Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Internations Expat Insider Survey 2014 - Do you agree with where Singapore places?

As you might know, I am a featured blogger on the Internations site and they contacted me with some interesting info they gathered via their Expat Insider Survey. You can find the full survey results here:  http://www.internations.org/expat-insider/2014/ and all of the graphs come from Expat Insider on Internations.

Let me share some of the Singapore rankings and tell me what you think in the comments section, whether you agree or disagree. I am thinking it through keeping in mind the most popular post on my blog about my first year as an expat in Singapore, plus my experiences over the second year which might be shaped into a new post at some point as things do change in your experience over time.

Best Destinations for expats

Singapore places 6th overall for destinations for expats. It is interesting to see how this is driven, it isn't because of leisure options or personal happiness, Singapore doesn't place in the top 20 for those areas. the 6th spot comes mostly because of a 4th place for travel and transport and for health, safety and well being.

Expat Destinations infographic

I did find it very interesting though.... I can relate. It is true that there are certain leisure options missing due to it being a small island, and due to certain limitations in place in the country and cultural constraints/priorities meaning there are fewer artistic options available. I know things are improving and there are more art options, music options and films, but things like censorship do limit them still even if it is looking up. Food and drink is well represented. But you won't have leisure options like we did in Nice with the gorgeous beaches, the mountains for skiing and hiking, and canyons and various sports activities.

The personal happiness is an interesting one. My Singaporean friends do comment that there are a lot of complaints from their countrymen where people from other countries don't understand why they would be complaining. An interesting example recently was the announcement that there would be wifi on the buses soon being met by complaints that people's phones would lose all their battery and there should be chargers on the buses too! And when Uber decided to have a free taxi day, people complained they couldn't get a cab, whereas this happens also when you would be expected to pay.... And maybe personal happiness is linked to the leisure options too. But it could also be cultural where there are very high expectations from parents regarding education and career, plus the high cost of property making it hard for young people to move out and have their freedom. So freedom of speech, freedom of choice regarding life path and personal freedom may contribute to the global feeling in the country, for locals and expats. Just my two cents, interested in your opinions too.

Quality of Life Index

Monday, 20 October 2014

Siem Reap, Cambodia - Blossom Training Cafe

One thing I love about Cambodia is how so many NGOs are involved in food, training up under privileged Cambodians to give them a better shot in life. I love the idea of not just throwing money at people and making them dependent, but rather providing them with their independence through learning and experience.

Blossom Training Cafe topped the Tripadvisor rankings of Siem Reap during our visit so after a late breakfast/lunch at Cafe Central, we walked over to Blossom for some cupcakes. I had seen the pictures and they looked beautiful and I was craving some chocolate so we had to!

The location is lovely and bright and airy.


And there are HUGE numbers of cupcakes that are so prettily decorated. So cute! Love love love the little toppings.




Saturday, 18 October 2014

Siem Reap, Cambodia - Haven Training Restaurant

Whilst TripAdvisor isn't always reliable, we do tend to check out the top rated restaurants and check whether they have many bad reviews, and read those reviews. If they seem like spoiled brats then we give them a chance! We have a particular fondness for owners who answer the reviews! Any way, Haven was number 2 in Siem Reap when we were there so we had to give it a go. They had very little availability so we took the only slot we were given in a couple of days from the day we booked. The menu is a mix of Cambodian, Western and Fusion food and overall we enjoyed it.


Thursday, 16 October 2014

Mig.me meet up - new social platform for Singapore #migupSG

Hey all. As you might know, I am quite "social-minded" in various different ways! So when mig.me asked me to come on board as an invited blogger, I was up to the challenge of figuring out yet another social media channel. And this one takes some figuring out but once you get into it, it is quite addictive. Let me take you back to the #migupSG - the first meeting with other invited bloggers.

Unfortunately I was running a little late.... work gets in the way on occasion, I was with some colleagues. I rushed on over to the mig.me HQ in Penninsular Plaza, weaving through the gold shops, the Burmese food, past the famous running shoes place (ask for Jeremy) and upstairs. I ventured out of the lift as spotted a cartoon character, but no name. I turned around the corner - dead end. I walked back into a large open space where what seemed to be an operation debrief was occurring. I didn't want to get in trouble with the scary military man who could probably snap my neck with his bare hands and I behaved, sat down in a corner, watched and listened.

I was confused, very confused. The debrief was about a kidnapping and following rescue of a Taiwanese auntie. You can imagine my confusion right? Where had I ended up? Why was I watching a video with explosions and guns and buff men in uniform? I wasn't complaining about that last bit but will a bit lost.

After a while when I had ascertained that the man who could easily end my days wasn't giving me evil looks, I imagined I could look around a bit more. I started spotting that people were wearing name tags starting with "@" so I started to believe maybe I wasn't surrounded by the minister of defence and staff. I then started to see these cartoon characters all around.


The Taiwanese Auntie is rescued and suddenly pizza and Coke is appearing in front me whilst they plan getting her out of the county and back home safely. I don't think they drink Coke and eat Pizza Hut when they debrief on your average hostage rescue right?

Finally Auntie is back home, and we (well, I, as the others hadn't missed the intro!) find out that the military man is actually mig.me's founder! OK, not what I was expecting!

Next we received some updates from the mig.me team about upcoming enhancements to the mig.me platform and then it was time to mingle. I met some really nice people and whilst I am still a bit confused about how mig.me works, it is quite entertaining and you get to chat with people from all sorts of places around the world (it is huge in the Middle East, Nepal, Indonesia etc) and there are constant contests and giveaways going on. You can post like on Facebook and Twitter but also have chat rooms and send gifts (instead of advertising, it is funded by people buying gift tokens).

Go sign up now and check out mig.me and let me know what you think :) And keep me posted if you figure it out ;-)  Here is my page http://mig.me/u/mylifeinsin

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Siem Reap, Cambodia - Chanrey Tree for fancy Khmer food

Before we go anywhere on holiday, I tend to do research on food. I am obsessed with food, I admit it. We polled colleagues who had been to Siem Reap and one recommended Chanrey Tree saying he went twice during his trip. And when I spoke to @gran_tourismo on Twitter, Lara also listed Chanrey Tree as one of her unmissable restaurants in Siem Reap. So we had to go, of course we did. And I am glad we did, they made what might be my favourite dish of my trip to Siem Reap!




Tuesday, 14 October 2014

AltPizza - a nice alternative for creative pizza in Singapore

I owe @AdamFlinter an apology. He recommended AltPizza and I didn't immediately believe him as I am super picky about my pizza and I hadn't heard much about this AltPizza place yet. So I didn't try it out even though they had a 1 for 1 deal going on. I started being more interested when I saw that
@MadamTans and @desireekoh13 liked AltPizza too, I had to head on over there with the husband in tow and give it a try. And I am glad we did trust Adma, Shen and Desiree.

My usual collage:


Monday, 13 October 2014

"Wingle" (Wine+Mingle) @ Praelum by Wine Family

Paul from Wine Family (www.wine-family.com) kindly invited me (and the husband) to try out his new concept of the "Wingle" which is a contraction of Wine and Mingle. The main concept is that you go for food, paired with different wines and each course you change table and mingle with new people. It was a fun evening and we met some lovely people, had some interesting conversations, come great wine and food. So all in all - a successful evening! Read on for more info about the Wine Family Wingle.

On arrival you are given your menu with the different courses, the wine they will be paired with, and the table number you are on for that course.


We were welcomed to Praelum Restaurant on Duxton with a glass of sparkling wine, a Cremant de Loire, Clos de Quarterons paired with tortilla chips and salsa. I chatted to a few other ladies, some from Honeycombers, another magazine, and a fellow blogger I had met the week before at the Saha Signature Indian tasting session (we have been back since and still yummy!).

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