Sorry for going M.I.A for 2 weeks. Work's been extremely busy and I've been doing a bit of travelling as well.
Wow time really flies, without us realising, it's been a month since we relocated from Singapore to Johor. We're settling well into our neighborhood. We have met some more new neighbours (mostly weekend visitors), interior designers, visited furniture and design shops, but unfortunately, we have not had the time to explore much in the greater area of Johor. I hope that we will be doing more of this towards the later part of December when my husband, Ian completes his work project.
We've had our first visitors (my colleagues Ruth & Jeanie - thanks guys for visiting) and looking forward to welcoming more!
With regards the daily commute, I've been driving back and forth to work everyday myself and I'm pleasantly surprised (& proud) of this since I did not drive for many many many years before this move.
The time to commute each way varies depending on time of the day and weather. The fastest commute for us has been 30 minutes (from Chinatown to East ledang) but this is on a weekday late evening leaving Chinatown at 11 pm. On the other hand, the longest commute for me is 1 hour 40 minutes (from East Ledang to Tanjong Pagar) during a heavy rainy morning. Most of this held up was on AYE. On average, my commute is around 1 hour 10 minutes (including parking) per trip.
Some learnings that I can share from my 1 month of commute between Johor-Singapore:
- Avoid early Monday morning rush as there are many Singaporeans who stay over the weekend in Johor and go back to Singapore on Monday morning. I'd usually leave at a later time on Monday morning - around 8.30ish.
- Most of the time, if I leave at 6.45 am, I can reach my office (including parking etc) in 50 minutes. Plus I can avoid ERPs in Singapore. Though it takes some getting used to waking up so early.
- When heading back after work, I take the Westcoast highway and exit at Jurong Town Hall road to head to Tuas. There is hardly any traffic on this route.
- Sometimes you'll get through MY checkpoint faster if you show them your MAC pass.
- There tends to be lots of "kiasusm" in the checkpoint queues, so I'm still learning on how to deal with this and how to pick the right lane.
- When heading back to East Ledang, if you can reach Tuas checkpoint before 6.30 pm, I think you can avoid most of the traffic.
- Check your fuel tank everyday, remember the 3/4 tank rule in Singapore.
For me, the best part of the drive home is when I reach East Ledang gate and I just feel a great relief. The area is quiet and I feel like I am far away from all the mad traffic rush and work problems. :)
Owww not forgetting to mention about my husband's experience when I was away overseas. A lightning struck close to our current place, caused lots of panic attacks and damaged a couple of our electronic items (my poor Microwave). Interesting experience! We're covered by home content insurance, so my advice would be make sure your insurance cover lightning strike and check that you use surge protectors for important power points. I hope we won't experience this again, it was quite scary.
The second month (& for the next few months I'm sure) of our lives here will be filled with renovation, renovation and renovation (well it's actually interior design more than renovation). We've been busy meeting a few interior designers and we're hoping to finalise the design team over the next couple of weeks. We've heard some horror stories of unreliable designers/contractors from our neighbours so we are going to have to be very picky and careful. So far we've met 4 interior designer companies (they call it "ID" here), ranging from the arty designer to the engineering focused designer company. I'm sure you'll hear more from me as we go through this selection process.
So to sum up, 1st month has been a success. I don't have any regrets in moving here. I'm looking forward to 2nd month, 3rd month & beyond, most importantly to designing and moving into our own Balinese/Zen modern house in a few months time.