Tuesday, 14 October 2008

From a skirt (or two)

Ok, mf did what she thought was a rather auntie thing - she bought two skirts of the same design in different colours :p

1) $39 per piece before 10% discount
2) And hey, they are decent-looking - in fact, they hug my butt really well! =p
3) I fit into M instead of L

And, of course, I really want need some new clothes!

These should be considered mid-range in my wardrobe. I have tops ranging from $5 to US$80.. There's a pair of $10 berms - bought in Tomato Town almost ten years ago and $1 cheaper than the exact same pair (three sizes smaller) Na bought in her town! - that I'm still wearing today. Most expensive skirt cost me about US$80 too. I think I have nothing more expensive than that... Am I considered low maintenance? :p

*Update a month later*
I forgot that I also had a $600 pant suit. Outlier? :p

Just thinking that actually we can get very decent stuff in Singapore at very decent prices. I guess I know that all along but I did not fully appreciate this until I heard this from Tok's gf a couple of weeks ago. She is from China, a land perceived to be full of cheap labour and cheap buys.

The cheap labour part is true - AA told me construction workers in China could have only two 馒头 and plain water for lunch while I saw our foreign workers here in coffee shops having 菜饭..

Not sure about the cheap buys though. I did buy a $0.50 phone charm by the road in Shanghai but in the shops, most things cost about the same as any developed country. And, like what Tok's gf said, you can't get decent stuff like Charles & Keith shoes at Charles & Keith prices. (And there are even cheaper shoes of decent quality if you know where to look..)

Digression: Cheap labour and expensive goods don't quite gel - income gap? Foreigners? Well, I leave that to smarter people to think about.. mfism is about things close to mf's heart..

So, yes, I am saying that I really appreciate where I am now, and contented with my lot.

YET, there are people - not sure if they are the majority or minority - who find that Singapore is expensive, that living costs are high. Some time in June or July this year, some forum letters mentioned how it was cheaper to live in Sweden.. I could hardly believe my eyes cos I remembered paying more than 20% in GST when I was there in 2000! Google and you will find that the Swedish can pay more than 50% of their pay in tax!

Yes, you get social benefits in return for your taxes but the high-income are effectively subsidising the low-income. Well, shoot me but I'm not inclined to pay for the low-income. I simply do not believe that all the low-income people are worth helping - have you noticed how some supposedly "low-income" people are burning money away on cigarettes? And I unfortunately know someone like that.. For those who truly need help because they are unable to work for income, help is available but I believe some outreach may be necessary cos they may not be aware of assistance schemes. In any case, I'm certainly not alone: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/12/05/business/labor.php

I believe that living costs are really really a reflection of the standard of living. In Singapore, it is possible to decide on a standard of living that commensurates with our income, rather than the other way round. If you're rich, anything goes. If you're poor, go wet market instead of supermarkets, eat at hawker centres instead of restaurants, no 40-inch TV, use the same mobile for as long as possible, and you really shouldn't smoke..

Digression (again): I cannot understand why people keep changing phones! Since 2003, my most expensive phone is my current Pinky (dopod) and I'm proud that it is now more than two years old.. Before that, I had $0 phones and a $80 phone.

And since I'm on it, the other oft heard comment is that Singapore is boring. So I'm thinking, outside of working hours, what do I do here in Singapore? Movies, eating, meeting friends, ktv, shopping, web surfing, reading, studying, dancing, excursions to museums/zoo/Sentosa/etc, and all my weeknights and weekends are booked for months! I go travelling too, to the many places well accessible from this little country. So, boring? I don't think so... Unless you crave country life, meadows, snowy mountains, city life doesn't get any better than this.

Wait, I correct myself: some Asian countries are more happening, but they are also more expensive, e.g. more than 10,000 yen to get from Tokyo station to a residential area after metro hours, and nowhere as clean or safe - yes, hygiene factors are important too..

Some time ago, WT commented that he thought of emigrating down under - cheaper, social benefits, get a bigger house, have a car, rolling mountains etc.. I had the chance to speak with some young Singaporeans living in Melbourne the other day. They wanted to come back after their studies. I mentioned how some Singaporeans commented on moving to Australia for a better life, and they said, "They have to live here to compare."

Perhaps they are young and prefer more excitement. Perhaps the older people, those with families, prefer a more relaxed pace. Ultimately, wherever you choose to call home, the key factor should be whether you feel at home there, rather than whether the country provides you with the best benefits.

mf: How does it go now... 外国的月亮比较圆?
Sito: The grass is greener on the other side...
mf: .. You're right..

So, I will settle for Singapore. Not that I am content to stay in Singapore forever. I would like to go experience life elsewhere, but for a while. Ultimately, this is the only place I can go without checking if it is going to hail or freeze, wear my mini-mini skirts in December, find yummy food at 3am, get home safely at night with $15 on a cab, and of course, get a decent wardrobe at a decent price :)


  1. Totally agree with you on your points! Sg is actually a great home and I wish complainers could really take a look at other places before complaining abt our high costs and lack of activities. Not true! Sg may be getting more expensive but I think at least there aren't that many below poverty line! Even our less wealth off gets access to utilities, schools, etc, which is a lot more that could be said for other countries. As for boring, nope, Sg can be fun if you know where to look and have the right company and attitude!

    Sure, I may sound brainwashed by the govt but I also know other countries could be better in some ways. This home may have its flaws and quirks but hey, it's ours!

  2. hahah i just bought 2 pairs of shoes of the same design, but different colours on Wed.


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