10 October, 2012

What's in the bag?

As promised yesterday, the guide to what goes into a handbag in Singapore.  Firstly, I have to say how happy I am that I bought this baggallini bag in New York right before we moved out here. It's not very glamourous looking but it is light to start with and has lots of pockets.  I only wish it had an across the body shoulder strap.  Back packs are a no no here for me as I can't have anything touching my underarms.
 But what goes into this bag every day?  It may give you a bit of an insight into life here.
There is a fold up umbrella - imperative for those days when the heavens unexpectedly open and there is torrential rain.  I once spent over an hour looking around a Marks and Spencers waiting for the rain to stop (it didn't and I had to take a very long way home on the underground trains to avoid going out in the rain.  Lesson learned)

There is a cotton cardigan - imperative for all those times you are indoors with subzero air conditioning.  Something I use nearly every day; in shops, on the bus, in cafes etc

A small bottle for water - rehydrating is so important, and we are fortunate that all the water here now seems safe for drinking (when I lived here before, there were many signs with non potable water in bathrooms).  I tend to forget to drink unless I carry around a small bottle.  I love it when I go up to school and the water comes out nice and cold from the water fountains.

My wallet (of course)

A small toiletries bag - containing lip gloss, deodorant (for those mid day touch ups - very necessary), anti itch cream for when you do get bitten by mosquitoes, neosporin (anti bacterial cream) for if you get a cut or a graze or anything to stop any nasty bacteria getting in - it is the tropics after all.

Lots of small packets of tissues - seriously important for mopping up your sweaty face, using as serviettes/napkins when you eat, because you will rarely, if ever, get one (unless you are somewhere really fancy), and most importantly for using when you go to the loo because 8 times out of 10 there will be no toilet paper.

Similarly, wet wipes - for when you are REALLY hot and need a quick cool down, when you've got to the point of nearly melting and have puddles of sweat cascading down your lower back or running down your arms from your armpits (nice, eh?) or, when you've had a delicious hot spicy meal and need to wipe your burning lips, when you've had a soupy noodly meal and have splattered soup all over yourself slurping up those noodles, and for when you know you've just touched something that requires a good hand clean...I probably should put in a bottle of handsanitiser too...

Sunscreen - because I walk around a lot.

Sunglasses - ditto

Glasses cleaner cloth - for when I am so hot and sweaty that my glasses start to cloud over.

Hair clip - for when I am hot.  I usually go out with wet hair in the morning and can just tolerate my hair down....once it starts to dry, it goes up.

ipod - for public transport so that I look like every other Singaporean who always have headphones coming out of their ears (although they are often watching TV on their phones)

phone - I especially love the iphone with lots of apps to stop me getting on the wrong bus, being able to work out where I am and where I have to go, where the nearest mall is and what shops it has in it, and being able to take photos when the opportunity arrises.  And once again so that I fit in and look like everyone else who texts while they are walking down the street.

Pen - for filling out the myriad of forms you come across every time you try to do anything.

Key with automatic opener for the electronic gates at the front of our house - to open the gates for the taxis who always reverse in (they're not allowed to park in the street)

My "business" cards to give out to people I meet (which reminds me....must get my Etsy store up and running again....)

My MRT/Bus card - I love how easy it is to catch trains and buses here.  You top up your card and you zap it going in and out of the train (MRT) stations and getting on and off buses.  I am constantly shelling out money to all the kids to keep their cards topped up.  I'd be lost without it as I don't even know how much a bus fare costs.

My school card - All the schools here have heavy security and to get in and out the kids and parents need cards to zap themselves through turnstiles and gates.  I have to admit to not having one for Remi's school (their fault that I haven't gone to sort out yet), but I am up at Kit and Ella's school a few times a week and the cards make it so much easier to get into the school.

There's also the card that was the key for the serviced apartments - the lifts, the doors etc which I have to return when I go to officially check out later this week.

So there you have it.  My very full handbag.  My shoulders are aching from walking around all day today with it.


  1. the wet wipes explanation was my fave! I am so not a handbag person but can see there it is a must x

  2. Blokes are so clever , being able to get around without a handbag, mind you packets are quite useful, does make t-shirt wearing an issue.

  3. that should have been pockets, not packets, not that I have anything against packets.

  4. oh i think you need a backpack now ....look after those shoulders and that back now...you may need it for later....

  5. I'm really enjoying your posts Georgia - they give a fascinating insight into life in Singapore. You really do like like you can face anything with all that stuff in your handbag.

    Btw had a chuckle about the Ikea mattress. We have about six beds in our house - and everyone claims that the Ikea bed in the spare room is the most comfortable - more comfortable than the beds that cost double. I'll know better next time.


  6. you need a fanny pack george!! haha


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