Archive for the ‘Singapore’ category

income tax time…again

July 12, 2011

Annually I post about my income tax and crime stats. I just paid my income tax. Thought I might relate it for all you DOMESTIC Americans. First of all, this year, as far as filing forms and all that, there were none. I received a short notice of my circumstances and was simply asked, if they are correct, i had to do nothing. In other words, instead of the 200 page book for filing that AMERICANS receive, i got an email and had to do NO PAPER WORK.

As far as the amount I paid, let me see….multiply by the percent….carry the one….take out the deduction…yup, they were right!

Total tax liability = 1.92%.

And I am a singe person, filing that way. Read it and weep.


It’s Tax Time Again – Update

May 16, 2009

Just got my revised tax bill. There was an error and I’m sorry if I misled you in my previous post. There I stated that my tax liability for the year was S$52.00. After the recalculation, it was actually S$14.93.


Peace be with you.

Chinese New Year 2009 Singapore

January 23, 2009

Last night we visited the chaotic but wonderful shops and displays set up in Chinatown to welcome in the year of the bull. Here you see the Rats from last year escorting in the Bulls for this year. If you want to see all of the pics, I have them posted on Facebook here. Gong Xi Fa Cai everyone!


Crime in the Streets – 2007 Edition

September 18, 2008

Well, It’s that time of the year again. The FBI has just come out with the crime stats for 2007. I always like to take a look at these numbers and compare them to that little place that I live called Singapore. For this, I have selected those US states that have roughly the same population, though less, than Singapore. I have also included Los Angeles, whose population is also about the same. Lets see what’s new!

Murder Rape Robbery Assault Population
Minnesota 116 1,873 4,770 8,244 3,781,574
Los Angeles 395 1004 13,481 12,926 3,870,487
Wisconsin 183 1,223 5,474 9,416 4,053,659
Colorado 153 1,998 3,453 11,302 4,187,300
Missouri 385 1,714 7,165 20,418 4,306,270
Tennessee 397 2,174 11,022 32,787 4,485,971
Singapore 18 72 1,025 2,800 4,588,009

It looks like killin’ is still real popular in LA though they’re not raping so much, which I guess is good news. Those folks in Missouri and Tennessee love to beat other people up and dang, lots of women seem to be gettin’ poked against their will in Colorado of all places. Minnesota, a chilly but friendly place, seems pretty safe, unless having nearly 2,000 women raped makes you a wee bit queasy.

Singapore, with a larger population than any of them, had 18 murders but hey, they only solved 17 of them and I bet those 72 women who got raped don’t think it’s so safe here. It’s safer now ofcourse, because those murderers and rapists here won’t be doing it again. Ever. They’re……gone.

The rapists and murderers in the US, on the other hand, will most likely be out practicing their trade again one day. Sure hope they don’t find you.

Trekking in Singapore – The Singapore Flyer

August 25, 2008

I finally got a chance to check out the Singapore Flyer which, at 165 meters tall (536 feet) is the tallest ferris wheel in the world. One revolution takes 30 minutes and that’s how long the ride is. The wheel goes slow and it never stops. You board while it moves through the boarding area. Normal cost is $29.50 Sing dollars and $23.50 for seniors over 60. I should have waited another 5 months.

I went as part of a city tour package that included a boat tour on the Singapore river, the Flyer ride, and lunch at a hotel afterwards. We travelled by tour bus and our first stop was the river.

This shows the boarding area along Clark Quay. It’s a clean river lined with outdoor restaurants, pubs and shops.

The boat enters the harbor and passes the Singapore mascot, The Merlion, with the 5 star Fullerton Hotel in the background.

Behind the Fullerton is the main financial district skyline.

At the mouth of the harbor is the flyer. In the foreground you can see the bleachers for the floating stage, again, the largest of its kind in the world.

Under the loading area at the base of the flyer is a beatifully landscaped waterfall and jungle area complete with Koi pond and lush tropical plants.

Also just below the Flyer they are building the pit and grandstand area for the Formula 1 track. Singapore will host its first F1 race next year.

This shot looks out over the adjacent golf course to the main shipping lane where cargo vessels wait to enter the main port for loading and unloading. Singapore and Hong Kong switch back and forth as the busiest cargo ports on the planet.

From higher up I could see the area where the race cars will enter the pits from the main racetrack. As you can see, the entrance is right after a sharp left turn. The cars will be travelling from right to left in this area.

This car was next to us and I took this shot as it reached the very top of the journey. Each car can fit 28 people but we only had about a dozen in ours.

This area under construction is where the new Integrated Resort and Casino is being built. It will include a 3000 room hotel, casinos, shops, parks and a lush garden on top from which there will be a spectacular 360 degree view. In the background is the port.

Here you can see the floating stage, currently being covered with a full sized soccer field for an upcoming event. The two round structures beyond that is the Esplanade Fina Arts theater where major concerts and shows are held.

I took this shot as we were coming back into the boarding area. On the left is a model of the resort hotel and on the right is the actual city. The scale model of the resort was only about 12 feet tall but it looks as though its the same size as the city skyscrapers in the background.

Finally, this is what it’s gonna look like once the track is completed. I can’t wait.

Congratulations Singapore !

August 18, 2008

It’s been 48 years since Singapore won an Olympic medal. Congratulations to the women’s table tennis team for doing it so handily with their silver medal in the team event. You will surely be an inspiration to future athletes on our beautiful little island.

Singapore Trek – Kusu Island

June 21, 2008

Yawn, it was just another day on a lush tropical island in the South China Sea. Ho hum. 🙂

Kusu island is a very small, but beautiful island just south of Singapore. Two fellow teachers and myself took 20 of our foreign students on this trek to celebrate their last day of school. No one lives on Kusu, it is strickly for visitors and there are very few of those. Besides ourselves, there were only one or two couples along.

I especially enjoy getting close to the huge ships that sail into Singapore harbor to load and unload their cargos and Kusu sits right in the middle of the shipping lanes. There are no stores although cold drinks can be purchased at the Buddhist temple that is there.

Because I found out too late that someone had removed the memory card from my digital camera, I had to take these shots with my phone. The quality sucks but you’ll get the idea. So let’s take a look at Kusu.

On the way to Kusu the ferry makes a stop at St. Johns Island (above). It is also for day use only but does include more jungle area.

One of the many cargo ships coming into port. At any given time, you can easily count 100 ships within view.

Despite the shipping, the water is a clear, clean bluish green and very warm. Lagoons have been created for swimming but one must be mindful of the jellyfish.

As we approached the dock at Kusu, other, smaller transports were just leaving.

A small but friendly staff greeted us upon arrival at about 11am. They did caution us that the return ferries only left at noon and 4pm. I don’t know what happens if you miss the last boat.

There are several varieties of unusual flora on the island. This unusual palm is native. You can see part of the temple in the background.

The island is dotted with small covered picnic huts. It rains often and the sun is hot, so these are very useful. They also offer protection from the lightning which is very common.

Kusu is a turtle and tortoise preserve. Close to shore, you can also spot very large sea turtles gliding around near the surface. These are some of the students from China and Vietnam.

We parked ourselves in one of the huts on this lagoon. Some of the students went exploring on the breakwater where they found sea snails, jellyfish and a large crab of some kind. They tried to feed it watermelon but it was more interested in getting a grip on someone’s fingers.

The rest of us broke out the food which was plentiful.

A couple of the more adventurous boys found a small raft and brought it to shore to offer rides. Eventually, and predictably, it capsized which proved to be embarrassing for the normally ultra modest girls. They had worn thin, white blouses and when they got soaked, well, you get the point.

Here’s a couple of short vids of the kids having fun.

This will give you an idea of how close by the ships are. These two were just outside the breakwater of the lagoon.

The students had a great time. Most of them will be returning to their home countries to pursue further studies. They’re a great group and I’m gonna miss them.