Monday, March 1, 2010

A Simpler Day

I haven't been particularly inspired to write the past few days. Actually, there is quite a lot going on that I'd like to blog about but I won't. Take that as you will.

I had boarded the train to go to work today and was relieved when there was an empty seat to plop down in for the 15 minute ride into HarbourFront. I realized once I sat that I had been clinging on to my keys the past twenty minutes as I made my walk from the front door of my apartment, down 14 floors on the elevator, and walking through the HDB apartments of Saint George on my way to the Boon Keng MRT station. It's a strange habit that I have acquired since I moved here. I constantly have my key or my MRT pass in my hand long after I've used them. I'm sure there is something to analyze in that.

At any rate, I looked down at my keys in my hand and smiled at my Sam Adams bottle opener key chain. Del and I both use these trinkets that we were given at the Sam Adams beer tasting at the Food and Wine Festival. One of my best friends Heather and her boyfriend Will brought us with them to EPCOT for the festival while we were in Florida and it was the first time I had ever been to it. The four of us had such an amazing time! I would definitely recommend hitting up the tequila lounge in Mexico!

I smiled remembering that scorching hot day, just a few months ago, with a couple of my favorite people. I wondered what "Singapore" would be like at EPCOT if there were one. There would be a kiosk with Chicken Rice and bubble tea, most definitely.

Then I thought about how ironic it was that I had a bottle opener on my key chain considering I had never used it. The last time I had a beer was at the Night Safari. I paid $12 for a can of beer. Yes, my friends, a CAN. And not one of those big cans that are the size of two beers or those nifty cans that look like a keg. There were no dancing girls delivering my drink, no flaming swords show. Nope, it was just a can of beer. The best part was that the bartender/server didn't even bring it to your table. You have to go up to the bar and take it back to your table with you.

I spent about 20 minutes looking for the actual percentage of tax on alcohol for Singapore and can't find it in writing anywhere. I have been told that it is 111% which seemed high to me, but when I look at the prices of the spirits and wine in the supermarket, it makes sense. To give you some perspective, a 750mL bottle of Absolut Vodka (which would sell for around $19-$22 in the U.S.) costs S$88.50 in the grocery store. That equals $62.91 U.S. dollars. And you can't find much of a variety of alcohol either. Usually its Absolut, Jack Daniels and Bacardi and that's it. A six pack of beer (cans) is S$15-S$20 and you would be lucky to find a bottle of wine that is less then S$20. That's just how it is.

Now, when I first got here and saw the prices, it was jaw dropping. It was kind of a novelty! The only time it really bothers me is when you want to just get out of the house and have a nice meal with a cocktail and for a couple it's pretty hard to go anywhere and do that for under $100. Del and I aren't really party animals anyway, but sometimes you just want to get out of the house or not cook and it's tough out here to do that on a budget.

It makes me long for a sunny Florida day at EPCOT with Heather and Will, making our rounds to the different countries for a taste of their cuisine and a mini cocktail.


  1. These are really fun pictures, Erin! I feel I somewhat feel your pain. Since we've been here in York, we've been searching ad nauseum for a nice place to hand out -- restaurant, sports bar, ANYPLACE that's not a diner with greasy food. So far, no luck. I keep thinking about all the wonderful dining and entertainment establishments that were always at my fingertips (like Epcot!) in Orlando, and I miss it!! I'm not giving up, though!

    And as for the alcohol thing, think of how CHEAP it's going to seem once you're back in that states! Hang in there. I'm a little worried about you...

  2. Apparently, it's too early. "HANG out." Thank you.

  3. Erin.... all I have to say is, I totally hear you. Sorry you have so much going on, but your readers and fans (this one!) appreciates your virtual pen to paper.

  4. What an adventure you are having! I admire you! Oh, and even though you SAY you aren't party animals, you look like total party animals in that last picture! Cool!

  5. Imported alcohol is more expensive all over East Asia which seems surprising since most of the food costs so little. But local alcohol is also very cheap. I think it's the imported part that raises the price.