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					L I VI NG IN SING AP O R E                                                                                                                September 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                   19
                          on
                                                                                                   American Association of Singapore: Singapore American




                                    style               by Lina Christie


                        Shoes, shoes and       summer holidays and are an easy day-to-
                        more shoes...          night shoe.
                                                  In Athens, everywhere I turned there
                         I am shoe-crazed      were shoe stores. European women seem
                         at the moment         to share my obsession but on a grander,
                         and am finding        more colorful scale. All color and shape
                         inspiration in the    were tantalizingly before me like candy
                         strangest places.     just spilled from a piñata. I certainly
                         Watching the          couldn’t leave without my very own
                         Brazil vs. Holland    Swarovski crystal flip flops - perfect for
                         game during the       outdoor Singapore dinners with friends.
                         World Cup two         Yep, I had to have them.
                         months back I            For those with an interest in fashion-
                         was inspired by       forward designs, for this autumn/winter
                         the celebrations of   designers are feeling outdoorsy. Pavement-
the Dutch and their affinity for wearing       gripping lug soles give heels a ready-for-
orange. The following day, I spotted red       anything feel. Details matter here: desert
clogs at the ION’s Steve Madden shoe           boot stitching, lumberjack lacing, buckles
store and had to have them.                    and straps.
    After years of dutifully watching Alice       I have to end by saying there has been
in Wonderland over and over when my            a dramatic shift in my devotion to my
daughter was a toddler, I was surprised        favorite shoe designer: move over Manolo,
that Vivienne Westwood whimsical shoes,        there’s a new man in town and his name is
which reminded me of the “off with her         Christian Louboutin. His designs are new,
head!” Queen, delighted me so much, I          fresh and so sexy – and he even designs
had to have them.                              kitten heels! Louboutin stilettos do
    During my recent trip to the Greek         amazing things to your whole body, not
Islands, with their quaint, narrow             just the legs. Gucci’s Tom Ford has said
cobblestone pathways, wedges became
my shoe of choice – heels were simply not
an option. Wedges are synonymous with
                                               that “stilettos are all about sex.” I won’t
                                               comment on that but… I can say that I’d
                                               be happy to walk a mile in Louboutin’s!       shoes•shoes•shoes
                                                                                             SAN_IPC B&S Ad_Apr210.qxp         7/29/2010      11:05 AM      Page 1




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                                                                                                                                   -
                                                                                                                   www. imc healthcare . com
20            September 2010
              American Association of Singapore: Singapore American                             LI VI N G IN S IN G A PO R E
                                                                                              additional day, as the weather in Singapore          Professional movers are trained to pack
                                                                                              can be very unpredictable and heavy rains        items well to prevent damages. However,
                                                                                              can cause delays. Furthermore, moving            not everything is in the hands of the
Frequently Asked Questions About Moving                                                       on Sundays, from or to a condominium,
                                                                                              is almost impossible due to condominium
                                                                                                                                               packers as accidents on the road do happen
                                                                                                                                               and heavy rains can cause water leakage.
                                                                                              restrictions.                                    During an international relocation, customs
                                                                                                                                               officers and harbor staff will be handling
Why are some moving companies                                                                 Do I really need an estimate? Why can’t
                                                                                                                                               your shipment like any other, without
expensive and some cheap?                                                                     the company give me a price over the
                                                                                                                                               realizing how valuable personal effects and
The old saying is true: you get what you pay                                                  phone?
                                                                                                                                               furniture are to a family in transition. If
for. The higher the cost, the less you will                                                   An estimate is necessary to ensure an            your furniture means much to you, then
have to get involved. The lower the cost,                                                     accurate proposal. A moving company              it is always better to be prepared for the
the more you will have to do yourself and                                                     will have to plan whether all items fit          worst.
pay for yourself. Costs that can be included                                                  through the door and in the lift, whether
in the price are trained packers and movers,                                                  any items need special dismantling (some         How do I find a reliable moving
unpacking service, positioning of items,                                                      items need a specialist for dismantling) or      company?
packing materials, standard dismantling                                                       whether there are any items that require         Check the background and financial
of furniture, shuttle service to truck or                                                     special packing. Furthermore, the access         stability of the company and whether it
container, seeking the approval of the                                                        to the house and to the road is crucial for      is ISO certified. Ask friends and family
condominium management - including                                                            the duration of the move. Difficult access       about a recommended moving company
making a deposit and the payment for the                                                      could involve additional services (such as       or whether they know the company you
lift padding, hiring of a trucking company                                                    outside elevators to move certain items),        have in mind. Compare the rates of two
and container if you are moving overseas.                                                     or it could mean that you need more time         to three moving companies and choose the
And remember that some small moving                                                           shuttling items to the road via trolleys or a    company you feel most comfortable with.
companies are not ISO certified and don’t                                                     small truck.                                     In the end it is about you entrusting your
have trained staff.                                                                              If you would like to receive a ballpark       household to someone else, you need to be
                                                                                              figure for budgeting purposes, most              able to let go…
Why would I need to hire a moving
                                                                                              moving companies can provide this based
company, can’t I do it myself?                                                                                                                 When is the best time to move?
                                                  Once you have answered these questions,     on a standard move (no special items, no
This is the most common question asked if      you’ll appreciate if a moving company is       piano, no dismantling, easy access, etc).        Peak times are at the end of every month,
an employer isn’t paying and arranging for     the right choice for you.                      This is just a ballpark and it will be revised   during the summer and in January.
your move. To answer, ask yourself: How                                                       after a visual survey.                           International moves are a bit more expensive
much time do I have to move (consider          How long does it take to move within                                                            during the summer and Christmas period,
the limitations on Sunday if you are in        Singapore?                                     Is it really necessary to get insurance?         as shipping lines have peak surcharges on
a condominium and after 5 pm during            The number and type of items determine         All professional movers have a limited           their shipments.
weekdays)? How much time will it take          the duration of the move. With the support     liability, but it does not cover much in case       Try to plan your move ahead of time,
me to pack my things? How complex is my        of a moving company, moving a standard         of damages. They can help you with repairs       book your slot with a moving company
move (difficult or bulky items)? Do I have     household of one or two persons normally       as much as possible, but are not obliged to      and you will have no trouble moving
enough help, friends and family? Do I have     takes one day to pack, half a day to move      do so. It is highly advised to take up the       during your desired date and time.
enough materials and boxes or do I know        and half a day to unpack. If you’re a family   insurance recommended by the moving
where to get them? Do I have transport - a     of four, it would take you two days to pack,   company, especially when you have valuable          This article appears in the new, updated
van or a truck? Am I able to move all of my    half a day to move and half a day to unpack    items such as antiques, expensive china and      Living in Singapore guidebook, now
items safely?                                  the major items. But always factor in an       glassware, wooden furniture, etc.                available from AAS and many bookstores.




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L I VI NG IN SING AP O R E                                                                                                                    September 2010
                                                                                                       American Association of Singapore: Singapore American                          21
A month of fasting,                                                                                                                            Malay wet markets are abuzz with shoppers
                                                                                                                                               as preparations are underway to celebrate
                                                                                                                                               Hari Raya. For me, it means cooking up

a few days of celebrating                                                                                                                      a storm and bringing the dishes to my
                                                                                                                                               parents' home in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,
                                                                                                                                               where our family will stay for a few days.
Story and photos by Latisha Merican                                                                                                                Hari Raya, literally ‘day of celebration’
                                                                                                                                               is on September 10 this year. It begins
                                                                                                                                               with morning prayers at the mosque, after
O     ne of the most important events in the to have breakfast to help them through
      Muslim lunar calendar occurs during the day ahead. This could be anything
the ninth and holiest month. It’s believed from scrambled eggs to a full-fledged meal.
                                                                                                                                               which worshippers go home and enjoy
                                                                                                                                               the goodies prepared the night before.
                                                                                                                                               Ketupat (rice boiled in satchets made from
that during this month, in the year 610, Breaking of fast is at around 7:15 pm                                                                 coconut leaf ), rendang (beef slow-cooked
the holy Quran was first revealed by God to with a drink and some nutritious dates,                                                            in spices), lodeh (vegetables simmered in
the Prophet Muhammad. More familiarly, after which prayers are offered. After that                                                             coconut milk) and sambal goreng (beef,
it’s the fasting month of Ramadhan comes the main meal, then more prayers.                                                                     prawns and tofu stir-fried in a chilli base
which every Muslim goes through before Extra prayers are offered after that, which                                                             with thinly-sliced herbs) are some of the
celebrating Eid ul-Fitr, more commonly can last several hours. There is very little                                                            dishes available.
known as Hari Raya, during the Muslim rest available before having to do it all over                                                               There is not much time to savor the
month of Syawwal.                                                  again. It is very taxing,                                                   delicacies though, and we hurry to change
    Fasting is obligatory                                          and it is a time when a
for every physically and
                               Hari Raya, literally                Muslim’s faith is tested
                                                                                                                                               into our traditional outfits before guests
                                                                                                                                               come. The men dress in baju Melayu, a
mentally able Muslim. ‘day of celebration’ is on to the limit.                                                                                 shirt worn over pants and sampin (a wrap-
It is the abstinence of                                               In Singapore, the        The author's son, Mirza, looking elegant in     around skirt made from brocade, a piece
food and drink, as well September 10 this year. fasting month began                            his baju Melayu.                                of material embroidered with gold thread),
as unnecessary acts                                                August 11 and is most                                                       complete with a songkok (an oval brimless
such as smoking and sex, from dawn till noticeable around the Malay areas by the                                                               hat), and chapals. The ladies wear kebaya,
dusk, while going about one’s normal daily decorations put up on various roads and             with chicken or mutton), briyani (basmati       an outfit made to compliment the curvy
activities. Apart from purifying one’s soul bazaars, the biggest of which is along             rice cooked with Indian spices and enjoyed      figure, consisting of a lace blouse with
and bringing one closer to God, it is meant Changi Road, beginning in the vicinity of          with mutton or chicken curry, cucumber          hooks-and-eyes or brooches in the front,
to teach patience and self-restraint, as well the new Geylang Serai wet market and Joo         pickles and dhal curry), are among popular      and a sarong, with pretty sandals. The more
as to create awareness of, and empathize Chiat Complex areas.                                  items to break fast with. On the north side     religious ladies will opt for a loose knee- or
with, the less fortunate, in order to            These bazaars, which open at around 3         of Changi Road there is a dazzling array        ankle-length sheath worn over a long skirt,
encourage charitable works. Observers step pm and last late into the night, promise            of cookies, money envelopes, traditional        and the head is covered, leaving only the
up religious activities such as performing to not only quench your thirst and satisfy          outfits, footwear, home décor items and         face and hands visible.
extra prayers, as they believe that they will your hunger at the end of the fasting day,       even cars!                                          Visiting is done at as many houses as
be rewarded multiple-fold.                    but also offer everything you might need to         There is so much festivity in the air,       is possible in one day, as this is the time
    The fasting day begins at 5:45 am. celebrate Eid ul-Fitr. Saudi Arabian dates,             especially towards the end of each day, and     when forgiveness is sought and received
About an hour before, Muslims wake up murtabaks (square Malay pancakes filled                  later on, towards the end of the month,         for past wrong-doings, and long-lost ties
                                                                                               that it’s unbelievable that these shoppers      are often found and reunited. It is also
                                                                                               have been going without food and water          a time for me to play catch-up, as many
                                                                                               since dawn. The thought of fasting              of my cousins live abroad, as far away as
                                                                                               fourteen hours every day for 30 days is         the USA. It usually turns into a frenzied
                                                                                               daunting enough, and one can’t help but         and tiring time for the parents, while the
                                                                                               be impressed by the indefatigable human         children enjoy themselves.
                                                                                               spirit. As for myself, I usually come at 4          I wish that my mom and dad could
                                                                                               pm, before the crowd starts, to buy dates       come to Singapore instead, so we could
                                                                                               or dishes to break fast with, or shop for       have a relaxing time as we have fewer
                                                                                               new outfits for my three sons. They love to     relatives to see here. Alas, my aged parents
                                                                                               wear the Indian sandals called chapals, and     are no longer able to travel, so we make the
                                                                                               this is the time I buy them as they are quite   trek to see them; and the end of the visit is
                                                                                               cheap - about $15 per pair. Most of the         always a sad time for me as we leave them
                                                                                               goods come from neighboring countries           to come back here.
                                                                                               and bargaining is expected.                         As always, our house is open during Hari
Ladies' Indian chapals, plentiful and cheap at this time of year.                                 Towards the end of Ramadhan, the             Raya and all are welcome. Just call first!
                                                                                                                                         Quarter-Ad(HeartMatters).pdf   1   7/26/10   11:40 PM




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