Moving House

Heheh… thought we moved huh?

Well no. For this post is not about us moving away from our humble abode (our ‘castle’), but about a couple that has literally done that. Physically that is. Moving THE house, around the states of the US and Canada. Read here for the story. Now granted their little ‘house’ is really like a customized RV, it still brings a different view to the term “moving house’.

Homes.

This word reminds us of the dream that many a red dotter have. To have a portfolio of real estate, or at least a non-government built apartment. They call them ‘upgraders’, graduating from living in government built flats to pricier privately built ones. Not that the ones built by our government are poorly constructed (on the contrary if you have been reading our MRT series), just that it seems to be a status conferring thing…

Anyway.

Living a life of modern nomadism seem to have evolved. Now you can bring along more than just a large backpack with you. Just make sure you have a place to sit your home and voila! We are so tempted… not sure if we’d ever clock that many miles. Sure sounds like a retirement adventure to us. Yeah! Perhaps we will work towards doing that when we have to stop working (or when the work stops for us).

They say a “wo(man)’s home is his/her castle”. Have you been moving castles? Or do you build them in the air?

Of travel scams and losses

What are the most common scams one can encounter when traveling abroad? We are sure you would have heard of more. But there is an interesting infographic in this article that sums it up. Remember we wrote about fake travel websites (here) last year?

Today’s not really about scams.

Some months back, we read about Joy’s experience getting around with luggages in a busy Athenian metro station. It was surely not a happy experience to lose all your money and documents and finding it hard to obtain help in a country which does not speak your language. We are sure some of us had experienced the same frustrations and sense of loss (not just of the money and documents) when this occurs.

And does anyone recall the recent news about Himalayan helicopter rescue insurance fraud?

Isn’t it such a sad state of affairs when there begins to be growing prevalence of petty crime in any travel destination? Perhaps our little red dot is small, and great pains had been put into ensuring that there remains low crime (though not no crime). And not just against tourists but also in general around the country. Because one of the most enjoyable thing about traveling to any place is NOT having a feeling of vulnerability.

But it does not mean that its all hunky dory here. Because there are many scams going around too… yes here! So much that our little red dot actually have an active scam alert site to warn of the schemes out there (https://www.scamalert.sg/). Essentially they advise

  • 别慌 (don’t panic and become vulnerable)
  • 别信 (don’t believe blindly)
  • 别给 (don’t give information freely)

If only there were ways we can emulate Japan, where discipline, honesty and politeness seems to be innate in the people. When can we become like that? Do we aspire to be so?

What is your view?

Can roads heal themselves?

For those who own an automobile, we are sure you’d be most familiar with the cost of paying road taxes that supposedly is used to maintain a fair condition of the very medium that one drives on. But what if these roads suffer a lot of wear and tear like they should and are not well maintained? Of course you might find a pothole or two.

And invariably you might get stuck on a traffic jam when road works take place when the relevant authorities decide to make road surface repairs.

Which is what made this article interesting to us anyway. If you clicked on the link, the title might appear to be incredulous. Imagine using cooking oil to help repair roads! But if one dive deeper into the article, the science appears to make a lot of sense. We hope this nugget piqued your interest to read it for yourself.

But today our post is not just about roads or how it is repaired. It is about the fact that we enjoy road tripping a lot, and that we very often encounter poorly maintained roads in our drives around some parts of the world. And it is only experiencing that did we come to appreciate how well maintained our own road network is on our little red dot. You sometimes need to go see if the grass is really greener on the other side.

So the answer is no. Roads will not heal themselves. But it’s just another ingenious way that has been discovered to potentially make work easier to do so. Good ideas make light work. Don’t you agree?

A childhood dream

One of the things as children we were obsessed with was building stuff. And with what? Lego bricks and Play Mobil! We recall how costly it was to buy a set each time from the departmental store. And we saved our pennies in order to buy the coolest one. Do you remember constructing a jet out of these little bricks? Yeah, those were the days… today you might 3D print one. Heheh…

Over time Lego bricks had been “constructed” into various sculptures, some so elaborate that can only be said as works of art. When you trough the web you will discover it is a industry world in itself.

Today it appears Lego isn’t doing that well in terms of the sales of this traditional toy (they’ve been shedding jobs last year). And while they’ve been diversifying into other areas (parks, movies and cartoons for example), it seems like today’s children might not be as enamoured to this mode of play as we were. Yeah, sounds like we are dinosaurs huh? Did you enjoy playing with Lego bricks?

So we will watch closely and observe how this latest attraction (read here) will perform. Ok, so the house itself is not made of Lego bricks though it looks like it. There is actually a Legoland park in Johore Bahru across the causeway from our little red dot. We’ve not visited it yet before.

Did you collect lego play sets when you were growing up? Will you visit this new Lego house in Denmark?

Taking an Air Cruise?

Once again it’s time to recap what’s going on with trends in travel. From this article, what caught our eye was Uber private jetting (wonder how recent developments with them will be though). Yep, you read that right. This sharing economy is really taking off (no pun intended).

But the icing on the cake really was the section of the post that suggests there are folks who would gun for taking round the world (well not all the way round) air cruises. Huh? You might recall that we wrote (here) about the nostalgic days of air travel in the 1950s and 1960s. Back in the day a journey from say Australia to the UK could take several days, even by flight. And what journey did the passengers have? Why they had stopovers where they’d be checked into hotels before making the onward journey flight.

Seems like this form of travel is making a come back!

So who says one cannot do a cruise with planes? It will not be the plane being in the air for the entire duration of a week, but surely as cruise ships dock at ports the planes can do the same (not the seaport lah)? And it has always been our prediction that some day, airships will come back in vogue not as transportation but as pleasure crafts. It’s a matter of time.

We predict that within the next 10 years, air cruising will become affordable to the masses as sea cruises are. When that becomes a reality, will you be one of the first to jump in the air?

King of the Hill, for a day or two

We all know a (wo)man’s home is her (his) castle. Talk about trying to be gender neutral here… anyway you know what we mean right? But how would one like to really own a real castle? Not the ones that Kings of ode can dream up and build in reality, but buy one. Not the one in the featured image, unfortunately.

Some months back, we read this article that suggests that for a princely (heheh) sum of £46, one can become a joint-holder of an abandoned French Fortress in the Dordogne region. Yep, you can become one of 10,000 folks that will be able lay claim on a stake in this relic of noble past. A minor ‘Princelet’ perhaps? Maybe we need to update our exciting business opportunity!

But the point today is this : do these folks really understand what they are getting into?

In our little red dot we have properties from a bygone era, from before the 1960s. Pre-war houses they call them and they are conserved. Well some of them anyway. To buy them meant to ensure that they are preserved externally with no cosmetic amendments. Sure you can turn the inside into what you wish, but it remains a responsibility of the owner to manage the conservation. Overall, that costs a fair chunk of change… actually those who bought in early have reaped the rewards (darn why did we not join our friends?). Will the new greater fools rushing in be able to count on the same?

There are many outstanding structures in the world today. Especially in Europe and Asia. Should the State own them all and conserve them at public cost, or would private citizens coming together to fund conservation be the answer?