A week of sorting

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This week has seen everything ramp up a gear in terms of getting ready for the BIG MOVE to Singapore. I think it’s really hit both the boy and I how quickly time seems to be flying by, and now we have just over 3 weeks before we leave on a jetplane (I am resisting the urge to sing this a lot a la Armageddon!).

We had our medicals this week which involved me having to go to a very swanky health centre on Finsbury Circus. NHS it was not! I have to say the doctor was very thorough and nice, despite me being so nervous about the whole thing that my pulse was racing so much she had to take my blood pressure 5 times before it was remotely normal! I then had to go and have some more travel vaccinations – Typhoid, Hep A&B, Diptheria, Polio, Tetanus, and Rabies! Two injections in each arm, plus a blood test, left me looking a little bit like a pin cushion. But on the plus side, I now know exactly what injections I’ve had, seeing as my doctors only seem to have records of my childhood immunisations this is rather helpful. I will have to put that little booklet in a SAFE place (rather than my usual and questionable filing method i.e. non-existant).

We also had a meeting with a tax consultant to go through our personal circumstances and work out what the tax implications of our move would be. I think this is the first time I have been truly grateful for having worked for an accountants, as it meant I was able to follow most of what he said. Essentially, we should both qualify as Singapore tax residents which is a good thing.

I’ve also been speaking to some shipping companies to get a quote together for moving all our stuff out. They’ve actually been really helpful, and I have two surveyors coming next week to have a look at the house. Thankfully, we rent a furnished flat so most of the things we take will be kitchen stuff and personal effects. The best thing for me is that you don’t have to pack anything yourself – in fact, you aren’t allowed! Because of customs and smuggling stuff, we aren’t allowed to pack anything that goes into a container; they do it all for you! AMAZING. They also give you advice on what you can and can’t take into the country. DVDs are a bit of an issue because of all the censorship – the boy has been trying to find a list of banned DVDs on the internet, and was very upset to find one list that has Wild Things on it as a banned DVD – tee hee! So this weekend, we are going to try to go through our stuff and think about what we want to take, what we want to put in storage, and what needs to be chucked/donated etc.

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5 responses »

  1. Trying very hard to thinking of something amazing to say… I think I will have to settle with, I love your update. It would be great If you could wrap the planned photo of Kiri and I before the people pack it? 🙂 xxxx

  2. welcome to the “Little Red Dot” … well almost!

    only piece of advice I would suggest, is not to bring too much ……. clothing has to be lightweight for sure. Rarely does anyone wear actual shoes, always we are in sandles or flip flops. Dancing shoes yes!

    Underwear – yes – comfortable stuff naturally. Remember, this is ‘barbie country’ and so a size 6 to 8 is the norm.

    Ask Laura what things she would suggest you bring that is possibly not available here.

    Dont worry too much about the ‘kitchen stuff’, plenty available here ….. and if you like baking etc make sure you get a kitchen with an oven, otherwise dont bother bringing baking pans as most kitchen’s do not have ovens.

    Bring a power board ….. odd I know, but if you are bring appliances / chargers etc with a UK plug, then you may need at least one power board from the UK. That is the one thing that most people forget and wished they had brought with them…. Though I have no idea what your power plug looks like!

    Bring a few ‘favourite’ things … whatever they may be. Something to help you feel good. Photos in frames, food items, a teddy bear etc!

    Am surprised at the innoculations you have had … seems OTT, but you are probably thinking of traveling to the back blocks India and elsewhere at some stage. So then, yes warrented. Have never heard of anyone having any of these to come to Singapore. Though a Tetanus shot is always a good idea!

    If you are going to be paying Singapore Tax, you are going to be very happy indeed … so simple and easy to complete (max 10 minues) and far less tax here than we have paid anywhere else. Thats gotta be good news eh?

    You can bring some DVD’s in …. but be prepared to pay for the customs official to sit there and watch them before releasing them to you … if at all. If you have an IPad (or even a laptop) just upload them, much easier. We have never had any issue with them. You can also buy (pirated) DVD’s in JB (Johor Bahru, Malaysia) for about $2.00 and you can bring 2 or 3 in to Singapore each time you go over ….. we go over every month for shopping, so its not a huge deal.

    Check any medication you may be on …. if its prescription medication, bring a letter from your Dr and a copy of the script. You may also like to bring in at least 3 mths supply. Medical Care here in Singapore is gold class, never fear. They are tops in their field in any of the medical area’s … though if you don’t have medical cover it can become expensive if you are not careful.

    We go over to JB for all our medication … cheaper and easier (for us) in the long run.

    anyway … enough rambling…..

    once you are settled, we will catch up for sure.

    • Wow Leone, thank you so much for all the advice. I’ve done quite a lot of reading up about what to bring and what to leave behind, but its really great to hear from real people about what they have found they need.

      I think our doctor was very thorough with our vaccinations, but also, as you say, we are keen to explore the area a bit more once we arrive so best to have them just in case. Thank you for the reminder about the prescriptions – I will need to make sure that we bring those with us.

      I wondered if you knew of anyone who has set themselves up as a sole trader in Singapore? Do you know any good resources for advice?

      Do let me know if you think of anything else we should know in advance – always happy to be given advice.

      Look forward to meeting you in person once we are arrived and settled.

  3. Leone has given you loads of great advice and apart from the couple of random things I suggested in Twitter I really can’t think of anything else to say don’t leave home without. Like I said it will be silly snack type things you can’t get here that you’ll get a sudden craving for even if you never really ate them much before.

    Like I said you can get most well known brand toiletries etc. here at least something similar so I’ve never had a problem. Just be careful not to pick up the whitening brands instead, brands we have in the UK do skin whitening ranges here too and if you aren’t concentrating can easily make that error.

    Most things we’ve got with a UK plug on fit perfectly fine and work with no problem over here, in fact it is more the fact when I’ve been back to the UK with things I’ve bought here remembering to pack an adaptor plug so I can use them there. Some things here come with a two pin plug others with a three like we are used to – never worked that out to be honest.

    With regards to the DVD’s we agonised a lot as we’d heard you’d have to pay duty on everyone etc. and that they’d be checked before they were let in the country etc. In the end we took a chance and got them shipped, I dare say the container was checked when it arrived but we were never asked to declare them on the customs paperwork we had to complete. The things they were interested in (cars, firearms) we weren’t bringing so we had no issue. Perhaps though we were just very lucky or did not have anything that they considered inappropriate (we do have a lot of children’s films so maybe that’s why)?!?

    Good luck though and look forward to meeting you when you arrive and are settled.

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