Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
I saw this style of gem-setting at the Jewels of the Mughal Empire exhibit and was intrigued. I had always thought it was a Thai technique until that moment. Having seen intricate, multi-coloured versions on my trips to Bangkok city.
This technique is unique and quite exceptional in that you can view the gemstone from both sides and it allows light to pass through completely. So happy with my find!
Saturday, June 26, 2010
I found this boutique with the most lovely purses that can be had for the price of a rose bouquet. For $50 to $100, you can get a 1 of a kind, custom dyed feathered clutch or floral evening bags. Since it's the Great Singapore Sale, they also have evening dresses at 50% discounts and $20 accessories.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
This non-profit charity sells handmade beads to help improvished Ugandan women support their families. Visit their website: http://www.beadforlife.org/. Alternatively, you can purchase some accessories I made from their loose beads at my online shop http://www.preciousbauble.com/
Monday, June 21, 2010
The Business Trip I took last week had a sour end as the claims process was initiated over the weekend and I wound up absorbing $50 worth of "tips" (read briibe money) that cannot be claimed and a pending lunch expense of $108 where the receipt is not clearly printed. I think the moral of the story is not to go to an inland city where the airport staff know the touts and even a 5 star hotel throws away yesterday's invoices and issues new ones at 4x the original upon check-out. From raising disputes in the hotel to raising disputes with my claims dept, I am done with this company and that city.
I am sure everyone has that experience at a developing nation airport where paying airport tax involves a separate charge for the issuer to actually do her job. Or that the airport security let locals without air tickets in who grab your bags/passport on pretext of helping you check-in, for a fee of course. Not that you can refuse them given the sheer number of menacing "friends" they have around or that the "porter" can run away with your luggage/passport.
From the moment you land, everyone takes a stab at the newbie to make a quick buck. Restaurants slip in extra items, hotels add dubious charges to your tab and then street vendors don't give you change. $20 here, $30 there may seem like small change at first. But, as I found out today, it snowballs to a whopping $350 that I cannot get reimbursed on.
Add in $300 of personal expenses, this 3D2N work trip cost me $650. I am better off on a SIA vacation to Manado. At least I don't have to work or deal with work people.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Stayed at Marriott and have to say the security is a bit of an inconvenience. Gates and guards at the entrance and exit, scanners and metal detectors at the doors and room card required at all times to identify yourself. Such a pain, no wonder nobody comes here. The inconvenience also means all dining and transportation has to be in-house. However, the spacious rooms and attentive dinner service makes up for all of that. Where else can you get spectacular desserts served in ice sculptures for $4?
My schedule for work had early starts, late ends. Especially as it was opening day and couriers kept coming by with packages for the office. A little impromptu spring-cleaning thrown in after lunch helped to keep us awake. It was a brilliant idea to keep the air-conditioning at unusually low temperatures to cool us down after all that running around.
Never been to Indonesia before and have to say, the food is memorable. For opening day, the Branch manager cut a beautiful Rice Cake (Nasi Tumpeng). Food is served in huge banana leaf lined baskets, flavourful aromatic grilled meats, exotic fruits (e.g. salak). The small city center services the plantations located just outside it's perimeter (a.k.a. our customers). Hence, fresh produce such as the famous Sumatra coffee are readily available.