Now that I am settled in an apartment, there are things I wish I would have brought that I am kicking myself for not packing. Here is my list of most regrets:
Patio Set At home, I had not one, but TWO patio sets. One I left for the renters, the other I gave away. I thought no way will I need a large patio set in Singapore. WRONG! Everyone here needs a patio set. I have a giant balcony! Now I have to buy another, but since things are so expensive here, and patio sets seem to run about S$1500, I am quite bummed.
Grill Again, I thought I wouldn’t need it. I had a nice grill at home that I gave away. Here, a similar grill costs twice what we paid in the States. The thing is, the ovens are so small you almost have to have a grill if you want a proper dinner. It is killing me!
Toothpaste Ok, I brought plenty of this, but it is on my list of things to bring when we run out. I bought a tube of toothpaste here, and they put triclosan in the toothpaste here. That’s the stuff found in hand sanitizer. It made my teeth ache, not to mention it is disgusting. Ditto for kid toothpaste. Kid toothpaste is not as tasty as back home, according to the peanut gallery.
Kid Swim Shampoo We swim so much and so often here, the Swim and Sport shampoo is a must. I can’t find a chlorine taming shampoo here. If your kids have blond hair like mine do, they will turn green headed (ask K!) without the chlorine remover.
Macaroni and Cheese It’s not that mac and cheese is unavailable. It is just too damned expensive here. Bring a case from home.
Spices I made the mistake of ditching my spices thinking they wouldn’t allow them in. Apparently I was wrong, and spices cost so much more here. I wish I would have brought them all!
Cases of toilet paper and paper towels from Costco If your shipment has room, bring as much as you can. Otherwise you might have a heart attack when you see how much paper goods cost here.
Kid swimsuits I thought we had plenty at home, but when you swim several times a week, the swim suits get ratty pretty quickly. The shops want $65 + here for kids swim suits, when they were on sale for less than $10 USD when I left. Why didn’t I stock up on all the sizes?
Water Filtration System Most refrigerators do not come with water dispensers here, so most likely you will not have the convenience of water in the door. The tap water here tastes like crap. I tested ours, and it was actually quite clean, but it tastes dirty compared to New York and Oakland water. Best to bring a water pitcher, because, as I’ve said before, things are just too damned expensive here. They want about S$100 for a Brita type system. Bring extra filters, too, as they won’t sell the same ones, of course.
Household Cleaning Supplies I long for the brooms of the USA. Here, they mostly sell junk ones, and the nice ones they do sell cost – wait for it – an arm and a leg. If the ones at Ikea won’t do for your cleaning needs, bring them along.
Don’t forget your water filter!