Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Monocle’s Top 25 most ‘liveable’ cities

Monocle has become my favourite magazine since picking it up at Rockstar (by soonlee). I love all the write ups on culture, surveys and interesting design oriented pieces. It’s like wallpaper for normal people almost.

Since then, I’ve been following Tyler Brule’s columns on FT Weekend more closely. He did a piece this Saturday on the Top 25 most liveable cities. I love how Monocle didn’t use the conventional criteria – crime statistics, infrastructure (transport etc.),  cost of living – but REAL criteria we would use if we were to consider moving and living in a city.

Monocle used hours of sunshine (we wouldn’t wanna be in a place which only experiences 6hrs of sunshine – would be too depressing!), global connectivity (direct non-stop flights) and even diversity of a city’s streetscape (no. of independent retailers, restaurants – too many mass chain stores/outlets and you lose points) among other factors to select the Top 25.

These are really unique criteria and they do truly contribute to your experience in a city. Lesser developed nations like Rio, Beirut are also mentioned in a special addition to the quality of life survey. Monocle noted that while they don’t stack up in terms of infrastructure, they are oddly liveable because they’ve defined their own codes and managed to overcome thier limitation by making life bearable through softer, less tangible features – superior service, alternative economies and abit of lawlessness.

I totally agree. It’s about the unique way of life and the attitude of the people in the country that draw you to living in a country. Switzerland comes to mind as a great example. Sg often models everything after it (education, transport etc.) but no offense, I’ve dealt with a few Swiss people to know how boring it can get. It’s too seamless and efficient. There are no interesting stories and opinions. I love Bangkok/Thailand because of the lawlessness there (relative to Singapore of course). So I’m glad the good people at Monocle came up with this great survey. 

Interesting to note that Singapore dropped 4 places from 18 in 2009 to 21 in 2010. Seeing how 90% of all shops in the 2 latest shopping destination (Ion and MBS) are filled with the same stores that can be seen in every megamall in Singapore, it’s no surprise that Singapore’s retail scene can’t compare to the quaint streets of Copenhagen, Melbourne or Tokyo. We need to do more for local fashion brands. We have so much potential. Haji lane is a great example – so many great little shops (though its rapidly getting too crowded with blog shops).

What can Singapore do to edge up this list?



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Mizuno Mount Faber 2010 Race Route

Was out for about 2.5 weeks due to a horrible bout of flu plus travel to Brisbane.

Am glad to say that Mt. Faber went well. I was seriously surprised. I managed an 8km practice on Thursday and didn’t have the time to train for the past 3 weeks…So I was pleasantly surprised with how smooth the run went. I don’t think I went extremely fast but the hill was pretty okay. Managed to run the whole time. Will post results once they are out. Think last year I did 1:14 (and that was already when I did 10K races one a regular basis). Hopefully this year’s timing will be good.

Looking forward to my next few races.

Singapore Bay Run
Distance: 21km
12 Sep 2010

Newton Run
Distance: 30km
10th October 2010

And possibly Lake Kawaguchi in November. That would really be my dream race. 30km of pure clean crisp mt. fuji air.

Update: 01:18:42 (Timing for this year) – Slower than last year’s by 4 whole minutes! 😦 Looks like I need to amp up my interval training.

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Hens Night

This post is waaay overdue.

Can’t believe E’s finally getting married.  It’s one thing to hear about these amazing stories on internet dating but to actually see one of my close friends finding the man of her dreams from a dating site, it gives all of us HOPE.

Jan 16-18 saw the girls head up to Phuket for a CRAZY weekend.Kim came up with the craziest games for the Hens Night but we all had a blast giving E a hard time. She made a choker out of cherries and we made E walk around Patong with a sign that read ‘Pop my cherry for 20 baht’. E was adamant about QUALITY CONTROL and would only allow CUTE guys eat the cherries off her neck. Ha. I had loadsa fun just taking it all in.

We earned a fair bit of money from that and got us all these mad looking fedora hats which we then put on for a mad night of dancing in the club.

It was a weekend of firsts for me.

First time I attended a hens night.

First time I had 7 tequilla shots in  a row.

First time I got drunk and passed out on the dance floor!

First time I puked in 15 years!

We lost our money, the camera and my sandals all in one night! The morning after felt like a scene right out of the movie Hangover. But the amazing thing is how we were all so COOL about it. We all had tons of fun and decided it was meant to be. No one was sore about ANYTHING. We really should do more of these girly trips.

* I can’t post any incriminating pictures from the night (she made us swear) so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

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