An online diary of someone who tends to forget easily.

Life in SG: First Haircut

In this post I will write about my experience about my first haircut in SG. Well, at first I'm not really rushing into getting it cut because I still love my waves but whenever I look in the mirror I feel sad when I see how dry and damage it looks like even if I've already had a Keratin Hair Treatment in the Philippines last April. It doesn't look healthy. It's color becomes too bright. It's dry. It's ugly. It's long. Then seeing it's condition, I decided to browse great salons here. I want a salon that does not cost much but the quality of service is close to superb. Know what I mean? Hah! Anyway, I started browsing, googling on different haircuts that will look good on me and a cut that will hide my chubby cheeks. Haha! I also checked on different salons here.

Gyun Wo suggested to try Kobayashi salon in Orchard Far East Plaza. He once been there and he is satisfied with the service so he decided that he will always go there for his monthly haircut.I've read great reviews about the salon so I agreed that it's a good choice. Salon - checked.

Next, haircut. Which oooooooooone???! I've downloaded a lot of photos from Google and check them one by one. Haircuts such as bob, layered bob, pixie cut, medium layered cut, medium shaggy, until I saw a photo of my fave actress in The Vampire Diaries TV series. Candice Accola. I checked on her hairstyles and found one that really caught my attention. So, yeah, there, haircut - checked.

August 8. Our monthsary. It's a holiday here in SG. We decided to go out and get our hair cut in Kobayashi salon! I forgot what time we arrived in the salon but I remember waiting for quite some time. As we approached the salon, we were told to wait and served green tea. Stylist for Gyun Wo arrived after few minutes of waiting and he started chopping his hair after GW instructed what hairstyle he wants to have. Then a pretty and tall girl approached me and started talking Chinese! I said Sorry and she's surprised because she thought I'm Chinese. She told me to wait for a while since she needs to blow dry the hair of another customer. I said it's fine and then she left. So.. I waited.. and waited.. and waited. I've checked on the 3 magazines given to me. I've tweeted and checked on the tweets of my friends. I checked on Facebook. I waited for like I don't know the exact time but it was quite longer than I expected.

After the long wait she came to me and talked about some things I can't recall. I showed her the photo of Candice with the hairstyle I want to have. Then after the chitchat we went to the section where I was asked to lie down and then she started washing my hair. We talked about quite a lot of things like me hating hairstyles that emphasize my chubby face, she thought we were tourists, she thought we were Chinese, she said my eye lashes are long, and then she offered me the special Shampoo and Conditioner from Japan especially made for Damaged Hair like mine. I agreed to use it on my hair which will cost an additional $10 on my bill. She washed and massaged my head. It felt good and relaxing. I had fun talking to her though sometimes I don't understand so I just nod and laugh but in my mind I was like ('What??? Oookaaay.. Whatever. You're nice so I'll just laugh.)

When she's done washing my hair and massaging my head, she gave me a poster where she pointed the shampoo and conditioner that she used for my hair. After a while she started cutting my long wet waves. At first she cut it in a not so short length and asked me if I like it, I told her 'shorter' which means cut it shorter. And she did. Then she showed me again and asked if that's fine and I said 'yes' while nodding. So she continued cutting. 

Then after the cutting part she started drying and styling it. When Gyun Wo's done he told me he will go first to walk around the mall and then paid for our bill. So, she continues to style my hair and I noticed that she tried to do the hairstyle of Candice in the photo I showed her. After a few minutes it's done! The result? Mmm.. at first I thought I look older than I actually am! Haha! But I smiled at her, nodded, and thanked her. I went to the reception and asked if my bill is paid to confirm Gyun Wo paid the correct amount since he might not know the additional fee for the shampoo and conditioner. The man confirmed GW paid already and then he gave me his business card and so is the stylist who did my haircut. Haircut for women costs $38, for men it's $28.

After leaving the salonI directly went to the washroom to check how is it. I look at myself, my hair, and I realized I love it. It looks great! I'm happy! Hah! Then I called GW to know where he went while waiting for me. When he saw me he told me the cut looks good on me so that made me even happier. His cut is short too and it made him look younger than me. -_- Hah!

So there, that's my experience for my first haircut in SG. By the way, my stylist is Vivian. She is known to be one of the best stylist in Kobayashi salon in Orchard. She is always being requested by customers and I'm happy she's the one who did my hair. She's friendly, bubbly, and pretty. Oh and she's TALL! Hah! If I'd be asked to rate my experience, salon, and stylist in Kobayashi I'd give it a 5 out of 5. I'd definitely go there again next time. 

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Life in SG: Transportation

In this post I will share about Transportation. I find it very difficult to explain because there's just so many things I want to share about this topic. I mean, I have to admit that I'm not good when it comes to directions so this is really one of the things that I worry when we started living here. In the PH it's easy since I just go to places near our house or office, and sometimes I'm with my friends or family to help me in case I don't know the place right? But here? It's like I have to depend on myself. Gyun Wo is with me but he is not always by my side as he needs to do things for himself, right? So that really scared me. So let's start.

It is often said that getting around Singapore is a breeze. There is no traffic unlike in PH. Almost all of the vehicle owners and drivers are disciplined enough that they follow the traffic rules. If the light turns orange/yellow, then they will slow down, if it's red, they will stop, and if it's green, they will go. It's as simple as that. It's fast, convenient, and safe.

Here in SG when it comes to Transportation you have 3 options - taxi, bus, and train.

1) Taxi - We only take a cab either because we are really late and the bus or train is taking so long to arrive, or because it's too late that we missed the last trip for both. Otherwise, we usually take bus and train. The starting fare is $S2-3. I can't share much about this because we don't usually take cabs unless we have no choice. You can pay by cash or ezlink card or nets. You can Google the terminologies for more information.

2) Bus - My favorite especially if I get to sit in a comfortable spot. There are different types of buses with different numbers that go to different routes. 
Bus Stop - check the bus stop name and number, there are also bulletin boards that are always in each bus stop with the bus numbers and the bus stops that they pass by. For example: Bus Stop Name: Blk 953, Bus Nos. that pass by on the stop: 70, 70M, 103, 854, etc., For each of this bus number the bus stops they pass by are also listed. 

Taking a bus. If you are taking the next bus, it's better to stretch your hand and make sure the driver sees it before he even approach the stop where you are waiting. Drivers are known as bus captains If you know how to call a pedicab or tricycle driver or taxi, it's similar when calling the attention of a bus captain. Once it stopped, get in and tap in using ezlink card. (EZLINK Card - a prepaid card that you need when it comes to taking buses, trains, or even taxis. You can usually buy this on all MRT stations.)

Inside the bus. Most of the buses and trains have these reserved seats for pregnant women, elders, disabled, and those that are with kids. If you see these seats better avoid sitting on them. I usually sit at the back if there's available seats. If you're using Google Maps, well you better use it, so you'll know how many bus stops will it take before you'll reach your destination. Gyun Wo and I used to count the bus stops and sometimes we still do that. Hehe. Or better if you sit near the window where you can easily see the name for each bus stop as you enjoy your ride. 

Getting Off. When it's time to get off, when you're quite near to your target bus stop you will need to press the STOP button that you can see on all poles inside the bus. Or if you see the BUS STOPPING label at the top near the mirror of the bus captain, if the label becomes RED or lit then it means someone already pressed the STOP so you don't need to press again. Tap out using ezlink card. Do not forget to tap in and tap out. If you don't tap in then it means you did not pay your ride. You can't tap out because you did not tap in. But if you did tap in and forget to tap out, well the fare for the last destination of the bus will be charged in your card. By the way, you need to get in the bus on the entrance door which is usually the one near the bus captain, and the exit door is usually located at the back.

3) Train - If you want the fastest way to get somewhere then take the train. Hah! MRT has yellow/circle line, purple line, green line, and red line. You might want to check the latest MRT Map of Singapore if you want to know more about the colored lines I'm talking about. I always have this MRT Map photo on my phone because to be honest until now I don't memorize the whole map. Hah! So yeah, you will really need this to be saved in your phone. 

Entrance/Exit. You will need to ask Google about it. These are usually near bus stops and malls. You just have to be observant to things and places around you. To find your way inside the mrt station you have to read the signs and observe where people are going. Once you found your way in, use your ezlink to tap in and wait for your train. There are a lot of signs and sometimes they might look complicated or confusing but they are not. You just need to relax, read, and think. There are also MRT maps inside the station and staff that you can approach in case you don't know what to do. Hah!

There are usually monitors that shows when will it arrive. Once the train arrived get in and get off in the right stop. Tap out and get out the station in your target exit.

Aside from Google Maps you can also check which can be of big help when you're getting around SG and you're alone. It will tell you which exit to take in order to get to your destination. Google Maps is great when checking if you're walking in the right direction or if you're near or far from your target bus stop as it lists the bus stops that you will pass by as you ride the indicated bus number. On the other hand, will help you which exit to take and its more easy to understand but not so detailed I guess.

By the way, it's also important to make sure that you have at least S$5 in your ezlink card before tapping in when you're taking trains. There are general ticketing machine inside the mrt station where you can 'top up' which means add value to your ezlink card. There are instructions how to do it so you don't need to worry. 

If you're like me who is not so good when it comes to balance, make sure that you hold onto the poles as you ride buses and trains. If you cannot find one then position your feet in a way that you won't stumble as the ride becomes bumpy. Not sure what term to use but there. Hah!

Once you're done with buses and trains and you're on your way to finding the building or mall or place you want to visit, use Google Maps and if it's not helping, it's better to ASK. Sometimes it's also important to analyze the direction being suggested by Google Maps because you can't always rely on it. There's this one time that it suggested to walk around in order to get to our target destination when we can do a shortcut which is better.

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Life in SG: People

Here's a late blog post.. I wrote this last Monday and it's only now that I get a chance to post it so here it is..

It's a rainy cold Monday morning and I feel so sleepy because of the drowsiness side effect of my new eye drop for anti-glaucoma. Anyway, since I'm not yet so busy with my work today I decided to write something about our life here in SG. Today it will be about the people in SG. So, let's start.

Singaporeans, Chinese, Malaysians, Indians, Filipinos, Americans, and British are just some of the people that you'll see in Sinagpore. You can easily identify if someone is Chinese, American, or Indian but distinguishing someone who is Asian is quite difficult for me. Some Malaysians look Filipinos, some Chinese looks Malaysians.

There are some places where these group of people usually stay in Singapore.. People from Sri Lanka can be usually seen in a Mall in City Hall which is called Peninzula Plaza where we went before to purchase a ticket that I can use for my exit strategy. There is also Little India here where you can see a lot of Indians. Farrer Park is where you can also find Indians and some Americans. There is also Chinatown where you can find a lot of Chinese. Now if you want to look for a place where Filipinos like me usually go for malling or buying Filipino goods then you have to go to Orchard especially the Lucky Plaza mall.

If you don't have any idea about this country you might think that its citizens or the people known as Singaporeans/S'poreans are all chinese..but nah.. you're wrong.Singapore citizens can be Chinese, Malay, and/or Indian, or combination of some races. You can ask Google for more details about this one if you want to know about it.

Enough of the races, let me share with you my observation about the people here. As you enter a bus or a train notice how people of all ages around you. I'm sure that you'll notice that they have something in common..a gadget. You can see they are all busy listening to songs, watching videos, playing games, or talking to someone using their mobile phones, tablets, etc. You can often see different color, brand, style of earphones and headsets on different people.

Aside from the people being techie I can also describe them as fashionable people. The way they dress is just sooooo lovely. From babies to grannies, oh my gosh, they all look so cute. Different people with different fashion styles, it's just so inspiring. Haha! I can see people wearing skirts, knit shirts, dresses, etc. Most of them are on Korean Fashion Style be it a woman, man, or even elders. I've also seen people with different hair colors - pink, green, purple, orange, blonde, etc.. some looks good on it and some are just.. oh well, as long as you're confident and comfortable with anything that you wear I guess that's fine.

By the way, unlike in some countries when you wear a certain outfit that is far from normal some would normally give you stares as if you did something very wrong, right? But here, most of the time they don't care what you wear. They are used to seeing girls wearing skirts, dresses, etc. But even so, for me.. I think it is important to make sure you still look pretty decent.

I forgot when was it exactly, but one night the uncle near our unit called me and then went in their house to get something, he gave me a box and told me the post man is looking for me that afternoon but since I'm at work he get it for me. I did not expect that he will do that because I'm used to getting my packages from the post office in the mall near us. I like online shopping but since we are usually in the office, many times the deliveries failed and I end up getting them in SingPost of Hougang Mall. But this time I don't have to do that because uncle get it for me. So nice. I was so happy. I said my thank you as I get the box.

Btw, unlike in other countries, in SG you cannot see a lot of security guards or police at the mall or anywhere. Usually they're all around you but you won't know them because they are dressed as civilians. You can see them wearing uniform only during special occasions or in the police station. Cool right?

At work sometimes when they have a box of cupcakes they usually walk around sharing it with the people they've worked with and even to those they haven't spoken with. Their English skills are great as well though sometimes when talking to some people I can't understand what they say and I often find myself asking them to repeat it.. maybe it's because of their accent and pronunciation. But they are mostly nice.

People here are health conscious. I often see them running around every night. Teenagers, young adults, adults, elder people usually do exercise. Elders usually do this every morning and young adults/teenagers can only exercise every night after school or work hours. They also like to eat healthy food and drinks. They all look skinny and healthy. 

They like traveling. Being a citizen of a first world country there are just numerous of advantages that you can avail when you can. Most of them loves traveling to different countries especially in Australia. They love traveling.. I guess that says it all.

Some people here can be so impatient sometimes, some can be rude, etc.. you just have to experience it yourself to know what I'm trying to say and how you can deal with it I heard stories from some friends telling me that some of their colleagues are working for their own benefit, asking help from others but claiming that they did it all by their selves, etc. 

Hmm.. I think that's all I can share for this post. I don't know what else to write about them. If you happen to visit SG notice the people around you, the way they look, talk, interact, etc. You might have different opinions about them compared to what I just shared in this post. Just remember to always be nice and respectful. 

Here are some additional about Singaporean characteristics found in this website

Personality: Outgoing only with friends, nit-picky, can be hardworking and business-like, formal, like to LAN gaming, humble, but can be a show-off for those who are rich.

Favourite hangout: Orchard Road, Bugis Junction, Toa Payoh central, City Harvest, JCube, Zouk, Sentosa, VivoCity

Popular jobs: Give tuition, SAF regular, entertainment industry, modelling, blogshop owner, engineering, MediaCorp, SPH, advertising, banking, SingPost, food reviewer, freelance photographer

Pay range: Depend on kind of jobs acquired but between $500 to $25,000 per month.

Niche skills: Speak Singlish, use fake ang moh accent when speaking with Caucasians regardless whether Caucasians are from Russia, France or England. And like to bargain hard in Bangkok.

Bad habit: Like to pretend to sleep while sitting on reserved seat on the train, STOMP others, like to take MC, play with smartphone, enjoy sex scandals in the media, too quiet at times, overly attached to smartphone/ tablet, like to say KNNBCCB.

Women are portrayed to be materialistic and career-driven. But in reality, a lot of them would rather marry a rich man. And own a blogshop.

Men are thought to be underwhelming and not aggressive enough when pursuing their women. Not able to take initiative and can be too soft-spoken. Short penis.

Favourite past time: Watch Running Man, shop at ASOS, sing karaoke, BBQ, go chalet, shopping, eating, visit underage prostitute (some only), go church, go supper, drink alcohol, watch EPL.

Social integration: Clique-ish, but okay as tend to talk only in mainland Singlish but can communicate well in English with others, unless called upon to give presentation in boardroom. Needs to brush up on Mandarin. Generally more talkative with ang mohs, due to colonial hangover.

Citizenship: Many Singaporeans like hassle-free travelling benefits associated with their Singaporean passport but they always end up going to Bangkok, Hong Kong and Perth. Many thought of applying for citizenship in Australia, New Zealand and United States. But not enough drive to actually fill up the form and emigrate.

Latest bugbear: The rich like to hoard property. Those can drive like to illegal parking. Go hawker centre eat already don’t want to clear plate.

P.S. I don't own the photos I included in this blog post.

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