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Posted on Nov 21, 2012 in Six Months In Singapore | 431 comments

For those of you who may not be quite as up on the video game world as I am, at the stroke of midnight on November 13th, the long-awaited Black Ops 2 was released. Erez had been anticipating and talking about this game release for months. So before we left for Singapore in July, we went to our local Gamestop in Brookline, MA and pre-ordered it, not willing to take a chance that a version compatible with his US console would be available in Singapore (see earlier blog post on XBox for more on that topic). At the time, we weren’t exactly sure how or when he would be able to get his pre-ordered copy, but it serendipitously turned out that his sister, Lea, was coming to visit us in Singapore in November and, incredibly, her flight from Boston to Singapore was on November 13th!

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Sandy in Singapore

Posted on Nov 17, 2012 in Six Months In Singapore | 378 comments

Being here in Singapore, I experienced hurricane Sandy from a great distance away from the actual storm. But I knew the situation was dire when my sister, Bonni, who lives in Long Beach, NY, stopped making moves in our Words with Friends (WWF) games. Well, I take that back – I already knew conditions were dire from watching Ali Velshi on CNN standing waist-deep in water in the streets of Atlantic City. 

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Three Nights in Bangkok

Posted on Oct 15, 2012 in Six Months In Singapore | 514 comments

View of the Chao Praya river from our hotel room

In a previous post about Saigon, I mentioned that prior to going there, all I knew about the city I learned from Miss Saigon. Well, it turns out that, prior to going on this trip everything I knew about Thailand (formerly known as Siam) I also learned from Broadway musicals: The King and I and Chess, which featured the song One Night in Bangkok. As of last Thursday, when Erez, my sister Laurie, my nephew Adam, his wife Brittney and I took off for a few days in Bangkok, I hadn’t even seen Hangover 2 yet- although it happened to be on HBO last night so I have now seen it (and wish that they had left well enough alone with the first movie which was much funnier).
In any case, my prior impressions of Bangkok were kind of a mixed bag of magnificent palaces and temples (ruled over by Yul Brynner) juxtaposed  with a dirty, seedy, somewhat dangerous city where people would be trying to rip you off. Turns out my priors were right – with the exception of Yul Brynner who is apparently no longer the king of Siam.

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Return to Vietnam

Posted on Sep 29, 2012 in Six Months In Singapore | 336 comments

At least this kid will have clean lungs because of the face mask if he survives the motorcycle ride

We made our second (and according to Erez, the last he will ever go on) trip to Vietnam last weekend – this time to Hanoi up in the north. Like our visit to Saigon, it was an interesting experience, in more ways than one.

I hate to harp on this, but I have to start again with the traffic, which was pretty much the same scene as in Saigon with just tons of motorcycles everywhere, hardly any traffic lights (just a lot of traffic circles) and a complete feeling of chaos. There are something like 5 million people in Hanoi and 4 million motorbikes, which means that pretty much everyone who isn’t too young or too old or disabled to be driving one, has one – and all the others are being driven on the front or back of one. (See family of four on bike in photo to the right).

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Ms. Saigon

Posted on Sep 16, 2012 in Six Months In Singapore | 421 comments

I admit I did say “Good morning Vietnam” when I looked out on the city from our hotel room that first morning

This past weekend, we took the first of what we hope will be two trips to Vietnam. This first trip was to Saigon, now officially named Ho Chi Minh City, but apparently no one other than a few government officials refer to it that way.  Before this weekend, pretty much everything I knew about the Vietnam war I learned from the musical Miss Saigon. Of course, I remember the terrible nightly newscasts that would be on tv in our kitchen during dinner. (Yes, we did watch tv during dinner growing up. Somehow, I managed to still turn out okay, although I guess it explains why my four siblings all turned out the way they did – just checking to see if any of them are reading my blog).

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Not Your Father’s Bank Branch

Posted on Sep 7, 2012 in AgeWise, Six Months In Singapore | 5,333 comments

Sometimes, being “agewise” has nothing to do with older people. I had to open a bank account here in Singapore, so I selected one of the local banks, DBS, and then looked online for the nearest branch location. There probably should have been a disclaimer next to the listing for the branch location nearest to where I live that says “Only for people under the age of 30.”

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