Forms, Tests, Fly, Tests, Quarantine, Tests…

While we have done short trips across the border in the last 2 years, we have not done any long-haul travel at all. What this means is that we have not gone to Singapore to visit family and friends for 2 years! Sigh! We miss them all.

Why have we not gone to Singapore? The title of this post says it all. Because of the Covid-19 entry requirements. In 2020, there was so much uncertainty and quarantine requirements. In the first half of 2021, there was a 21-days quarantine requirement, even for vaccinated individuals.

Why are we going now? Well, they have reduced quarantine to 14 days. We don’t think they will reduce it further, at least not in the near future. The Son really wants to go to Singapore and if we don’t take this opportunity with the 3-weeks school break, then we will have to wait till next summer. So the Husband said maybe we should just go, even if we need to quarantine.

A negative Antigen Self-Test. We hope our pre-flight PCR tests will also be negative.

The last 2 weeks was a sort of rush to find out if we could get everything organised to go, deciding if we take the government allocated accommodations or look for our own, asking for permission for the Son to get 2 days off school to make the trip worthwhile, booking flights and accommodations, filling in forms, booking test slots etc… I have to give a shout out to that very informative Facebook group called Moving to Singapore – Quarantine Information, Advice and Experiences. They are such a helpful bunch with good advice.

So after all that, we are going! We opted to find accommodations which gave us a kitchenette and washing machine with a little living area, rather than hope that we will get allocated more than just a tiny hotel room for 14 days. This is just for the Son and I. The Husband has a project at work so he will fly out a week later, which means he has to quarantine by himself, so he will take the randomly allocated quarantine accommodations. We will compare experiences at the end of it.

Usually, we don’t pack any food when travelling to Singapore, except for chocolate gifts. But this time, with quarantine, i have had to think about things like bringing sauces, oils and condiments so we can cook, while we try to get online deliveries of groceries which we have been told takes at least a couple of days.

Unfortunately, we won’t be able to meet our friends because Singapore has tighten measures for this period and only 2 persons can eat out together (provided they are vaccinated or have a negative test), only 2 unique persons are allowed to visit each home in a day. But this trip is really about seeing family; my parents have had some health issues and my father-in-law is getting on in years.

Wish us luck on our travels and quarantine!

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Our Summer Holiday 2019…

Wow! It has been almost 3 weeks since we got back from our annual trip to Singapore. School started last Monday and we are trying to adjust to a new school timetable and get a routine going.

This year, our trip to Singapore was shorter than previous years because we could not afford to have Lexi (our black Standard Schnauzer) boarding for too long at the pet hotel. So we were in Singapore for just 24 days, instead of the usual 30 or so days. Plus we also brought Tobias’ best friend with us, which meant we did more touristy things, on top of having less time to see the usual number of family and friends.

It felt quite stressful while we were there and looking back, maybe we should have not done both shortening the trip and bringing an extra person with us at the same time, but i think we all did have fun in the end and we learned a bit about more about each other and our little island country while showing it to a new person.

Of course, we had lots of yummy food (it was quite enjoyable to introduce a foreigner to our unique food culture in Singapore) and lots of fun and laughter with our beloved ones. It was also great to have traveled there and back altogether, without the usual split where Walter had to come back first.

Here are some highlights of our trip in pictures (see captions for details):

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In Singapore…

We were in Singapore for our annual visit for about 4 weeks plus, during the summer holidays; it’s the longest we have been there at a stretch since Tobias was a newborn.

It was hot and humid, as always. But it was absolutely fab to see family and friends and, of course, to eat all the yummy foods we missed.

We went a little earlier this year; a dear friend was getting married. So happy for her! It was a lovely wedding ceremony and dinner, with cute, heartwarming little touches throughout. Well done, you two!! The attention to detail was impressive! Because this friend also knew my family, she invited them too and that gave us a rare opportunity to take a very nice family portrait.

singapore20180824aThen we settled into the routine of rushing with the crowds of people on public transport on our way to meet various family and friends for laughter and food. We also got in our exercise in the forms of leisure swimming and some squash games.

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singapore20180824ci am so proud that my brother did Hair for Hope, to raise funds for Children’s Cancer Foundation. He shaved his head, together with members of the 501st Legion (made up of people who enjoy dressing up as Star Wars characters and doing volunteer/charity events).

There was a sad side to our visit this year. Just before we arrived, we heard that a friend had passed away from a second stroke. Our thoughts are with his dear wife and children and family. We also visited another friend in the hospital, whom we had lost contact with for a long time; she was in the final stages of cancer. We were able to say our goodbyes before she passed away, a few days before we flew out of Singapore. Rest In Peace.

singapore20180824dLast but not least, my boy talked his grandparents into keeping hamsters for him again. This time we got 2… Meet Finn and Poe! Can you guess who they are named after?

Oh, my boy also bought his very own gaming laptop, which he saved for 2 years for! He was a very happy boy that day we bought it.

It was a slightly tiring but good trip.

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