A Total TaiTai Tale

Tale of a Total TaiTai who was in Beijing & Beyond and is now in Singapore & Surroundings!

Tag: c&jFiguringOutCoronaVirus



Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Singapore government has been given away free masks every couple of months for each resident in Singapore. They were usually the fabric ones.

Last month we got a free oximeter and this month free surgical & N95 masks.

I didn’t receive the pamphlet for the oximeter (or I threw it away because apparently it looked like an advertisement) but nevertheless after a few people mentioned that they either didn’t receive it or threw it away, we only had to complete a online demand and received another invitation to go pick one up. (Every free handout is given against our national ID). The free masks pick-up was conveniently at my local supermarket.

All these are mostly due to the Temasek Foundation. The “sovereignty fund” is one of the largest in the world.

And so that you know:

Temasek Foundation International is a Singapore-based non-profit organisation under the philanthropic arm of the Singapore state sovereign fund Temasek Holdings.

Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited (abbreviated as Temasek; is a Singaporean holding company, owned by the Government of Singapore. Incorporated on 25 June 1974 as a Commercial Investment Company, Temasek owns and manages a net portfolio of S$381 billion as of 31 March 2021, with S$39 billion divested and S$49 billion invested during the year. Its one-year Total Shareholder Return (TSR) was 24.5%, with longer term 10 and 20-year TSRs at 7% and 8% respectively, compounded annually. Its TSR since inception was 14%, compounded over 47 years.

Temasek differs from a sovereign wealth fund because it invests mostly in equities, is the outright owner of many assets, and pays taxes like other commercial investment firms.

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Temperature check (top) at the entrance of any stores, restaurants, malls are a thing of the past. But safe entry log in (bottom) are still in place

Since April 20th of last year, those temperature check were a common sight at every business entrance. This came to an end last week (August 20). 16 months of 2 beeps each time we enter any places: Hand hold to the sensor for Temperature: Check ✅. Phone (or token) hold next to the other sensor for Safe Entry: Check ✅. We now have to get used to only 1 beep.

I read that there are around 15,000 workers that had been placed into public sector or government-funded short-term Covid-19 roles since the start of the pandemic (temperature check and Check-in verification). For now the workers are still checking our Check-in but where will those temperature check machine end up?

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Last microchip for the family implanted 2 weeks ago and should now be fully activated. 😂

We can go back to restaurants!!!

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Yesterday was my very last “First Day Back-To-School”.

My kids started school before the photos with a poster of their key milestones that year were a trend, so I have no tangible memory of what they wanted to be when they grew up, what was their favorite colors that year, etc

One of my friends commented on my Facebook post (this year but also years before below the photo of my way of documenting 1st day 😉) your last Freedom Coffee!!. We used to joke that once kids were back in school OUR vacation were starting (because everyone knows that stay-at-home moms are on vacation all year round right 🙄). The Freedom coffee was the first coffee we could enjoy free of kids, talking about our summer and how we would tackle this new year but also trying to shed the “mom” talk and go back to “woman” talk (🤯).

*** oh no she’s not done talking ***

Coffee have always been a way to connect but in the Expat world it’s the ignition of your new life. Not only will you most likely get friends (and if you are lucky Best Friend) but you’ll also get answers to all your questions because that’s when you realize that we are all clueless at some levels trying to navigate this new country.

But in order to enjoy your Freedom Coffee with company you first have to get friends and in the expat world you find your squad at Welcome Coffees. The school Welcome Coffee is the obvious place for your first friends…. You have things in common: you have great taste in school (😉) and then the kids…. Sometimes they are even in the same grade and sometimes, jackpot, in the same class!. The other place to find people to connect with are Newcomers Group Welcome Coffee (there are some for every nationality) where you are not Little Timmy’s mother or Mr Jones’ Wife… you are just YOU.

There were no Welcome Coffee this year and I feel so sad for all the newcomers, especially the very new one who are just embarking into Expat Life because it will take them longer to connect.

*** back to one line comment underneath a photo tomorrow. Thanks for reading. ***

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There is an HDB (number) for every occasion.

We have our return ticket for June 19…. It’s just a date J’s assistant picked to reschedule our initial flight first issued 2 years ago, but if we stick to this date, today marks the half point between J’s departure from Singapore and my departure from Singapore. Hoping really really hard that he will be able to come back to Singapore before we need to leave for good.

317 days done… 317 days to go.

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It has become my default pot luck bring.

I feel really American when I bring it to the frenchies place.

Sunday BBQ at a friend who is by himself in Singapore for the summer. We were supposed to be 6 (host + 5 guests) but we will be only 3 (host + 2 guests) per the new restrictions). Being by myself in Singapore sometimes has its advantages as I get to be the 5th wheel or the other “single”… depending on which Phase we are currently at 😉


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Saturday night in Singapore.

Even the storms have lost their voice and are now silence 🙂

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Current state of mind: Want to hibernate 😭

And we are back in “this is not a lockdown” oops sorry we need to call it Phase 2 High Alert. (Restaurants closed and group of 2 only)

What does it mean for me concretely…. I cannot go to my monthly volunteer packing food group tomorrow (Wednesday). I cannot go on my weekly walk with my already reduced size group of friends on Thursday. My lunch at a restaurant with my lovely dentist/friend has to be canceled on Friday. And finally the BBQ on Sunday with 5 other friends I was really looking forward is now a no go.

Let me recap the situation since April 2020

* Circuit Breaker (everywhere else it’s called a lockdown)… Basically cannot go out, stay at home. April 7, 2020 til June 1st, 2020

* Phase 1-Safe Reopening. From June 2, 2020 til June 18, 2020. We could go out, everything closed but back to school.

* Phase 2-Safe Transition or “This is not a lockdown”. Social gathering only by group of 2. Home visitors limited at 2 per day. No dining-in at restaurant, only takeouts. From June 19, 2020 til December 27, 2020. Then May 16, 2021 til June 13, 2021 (but that was actually Phase 2 Heightened Alert) and we are now currently back here until August 18

* Phase 3-Safe Nation or a lighter “This is not a lockdown”… Social gathering only by group of 5 (and for a few weeks 8!). Home visitors limited at 5 per day. Dining-in at restaurant resume but limited groups of 5 (and 8 for just a few weeks). From December 28, 2020 til May 7, 2021. Then from May 8, 2021 til May 15, 2021 and from June 14, 2021 until July 21, 2021 (but that was actually Phase 3 Heightened Alert).

In a nutshell: Phase 2 means restaurants are closed. Phase 3 means restaurants are opened. High Alert reduced the number of people from 5 (rarely 8) to 2. And you can have any combinations!!

I hope i didn’t bore you too much… and because I was really bored I made a chart 😂 amAgain because I need to document it somehow 🤷‍♀️

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I feel like I need a PhD to understand the charts here. Not sure what kind of PhD thought.

So basically since June 21* and until last Monday we were only allowed to eat in group of 2. Since Monday (July 12) we are allowed in groups of 5 and from Monday (July 19) we are (basically) back to groups of 2… well unless you hang out with people who recovered from COVID (we only had single digit cases per day since the beginning of this whole saga so good luck with that) or old(er) people because the younger group have just started to be vaccinated and they need their 2 doses (3 to 4 weeks apart) + a 2-week waiting period.

* before that we were in “We-Are-Not-In-Lockdown” situation. 🙄

All this because an “underground” Ktv (Karaoke place with hostesses) was a cluster of 59 new cases. Government has offered anonymous free test for people who might have been exposed in order to get as many people tested as possible which ensure a whole lot of interesting meme online:

Not quite the usually content on this page but I’m only documented this because in a few years nobody will believe this sh!t show was going on and I want proof of it 😂

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“Let’s Test, Trace and Vaccinate”

You cannot travel this summer and you are missing on all the safety security message onboard? … Don’t fret, the Singapore government got you covered with this catchy safety measure video.

🎶 Let’s Test, Let’s Trace, Let’s Vaccinate 🎶

Oh Singapore 🇸🇬 ❤️

PS: in case you missed out on the last one and need one more jingle to get stuck in your head….Get You Shot, Steady Pom PiPi

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