Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 71, Tuesday June 9, 2009



Ls Exclusive

The Singapore Diary

Part 1: Footloose and Fashionable
Confessions of a Shopaholic, released in February this year, features Rebecca Bloomwood of the 12 credit cards and an almost pathological obsession with sales. The opening scene has her walking past a store right after receiving a credit statement, determined to curb her spending, only to be waylaid by a discount on a scarf. While one may laugh at such a quirky portrayal, yours truly, who is NOT a shopaholic, was almost seduced by the Dark Side when she happened to visit Singapore during the Great Singapore Sale (GSS).

If you like your bargain buys, and have a soft corner for labels and brands, Singapore is the place to be between May 26 to July 26 this year. Whether you are just holidaying up on the tropical island, or shopping for your trousseau, all outlets, from the main shopping belts of Orchard Road and Marina Bay to the suburban malls, offers discounts of up to 70% off the usual prices. That includes everything, from designer apparel to jewellery, watches and more! On top of that, visitors to the island city during the Great Singapore Sale are entitled to exclusive promotions on selected retail and lifestyle purchases. What's more, there will also be attractive dining offers islandwide during the season to keep you and your companions thoroughly contented even when you're not shopping.

Sale Frenzy
GSS officially kicked off on May 30, on the Orchard Road Pedestrian Walkway with 30 teams fighting the clock to shop. Each team was given 3 hours and $1000 to find a list of specified products and find the biggest bargains. Local teams were vying for shopping vouchers, while the international teams were going for the gold in the form of cash prizes, although, considering that all teams get to keep all their purchases, everyone's a winner.

This reporter got a small taste of the action when she visited the Club 21 Bazaar at the Pit Building, which concluded on May 31, and offered up to 80% discount on designer brands such as DKNY, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, and more. With hordes of eager shoppers rushing in for the real steals, elbowing one another out of the way and grabbing up the items, the visit had all the thrills and dangers of any adventure out in the wild. Although both these amazing offers will have expired by the time you see this article, there's still a lot that the GSS has to Offer you, should you plan a trip in the next few weeks, so read on.

Steals and deals
Even with the bazaar being over, there are plenty of reasons to check out the high-fashion stores of Club 21. Their racks feature the likes of Armani, Balenciaga, Mulberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Paul Smith, and more. Spend S$350 to receive a S$50 Traveller's Cheque, and get a 10% discount during the Club 21 End of Season Sale, which ends on July 9. The participating Club 21 stores include the ones at Four Seasons Hotel, Forum Shopping Mall, Hilton Hotel, Ngee Ann City, Paragon, Palais Renaissance, VivoCity (another must-see destination), and T3 at Changi Airport.

With more than 400 retail outlets, food pushcarts and restaurant hotspots, a trip to Suntec City Mall at the centre of the Marina Bay precinct can pretty much be an all day affair. Tourists who spend S$300 mall-wide have a chance to purchase an Aigo digital frame at S$40 (original price S$129). Our pick however, would definitely be Bugis. You can either opt for the open-air stalls, or the retail outlets inside, but you get great bargains and a huge variety of products.

If you're still up and running from all that shopping, you might want to check out the teeming nightlife at Singapore. St James Powerstation is a good place to start, with nine different entertainment outlets. You can chill out at the bar, hit the dance floor, groove to the turntables of the house DJ's, or make your way to the places where they have live bands. Speaking of live bands, the Brix at the Grand Hyatt is a must-visit, if only to check out the cover band Lockdown as they bring you an incredible variety of rocking covers from Latin numbers, to RnB to Reggae and more. If you're not really up for partying it up, just make your way to Clarke Quay. With a whole range of pubs, bars, late-night eateries, the Turkish ice-cream vendor, 5Gmax Reverse Bungee, you'll be spoiled for choices. The colourful buildings, the bright lights, the waterfront view, and the convivial atmosphere makes this place a joy simply to walk through.

For shopaholics and foodies, Singapore is the place to be this summer, so hurry up and plan your trip. Join us next week for the conclusion of this exclusive feature, as we take you through the sights and sounds of Eco-Tourism in Singapore.

Stores to check out for great discounts
* John Little (at Marina Square, Orchard, Plaza Singapura, Jurong Point and Causeway Point)
* BHG Bugis
* DFS galleria
* Kipling (VivoCity and Bugis Junction)
* Fox (Ngee Ann City, Raffles City, Suntec City, Marina Square, VivoCity, Plaza Singapura)

Happy Meals
All that shopping will definitely make you hungry, and that's precisely why there's such an abundance of restaurants and food outlets to choose from. While you're shopping out at VivoCity, do make a point to try out the Malaysian and Indonesian delights at Garuda Padang. If you like a huge selection of juices, and are partial to grilled food and Indian Cuisine, make your way to Straits Kitchen at Grand Hyatt. Another great place for Indian delights is the Pot Pourri restaurant on Waterloo Street, while if you want a bit of real fine dining, you have to check out Coriander Leaf on Clarke Quay. We highly recommend the chocolate.

Our picks
*Coffee Lounge, Goodwood Park Hotel - get 50% off on the second Set Menu
* Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant
* The Tent Mongolian Fresh Grill & Bar, Clarke Quay - 20% off the final bill
* Viva Mexico, Cuppage Road


Sabrina F Ahmad back from Singapore

On The Cover

Lifestyle is teeming with colours this week, as we take off to the island city of Singapore, and then escape to a world of fun and games as we leave the third dimension behind. Flip through our pages to escape.


Of motherly bondage

A friend of mine is in thick soup. Terribly in love with a girl from his extended family, he even moved to the United States to be close to her, away from friends and the country.

His luck turned sour as soon as he got into the US. He soon found out that the object of his affection had been cheating on him all along and maintained a parallel relationship with her ex-boy friend.

Dejected and left with a heavy heart, his grades started falling and he lost the zeal for life. Somehow or the other he found his way and learnt to leave all that had happened in his past and moved on.

But one person who could not move on: HIS MOTHER.

My friend never came out clean about his relationship to his family. Call it the will of god or pure and simple women's intuition, mothers always find out. She never approved of the girl simply because she came from a broken family and her activities seemed too 'fast'.

As soon as she found her son preparing for an admission in an US university, she set her pressure barometers way high. She tried her level best to coax the word out from us but we repeatedly denied any knowledge of the whole affair.

Almost a year later, my friend's mom still thinks he is in an affair while my friend is sitting in sunny California and perfectly single. She calls him three times a day, keeps a track of his activities sitting seven seas away from her son. She has recently resumed contact with her extended family residing in California and her web of spies grows with every passing day.

Mothers are bound to be protective of their children, but when the fine line between being protective and being possessive is crossed, all hell breaks lose.

A boy almost in his thirties does not require baby-sitting. If he is old enough to travel seven seas and maintain a life on his own, he is surely old enough to choose the girl of his life. Parents, mothers especially sometimes simply do not learn to let go. Understandably, it is a difficult undertaking but its part of rearing your child. Sometimes, parents need to take the backseat while their children venture through life.

It is not a failure if their wards fumble; it is a failure if their children dare not take the risk.

By Pothbhola



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