Need some advice on these, please.

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Jelly Bean
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Need some advice on these, please.

Post by Jelly Bean » Mon, 26 Mar 2007 1:36 pm

Hi I am looking to relocate to SG in June. I have a few questions about living in SG.

1)About schools:

If I want to admit my 4 yrs old dd into local kinddy, do they charge us more (dependant holder) than the locals, if so how much do I have to pay extra? Is there a guideline? Also do they receive admission on spot if there is a vacancy or we have to wait for new admission? I've heard about long waiting list for International School but no idea about the locals', any insight? :???:

2) Upon bringing $$ to SG, instead of cash in what other form will the bank in SG accept it and be able to cash the cheque when we arrive there?

3) Where should I go about to have mobile, fixed line, cable TV and internet line to be installed after getting a house? Is there a package from 1 operator?

4) What would be the cheapest way to make international calls when we first arrive in SG? Is international calling card costly?

5) I've seen Nets cash card mentioned many times, what do you use it for (bills, bus fare, MRT)? Is it more convenient than paying cash or credit card? Do I need an EP to apply for it?

6) Place where I am living now required us to separate the waste into recycling items, food waste and general disposal. Does the SG government practise the same thing?

Looking forward for some advice. Goodday!

mslise
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Post by mslise » Tue, 27 Mar 2007 9:13 am

I don't know about other operators but we have starhub for mobile/cable/internet and because we package it together, we get a discount on the services.

Nets is just the eftpos/cash card network here - so you have an account with a bank and they give you a cash card/atm card/whatever you call it and you can pay for things using this card- same as you would use an atm card. I haven't used it to pay bills and such but once you get your first bill it'll have all the details on the different payment systems.

The international calling cards here are cheap to some countries and expensive to others. If your country is expensive (you can compare some of the rates) I'd suggest getting online and using skype.

As far as I know, there isn't really recycling here but thats at our condo- not sure if someone sorts it eventually.

kirstyL
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living in sg

Post by kirstyL » Tue, 27 Mar 2007 6:01 pm

hi,

well to answer some questions:

schools - if there is a vacancy they will take u immediately. Most local schools charge around 80 - 85 dollars a month for kindergarten and lunch is usually provided, but the schooling is usually only half day either morning or afternoon session. No extra charge for foreigners.

As explained earlier nets is a form of bank card you can use to buy anything and pay for all your bills from special machines called SAM or AXS machines. U can also get debit cards that are nets cards. They work like credit card except u need to have money in the bank for it first. You can get it from any bank and dont need anything except passport and usually about $500 to open an account. They issue the card on the spot when u open an account. U dont need to leave the money in but if u dont it will incur bank charges of ruffly $2 per month.

calling cards are cheap and it depends which country u want to call which is the best card to get.

try starhub for the cable tv, mobile and home phone.

usually sg does not require recycling, but some places have the facilities.

well I hope this is useful!

Jelly Bean
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Post by Jelly Bean » Thu, 29 Mar 2007 10:23 am

Well explained guys!

It's surprised to learnt that the Sg govnt does not enforce the recycling and food waste disposal yet considering they take public cleanliness seriously. Since I have practised this for years it would rather weird for me to dispose them all in one but easy for me though! :D

One more thing, how safe is it to eat out at the hawker stall in terms of the cleanliness and the way they handling the food? Is food poisoning common in this public eatery? I've heard some nasty stories from my Singaporean friends though, specially the flies. Bit scarry :lol:

kirstyL
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food stalls in sg

Post by kirstyL » Thu, 29 Mar 2007 10:53 am

Well...you need to see the cleaniness grading, its marked by a certificate at each stall, A is the best down from there. C can be a bit dodgy. Especially is you are new and your stomach is not yet used to the way food is done here. Usually they cook once a day and just put it in the trays until sold. I would suggest stay away from anything with milk, coconut milk etc in it, as I found it will probably make u sick, as in diarrhoea. Other then that it will take time for you to get used to all the oil in food and the chill, I have personally had food poisoning three times in my first year in sg. But not always from hawker centres. Once was from McDonalds. So I guess, just try for the A or B ratings and look at the food to see if it looks right or not. Good luck!

Oh by the way, i have never seen flies on food, but when you are buying fruit look out for the small fruit flies. They are real common and only found around rotten fruit!

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 29 Mar 2007 12:37 pm

Jelly Bean,

I reckon is pretty safe to eat most anywhere on this island including the hawker centres. The only things I would stay away from are the guys with a box standing outside the MRT's in the evenings selling curry puffs and whatnot. These guys are not licensed and who knows where it comes from.

I've been here a quarter of a century now and have only had dysentery two or three times (I don't mean the occasional craps from over indulging in chilli's). All cases of true dysentery were gotten in Indonesia. The water is safe to drink here without boiling unless you are one of those people who have a hangup about fluoridated water (your loss). There are purifers on the market to satisfy all your basic needs up to and including bragging rights (from economical to ripoff MLM products). Also, it's been proven that most of the "bottled water" here is nothing but tap water (fools & their money - soon parted).

The initial foray into local foods my cause your stomach to rebel for a little while if it has always been pampered. However, if you persist, you will soon become accustomed to local foods and will then start to really enjoy being in Asia. If you stay with western foods, you will miss more than half the experience. You have to immerse youself to get the most out of your tenure here.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

nicoletta
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banking

Post by nicoletta » Thu, 29 Mar 2007 4:10 pm

i'm banking with DBS this is because it is the choise of my company - they can only pay my salary in a DBS bank account
so before opening bank accounts ask your work place if they have a bank of choise
with DBS it was easy to open a Saving plus account - you need to deposit 500 dollars and that's it they will give you a nets card which you will use to pay at the supermakert, withdrawn money from DBS or approved ATM machines ( they all have the pictures of the cards on the front of the ATM so you cannot go wrong) - if you go under the 500 dollars they will charge you 2 dollars, if you are carefull enough you never do it - it never happened to me for example
you can also use the nets cards at seven eleven shop when you need to pay for your utility bills - and this is great!

but for the bus or train ( MRT ) you can use the nets to pay credit for the eazy card - which is a top card you can use for the transports - you can buy at any MRT station and it will cost you I believe around 15 dollars ( 5 non refundable ) and when you leave the country you can return to any ticket counter and they will refund you the money on it ! This is great
but there are no seasonal ticket like it use to be in London or Paris

to transfer money you pay a lot in the wire administration from you bank to the bank here in singapore - the cash is much better and simply the easy way especially if it already converted in sing dollars - but it depends on your choise really - i had a bit of security money with me but I had them in travellers cheque

and also you can have the choise of so many different credit cards and the offers are very good and easy to obtain although you are an expat.
and there used to be no access to credit history but now may be there is ....do not know

my son is younger then yours and I have a lovely lady who is taking care of him when I am at work - he has learnt words in malay and chinese and looks happy - I have found the help through an agency at the katong shopping centre in the east - but you need to sign contract and pay a deposit ( mine was 600 deposit ) and I pay the lady a monthly salary which can be different depending if she also helps around the house and cook for your family - Vina only looks after my son so I pay definately less

good luck and enjoy yourself

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Leela
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Re: Need some advice on these, please.

Post by Leela » Wed, 11 Apr 2007 1:53 pm

Jelly Bean wrote:
3) Where should I go about to have mobile, fixed line, cable TV and internet line to be installed after getting a house? Is there a package from 1 operator?

4) What would be the cheapest way to make international calls when we first arrive in SG? Is international calling card costly?
3) Starhub provides a package for all the services you want but you need to take into account that their contract is for 2 years and if you want to end it before you will have to pay a lot of money. I signed up for their package and now I'm stuck, although I would like to change to a different internet provider.

Starhub's broadband is really slow, as the speed you pay for is actually shared by everyone in your block. That means that the more people who get online the slower your connection will be. Trying to download anything in the afternoon or the evening is painfully slow. However, SingTel uses a different system and gives you good connection speeds, so if you are going to use the internet a lot and don't want to spend hours to download something I suggest that you choose SingTel instead of Starhub.

4) As someone already said Skype is the cheapest way to call other countries. If you have a broadband internet connection it won't cost you anything extra, unless the person you are calling does not have Skype. In that case you can use SkypeOut, which allows you to call any phone from your computer and is cheaper than the Starhub rates.

Jelly Bean
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Post by Jelly Bean » Fri, 13 Apr 2007 8:40 am

Thank you Leela! Great advice. Both my dh and I need to use internet at home with fast speed and we do need to download lots of stuff due to our work. specially evening time. I definately won't go for starhub as you shared what you've gone thru.

I need to check out the SkypeOut. My PIL still live in the 60's and apparently do not have the square box called computer. So MSN and web cam are not my options. :roll:


Greatday!

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