NZ before we left finally gave up the game. $600. We also splurged on a new phone for me, my first phone in two years and my first new phone in about seven years. $355. H&M clothes shopping was another splurge, cruising is (also) hard on clothes and we both needed new stuff. $227. I (heart) H&M.

Finally Sophia also needed new stuff, new batteries this time! $859. One of the very first things we did up in Auckland right after we had purchased her 3 1/2 years ago, was to get two 6V Trojans. They have served us well, but have taken a beating (I think initially we only looked at battery capacity % and not voltage!). A few months ago in Thailand we came back to Soph after having been away a few hours and the bilge pump was going, and it had really drained the battery. After that it has been a very fast steady decline, some mornings towards the end the fridge was off because the voltage was low 10s!. Phil build our battery box to fit four, which we now finally have, and it's great. On the wish list is more solar!