Lara's Singapore Blog

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Archive for Money

What am I, the maid?

I’m no longer living in Singapore, but found that I had one last post buzzing in my head, so here is my meditation on domestic workers in Singapore. What am I, the maid? In the US this is a rhetorical question generally employed by people who wish to draw their family’s attention to the fact […]

A note on bathroom (and other) maintenance

I was telling my officemates about my affection for the Sarawak Museum, but had to mention (of course) the strangely nasty toilet facilities there. Why is there such a contrast between the exhibition halls and the fairly simple matter of clean toilets? Turns out it’s not simple. In the first place, the whole building and […]

My generous employer

I took unpaid leave to accompany our offspring on an extended summer vacation.  As required, I filled in the requisite application, got the requisite signatures on it, and received confirmation from HR that I would indeed be on unpaid leave. But they paid me anyway.  In fact, I think they paid me twice as much […]

Uniquely Singaporean: promotions

A Singaporean promotion is one in which your job title changes, you have tons of new duties and responsibilities, and no additional pay. How does this happen? Well, take performance appraisals at the university. These are directly tied to performance bonuses, which makes sense. And the number crunchers assume that if you graph people’s performance […]

Their Money Where Their Mouth Is….

Singapore’s government likes to make a lot of noise about family values, supporting the elderly and so forth. But I learned today that there’s some real money put into at least one policy that supports the ideal. If you purchase a flat within one kilometer of your parents, the HDB (all-powerful Housing Development Board) will […]

Dentistry Costs!

I haven’t had dental insurance until recently, so I had to pay out of pocket to get my teeth cleaned.  I made an appointment with the local dentist (a very small office in the shopping center adjacent to the train station), and two days later got my teeth checked and cleaned with an ultrasound machine. […]

Health Insurance Costs in Singapore

Since it’s of interest to anyone watching the U.S. healthcare death struggle, I thought I’d tell you a few prices. We have health insurance through the university, where my spouse is a professor.  He upgraded coverage for our family of three, to the maximum best-possible coverage, and for this we pay $700 (Singapore currency) a […]

Mooncake thumb drives!

It’s the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, and you know what that means –   Moon Cakes!  Buy them for your friends and family!  Spend $50 in a single receipt and get this free Mooncake Thumb Drive!  Or at least that was the come-on at our local mall.  We’re only 2 weeks into mooncake season, and alas, […]

Fine Art Gallery in ION, Singapore’s newest high-end mall

Over the weekend we explored the upper levels of ION, a new shopping center on Orchard Road.  Almost all the stores there are designer boutiques.  But there’s an art gallery called Opera that we went into, to see what’s available. Most of what is available is really BIG, designed to fill up that 2×3 metre […]

The Singapore library system

The library system in Singapore is good, but not free.  Foreigners pay $57/year for membership, and locals pay $24 (I think).  You can reserve books, but it costs $1.55 per book.  Late fees are fifty cents a day.  You may not borrow more than 8 books at any time, or borrow more books if you […]



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