I have a dream

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A dream to travel. Travel to countless places, both big and small. In order to start making that dream come true, I started off with my recent trip to Singapore. You must read the gist of it here. In today’s post I’m sharing my trip in detail.

For starters, as much as Singapore seems like a small country, it is not! Even if you argue that it is, it’s definitely not one of those Asian countries that can be covered on a 5 day trip. There’s loads to do and many tourist attractions. I tried covering most of those places on my trip, yet there were a few I missed out on. It was like a fight against time.

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Tid bits about tourist attractions visited:

Night safari: If this is your safari debut, it will amaze you. Sitting in that beautiful animal printed tram, you get to look around at the animals that are just a few metres away. For you to understand more about the animal you’re looking at, there is a pre-recorded audio set in the tram to give you an idea and some interesting bits.
Like, did you know Snakes aren’t really sticky and wet? They just appear glossy but are completely dry.

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The Night safari is all about the experience. If you’re looking to bring back photos to show your dear ones back home, probably this isn’t meant for you. Flash Photography is strictly prohibited as it scares/annoys the animals. You don’t want to take a chance with them now, do you?

Universal Studios: Having heard quite a bit about the movie based rides here, it was obligatory to visit the USS.
On entering USS, you are transported to another world altogether. It’s difficult not to stop and take pictures as you walk through to the actual rides. Interesting looking little buildings, Workshops, candy stalls, meet and greets with movie characters, street dances, restaurants, chocolates and souvenir shops etc will catch your attention.

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You need an entire day to explore the USS. The movie based rides are the highlights. Also while you’re at it, might as well visit the Sea Aquarium which is just across the USS.

Sea Aquarium: It’s crazy not to get impressed looking at more than 100,000 underwater animals from 800 species, swimming in 45 million liters of water. Fish lovers, you will want to live here.

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If you’re lucky you will get to see the Octopus go through a whole maze. It’s outstanding!

River safari, Singapore zoo: Though they are 2 different attractions, they can be done one after the other.
The Indian Gharial is worth all the attention it gets.
The river safari depends on your luck as sitting on a river cruise you can’t do much but just hope the animals/ birds appear into sight. The amazon quest ride passes through some interesting species that are just at an arm’s distance away.

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Singapore zoo is a huge spread. There’s a lot of walking to be done, so it’s best to wear sneakers/ walking shoes. It’s easy to lose your way here and hence remember to carry a map of the zoo.

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Do not leave the zoo until you spot the Panda (there are 2 of them – Jia Jia & Kai Kai), the Polar bear and the white tiger.

Merlion Park: This isn’t really a park. Coming to Singapore and not seeing and posing with this fish-lion statue is like having an unaccomplished trip. You can spot the mighty Marina Bay sands Hotel, The domes of Gardens by the bay and even the Singapore Flyer from here. All these places look marvelous at nights, they’re well lit up and stand out.

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China town: In Singapore this is the street you need to visit for souvenirs. The cute buildings, the bright colors everywhere makes this market attractive enough for you to spend some time here. Shopping is an advantage.

Marina Bay Sands: Even if you want, you can’t miss it. This building stands 57 floors tall and it’s infinity pool is a dream! As if the view from the top isn’t enough, imagine swimming like you’re at the edge. It’s quite a high.. pun intended.

The hotel puts up a brilliant light and water show in the evening. It’s approximately a 11 minute show that will have your attention at the water.

Gardens by the bay: Walking into the flower dome, you will be greeted by a thousand plus different flower speicies from all over the world. Nature lovers will want to make this their home.
Besides the Flower dome, the Cloud dome is a surreal experience.

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The best time to go to these as well as walk the OCBC skywalk is during the light and sound show in the evenings. Standing amidst the supertrees is unexplained.

Alive Museum: Situated at the Suntec city mall, this museum will bring out the child in you. It’s 3D art is not just to be admired but makes you one with the paintings. It’s meant for people of all ages.

Hoping this list has given you a gist about the places you should visit while at Singapore.

Food in Singapore:

While I loved my fancy meals at The Black Swan, Loof, Me@OUE, Ce La Vie and KPO cafe, for the times I was out and about exploring, I preferred sticking to Mc Donalds/ KFC/ Burger King etc. The local Singaporean food seemed too strong for my taste buds. Although I went with an open mind to try out local delicacies, the use of fish oil in everything changed my mind. 7/11 was like home when there weren’t any of the above fast food joints available.

 

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Everything mentioned is from my personal experience and I encourage you to have your own. Do share them with me. Reading anything about Singapore makes me happy and brings back good memories.

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer,
Franchua D’Souza

 

 

I am blogging about my dreams and passions for the Club Mahindra#DreamTrails activity at BlogAdda. You can get a Club Mahindra Membership to own your holidays!

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All I need is a miracle, All I need is You!

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Working as a Front desk executive taught me some things that I will keep in mind always.You may call these things the basics. The obvious points in my role would be looking presentable and professional, always maintaining a smiling and approachable appearance, making sure the reception area is tidy and of course being efficient in the other admin jobs given. I’ve come to realise that this is one role that may be neglected most of the time. In this role, there are high chances that you may be the last one to know if it’s someone’s birthday or if someone is promoted. You may even not get to be a part of certain office events, well because “If you don’t take those client calls, then who will?”

Like other jobs, this role has it’s own positives and advantages as well. For one, mostly it’s not a stressful job (which means your hair won’t gray as soon as others) and you will have suitable fixed timings . Also, you will be far away from office banter, office gossip and negative vibes. And then if you’re lucky with not too many walk-ins, you can click some selfies with no one watching (but first make sure you don’t have office cameras).

Office employees and colleagues will be busy with their work and their teams. But remember, whenever they need anything for office use, they will first think of approaching you. Generally in offices, you will have things kept in specific storage spaces like cabinets and drawers. But to save you some time, energy and effort, I’ve compiled a list of things that you can always keep handy in your drawer. After all, all they need is a miracle, all they need is you. Here it is:

Stationary Items

Stationary Items

1. Basic stationary: This is the most basic thing your desk should have besides your desktop, keyboard and mouse. Stationary will include pens, pencils, erasers, white ink, stapler, punch, pins, scissors, post it etc. Keep in mind, since it’s not your house, you will require a simple and professional looking pen stand to keep these things in order. I can assure you that even though every employee is given stationary, they will keep coming to your desk to grab a pen/ pencil before rushing to that meeting they are getting late for. It’s obvious that you need to have pens that work!

Tissue box

Tissue box

2. Tissue Box: Again, this is a staple. You never know when your cup of tea spills all around your desk and keyboard making you a nervous wreck. Also, you will have colleagues who even though they vist the fresh room before leaving office for a meeting, they will grab some tissues from your desk on their way out.

Band- aid

Band- aid

3. Band-aid: It’s not possible to keep an entire first-aid box with you at your desk, but whenever someone approaches you with that sad boo-boo look, pull out your band-aid and hand it over. Look at that face turn into a smile as though you’ve just saved their life. If you’re not as petrified as me, you can offer to help if possible.
Also, with women and new shoes, blisters are nothing new. Band-aid always to the rescue.

Needle-thread and pins

Needle-thread and safety pins

4. Needle and thread / Safety Pins: I swear I’ve seen instances where employees are strutting out for a meeting and suddenly the slit on their skirt goes farrrrr (roll the rrrr to get the sound I’m making). It can be the most embarassing situation for the employee and she may just not know how to fix the issue. Here’s where you pull these out and save their day. I assure you, you will be thanked profusely, and maybe you may even get a treat.

Handmade Flowers

Handmade Flowers

Teddy snowball

Teddy snowball

5. Some personal touch to your desk: A colleague made these little flowers for me. The pink one is out of stocking and the green one is out of a wasted courier envelope.Adding these personal little things help me remember there are days when you are appreciated for who you are and what you do. Also, while you may have colleagues waiting for someone at the reception or while waiting for that band-aid, these will initiate conversation. One of my colleagues, even keeps all post-it notes, even though none of those are reminders.

It’s also a great idea to have a folder containing all near-by restaurant menus, have some sanitary pads, and some loose change for someone when they desperately need it.
I also suggest, since these are the very few occasions that people may come up to you, be approachable and warm. Make conversation with them so the next time they see you around, they will acknowledge your presence. It’s equally important to dress right and have your hair and make-up in place, as professionally talking “You are the face of the organization”.

I’ve summed up all that I could think of. If you would like to add any points or give me your comments, I’d love to hear back from you.

Also for quick updates, you can now follow my Twitter handle @Thesilenthummer and follow me on Instagram, my username is franchuadsouza

Lots of Love,

The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

Just like the waving flag

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In a couple of days India celebrates 69 years of Independence. Of course it’s quite debatable if we Indians are actually independent or not. As much as the country wants to move ahead and catch up with the rest of the world, we have a few crabs that tend to pull the good lot down.

I won’t say much about how unsafe I feel travelling even at 8:00pm in a local train, I won’t say anything about how I fear taking panga with roadside romeos because it’s me who has to walk the same path almost every day, I won’t talk about the number of times I’ve requested ladies in my train compartment to not throw their fruit peels/ chip packets etc directly out of the train, neither will I talk about the number of times I’ve seen cops pass through railway tracks and not use the foot over bridge, or see traffic cops go triple seat on a bike thereby breaking rules, or how some selected festivals are allowed to be celebrated on the streets post 10pm with the loudest drums, trumpets, DJ systems playing so called religious songs.

There are times I crave peace. Like now. It’s 11:45pm as I’m typing this and I can hear taxis honking like there’s no tomorrow, the dosa man is banging the ladle on the tawa for whatever reason, there are the Mumbai galli boys yelling and calling out to their friends who are just 3 steps away. I can go on…

May be it’s just me and a few others who are affected by these things. Maybe this is the forever alive Mumbai spirit I always hear about. Probably a lot of people may even agree with all that I’ve said but not bother to express their thoughts. At the end of the day what matters is my country is independent for almost 69 years. It definitely means something. You must join the celebrations and watch the speeches given on the day to believe how much the country has progressed. If you’re lucky you may even get to enjoy some drama on the news channels with local politicians fighting over who will hoist the flag, at least it happened around 2 years back.

Wishing all my fellow country men and women a Very Happy Independence Day! May this country prosper in it’s true sense and may you always fly high, just like the waving flag.

Salute

Salute

Lots of love,

Thesilenthummer.
Franchua D’Souza