Tuesday, 17 November 2015

medical insurance the singapore way

The powers that be recently launched a medical insurance scheme for all Singaporeans.  they deliberated this for a few years and finally came up with a plan which would benefit every Singaporean.....

My older son lives in Canada now and while he has Permanent Residence status in Canada, he is still a citizen in Singapore and he too will have to contribute to this Medishield Life scheme.
I open all his official mail that comes to the flat as these things have to dealt with, so  his letter from Medishield Life says he doesnt' have enough money in his Medisave account (Medisave is our compulsory savings for medical emergencies, a portion of our salary is taken away to be put into our central provident fund and it gets split into the medisave, ordinary and  special accounts, our government really looks after us)

anyway..... as the son doesn't have enough money in his Medisave account, a family member can top up the account and he will be able to pay the premiums.... what if he doesn't want this as he is paying medical insurance in Canada as well.... well its compulsory, its a benefit for all Singaporeans, but what happens if he doesn't pay.  see the screen shot from the websites.......

One question on the FAQ's page was " will I be arrested if I am unable to pay my premiums -
the answer......

  • You will not be arrested if you are unable to pay for your MediShield Life premiums. Various forms of support are available to help with the payment of your MediShield Life premiums.
    However if an insured person is informed that he is restricted from leaving the country until his MediShield Life premiums are paid, but still tries to leave the country, he will be arrested

  • so actually you will be arrested if you don't pay.....

    Another wonderful day in the life of living in Singapore.....

    Thursday, 5 November 2015

    Making an impact

    It was with mixed feelings that I left my job, I was getting used to the work and the people, and of course I hated leaving the people I was responsible for.  

    Some people come along and touch your life and make an impact, and you know they will always feature somewhere in your life.  I never thought I made an impact in their life and it did give me food for thought when I received an interns home made card.

    Me as wonder woman..... and she wrote 
    " I feel very fortunate to have met you during my internship at GPJ.  You are undoubtedly one of the smartest and feistiest ladies I know! I really admire & respect your strong personality & independent approach to life.  Thank you for being a great friend and such a fun person to talk to.
    I will miss our conversations, but I wish you all the best for the future and whatever you decide to do next.
    Keep kicking butt" 
    There were other cards and presents and it all touched me deeply.  Life is a journey isn't it.... We meet people that affect us in so many ways and in turn we affect others.  I have seen myself through this young girls eyes and it has made me think about who I am and knowing that I made an impact in someone's life makes it kind of worth it...

    Wednesday, 28 October 2015

    Best thing I ever did

    I was up early on saturday for my 40 min flight to Kuala Lumpur and  I noticed several people sporting tshirts that told me they too were on their way to Sepang to watch the race.

    Once we landed at Kuala Lumpur I overheard a man asking for directions to the shuttle buses that took people to the race circuit,and later on I met the same man down by the exits and I struck up a conversation with him.  Luca, the Italian worked and lived in Singapore and this was his first visit to the Sepang Race circuit, just like me....

    So Luca and I hung out together during the weekend.  I realised I should have taken a picture with him but oh well....

    Nothing describes the noise of the engines as they go roaring past the stands, you can feel it in your bones and the noise stays in your head long after you have left the circuit.

    the stands were overcrowded, as this race was
    Vale waving to his fans at the Rossi Grandstand
    promising to be a cracker as Valentino Rossi had started a verbal war with Marc Marquez which  translated to dog fights on the track ..... it did however push Vale to make a mistake in judgement and Marquez crashed out of the race because of it.  exciting and controversial...

    As an event organiser I couldnt stop myself looking around to see  how things could have been done better....and man I was gritting my teeth at the obvious lack of organisation.... the shuttle buses location, the pick up points, the lack of manpower to direct human traffic, the total disregard to human safety, fire regulations and the overcrowding of stands and busses, the lack of water and food at the stalls..... I could go on. But somehow all of that didnt spoil my mood and even when I was being shoved in front of the shuttle bus as the crowd surged to try and get on it....I still didnt lose my cool but calmly moved out of the crowd and walked to the other point where I knew my bus would be.  Even when I realised I was in the wrong line (it was the line to buy tickets for the return shuttles) I still didnt get impatient at the lack of signs or that I had lost 10 minutes in the wrong queue...

    as a life expereince, it ranks up there as one of the top three things I have ever done, the first two
    Valentino Rossi
    being having my two babies... and I am already looking forward to next year...

    Tuesday, 20 October 2015

    excited...4 sleeps to go

    so the Motogp has been building up to be one cracker of a season.

    Valentino Rossi, 9 times champion and at 36 years old is the old man on the track, has been at the top of the championship points table for some time now.... and with 2 races left to go, his closest rival is 11 points behind him.

    Excerpt from the Motogp website -

    Mathematically Rossi could claim the title in Malaysia if he is third or higher and Lorenzo is unable to score. Even if this scenario does not occur, Rossi can finish second in the remaining two rounds and still secure his tenth world title.

    The next race is at Sepang, Malaysia, and I am finally going to be at the circuit to watch a race, live.
    I usually like to watch the race on TV as you get the whole view of the race not just when they go whizzing past your seat.  I probably wont get to see all the action as the Sepang track doesnt have enough large screens for spectators to watch the whole race but its the atmosphere and the noise and just being physically there.

    As usual I like to plan things.....so I start stressing about location, hotel, getting there, exits and taxi ranks and food and everything under the sun....must be the event planner in me. I have poured over the map of the circuit several times over the last few days, getting my bearings....The fact that I am going there alone and doing this on my own has got everyone worried,  and people, it is not helping me when you keep asking me if I will be safe and will I get unwanted attention from strange men.....
    I have travelled alone and I have lived in Malaysia and I do  beleive that I am observant and aware enough of my surroundings to anticipate any trouble.  of course Murphy can rear his ugly head and  "what can go wrong will go wrong" will be top most in my head, and that should keep me on my toes.

    I am excited...I just cant fucking wait to get on the plane on Saturday morning and spend my weekend with like minded people to watch the MotoGP live and feel the noise of the machines reverberate right through me...

    Friday, 9 October 2015

    me myself and I.... and simone

    Simone:  You are fucking crazy and you bloody know it

    Me: why!! why am I crazy?

    Simone: Because he will hurt you again and again and agian

    Me: I know that...of course I bloody know that

    Simone:  Then why, why do you want him back?

    Me:  Sometimes you give me too much credit..... like you think I have a fucking clue...

    Simone:  Which is why I think you are crazy

    Me:  thats not the same, me being crazy has nothing to do with  having a clue or not

    Simone:  You are crazy, You let P get away

    Me: No I am not crazy, P wants the passion and I cant give him that while I am still crazy about A

    Simone:  see I told you, you were crazy

    Me: Oh for fucks sake

    thats how the conversations go in my head.....
    ** simone is the voice in my head**

    Thursday, 17 September 2015

    weighing on my mind....

    So recently I have been extremely strict with what I put into my mouth.... food wise that is

    As I need to watch my gluten intake, I decided to limit my carbs as well....eating less is so much easier than exercising.
    I have been a very good girl these past four weeks and I think I have achieved my target of losing 3 kilos, however I have this fear somewhere in the pit of my stomach that the weighing scale is faulty.

    I cannot believe that  the change from 63 to 60 kilos happened within a week......

    While I want to believe,  that stupid voice in my head says " are you fucking mad...of course the machine is faulty"
    so son no 2 and I had a discussion this morning
    Yes, son and I are paranoid about putting on too much weight and we weigh ourselves every morning...but we do eat healthy regular meals and chocolate is part of it...

    Stay tuned to find out if the machine was fucked up or I actually have lost more weight......

    Wednesday, 16 September 2015

    Decision made

    So I made my decision.....where work is concerned

    I gave in my notice last week and I start my new job on the 1st of November.

    I wont have any time off in between jobs but then I will be taking the whole of december off and will be in London to nurse/look after/feed my sister, who will be having foot reconstruction surgery on her left foot.

    Its less money, but I will be working a 4 day week, time to slow down and take time to do things for me, myself and I.

    I had to go back in my mind and figure out why I left the old company in the first place....ego, my ego was rather large and formidable.  Am happy to say it has been tamed and told to behave.  I have no illusions of grandeur anymore, no wish to advance my career, I just want to slow down and be able to travel and take time off to see and do the things I want to do before I get too old and doddery.

    its semi retirement, handing over the reins to the son, so he will have to dig into his pockets and actually start contributing to the household bills....

    Another new chapter.....

    Tuesday, 1 September 2015

    flip a life coin

    I have never been good at choices

    I screwed up my whole life by making all the wrong choices, or letting people make the choices for me.....well in a way I  made the choice to let them make the choices so in some crazy way,  I made the bad choices....if that makes sense?


    One would think that as I age I would get better at this.... but nope, I am still making bad choices...

    I work in a very volatile industry and market conditions  dictate the budgets that companies spend on events...if they don't spend, we don't get work. With so much happening in China, the rest of Asia will feel the impact which translates to a slowing economy. How will this affect me and my choices, I was offered a job recently, to go back to a company I worked for from 2001 to 2010.
    so knowing there might be a slow down looming, is it wise to move?

    Lets call the company I am in now...Company A
    stay where I am and enjoy the 'protection' of a company that is a global player - even though I feel like I am swimming in shark infested waters.....and with a slowing down in the economy is my job safe here?

    Lets call the Old place...Company B
    go back to the old company that doesnt have the global shield, but still works very much like a local company, hence employee benefits suck..work a 4 day week for less money and where I know the work and still like alot of people there. Again if the economy slowed and work dried up,will they fire me...last in first out....

    Company B have been talking to me for about 4 weeks and things moved pretty quickly at first,  then when it was time for them to send me a contract, they dragged their feet and it pissed me off.....It takes 5 mins to  change a few things on a contract template.   If I had not sent a message to them to say thank you but no thanks as no contract, I wonder if I would have got the contract....

    I was almost certain that I would leave Company A for B, but their procrastination gave me food for thought. If they still couldn't  get their act together, to send me a template contract, did I really want to go back?  Am I worrying too much?

    what is a woman to do....flip a coin?

    Tuesday, 25 August 2015

    Howling at the moon

    Things have been a  bit up and down lately.

    Getting  older isnt much fun,thinking about retirement, creaking bones, wrinkles, singlehood and white hair......
    There are days I want to find an open field ( impossible in our crowded city), lie down and just stare at the sky and when darkness falls, sit up and howl at the moon.

    Then there are days when I relish singlehood, being alone and the wrinkles and the white hair.....

    Must be the meds...........

    Tuesday, 4 August 2015

    On my way to Sepang..or the end of procrastination

    Procrastination is my middle name

    I will sit back and let life take over and rarely do the things I want to do.  I figure that if I wait long enough the window of opportunity will expire and then I can just say, "oh well too late..."

    I am tired of procrastinating.  I want to stop procrastinating......that should have been one of my new years resolutions...I wonder if its too late to add on a resolution.....anyway

    I have always wanted to go to Sepang to watch a MotoGP race, but I hesitated because I didnt want to go on my own.  I recently realised that I have to do this on my own.
    If I want to go and see the world, see and do the things I want to do, I have to do it on my own.

    So this year I will be going to Sepang.....on my own.  I have got my one day leave approved, bought and paid for the tickets to the races, the flight to Kuala Lumpur and a hotel.
    and I am excited.  Come October 24th, I will be in Sepang to finally watch a race live!

    Heres to the end of procrastination..... I hope

    Friday, 17 July 2015

    Adventures of living with my adult son

    I am not a girly girl, I am a sensible straight up woman who sometimes does have visions (nightmares) of pink and lace bedrooms and pretty things......then I wake up and sigh with relief.

    I still have an adult son living with me, it's Asia, kids stay with parents till parents kick them out, which rarely happens....or till they find a spouse that won't tolerate living with the in laws.
    I have no such luck...no woman will want to marry that dolt still living with me, and my hints of him moving out fall on deaf ears.

    So being a sensible woman I am not fazed by a tall hairy man wandering around in his underwear all around the flat, we even have conversations in the kitchen, with him in his skivvies, he is after all my little baby.  Big hairy baby now.
    He doesn't pick up after him self, he leaves his folded laundry on the coffee table, just where I left it a week ago. Yes, I still do his laundry.... And I can go on about him....

    He works almost 7 days a week at times,  for the sports council here, and this week is no different, yet he will still go out drinking with his friends who work the usual 5 day week, and on days like today (a public holiday) while everyone can sleep in after partying hard the night before, this little shit of mine has to work. As he is shitfaced, he usually is late.....
    It's slightly different today though.

    He stumbles out of his room at 9am, I watch him head to my room,

    Me: oi! Where u going?
    Him: hmmrmmmphmmm

    Is he going to use my bathroom? What's wrong with his?
    20 mins later I thought I'd better check if he had fallen asleep in my toilet.....and I found this, the idiot asleep in my bed!  Worse part he drools .......will have to wash my sheets now.....

    Tuesday, 14 July 2015


    I am lying in bed typing this post on my iPad while my tummy churns, cramps and leaves me exhausted because of the pain.....yet I feel guilty about not being at work.

    It's a common trait handed down by mothers to daughters especially if you are Indian....
    Or maybe it's just me?

    Could it be linked to the control thing? right now I am not in control of my body and how it is making me feel, I can't leave my bed, or bedroom as the toilet is a hop skip and a jump away, or in my case, a mad scramble to get to the loo in time.
    But I feel guilty that I am not at work, doing my job. It's a horrible feeling.  I know I can't make it to work today, and I know it's ridiculous to feel this way, yet I can't help myself.

    Some how somewhere this guilt complex stays within me making me feel like a failure when I get sick.....
    Another twist in my already twisted life.....

    Monday, 29 June 2015

    the beach getaway

    When Singaporeans need to get away for a  bit we either got to Bali, Phuket or to a couple of islands close by,  Batam or Bintan.  2 friends and I decided to find an island to get away from work  and we found this little treasure further afield.  An island that was a 1.5 hours  motorized boat ride away from Batam.

    The resort is built like the fishermens village on stilts in the sea, its rustic and there are no shops or entertainment on the island. Its just the resort.
    I was apprehensive about the boat ride as  I cant swim so water terrifies me, especially on a big open expanse of water. sitting in a ferry isnt so bad, but when we went to the little boat, I felt my stomach tighten and while I am not a religious woman, I did  say a little prayer while getting on the boat.


    Hot sticky and full  of sea spray, we arrived in the middle of the afternoon at Telunas Beach Resort.

    There was running water, electricity from a generator a nice balcony, comfortable beds and towels.
    my deck chair under the tree
    You could see the sea under the floorboards of the room.

    The beach had white soft sand and about a million baby crabs which we duly chased each morning.  The water however was not so clear, which was a disappointment.

    As this is the only resort on the island, the whole package included the 3 meals.  They had this lobby/cafe where we had all our meals.The food wasnt  anything to write home about but it was plentiful and filled our stomachs.

    army of baby crabs

    We ate, slept, sat on the beach and lazed around all day. We terrorised hermit crabs, took pictures, had wine after dinner and played cards.
    baby crabs
    It was relaxing, quiet and fun, Not a television in sight..... although some people had brought their ipads with them loaded with movies and kids programs

    This place is not for the city person who wants a  shop till you drop type of holiday, its a place to go to when you want to recharge, relax and to reconnect with yourself.
    And we definitely achieved that.

    hammocks by the beach
    hermit crab in a snail shell, one of the poor ones we terrorised

    Tuesday, 16 June 2015

    another twist in the tuscany tale

    So I may not be able to do Tuscany this year after all

    Last year,  my sister who lives in London, had an operation to reconstruct her right foot, and once she had healed fully, she was supposed to do her left foot.  Its been a year and she is going to see her surgeon tomorrow to find out if she will have the operation this year in October or November, or to wait a bit more till next year.

    My sister has her partner to help her but this is round the clock care and she needs someone to cook and serve her meals, help her with everything, throughout the whole day.  I helped her last year for 2 weeks ( which wasnt enough) and I promised her I would go help her again when she did the left foot.

    As I dont have enough leave to have a holiday and to play mum and nurse to my sister, I will have to wait and see what the surgeon says before I make any holiday plans.

    kind of sweet really, no not her operation, but the fact that the decision has been sort of made for me.....

    till tomorrow then.....

    Friday, 12 June 2015

    to tuscany I go ....or not

    So I had grand plans to go to Tuscany for a walking tour this September.,however the walk that I was interested in didn't have a group walk scheduled for September.

    There was the option to go for a private walk where it was just me and the guide but that would cost me the equivalent of a third word country's economic deficit... well slight exaggeration but you get the drift..
    There was a scheduled walk for the end of October but that would clash with the dates of the MotoGP in Sepang, Malaysia, which I intend to go for.

    The whole idea for this walk in Tuscany was to get out to explore the Tuscan countryside and small towns, with my trusty camera. While I was in Tuscany in September, I planned to catch the MotoGP in Misano which is about a few hours drive away from Florence.

    Rossi in action
    It would have been sweet to catch Valentino Rossi (my favourite rider in the GP)  in Misano.  Rossi is one of the veterans in the MotoGP but is doing exceptionally well this  season, and to catch him at his home race would be an ultimate " I can die happy now " experience.

    So now I have to decide what I want to do.

    A. Go to Tuscany anyway this September and just explore Florence and another city and watch Rossi at Misano and do Sepang as well.


    B.  Forget Tuscany this year and just catch Rossi at the Sepang Race, and do the Tuscany walk next year and catch Rossi next season at Misano.

    Making decisions have never been one of my strengths...I procrastinate to the point where its too late to do anything and then just think... oh well.

    I also am a little apprehensive as I will be doing it all alone.
    Not afraid of being alone just worried about rapists,murderers, robbers and pickpockets and those sorts of things.
    I should put on my big girl face and just go and explore the world by myself as waiting for the perfect time when I can get someone to go with me, will probably never happen...

    so lets see if I make it to Tuscany this year.....

    Monday, 8 June 2015

    challenging indeed...

    Challenging......he said our next walk would be challenging....

    We did 12 kms off road, and some on road but mostly sandy rocky paths and oh MY GOD there were slopes and stairs to climb. it certainly pushed me to my limits.

    Map of MacRitchie
    We met at 7.30am at MacRitchie Reservoir Park for our walk around the reservoir.   Its a beautiful water catchment area, a little bit of a green lung in the middle of our built up skyscraper of a city.  There are monkeys, monitor lizards, snakes (I didn't stumble over any, thank god..) and a variety of birds....but I saw none of that as I was concentrating on my footing on the rocky paths, and trying to avoid all the traffic...
    traffic ?? you say....yes traffic.
    There were so may runners on the narrow paths that  avoiding them took full concentration.

    We even managed to get to the tree top walk by 9am, I did not however take advantage of the view....something about being scared of heights that kept me from looking out to enjoy the wonder of being up there with the tree tops.

    It was extremely humid and hot and both of us were exhausted by the time we reached the cafe for a much needed round of nourishment.

    no I didnt take this pic...too scared to let go of the sides
    It is a magnificent walk to do.  Even with the annoying number of fit people that you have to avoid on the trails, it was a beautiful way to start the weekend.

    I didnt get to do a walk this weekend  past and P is going away soon which will leave me to get on with my own planning and training...

    lets see how that goes!

    In case you want to see some pictures I took on another occasion I was at the Reservoir - see my flickr account

    Thursday, 28 May 2015

    what a difference a herb makes....

    I loathe taking any types of medication.

    When I was little and there was no inhalers for my asthma, I had to take a few pills every day and most of the time I used to hide it under the cushions in the kitchen.  I didnt get better of course, but at least they werent sticking in my throat....

    As I get older and the body starts to fall apart, I have realised that some pills I dont have a choice but to take, and some I actually have chosen to take ( like the natural estrogen supplements)

    I  have to take my thyroid meds first thing in the morning,and thats one small little pill, then after breakfast I take one vitamin D pill and 2 pills that are a herbal estrogen supplement to help me stay calm, cool and collected, to make sure I dont become the  crazy snarling bitch that sweats intermittently.

    7 dwarfs all in one 
    When the manufacturers of the herbal estrogen supplement changed some of the ingredients, I found that the mood swings and hot flashes were becoming detrimental to my health and everyone else within arms length of me....
    I was crying for no apparent reason, I couldnt sleep as the hot flashes kept me awake at night and well....I was just one miserable cow.

    So I ordered some additional  herbal supplements (Black Kohosh) that were lacking in the pills I already had, to help with the mood swings and the hot flashes.
    Its been three days and my general mood has taken a whole new dimension......I am a different person, I feel more alert and positive and happy.  The hot flashes are getting better as well.

    Is it possible for the supplements to take effect so quickly?  The way I am feeling...I think yes it can.
    Possible side effects?
    There are side effects though, but as I am only going to be taking the black kohosh supplement for a month I guess the risks would be minimal....right?  After a month I am changing to a different natural estrogen supplement that would include all the herbs I need.

    Even with side effects ( like a slight woozy headache in the morning) and the fact that I now have to pop a total of 5 pills, I am thrilled that the black kohosh has made a difference to my general well being.

    Men have it so much easier, no periods, no giving birth, no hormone imbalance,  no menopause..... bastards...

    Tuesday, 26 May 2015

    relatively fit indeed.....

    So on Sunday morning I was up early and out of the house before 7am to meet with P to start my 'training"

    P had planned a walk starting from the National Stadium (which is now our Sports Hub and a brilliant place to meet and exercise..) down by the Kallang River, up to the Marina Barrage area and past Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay sands, and back again.  Its a scenic, flat area to walk and its about 11 kms if you do the full circle, which we did.

    When P said it would take us about 2 to 2.5 hours to do the round,  I didnt think I would be able to do it.  I surprised myself though, and because P set a slow pace that I could manage, it turned out to be a very pleasant Sunday morning walk.  We kept a decent pace and finished the 11 kms in 2 hours and a bit.  We stopped at one point for a short breather (purely for me as P runs marathons for goodness sake and he definitely was not showing any signs of being tired..) , and for me to adjust my shoes.  The promise of a hot coffee and breakfast at the end of the line also made up for any tiredness I was feeling.

    I am quite proud of myself for completing it and there is no way I would have done it without having P there with me.   So P has been promoted to Personal trainer and this coming weekend we are going to try something a little more challenging....

    Now that I am getting into the swing of this walking thing, I may need to go buy some new exercise gear......

    Friday, 22 May 2015

    save my soul wanderlust

    Every so often I get itchy feet.

    Or rather my soul feels restless and I have this urge to leave everything and everyone behind.

    Its been awhile since I had a holiday and by holiday I mean a few weeks of traveling and being on my own to explore.  Yes,  that costs money, and a good boss who will let me take off for 3 weeks. Money wise, I usually set aside a few thousand every year for house improvements, and I figure this year  that money can go into my "save my soul" budget. The boss... well fingers crossed my leave gets approved...

    I have booked a short beach getaway in June with a couple of the girls and that will help to restore some balance..... but its not enough.  

    San Gimignano
    I have wanted to do Tuscany for  some time now and I found a few companies that offer walking tours through the Tuscan towns and hills.  It will allow me the opportunity to wander and take pictures, visit old monasteries, walk medieval streets and if I plan it right, be in Tuscany for the MotoGP in September.

    Its a 7 day walking tour through towns like Sienna, San Gimignano, and I can end up in Florence where I intend to spend a few days gawking at renaissance art.

    I am relatively fit (apart from the asthma) but walking a few miles each day is something that will require some preparation.
    So this Sunday morning I will start my 'training' with P ( sweet man that he is, has volunteered to help me with my training) and we begin with a 5 to 6 mile walk on a flat surface....

    I may have to do this on my own but if anyone out there wants to join me for a soul cleansing walk through history.... leave a comment.

    Wednesday, 20 May 2015

    red dawn

    its been hot

    and I have been taking pictures of the rising sun this past week as when its a red dawn you know  its going to be a hot day...
    This morning....6.30am