An online diary of someone who tends to forget easily.

Life in SG: Food

If there is one word that I can use to describe the food in Singapore that would be 'HEALTHY'. Yes, correct, the food are mostly healthy. 

A lot of food stalls or canteen-like stores which are popularly known as HAWKERS can be found all around Singapore. Since most of the people here are too busy at work that they don't have time to cook as they get home, they have Hawkers where they can go and have their favorite meal with friends, colleagues, families, etc. There are stores that offers Western Food such as fried chicken, fries, etc. Food chains such as KFC, McDonalds, Burger King, PizzaHut, etc. can also be found here. Most of the stores offers Asian Food such as Thai, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Malaysian, Indonesian, and even Indian food.

At first I don't have any idea what the food taste like until I have tried them. If you're thinking that most of the food includes noodles you are not mistaken. Most of them offers noodles cooked in varieties. 

To be honest the food does not look so appetizing, it does not taste so good, but it is definitely healthy as it contains many vegetables and different spices and ingredients which are all beneficially good for our body. 

I'm not also good at remembering the names of the food that we always order. Hehe! Most of the time I just point at them or tell them which meal number or food number I want to order so I won't confuse the order taker. Here, you need to use simple and direct English to make things easier to understand. 

For example, if you are buying food but you want to take it home so you can eat there, you can say '1 tapaw or takeaway' and then point at the food you want. But if it's store displays photos with numbers and name of each food, then you can just say '1 number 3' and better yet you can mention the name. '1 number 3 Char Siew Rice', something like that. There are instances that even if you said the number correctly they will end up giving you the food that you did not choose to order. In some hawker stores you'll need to choose 1 meat and 1 veggie combo meal. 

Aside from 'Hawkers' that can be found almost anywhere especially near HDB houses, they also have 'Kopitiam' which is similar to hawkers only that these are usually found at the mall which means it's slightly more expensive to eat here especially because it's air conditioned and it's located at the mall.

My fave food so far are the ffg: 
KOREAN - Saba Fish meal set, Chicken/Beef meal set, Bulgogi, and many more except Bibimbob because it's so spicy and I think I've had enough of it when we're still in PH haha!

THAI - sweet and spicy chicken wings and meatballs

INDONESIAN - I looooove the grilled/barbequed chicken and their grilled stingray fish, each meal is served with coleslaw salad and fried tofu as side dishes.. 

JAPANESE - the ramen they serve here tastes good but its expensive so its not really my favorite. Haha! I like buying different kinds of sushi though in Cold Storage! Hah!

CHINESE - Chicken rice but I prefer to order Pork rice, pork rib noodle soup (our favorite breakfast every Sunday morning after jogging! taste like 'bachoy' or 'mami' food in PH.. well I love the meals they serve especially with veggies.. sorry can't remember the names.. they all taste good but be careful for those which can be so spicy especially Indian food. 

INDIAN/MALAY - I'm not sure if it is Indian food or Malay but I also like the food in 'Nasi Padang' store! I usually order beef, tofu, shrimp with veggies, etc.

FILIPINO - since we miss our food in PH we usually go to Orchard (a place in Singapore where you can find Lucky Plaza a place filled with Filipinos) so we can eat Filipino food like sinigang, lumpiang shanghai, kare-kare, and many more. Sadly most of the hawkers here does not serve Filipino food, I don't know why.

Oh and another thing that you need to know, the meals being served in hawkers here does not include drinks. You'll need to buy separately for your drink. There is usually one stall where it solely serves drinks and desserts where you can buy or you can wait for 'uncle' (an old man) who is often walking around asking the people what drinks to order and once he gave your drinks that's the time you need to pay. I usually order 'barley', 'teh si' (hot milk tea), or 'teh si ping' (iced milk tea).

Milk Tea is very popular here. It's like it's the country's most famous drink! Hah! Be it a bubble tea, hot milk tea, classic milk tea, flavored milk tea, they all have it here. They all taste so good. I love milk tea but I don't like chewing tons of black pearls! I don't know maybe because I'm just too lazy to chew, I just want to savor the sweetness of the tea. Hah!

The price range for food starts from S$3 and above and that does not include drinks yet. You can get a meal in a hawker for S$3 but if you're going to eat in Kopitiam expect it to be more expensive. There are also food courts inside the malls where you can eat which is again more expensive than the price that you'll need to pay if you're eating in a hawker.

The food that they serve in Hawkers, Kopitiam, and Food Courts are almost exactly the same. There's slightly difference in the price and variety plus the environment of course.

Oh I almost forgot, you might also see elders walking around the hawker, kopitiam, or food court looking for people who are done eating and approaching their table to get the dirty plates, glass, etc and place them on a section for cleaning.. it's normal. Sometimes they wait for you to finish your meal and asks you to confirm you're really done eating so they can clean the table. Why? So when you leave, they won't need to rush to clean it for the next people who will use the table. And maybe they find themselves productive whenever they clean a lot of tables.

Sometimes I pity them because at their age they should just stay at home, relax, spend time with their family and enjoy the best of their life.. but instead they need to wake up early or go home late because they need to work and earn money for themselves or their families. I guess they have their own reasons, but if I'm their daughter I'd want them to just stay at home to relax and enjoy being old. 

I'm sure you can get more information about the food in SG by asking Google. This is all I can share for now. I also think it's better to just try the food for yourself and experience it instead of me telling you what to eat, right?

Stay tuned for more information about my observation while 'temporarily' living in Singapore.

Here are some of the photos I took when we are just starting to live our new life here in SG. Food-shots! 

My favorite Red Bean Bun bread. Best eaten when it's freshly baked!

Ice kachang (dessert), bandung drink (don't like), and bibimbob

Variety of meat, fish, veggies, with soup meals

Spicy Noodles, RBB bread, and Barley ( I asked for mineral water and I got this sweet drink that I love)

Forgot the name but it's like turo-turo

Choose a number from varieties of desserts being served at the hawker

Looks like PH's Halo-Halo right?

Hotdog sandwich, fries, and iced milo after a quite long walk

Milk Tea!!!!

Egg Tarts

Meat and Veggies from Hawker

Pork something.. forgot the name.. XD

Noodle soup (don't remember the exact name)

Noodles galore!

Noodles in hot pot.. healthy.. tasty seafood noodle soup..

Some meals are often served with free soup

Ice Kachang (not a fan but Gyun Wo is)


Forgot the name -_-

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Life in SG: Language

Language Used: English and Mandarin

Most of the people can read, write, and communicate in English. Some calls it as Sing-lish (Singaporean-English?) because of how they deliver it. They have a suffix lah/loh/leh/lor I don't know which is the correct spelling but it is pronounced as 'la'. For example, if someone is answering a question, he will answer like, 'no LAH', 'of course LAH', 'forgot it LAH'. 

Sometimes people speak Mandarin when talking to us, I don't know if Gyun Wo and I look Chinese or Singaporean. Once they started talking Mandarin and we answered back 'Sorry?' then they'll know and they will start to speak English. There are also times when we will ask someone in English but he will answer in Filipino/Tagalog, our language! Hah!

When we are new here it's quite difficult to communicate with their native people because of their pronunciation. Well actually until now sometimes I don't get what they're saying, I always need to ask them to repeat it. I remember when I ordered for drinks. I just thought of buying a bottle of water to make it simpler since I don't know what drinks do they serve. I asked Auntie to give me one bottle of mineral water and she kept on saying something I don't understand. -_- In the end, I just said 'Yes' while nodding and waited on what she will give me. When she's done, she gave me a glass of something that looks like 'buko juice'. I laughed when I told Gyun Wo about my conversation with Auntie. But when I tried the drink, oh men, it tasted sooo good. It's a bit sweet and refreshing drink. Later on I found out that it is called Barley drink. Since then, it became one of my favorite drinks. Barley.

Some speaks little English so you have to speak simple words and don't complicate things when you start to notice that your conversation is starting to confuse you. Hehe! But admirably, most of the people speaks good English. Sometimes people who are better in English will help you communicate with people if they noticed that you're having a hard time understanding. 

People also can't pronounce letters like 'R' and 'L' properly. But what's important is they can speak in English. It will be sooo hard if they can only use Mandarin for communicating, right? 

As for me, I only know few words that I learned here such as 'TAPAW' or 'TAKEAWAY' which means 'TAKE-OUT' when buying meal. 'AIYOO' is an expression which is similar to Korean's 'AIGOO', and Philippines' 'AY NAKU'. Hmm.. what else.. can't remember anymore.. aiyoo.. haha! Gyun Wo usually does all the talking and sometimes I can also see him smiling while asking what the person mean.. in short, he's also having a hard time sometimes. 

Ah by the way, if for Koreans middle-age or a bit old lady is known as Ajumma, in Singapore it is 'Auntie'. For male in Korea it is Ajusshi, in SG it is 'Uncle'. 

Oh, izzit?: “That’s interesting.” / “Oh, is that true?” / "Really?"
So how?: “So what do we do now?”
Alamak!: A general expression of dismay or incredulity. 
Can can!: “Yes, definitely.”
Auntie / Uncle: A respectful form of an address for an older man / woman, respectively. 
Can/Cannot: Equivalent to Yes/No
Tapaw: also known as Takeaway = Take Out..
Having here? / Eat here? - Dine in
Aiyoo = OMG
Sorry = this is sometimes use instead of Excuse Me when passing by a crowded place
Actually = most of the times people start their sentence with this word

You can try to ask Google for more Singlish words and phrases that you might hear once you are here in SG. 

Well, I guess that's it for the Language. I will write more later if I'm in the mood.. if not, I'll find time to share more with you. :>

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Life in SG: Essentials..

What you need to know before going somewhere far from home...
1) Country's Rules (Dos and Donts)
2) Accommodation
3) Transportation
4) Food
5) People
6) Language

You also need to check more details about the following:
7) Job Hunting
8) Work Pass
9) Work Ethics

Other information you need to know if you're into job hunting...
10) Visit Pass validity
11) E-extend (1 month extension)
12) Exit techniques

Sooner or later I will try to share my experiences for the items listed above..

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Life in SG: 1 Year

July 1 marks our first year here in SG. I can't believe how time flies so fast that it's already been a year since we set foot in this country with a goal that we tried so hard to achieve. I'm just so happy and proud with everything that we chose to do and everything that we were able to do. 

I can still remember how we planned everything before going here. As what I have mentioned in my previous post, it is important to be well informed and prepared before going anywhere far from home and especially if you're staying for a long period of time. Anyway, so last year, same date, July 1 is our flight from PH to SG. I remember that it is supposed to be an early morning flight but because of 4 hours delay we had to wait inside the airport. Going to the airport I was not with my parents because we agreed that I'll just go with Gyun Wo's family, maybe to avoid crying too much or what hehe! So there, from the gasoline station (our meeting place) I bid my parents good bye by hugging and kissing them.

At the airport someone helped us to check-in our luggage, and told us the process from check-in to boarding, etc. After a while his parents left as well and we were left in DMIA. We took pictures, ate sandwich for breakfast, and waited. I forgot what we've talked about while waiting, I just remember being scared, a bit nervous, excited, sad, etc. Hehe! I tried to distract myself by watching a movie with Gyun Wo.. so I won't cry. 

After hours of waiting we headed to our boarding gate and went inside our plane. It's our first time to ride a plane so I was excited during take off.. it's like riding a roller coaster but not so scary like RC! It's a 4-hour flight so we tried to take a nap but I was not able to do that haha! After 4 hours we've reached Singapore. The queue for passport stamping in the immigration is quite long I don't know if it's because July is the month when a lot of tourists come to SG or what. When our passports were stamped with 30 days of stay, we headed to the baggage counter to get our luggage.

When we got our luggage we went out to look for our former colleagues who promised that they'll fetch us from the airport. We looked around and few minutes later, we found 'Toy'. We took the free shuttle from Changi airport to somewhere I forgot. Before going to SG Gyun Wo was able to find a place where we can stay for a month or two so that's where we headed next. When we reached the MRT station, we bought EZLink card, a card that you have to use when taking bus and trains. You'll need to load it so you can use it. 

 When we found the house where we will be staying for months we placed our luggage there and went out with our friends. We had dinner with 'Toy'. 'Rye' was not able to join our dinner because he needs to go somewhere else but he's with us when we are looking for the house where we rent a room in Hougang. When we're done eating, Toy also left and then we went back to our new home.

The next thing we did is to unpack our things, organize them, took a shower, and then I can't remember what else we did, Hah! I don't also remember if I cried that night, well, maybe I did. We are both close to our families and getting SMS from them telling us how much they miss us already is enough to make us feel homesick that very day. Being a crybaby, I cried many times when I miss them, but as time go by, we learned to get used to it and just focus on the happy side instead of being sad which is not healthy for all of us.

So, that's it. That's our first day in SG. I know I've already blogged some of our experiences before when we are still new here. But since it's our anniversary, I want to blog it again. Haha!

That's how our adventure started...

I'll try to write more about our life in SG soon.. stay tuned. :>

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