12 Jul

(Just to clarify, the entry has got nothing to do with the animals(or make-believe ones) 😀 )

Few days back home in Singapore and i’m still adjusting to the switch…..
( Everything becomes ‘Wah, so cheap!!!!’)

Its winter in Sydney and coming home to this fiery climate is Tormenting.

For the past few days, i can’t help but observe, and compare the difference in diets and lifestyle of the Aussies and the Singas.(lol)
The food culture, the way of life and the availability of healthier choices people can make.
But of course, the cost of living varies starkly too,
Everything is so expensive in Sydney if you compare it to Singapore – E.g. A regular plate of rice there costs $8AUD and up.

Then again, they have high wages, so a regular position in the retail line would probably earn you $17-20/hr.
(Siao!!!!! I Know, Right)

With inflation escalating in most part of the world, our wages in Singapore at approx. $5-$6/hr have remained STAGNANT for the past 10-15 years.
2 Things :

1. Most can barely survive with this nominal pay.
2. We can’t stop foreigners from coming in to do these jobs either.

I bought Hokkien Mee last night(Not for me lah) from a regular neighbourhood coffee shop which costs a jaw-dropping $4.20.
Assuming i get $6/hr, that is 70% of my pay.
If i were in Sydney, and a meal costs me $8, and i get $17/hr, that is 47% of my pay.

A bus ticket of 10 short-distance rides cost $16, about $1.60/ride which i think is very much reasonable(high wages), compared to us which charges about half the price and often left with only standing spaces on the bus.
Another thing i observed in buses in Sydney, is that the bus driver would not allow more than 15 people standing, and the remaining boarding passengers would have to wait for the next bus.

That made the bus ride relieving and peaceful, without having to bear with the squeezing and temperaments of sore commuters.

Note that life is more laid back in Australia, no one’s rushing and people don’t shove and say ‘SCUSE!!!’, or roll their eyes at you just because they don’t get their way around.
And Thus, waiting for a bus is not that painful an ordeal.

Needless to say, there are still many other expenses that we have to factor in – Taxes, Petrol, Electricity Bills etc.
But, i think our COE beats the other comparisons Hands Down.
FYI, the front page of the Straits Time today mentioned that transport fares are going up, Again! It will be the biggest hike in recent years..

Let me move on.

One thing that i found ironic in Sydney, was that despite the sizeable amount of healthier choices available, at the same time there was also an equally whooping lot of not-so-healthy starch/carbo/fatty-laden foods…… Displayed just beside the healthy stuff.

You can’t have ABBA and Metallica in the same concert,
but you could love both though.
(For me at least… *shrugs* lol)

It seems to be a trend to have stores in malls and streets that promotes Whole Foods, Organic, Gluten-free, Low-calorie, Healthy yada yada.
Indistinctly suggesting that ‘Okay what you buy and eat from my shop will not cause any weight gain’.

So much so that it becomes a bubble-tea phenomenon in the F&B industry.
(Oh btw they also have bubble-tea there and very popular, called ChaTime and Easyway, so funny to see Angmohs drinking bubbletea and eat pearls lolol)

Just to show you a few –

And next door would be these –

These pastries are EVERYWHERE, haunting every corner of your eye, not to mention that servings are in XL portions.

Yours truly with the smallest serving of yogurt available.
The lady behind the counter had to deal with my incessant “How on earth do you not have a smaller serving than this?! How i eat dinner like that?!’


What’s even more shocking are the magazine racks that blatantly promotes headlines like – ‘See how this Hollywood celebrity lose 20lbs in 10 days’ or ‘Check out this slutty-celebrity’s diet’ or ‘1 month guaranteed weight loss regime’ E T C.

There were like 9 magazine covers on the one magazine rack in the convenient store that i chanced upon that had these made-believe ideas.
I stood there, and it took me a minute to process this national obsession.

Crazy, crazy stuff.

Both the healthy and unhealthy stuff are so commercialized and profit-driven. Makes me wonder if the healthy stuff are really that healthy……

Well, there’s no perfect world. They have their own battle to overcome.

It also enlightened me about why people in the western world are enslaved to fast-food.
In Asian societies, prices of normal meals are cheaper at $2-3 ,and fast-food to us, are the costlier alternatives. Unlike for them, fast-food is cheapest and tastes good.
And thus, the struggle.

(Well, we also have our char kway teow and Ba Chor mee extra ba chor extra chilli)

However, they do have the necessary support system in place to easily jump on the healthy lifestyle wagon.
Gyms are everywhere in the neighborhood, fruits and vegetables of vibrant colours pile up on shop fronts. Most restaurants also make substantial efforts in their menu to cater to the calorie-conscious.

i was also utterly envious of the healthy foods that were easily found in supermarkets that do not rob the daylight out of my pockets.(huge cereal boxes go for 2 for $8. in SG, one of the same size and quality can be $10) There were so many choices and endless alleys of cereals, plus yogurts and salads and sold everywhere!
These to me,


At the end of the day, there’s no perfect world that we can live in, its all about the choices that we can make for ourselves.

♥x, S.L


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