Little Korea

23 January 2011

The surrounding area of my work place is full with Korean stores and restaurant. I have been craving for  Korean food for such a long time ever since I started watching Korean series years ago. Series like Bread, Love and Dream and Sik Gaek further increased my curiosity towards Korean food. However, I am fussy about the halal-ness of whatever I send into my stomach. Like I have always told my friends; "I may be fat but I am fat with halal food only". Some of my friends' policy are that if they are sure that it is halal then it's OK even when there is no halal sign at the restaurant or if there is liquor sold in the place. Not so for me. For I have to really determine beyond the fact that there is a halal sticker in front of the restaurant. 
I really believe that if Muslim themselves are not particular and very educated about the concept of halal then what more people of different faith. Before I start anything to do with the title of the post, I think it is important to let people know what is halal to me. 
Halal means using meat that has been slaughtered in the name of Allah (loosely called in Islamic manner) and cooked using ingredients that does not contain any liquor (it means ANY, not 1% or even 0.00001% and alcohol is not liquor don't you people learn science?) and does not use any ingredients containing elements of haram (antonym of halal) animals such as pig (pork, bacon, ham, swine, or whatever name you deign to give it), dog (since some people eat dogs so I figure just put it here) and animals that supposed to be halal but haram because it was not slaughtered in the name of Allah. Look here for more specific details. 
The haram elements may still be there in the food if the people in the restaurant used the same pots, pans, cooking utensils, plates, glasses etc that had previously been used with haram foods or drinks (of course there are more detailed explanation to this but I am putting it briefly).This is why I tried my best to avoid eating at the so-called halal restaurant which serve liquor to customers. I believe that if it is readily available; there is no reason why it will not be available inside the food that I am going to eat there. Suppose here is a new chef and he loved to put liqour in the food and he doesn't get it why it should not be included in foods to be served to Muslim customer?
Then there is also the element of cleanliness that is related to the concept of halal such as using the cooking utensils and cutleries previously used for dog food (i.e pet dogs used it to eat, or pet swine etc), and also sitting at tables and chairs previously occupied by dogs and pig. Muslim CAN touched dogs when its dry but they must afterwards washed all the parts that had come in contact with the dog in a specific manner (three part water and one part mud). Therefore I avoided places that allows pet dogs and pigs in. Plus there is chance that their fur or saliva might fly into my food and thereafter making it haram for consumption.
I know that sometimes all this requirements are thought to be fussy or inconveniently sensitive. But lets be fair, everybody can eat halal food but not everyone can eat non-halal food, so whats wrong if we make it halal? A  more academic argument would be that this is just something people had to be sensitive  with considering different faiths and all. I myself observed the fact that  my Hindu friends cannot eat  beef (cow) or that European generally love to consume liquors. 
So let us be in topic now. I finally found this restaurant called Pak Z Kopitiam   in Ampang selling halal Korean food. they massively advertised that they are halal. I  inquired in full details and the Korean manager convinced me that everything is halal. I became convinced when I was informed that the restaurant belongs to a Malaysian Muslim.
For three weeks I have been having most of my dinners in this restaurant because I want to try all Korean food in its menu. This is what I had:

Kimchi Water


chicken porridge
I had eaten many other menus but I didn't upload the pictures. My final result would be, I like it because it has unique taste. I learned that they eat kimchi with almost anything. It was a good experience. 
Except after three weeks I probably wont come again because two days ago I saw two customers brought a dog and it happily pranced on the sofa that I loved to sit and eat. Seeing that the owner and manager is not sensitive like that I had decided to ban the restaurant. But I know some people don't mind it, but not me. Plus this is MY country and here, even non-halal food does not allow pets in their restaurant therefore I find it an offence to my sensitivity when a hugely advertised halal restaurant allows pets inside. Plus I had eaten most of the menus (although I am quite sad that I wont be eating some other that I want to try). Plus I had so many other choice.
Okay, let us move on. I also love shopping in a shop known as Living Life in the area as it sold all household items at reasonable price. By now you definitely had a good idea of my  definition of reasonable price but I repeat: it means price that correspond with quality and cheap. Since I had just moved into the rented room here (almost four months) I had to slowly acquire things that will help my accommodation suitable for me. This is some of the early things that I had bought in Living Life:

Riorox: RM2.50 (my biggest hit)
RM5 deodorizer for home (another big hit)
cute sturdy box for my clothes

I have been a regular patron since a few months ago and now all my household items (in rented room and mostly in my real house) comes from Living Life. I think my place had somehow looked like a Korean place in a way. haha. I have been buying gifts, utensils, mirrors, face mask, house cleaning items, well basically everything including toothbrush here.
I had lost faith in the items sold at regular store around my place because for a difference of RM1 or RM2 the quality is totally mediocre compared to whatever I bought in Living Life. Most of the times the price in Living Life equals that of our regular store for better quality and sometimes even way cheaper.
In Living Life I totally feel the real Korean culture that I always saw in the movie where they greet their customer politely and smiled even when I didn't buy anything. I love the way they said welcome and thank you whenever I came in or out. I particularly love it when they used to said it in Korean but since I am now a regular they usually greet me in English and sometimes excitedly practice their Malay with me (but because I really love it when they said in Korean I had to let them know that, and it was received with a bewildered look. haha).

Travelogue Singapore

03 January 2011

So, I am currently in my Eureka mode where I have finally in the mood to write in full details about my Singapore holiday or as I would prefer to call it, my budget trip ever. The reason I am writing this is to share my expenses information and holiday experience to help more people go on a holiday and help in making any holiday a reality. For people who care too much for comfort and does not care much for the actual experience of seeing new things then perhaps this post is not for you.
My preparation to go to Singapore on a budget holiday began on 3 March 2010 when I booked and paid for a room online in Tune Hotel at Danga Bay, Johor Bahru. When I was booking the room I just called the first person that comes to my mind whom I think will not have any objection to go to Singapore with me. True enough, Liza agreed and I don’t have to ask anyone else as I do not believe in group holiday.
The price for the room is cheap as I had purchased it during promotion at a total of RM127.48 from 25 December until 27 December for a room with two single beds including two return bus ticket from Tune Hotel to Resort World Sentosa. We split the total amount equally and paid RM63.74 each.
We agreed on those dates as 25th is Christmas holiday and it’s on Friday. We do not have to obtain any leave for those dates at all.
We planned to save RM100 each month from March until December. I had to say we didn’t succeed much in that area. Haha.
During the Big Bad Wolf Warehouse sale in South City Plaza near my house, I bought a 2007 edition of AA Citypack Guide & Foldout Map of Singapore for RM5 which was sold at RM39.90 in MPH. It is a bit outdated but regardless of that I have been reading that guide and map ever since and is very excited to go to Singapore. Plus we had to stick to our budget holiday theme right? Little that I know that this travel book is my biggest helper during my actual time in Singapore. It is actually the best RM5 I have ever spent.
I had never gone out overseas to anywhere since I was nine years old. So I had to make myself a passport. On 3 December 2010, after my long call, I went to Pusat Bandar Damansara for the passport accompanied by my ever helpful friend Najlaa. After the usual hassle dealing with Government agencies I manage to be processed within the same day and had to collect the passport on the 4th December. I made myself a two years passport for RM100.
During the whole period between March until December we were on the lookout for the best transportation to go to Danga Bay. Finally, we decided on Nice executive coach and I booked the ticket online on 6 December 2010. The price is reasonable at RM119.20 per person for return ticket Kuala Lumpur – Terminal Kotaraya 2.
The total expenses so far for me are RM287.94 and we have covered accommodation, guide and map, passport, transport KL-JB and transport Tune-Singapore.
After we had sort those out, I begin to think that a mere one day and a half is not enough to experience Singapore. If we start traveling KL-JB on 25th then we will spend the entire 25th on the road and upon arrival at Tune we will have spent almost half of the day. That left us only the whole of 26th for our trip to Singapore as we will be checking out on 27th. We were considering entering Universal Studio on 26th hence the bus ticket straight to Resort World Sentosa. If we were lucky enough to get tickets into the Universal Studio then we will be spending the entire day there without me having seen the country at all.
As you all probably noticed, I didn’t root for Universal Studio ticket much as I had checked online that the tickets had been sold out due to Christmas and school holiday. I know that we must buy it earlier but because I do not own a credit card and is not planning to own one, I didn’t purchase it online. I thought about borrowing credit card from family and friends but I didn’t think it’s worth the trouble.
So the solution for the above predicament is, to extend our holiday by one more day from 27th to 28th. We don’t want to do this at first because we don’t know where we will be working in the future and if we are in different office then it will probably be difficult for one of us to obtain leave at all at our early stage of working in a new place. Turns out we are still working in the same firm. To extend our holiday, I merely had to book another day at Tune Hotels website at their ordinary price. So on 18 December I purchased another night in Danga Bay i.e. 27th until 28th. Even though there is no more promotion for rooms; we were lucky enough to book during promotion for bus ticket from Tune Hotel to Marina Bay Sands hotel. Therefore, I booked the same type of room as before including one return ticket from Tune Hotel to Marina Bay Sands. I bought only one ticket as the promotion said we will get another one free ticket upon checking in. The total price for this is RM86.43 which again we split equally.
The total expenses for me so far are RM331.155.
On 25th December 2010 we began our journey to JB. We had a very uncomfortable situation with Nice executive coach as the coach that actually arrived to take us to JB is an old bus without any movie equipment as promised. The only movie being played is on the main TV at the front of the bus and since no headphone is provided I didn’t bother to watch the Linx movie that was being played over and over again.  Liza and I had written and submit our complaints to Nice on the same day. Luckily I brought The Road by Cormac McCarthy and enjoy reading it during the journey. I do not know what is the situation with other coach company is but I am seriously considering other companies for my next trip. This is because I have relied heavily on their promise that the coach to JB is the Nice++ coach which had TV set in front of each passenger seat including headphone, with three different movies and the seat is bigger than the usual Nice coach. I was trying to get the most out of my money and this situation had annoyed me. I did consider filing a claim in Consumer Claim Tribunal though but thinking about the further expenses that will have to be incurred I put that thought away for the time being.
Now, obviously we cannot expect everything to run smoothly no matter how hard we tried especially when dealing with Malaysian. Let us move on to our journey.
Upon boarding the coach we had asked the bus driver to drop us off at Bandar Baru Uda before Kotaraya 2 as it is nearer to Tune Hotel. After about five hours we arrived in Bandar Baru Uda and took a cab from there to Tune Hotel for around RM5. I wasn’t hungry as we are provided with water, tea, sandwich and muffin from Delifrance in the coach.
In Tune Hotel we proceed to check in. There is a likelihood that we won’t get the same room for our additional booking on 27th however we managed to get the same room and are not required to check out and check in again. The counter for Compass and Odyssey i.e. the bus company that will be taking us to Sentosa and Marina Bay is in the Tune Hotel so after checking in we proceed to organize our trip. The map played a big part from here onwards as based on it we get to decide what time and which day we are going to Sentosa and what time and which day to Marina.

me on the first day in our room in Tune Hotel
For your information, there are only two bus companies available in Tune Hotel, Danga Bay that are taking people into Singapore. I don’t know if there are other companies in JB but for convenience sake I am sticking to these companies as the ticket can be booked when I am booking the room. Compass coach takes people to Marina Bay Sands Hotel while Odyssey coach takes people to Sentosa Resort World. There are only these two locations you can use as your terminal. Both Compass and Odyssey counters are managed by the same people. The return tickets can be bought separately from the hotel at about RM25 per person.
We decided to go to Marina on 26th as it is nearer to Geylang and Singapore Expo. We also considered the issue of paying extra money for Universal Studio in case we decided to go in on 26th. The usual rate is $66 but on peak days it is $78. We have checked and the rate for 26th is $78. We tried to obtain our tickets from Raj; a Malaysian travel agent that had advertised his phone number in Tune Hotel for 27th but he only had tickets for 26th and he is selling that for $80 with an attitude. So we decided to use both days for shopping and sightseeing. I was okay with going or not going into Universal Studio as I had never gone into Singapore before. Therefore, anything is a new experience for me. Liza went to Singapore quite regularly so it hurt her a little bit that we are not getting into Universal Studio. However, we are quite comforted by the information by the person at Compass counter that we cannot enjoy much even we did get in as there are only two of us. I’ll remember to bring more people in case I decided to go into the Universal Studio next time.
For dinner we planned to go out and eat JB food but due to heavy rain we decided to just order Dominos Pizza online from free internet facility in Tune Hotel. We ordered set of two regular pizzas and had our dinner and saved some of it until breakfast. Quite cheap considering our breakfast is covered.
For 26th we had booked Compass coach to Marina Bay Sands Hotel at 7.15am and returning at 11.30pm. The coach was pretty punctual by Malaysian standard as we had departed on 7.30 am. Upon arrival in Marina Bay Sands Hotel I am amazed by the size of the place and there were so many people from all over Asia. We didn’t waste much time getting out of there to go to Singapore Expo. The reason why we are going to Singapore Expo is because of the Metro Sale that is happening there at that time. I don’t know what I will see there but I am looking forward to it.
We board a bus and paid $1 to go to Marina Bay MRT Station. It was just 1-2 minutes away from Marina Bay Sands Hotel. When the bus stopped we didn’t think that we had arrived but the bus driver signaled us to alight. Well, actually he had to signal many times because we didn’t notice that he is waiting for us to alight. It was funny but it is my first experience of Singapore professionalism. What a great thing to start my trip in Singapore.
on the coach to Marina Bay Sands Hotel on 26th.

Annoyingly waited in line as the officer at the immigration seem to be taking his own sweet time in processing us

I am annoyed too but still too excited to get into Singapore

my first bus ride in Singapore (Marina Bay Sands Hotel to Marina Bay MRT)

very excited

Marina Bay Sands Hotel
At the Marina Bay MRT station we bought Ez-link card for our convenience boarding the MRT and busses for about $15. This card is much like our Touch N Go card.
Since Marina Bay station is on the North East Line we change MRT at Raffles Place to East West Line to proceed to Expo station. It is almost impossible to mistakenly board an MRT to any direction and got lost as all directions are posted everywhere and clearly. Plus, we had our map which includes MRT map. Plus, they had those blinking lights that turn red for the next station. I don’t know how many minutes had passed since we board the MRT in Marina Bay but I am enjoying the ride of public transport as never before. If I am a Singaporean, I don’t mind not having a car for the rest of my life. People simply do not push each other and most people do not sit at reserved seats. They also move inwards the moment they board the train and waited until people went out to board the train.

the blinking lights in the train
We arrived in Singapore Expo at around 10.00am. We proceed to Hall 5 but found out that the Metro Expo Sale will only start at 11am. We had early lunch at the food court there while waiting for the sale to start and I like the taste of briyani here than in Mustafa or Arab Street.  Apart from Metro Expo Sale there was also IT Fair at Hall 6 and Wedding and Halal food fair in Hall 4. I went and quickly explore IT Fair while waiting for the Metro Expo Sale. Each hall is huge and you could spend hours looking at things in each hall. We spent 3 hours exploring the Metro Expo Sale when it’s finally open. This is what I bought:
A box of Nougat as a souvenir for my family $11
A hooded purple vest which I wore on the next day $19.90 (original price around $50)
A Salizer belt to replace my old one $6.90
A pair of white shoes made in Dubai for my sister’s school shoes $12.90
Paul & Joe Moisturizing Mist Brume Hydratante $15
Paul & Joe Protective Dual Powder Foundation UV (refill) $19
Stella McCartney EDT Sheer 100ml $50
The sale is nothing like the warehouse sale in Malaysia where they mostly sell near expiry date products or defective items. The oldest items found in this sale were manufactured in 2009. Plus there are gazillion things you can see in one place. It is like going to one whole shopping mall in Malaysia at one floor where you can see everything. I also bought Electrolux EDI100 Neo Series Dry Iron for $13.90 in the IT Fair which was sold for at least RM48 in Malaysia. I have been looking for a good basic iron below RM50 for a few months already for my apartment as the one in my apartment now reside in my rented room in Ampang. Then we had our tea break at Halal food fair where we bought Epok-epok and chendol for a total of less than $10 which we split equally.  After our jamak prayer in the Singapor Expo we continue our journey to Geylang to buy fabric to be paired with lace that my friend Baby had bought for me in Bandung for me to be her bridesmaid (now I still cannot figure out why anybody want a big bridesmaid).

new technology. 'fan' with no blades

Metro Expo Sale

Guerlain @ Metro Expo Sale

CK @ Metro Expo Sale

Britney Spears & Stella McCartney @ Metro Expo Sale

Morgan and others @ Metro Expo Sale

Paul & Joe @ Metro Expo Sale

GAP @ Metro Expo Sale

@Halal Food fair, Singapore Expo Hall 4

@Halal Food Fair
This time our journey wasn’t that smooth. We had decided beforehand that we should just return from Expo station and alight at 7 stations later in Kallang on the same East West Line because based on the map Kallang station is the nearest to Geylang. But Liza had talked to a Singaporean and was (mis)informed that Geylang is near Toa Payoh station which is on North East Line, one MRT interchange and 16 stations later. I did query on why we should go to Toa Payoh as it is located far away from Geylang based on the map but trusting Liza’s instinct who had went a few times to Geylang and the local’s information we went anyway. True enough we got lost. I was quite angry because getting lost means costing time, energy and money. Perhaps I am easily annoyed because I am already tired due to heavy shopping the whole day and the fact that I had taken every precaution not to get lost. I am sure Liza was frustrated too. However, since I am on a mission to get the fabric thing solved by that day I couldn’t help showing my anger by talking less and body language. We got no choice but to turn back to Kallang. Upon arrival in Kallang, Liza could’nt remember the exact name of the place that we are going and I am blaming myself for relying on one person’s experience. I should have just researched everything from A-Z about Singapore and not rely on just one person since I already had my map and know what I want to do in Singapore. I should have known better that asking people on direction is a futile thing (based on my experience finding law firms and other agencies as a chambering student). It is mainly research that had got us from KL to JB, JB to Singapore, and Marina Bay Sands Hotel to Singapore Expo without getting lost at all.
And so I asked the people at Kallang station counter about the place where people sell cloth material. Luckily the lady understood my question and told me to go to Joo Chiat Plaza. She also told me to take which bus and told me to just stay in that bus until we arrive. However, after a few minutes in the bus Liza became more uncertain about the area which in turn made me anxious. I started to politely asked people in the bus but everybody either don’t know or refused to answer. Finally I asked Liza if she either know the place or not know it. She said she don’t know and I immediately told her that I am off the bus. I wanted to be sure of our direction first before we blindly go the wrong way. I asked one girl on the name of the bus stop where we were standing. She told me its Sims Ville. From that info I studied the map and after some time figured our exact location on the map i.e on Sims Avenue. I saw that Geylang Road is the main road beside Sims Avenue and we had to walk one block further to get on the Geylang Road. Liza figured something to that effect by asking a guy. The whole time I am reading a map she was busy asking people and the busses that came by.
Upon reaching Geylang road Liza probably had a rough area where we’re going and I just keep at following her until we reach an unknown MRT station. From there I figured we must be close to our destination and told Liza that we should take a cab. She agreed but she said we cannot stop a cab at this station. I just keep hailing for a cab and in a few seconds there was a cab stopping because someone wanted to alight at our station. Well, it’s like Malaysia after all. Liza told the cab driver where we want to go and luckily he knows where we want to go. Apparently it was very near but I still am glad that we took the cab. My mood improves as we reached our destination and was even better when we happily shop for fabric. I bought 2.5m lining for $10, 2.5m brocade for $30 and 5m black and white fabric for $27 for my court attire.
The total money spent for shopping in Singapore so far is $230.90 and I have bought so many things already and have been hauling all those things the whole time since we leave Singapore Expo. I didn’t know I can get this much stuff with that amount of money. If I had known I shall be prepared with a backpack or my luggage.
Kah Soon Textile Boss

Kah Soon Textile, Joo Chiat Plaza

Another KS Textile Boss

inside Malabar Mosque at Women prayer area
We finished shopping in Kah Soon Textiles in Joo Chiat Plaza around 6.45pm. We wanted to have our dinner in at a restaurant in front of Sultan mosque in Arab Street. Liza had asked Kah Soon Textiles people on the direction and I double check with her on the map while waiting the bus. By this time we were happily talking again. Hehe. I cautioned Liza that we are looking for Sultan Mosque and not Khadijah Mosque. Who would have thought there is another mosque known as Malabar Mosque which captured Liza’s eyes. The name of the mosque cannot be seen from our street as it is about two blocks away. Liza was pretty sure that that was the mosque we were looking for. Well, of course when we are right in front of it that was not Sultan mosque. The actual mosque is on the street where we first alight. There are two taxi drivers who were waiting for Maghrib prayers. I asked if they would like to send us to the restaurant as I am at the end of my energy already. They told us to wait until Maghrib. Liza wanted to walk but I told her that we might as well pray here. I prayed jamak and Liza did her Maghrib there in Malabar mosque. Well there is some good to it as there is toilet in the mosque with water. What a relief as opposed to tissue papered toilet all over the place in the country.
After the prayer we took one of the cabs to the Sultan Mosque and I saw that the restaurant is directly in front of the mosque. We could have stayed in the bus and alight right in front of the mosque. But I guess it’s just impossible to come to a new place with zero expectation on getting lost. Nevertheless I am seriously considering buying an android phone where I can GPS my every movement the next time I am going oversea and make that zero lost expectation a reality. To me, getting lost is not the way to sightseeing (especially on the third time). Getting there is. By this time we are so tired and my feet couldn’t handle all that walking anymore and my shoulder and my hand couldn’t handle the heavy big plastic bag that I have been carrying all over Singapore.  I slumped myself at the only free table in Victory restaurant. Liza took care of ordering food. We then paid about $18 for all those foods and drinks. We couldn’t finish that big Murtabak Singapore and asked the mamak to pack for us so that we can eat them for breakfast.

the original Singapore Murtabak

After dinner I am slightly happier and we walked to the nearest MRT station by following direction on the street. We found Bugis station and proceed to reload our Ez-link card for $10. We transit at City Hall and went on straight to Marina Bay. We arrived at Marina Bay Sands before 10pm. Our coach will only arrive at 11.30pm. We decided to wait at the wooden bench outside Marina Bay Sands Hotel and enjoy the beautiful view where a lot of people walk around us and sat at quite a few other long wooden benches. While I am just getting cozy on the bench one homeless guy sat beside Liza and made her uncomfortable as he smell. At that moment I just stood up and quickly told her its best that we just wait inside the hotel. So we went in. While waiting a group of Malaysian joined us. I know they are in a group as they wore same outfit. They are taking the same bus as ours. I asked one lady where she had went for the day and she told us that they went to Resort World Sentosa. I immediately became excited to know what she had done as we are going there tomorrow. Apparently she didn’t remember many things to our disappointment. They didn’t get into the Universal Studio either and had to play other entertainments that are available there. Then she asked me where we had been the whole day and I immediately told her all the places we had went. I noticed that she is not that happy to hear about our adventure. It is probably because she didn’t enjoy her trip. I didn’t blame her much as later in the night their group leader told us that what is important to him is setting foot in a new country. From that moment I keep in mind not to join any trip if it is organized by people with that policy.
While waiting in the hotel, we are lucky to be able to sit at a very cozy sofa provided for hotel guest. At one point I got thirsty and had to go to concierge to ask for water but they are not that helpful and send me to the lounge. I politely asked a waitress in the lounge whether I can get plain water at a reasonable price. She showed me their menu and they sold Evian at $7 or was it $17. Either way I rather go thirsty than spending that much for a bottle of water but I asked the very friendly waitress if there is any other way than buying that Evian. She quickly invited me to sit in their lounge and have a drink of plain water for free. I am amazed at her generosity but I don’t want to impose plus I’ll feel very awkward enjoying that drink for free. I had an empty 7-eleven bottle with me and asked if she could fill water into it. She happily agreed and took the bottle. I am so happy to have met such a kind person. When she returned I asked if I could still pay for the water. She held my hand and told me not to do so. I said thank you with my most grateful face and quickly went away.
The water in Singapore tasted different. I told Liza and she remind me about how they recycle their water. When I remember that I felt a bit nauseated but after a while I didn’t care much and just enjoy my drink.
When our coach finally arrived we were so tired and couldn’t wait to get into the bus. Everybody was looking at the huge plastic bag that I am carrying. I had to later carry it at all custom checkpoints only to be waived away by the officers. Either way I am happy for a lot of reasons for having purchased all these things.
We arrived in Tune Hotel at early 1am. Even then, we manage to chat for a few minutes before we finally went to sleep.
On the 27th we had to wake up early as our bus is leaving at 7.30am. We breakfasted with our leftover murtabak. Our destination is Resort World Sentosa. Upon our arrival it is written clearly everywhere that tickets to Universal Studio has been sold out for the rest of December. We went sightseeing for a little bit and proceed to Vivocity on a free train. Vivocity is very near to RWS. There are quite a lot of other activities that we can do if we want in RWS but Liza is not interested and later so am I since I am still tired from the day before and my feet felt very weak due to shock at having walked so much. We looked around and walked slowly in Vivocity and it looked just like any other shopping mall. Without wasting much time there we went out and took an MRT from Vivocity (Harbourfront station on the North East Line) to Farrer Park station where Mustafa Centre is. We had to walk a bit from Farrer Park to Mustafa Centre. After a while I couldn’t hold it any longer and asked Liza if we could have early lunch just so we can sit until I recovered. She agreed and she felt the same way too except I have no idea how she can stand in those heels.
After chatting for some time in the mamak restaurant right in front of Mustafa Centre we went in and I am immediately enchanted at the things that they are selling there. And the amount of it is amazing. They simply had everything. They looked just like our Mydin except they are selling Neckerman and Clark like it’s some cheap sale. The price starts from the lowest to the highest. They had aisles upon aisles at endless passages. And I don’t know how many floors they had but is simply another world. It has everything for everyone, including me. I am quite grateful that we didn’t go to Mustafa Centre on our first day as I know for sure that my Singapore Dollar will surely gone as I will have every excuse to deplete it here. With whatever I had left from the day before I bought:
Two Constance Carrol (CCUK) Trio Eyeshadow #95 and #67 at $3.90 each.
Jovan Black Musk Men EDT 88ml for my father at $10.50
Korean Drama Box Set 28 episodes - Gourmet (Sik Geok) for my mother at $17.90
Follow Me Oil Control Toner at$6.90
Total money spent in Mustafa Centre is $43.10.
I am pleased with all my purchase particularly the CCUK eyeshadows as the colours are beautiful even though it retails at a mere $3.90. I am more satisfied with CCUK eyeshadows than I am with Estee Lauder and Paul & Joe that I am currently using. I am so coming back to Mustafa Centre to restock CCUK cosmetics in the future.
I don’t know how long we had stayed in Mustafa but we hold on until my money and my feet couldn’t afford it anymore. We decided to pray somewhere on our way back to Harbourfront. I studied the map and decided to go to Chinatown as the Jamae Mosque is close to the MRT station and we wanted to avoid more walking. Liza even bought slippers in Mustafa so she no longer had to wear her heels. I had expected to walk a lot and only wore my Macbeth sneakers all the time.
waiting for MRT

me @ Mustafa Centre

@City Square near Mustafa Centre
Liza was delighted upon our arrival in Chinatown. I also feel as if we had hit a jackpot because there are so many things to see and of course buy in Chinatown. I am particularly piqued with the several 3 hour guaranteed finish corporate suit shops and immediately thought about my blazer that must be replaced pronto. However, since I had no more money I decided to just let it go. The next time I am here I will come to Chinatown and get my blazer done. The Jamae mosque is also most pleasing to see as it is very accommodating and comfortable. I had never seen such a sophisticated ablution and toilet for women in my entire life. We took our sweet time praying and enjoying the mosque. I feel so refreshed after having washed my face with my facial cleanser. When we finally leave the mosque we feel less tired than before. However, we still want to catch an early coach at 7.30pm even though our actual leaving time is at 10pm.
sophisticated ablution and toilet space in Jamae mosque

@Jamae mosque

We had very little time to spare if we want to catch that 7.30pm coach. We thought about our officemates in our firm and decided to get some souvenir for them here as there are plenty of souvenir items in Chinatown. I am at my last few Singapore Dollar but we manage to scrap some money and shared souvenir for our officemates. What a perfect budget holiday, we even manage to get souvenir for people. Hehe.
back from Chinatown
We arrived at Harbourfront station in Vivocity at around 6pm. We walk around for a little bit and I even managed to get another belt in a shop after bargaining heavily with the shopkeeper for $6. I only noticed that the Salizer belt that I had bought in earlier do not fit me. That later goes to one of my sister.
We then proceed to Resort World Sentosa. This time we had to pay $3 to board that initially free train to go to RWS from Vivocity. We just tap our Ez-link card and off we go. We arrived at RWS at around 7pm and had to wait for the 7.30 coach. When it finally arrived we had to plead them to let us go back early. We had to wait until everyone has board the coach and only after they are sure nobody else are coming we are allowed to board the coach.
crazy delicious smell coming from Pastamania! in Vivocity


Thus end our trip to Singapore. Which also mean a total of less than $300 spent for an adventurous shopping spree including travelling and dining cost. I had exchanged RM700 for my expenditure in
Singapore at an exorbitant 2.44 rate but perhaps luck is on my side where I have shop for everything but paid less. When I leave Singapore I had only exactly $4 in my bag and Ez-link card which I have no idea what the balance is. I wished I had spend everything to the last drop but at the same time I don’t mind keeping it as memento. So what is the final figure from the beginning until the end? Answer: about as close as RM1200.00 for a four days three nights holiday in JB and Singapore including food, accommodation, travel and all other incidental preparation. If that ain’t cheap I don’t know what that is.
Some of my Singapore stash