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Moving to Singapore in 45-60 days!

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beppi
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Re: Moving to Singapore in 45-60 days!

Postby beppi » Fri, 21 Nov 2014 4:09 pm

Moving damage insurances are notoriously difficult to deal with once you want something from them.
Once it took me over 6 months to claim damages that were clearly (and undisputedly) caused by bad packing and handling - the amount in question was just a few hundred dollars (less than the insurance premium for the move!).
I will never take out moving insurance again - it's just not worth it!

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Re: Moving to Singapore in 45-60 days!

Postby Usmom » Tue, 25 Nov 2014 3:14 pm

months??? hopefully we can throw out the damaged items before then, they said to keep them in case they need to be inspected.
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Re: Thank you all!!!

Postby gailwynand » Mon, 01 Dec 2014 7:18 pm

JR8 wrote:Oh yah good plan, be known as the junior bringing in 6 cases of wine a month under your national banner/flag, to avoid tax and sell to your friends hehe.... not a good plan unless you're from bongo-land!

P-taking on the diplomatic-duty-free is really frowned upon. I was momentarily bereft to get a full-on diplomatic ID/waiver card, and then be told, that er, I was sort of EXPECTED not to be so cheap to go and buy duty free stuff with it...

All things in moderation. Obviously 6 cases of wine a month will raise eyebrows. You have to order through your employer, you can't just walk up to the Cold Storage cashier and flash your diplomatic pass.

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Re: Thank you all!!!

Postby JR8 » Mon, 01 Dec 2014 9:31 pm

gailwynand wrote:All things in moderation. Obviously 6 cases of wine a month will raise eyebrows. You have to order through your employer, you can't just walk up to the Cold Storage cashier and flash your diplomatic pass.


If you are from a Mission that monitors these things (many apparently just don't care, it's considered fair-game), they will not take AT ALL KINDLY (> career death) to an employee who appears to be buying tax-free in sufficient quantity in order to resell for a profit.

I've not ordered 'through' my employer. Though I think we once happened to decide to do a collective bulk order in New York, simply for simplicity and because of the bulk discount it gained.

No you can't check out from Cold Storage and demand the tax-back. It applies to bigger purchases, not your weekly shopping bag. You certainly can check out in shops, show your diplomatic ID and request sales tax be removed, it's simple, and I've done it many times, incl Takashimaya at Ngee Ann. You go to a separate counter and it's rebated in cash right there.
Personal thinking: You have to decide your personal cut-off. You could go and reclaim euro1 off something or other, but then this would tie you up every other day. I didn't bother unless it was say at least a euro50 purchase, which with 20% sales tax was euro10. Worth it for 1 minute form-filling; to me yes (my wife was less bothered). But really I didn't even carry my diplomatic ID unless I was planning on spending say euro100-200+/++ on something --- life's too short...


p.s. NYC 'Diplomatic Duty Free' ... knock yourselves out! hehehe ... :-D
http://www.shopddf.com/catalog/

Finlandia vodka - 12 litres for US$155.
Yes we bought this stuff in industrial quantity to tip our doormen etc at Christmas, back then it cost us about $6-8/litre.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Thank you all!!!

Postby gailwynand » Mon, 01 Dec 2014 9:51 pm

JR8 wrote:
gailwynand wrote:All things in moderation. Obviously 6 cases of wine a month will raise eyebrows. You have to order through your employer, you can't just walk up to the Cold Storage cashier and flash your diplomatic pass.


If you are from a Mission that monitors these things (many apparently just don't care, it's considered fair-game), they will not take AT ALL KINDLY (> career death) to an employee who appears to be buying tax-free in sufficient quantity in order to resell for a profit.

Wasn't suggesting anyone buy and sell for profit - if your friend decides to give you a case of Tiger he got through the embassy, and you decide to buy him a pint out of gratitude, it's just a coincidence of course.

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Re: Thank you all!!!

Postby JR8 » Mon, 01 Dec 2014 10:04 pm

gailwynand wrote:Wasn't suggesting anyone buy and sell for profit - if your friend decides to give you a case of Tiger he got through the embassy, and you decide to buy him a pint out of gratitude, it's just a coincidence of course.


How do you use your diplomatic privileges?
I ask as I'd like to think we were on the very conservative (non pi$$-taking side of things).

... you know, you'll see people (dip plates) just rolling up at Harrods (etc) and parking right up on on the pavement. For a while they're untouchable. But it doesn't make it ethically right.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Thank you all!!!

Postby gailwynand » Mon, 01 Dec 2014 10:31 pm

JR8 wrote:
gailwynand wrote:Wasn't suggesting anyone buy and sell for profit - if your friend decides to give you a case of Tiger he got through the embassy, and you decide to buy him a pint out of gratitude, it's just a coincidence of course.


How do you use your diplomatic privileges?
I ask as I'd like to think we were on the very conservative (non pi$$-taking side of things).

... you know, you'll see people (dip plates) just rolling up at Harrods (etc) and parking right up on on the pavement. For a while they're untouchable. But it doesn't make it ethically right.

Don't have them anymore, but when we did it was along the lines described in my last post. Same with my friends who still have them.

In a more general sense I've heard of very questionable stuff happening with less developed countries but nothing I would post about in a public forum.

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Re: Thank you all!!!

Postby JR8 » Tue, 02 Dec 2014 11:19 am

gailwynand wrote: In a more general sense I've heard of very questionable stuff happening with less developed countries but nothing I would post about in a public forum.


Yes I know what you mean...

Talking about illegal parking, there used to be an annual table produced re: London of the traffic/parking violations issued vs unpaid per mission. It was pretty boggling. Some missions clearly have an institutionalised mindset of simply not giving a damn about local laws.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Thank you all!!!

Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 02 Dec 2014 11:35 am

JR8 wrote:
gailwynand wrote: In a more general sense I've heard of very questionable stuff happening with less developed countries but nothing I would post about in a public forum.


Yes I know what you mean...

Talking about illegal parking, there used to be an annual table produced re: London of the traffic/parking violations issued vs unpaid per mission. It was pretty boggling. Some missions clearly have an institutionalised mindset of simply not giving a damn about local laws.


http://time.com/3421587/diplomats-parki ... -new-york/

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Re: Moving to Singapore in 45-60 days!

Postby JR8 » Tue, 02 Dec 2014 12:15 pm

Lol! Per-Zactly. The only 'usual suspect' missing from the top-10 is Russia.

p.s. It's amazing that tiny countries such as Senegal could rank so high. That's what I meant by 'institutionalised not giving a damn' I suppose.

Edit to add:
Here is the list for London
https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/ ... -the-uk--2
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Moving to Singapore in 45-60 days!

Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 03 Dec 2014 12:52 am

JR8 wrote:Lol! Per-Zactly. The only 'usual suspect' missing from the top-10 is Russia.

p.s. It's amazing that tiny countries such as Senegal could rank so high. That's what I meant by 'institutionalised not giving a damn' I suppose.

Edit to add:
Here is the list for London
https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/ ... -the-uk--2


Surprised by Japan being anywhere on the list. Also surprised US is number one (but not that they're on the list). It would be interesting to see a ratio for fines:cars. I wonder if maybe the US just has a fleet of 10,000+ embassy vehicles that they lack parking for.

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Re: Moving to Singapore in 45-60 days!

Postby JR8 » Wed, 03 Dec 2014 9:06 am

ZZM wrote: Surprised by Japan being anywhere on the list. Also surprised US is number one (but not that they're on the list). It would be interesting to see a ratio for fines:cars. I wonder if maybe the US just has a fleet of 10,000+ embassy vehicles that they lack parking for.


The figures are for parking fines + Congestion Charge (CC). The latter could be considered daily additional road-tax, and I believe the US position is that their mission and staff are not liable to foreign taxes (which of course is true). As you see from a representative link/quote it is something of an ongoing thorny issue.

I actually don't think diplomatic vehicles should be charged CC at all. But as it's only been in place 7-8 years there are issues like this still working themselves out. Manhattan was floating the idea of a CC some years back, if it ever implements it I'm sure it'll face precisely this same issue.


http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-23266149
'During a visit by US President Barack Obama in 2011, London's Mayor Boris Johnson asked him for a £5m cheque for unpaid congestion charges, but the US ambassador intervened before Mr Obama could answer, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Unpaid congestion charges
USA: £7,277,400
Russia: £4,899,900
Japan: £4,856,280
Nigeria: £3,816,990
Germany: £3,782,170
India: £2,777,440

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said the department considers the congestion charge a "service rendered" under diplomatic rules, though legal immunity means diplomats cannot be prosecuted for non-payment.


The above 6 might well be the 6 largest mission in London by staff and vehicle count, so that's pretty intuitive. Figures stripped out for parking fines only, might be more of a list of the 'not giving a damn' basket cases.

Edit to add:
[Note The Guardian is the paper of choice for rich lefties. Also note that the previous Mayor of London Ken Livingstone is a nasty snivelling socialist. He's arguably Marxist but morphed to 'cosy socialist' in order to get elected]. This article reports the US and Japanese position re: Congestion Charge.
http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/mar/01/london.london

'The US embassy has been on a collision course with the mayor since July 2005 when, following state department orders, it declared the congestion charge an illegal tax under the Vienna convention and instructed diplomatic, administrative and technical staff to stop paying it.'

and

'A spokesman for the Japanese embassy said its government had carefully studied the legal nature of the charge before ceasing payment on August 1 2006. "As a result, the government of Japan reached an understanding that the charge corresponds to neither 'dues and taxes ... such as represent payment for specific services rendered' nor 'charges levied for specific services rendered', as stipulated in the relevant international conventions," he said. "Therefore the embassy, its diplomatic agents and their family members should be exempt from the charge."

and here: the British diplomatic position re: congestion charging abroad, and the 'usual suspects' list for stripped out parking fine totals (ex CC) in London...

The mayor's position is supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which points out that UK diplomats in Norway and Singapore are not exempt from congestion charges there. Other figures released by TfL show that the embassy of Saudi Arabia is the worst diplomatic offender when it comes to flouting parking laws. It owes £6,950, followed by Nigeria (£3,850), Guinea (£2,950), the United Arab Emirates (£2,700), Egypt (£2,300), Qatar (£2,250), and Brunei (£2,000).
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Moving to Singapore in 45-60 days!

Postby Usmom » Sat, 20 Dec 2014 8:10 am

update on moving insurance: It took 5 weeks but insurance approved everything on our damage list and repair company will be here in the next few days to restore some items, other items insurance will send us a bank wire for full amount value of items this week. It a while but glad we didn't have to fight them to pay.

learning that there are 2 essential things to always take with you when going out:
1. bring napkins/wet naps
2. bring a bottle of water
We went out to eat at a indoor restaurant and the bill came out to $75, yet we were never offered a napkin, you have to purchase for $1.50 each and they charged $1.50 for tap water!

I expect this at a hawker center, but at a restaurant? How scarce is paper and water here? oh well, I guess it's better than being forced to purchase peanuts or other interesting snacks they charge you for whether you eat them or not.
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Re: Moving to Singapore in 45-60 days!

Postby taxico » Sat, 20 Dec 2014 3:05 pm

ouch.

ask first next then, then vote with your wallet.

i would expect, in singapore, some anal staff to insist you are not allowed to drink your own bottled water in their restaurant.

"no outside food/drinks" seem to be a popular sign.
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Re: Moving to Singapore in 45-60 days!

Postby Brah » Sun, 21 Dec 2014 5:20 am

Simple - boycott those places who charge for water (even if you have ordered drinks) and tell them you are doing so, rate them on Yelp and HungryGoWhere appropriately. Or leave before ordering.

We do any combination of all of the above.

There was a website that went viral a few years ago and a thread here on this, a list of those restaurants who charge for water.

Wet napkins are an excuse to charge .40-1.00/pp that, like soggy peanuts, most locals know better than to pay for, and, given the rampant public toe- and nose picking, are key to have handy at all times, especially if you ride buses and trains frequently.

Packs of the disinfectant kind are reasonably priced at places like Watsons.
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