An Exercise In Trivial Pursuits

Fatshion, Food & Frivolities – Life in Las Vegas & Singapore


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Rants & Raves: Good customer support from StreetDeal

I was supposed to go to Bangkok for a cheap holiday with my friend Natalie and last year I ended up buying a coupon from StreetDeal at S$199 per pax for 4Days 3 Nights, inclusive of flights and accomodation. Sounds too good to be true? It was.

I emailed Dynamikz Travels in November last year and followed all instructions down to a T, only to get an email notification that they were too busy to entertain me so I went down to their office with my friend to book the holiday instead. It was a dingy and messy office located in Orchard Towers. A Filipino guy called Ben sorted out the travel bookings for us and we were due to fly on 3 February 2012 and return on 6 February 2012.

Natalie was supposed to top up S$372 on both our behalf. Our top-up was only due on 15 January 2012 and Nat wrote them on 4 January to double check some rumours because Nat’s mum read stuff about scams and problems with these cheap travel deals and we were both worried in case we got caught in them. On January 12 this year, Ben wrote to Natalie and we were told that the booking had to be cancelled because of the Bangkok floods. Their answer was for us to wait till later this year to rebook and they’ll extend the promotion to us till October 2012.

Last month, I wrote in again to rebook and I received an automated email from them telling me to contact STREETDEAL directly for a refund.

On 17 July, I emailed StreetDeal’s customer support and within days, I had my problems sorted out. The customer service officer who served me was a Mrs Jessy Retnam and by 26 July, the amount I paid StreetDeal was refunded back into my credit card.

Dynamikz Travel is bad but StreetDeal is not. This will not deter me from shopping the daily deal sites, especially StreetDeal since I know that they have excellent customer support and I’ll be safe using their portal.

This is definitely a rave. Thumbs up for good customer service from StreetDeal!


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Couponing: $9.90 foot reflexology instead of $20 at Miao Health Enhancement Centre

Date: 13 July 2012

Deal: Bugis Foot Reflex: 30 Mins Session ONLY $9.90 instead of $20!

How it went:

Found the shop very easily. (Miao Health Enhancement Centre, Burlington Square, 175 Bencoolen Street, #01-35) Convenient location for me. I’ve got direct buses from my home and it’s not far from my work place. (I bought 3 of these coupons and I’m sure I’ll be using them up quite quickly.)

This is a tiny shop slightly bigger than my bedroom. There are 4 armchairs, 2 beds, 1 electronic massage chair, and 1 back massage chair (those you have to sit up facing down). Very simply furnished and no frills.

When I arrived, it was rather quiet and I was the only customer there so that was great! I sat down on a big, comfy armchair and got my feet wiped with a hot towel (very nice) before having my leg and foot slathered with body lotion. I don’t really like foot reflexology because of the mixed feeling of pain/tickle.

The masseur was a middle-aged Chinese man who was friendly and polite. I was too busy distracting myself from the pain to talk to him (read: playing with the phone) and he left me alone so that was cool. He did look up and explain to me what he was doing once in a while especially when I winced.

Overall a good experience – none too traumatizing. I think I felt better almost immediately! I was walking awkwardly for the last 2 days and my knees actually hurt.

Effective! I would’ve paid the full price of $20. Recommended! Cheap and good!

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Couponing: 3 Sessions Hair Rejuvenating Therapy by TK Trichokare

Date: 18, 22 & 28 August 2011

Deal: $49 instead of $537, 91% off 3 Sessions Hair Rejuvenating Therapy at 4 locations by TK Trichokare

How it went:

Let me just put it out there that I actually go to Svenson’s for oily scalp treatment as my hair has been thinning for some time. I have fine hair to begin with and I’ve never had a thick head of hair ever. My oily scalp makes things worse because the grease apparently clogs your hair follicles and you get a bald patch. I’m very satisfied with Svenson’s at this point in time but I am still shopping around for a good deal on similar treatments so I tried out this TK Trichokare.

Frilly filigree patterns on the wall

Frilly filigree patterns on the wall at the reception

Frilly wall patterns and individual stations.

Frilly wall patterns and individual stations divided by frosted glass panels

Quiet & dim common hair wash area

Quiet & dim common hair wash area

I went to the Wheelock Place branch on 3 different days over 2 weeks. It’s nice and quiet. The decor was fake classical European-esque (compared to the more Scandinavian style Svenson’s). There were these frilly gothic type patterns and gold frames. And on the 3 different times I went, it wasn’t crowded plus a ton of magazines for reading which I loved. After I was greeted at the reception, I was led into a small office for a “discussion” with their consultant Sharon (I think). She was probably Malaysian and spoke with an accent. I found it a little difficult to follow her train of thoughts and her language skills were a bit of a problem too. She didn’t seem too comfortable speaking in English and her grammar was all over the place. But I get the general drift. She felt that my hair was thinning and I wasn’t getting enough from my Svenson’s treatments. Also I should upgrade to this other thing and top up about $100 (even before I did the 3 sessions). Everything here was expensive but nothing exceptionally outstanding. It was good but it wasn’t worth $200 to wash my head.

I loved the hair wash. I also love $10 hair washes and head massages, who am I kidding? Then there was this squirting of some tonic after my hair wash. After which, a red light was shone on my head for a bit. Then my hair was blown dry and styled. That’s all.

So was it worth $537? Nope! Was it worth $49? Maybe… a little too much money for a hair wash, blow dry and application of tonic. But it was in a fancy building in the middle of Orchard Road. They had nice magazines for me to read and I did thoroughly enjoy my ME-time! If a similar coupon comes by, I wouldn’t hesitate to snap it up! I do like the ambience but the location was a bit out of the way if I wanted to go there frequently. The Svenson’s branch I visit is 10 minutes away from my house, so yup! Oh but I did end up spending about $39 for a bottle of TK Trichokare “Black Shine” hair serum. Very easy to use – one pump, rub it through your wet hair, and that’s it! It’s supposed to make your hair soft and shiny!


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Couponing: Meridian Slimming/Full Body Massage at Youth Infinite

Date: 15 August 2011

Deal: 91% Off (1)Full Body Massage OR (2)Facial Therapy OR (3)Merdian Slimming OR (4)Bust Enhancement at $28 (worth $320)

How it went:

Actually I don’t know which treatment I went for. It felt like both a full body massage and possibly a slimming treatment. It was largely painful and scary, and lasted too long for my liking. It’s not that it’s bad but… just something I didn’t like at all. The therapist was from China and spoke in Mandarin. She had other colleagues who appeared to be foreigners too, but probably from Malaysia as they spoke a little more English. I was in pain most of the time and it was difficult to figure out what they were saying to me. I walked away with a good Mandarin lesson on words related to massage therapy and weight-loss terms. (Here’s a funny one: She said something that sounded like “bee hive organisation” in Mandarin when I broke the words up. In my head I had no idea what it meant and I was so confused trying to figure out what all those sounds strung together could be. Turns out, it means cellulite! HAHA!)

Youth Infinite in Ang Mo Kio Central

Youth Infinite in Ang Mo Kio Central

The session started with me having to strip down to my underwear and then being weighed. As usual, they are always shocked to see what I weigh because for some reason I look smaller than the numbers on the scale. The bed was small, the room was a little cramped but well-equipped. The walls didn’t touch the ceilings so you could hear people walking around or talking. There was red heat lamp that shone directly on my belly as she prodded, kneaded, poked, and stabbed (I’m serious! She took a finger and she pressed it all the way down several points in my soft tummy and it hurt like a bitch!). I whimpered.

The room and the bed. Functional. And a Chinese acupoint chart.

The room and the bed. Functional. And a Chinese acupoint chart.

The other side of the room and some torture devices at the sink

The other side of the room and some torture devices at the sink

The worst thing was CUPPING! OMG! It hurt and I teared involuntarily. She told me it was going to be ok and that I hurt because I was weak. Glass jars were placed on my belly, thighs and arms. After that I flipped over and it was placed all over my back. Before that, she took a glass jar and heated the inside with a cotton ball of flame, then slid it up and down my back as it sucked at my flesh. IT HURT HURT HURT!!!! I was told the marks would go away in 3-4 days. Nope… mine took almost 14 days to completely disappear. GGgRrrr ggggRRrr!!!

Apparently I am sick/weak so the discolourations were darker

Apparently I am sick/weak so the discolourations were darker

I did some research and I read HERE that athletes do this all the time. Apparently these are not bruises because a bruise is the result of broken capillaries from impact traumas while these marks are the release of toxins. I don’t know and I don’t quite understand BUT if you can take the pain, I suggest you try it at least once. I suppose it can’t be that bad, it’s probably my own personal reaction to it. The massage hurt like mad but the day after, I immediately had better bowel movements (maybe from the vigorous prodding) and I felt better. Is it psychological? I don’t know.

So was it worth $320? NOPE! But it was definitely worth more than $28 if you understand that Chinese Physicians usually charge more for such treatments. So it’s a good deal, despite the torture, because it was an interesting experience. I was also offered a package deal which was quite expensive at $180 per session but then a 30% discount was thrown in because I came via a website (i.e. streetdeal.sg). The funny thing was I didn’t understand what she was saying and I was wondering why she told me that she’d give me a discount for a night stand. Turns out the sounds for “night” and “stand” together means “website”. HAHA on me again!


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A New Frivolous Couponing & Life Challenge

About 1 month ago, I set myself 35 goals to achieve before I turn 35 in about 2 years – my 35 before 35. And Number 18 on that list is “Go on holiday with only a handbag and no luggage.” Together with my Couponing addiction of late, I’ve decided that there is an opportunity to now combine both.

Last week I bought a coupon off StreetDeal.sg for a 4day-3night holiday to Bangkok, Thailand (even with the additional fine print nonsense like taxes, it came up to only about S$300 inclusive of hotel & flights). The minimum to travel was 2pax and I bought 1 more for Big Nat. We haven’t locked down the dates yet but it’s valid for travel till 30 April 2012.

The slouchy black MNG handbag I carry to work daily

The slouchy black MNG handbag I carry to work daily

Just for fun, I tried packing stuff into the black MNG handbag I carry to work everyday. And I think I can do this! I managed to pack everything into 4 small pouches that’d fit into my handbag – a little snug but not in danger of splitting.

The 4 pouches in comparison to the bag (which is half empty now)

The 4 pouches in comparison to the bag (which is half empty now)

The red Eagle Creek Half Cube contains:

  • 1 H&M dress
  • 1 Gap Favourite Cami (for bed)
  • 1 pair of black shorts (for bed)
  • 1 t-shirt
  • 1 pair of 3/4 leggings
  • 1 frilly TOPSHOP tank top
  • 5 pairs of panties
  • 1 pair of ankle socks
  • 1 M&S tankini set
(Ok this combination is a bit ridiculous and they don’t go together. I was just trying to see how much I can put in and I grabbed whatever that was on the top of the pile.)

The maroon Eagle Creek Quarter Cube contains:

  • 1 All-in-One Universal Power Adapter
  • 1 iPhone wall-unit charger
  • 1 Joby GorillaPod (for point and shoot cameras)
  • 1 set of sample travel-sized Biotherm toiletries – facial wash, toner, moisturiser
  • 1 pack of Biore Cleansing Oil-In Cotton Wipes (7 out of 10 sheets left) make-up remover
  • 4 Colgate Wisp mini-brush Spearmint sets (travel toothbrush with toothpaste)
4 pouches with all the essentials I need for a 4-day jaunt overseas

4 pouches with all the essentials I need for a 4-day jaunt overseas

The metallic blue pouch is my purse and it holds money, credit cards, my passport and a pen!

The black Paperchase pouch with skull prints holds my everyday make-up.

  • 1 Paul & Joe lipstick (no. 17)
  • 1 MAC Select Sheer Pressed Powder (NC 25)
  • 1 Lancome ARTLINER eyeliner (Noir)
  • 1 Paul & Joe face colour (no. 12)
  • 1 BENEFIT Lemon-Aid
  • 1 CANMAKE eyebrow pencil

How? Not bad right? Hahaha! I just need to make sure I’m wearing most of the other stuff – jeans, cardigan, shades/spectacles. And then with my iPhone 4, I’m ready to travel!


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Couponing: Signature Radiant Facial with Eye Treatment + Neck Care + IPL at Angel Face

Date: 2 August 2011

Deal: $38 for 90 min Signature Radiant Facial with Eye Treatment + Neck Care + IPL at Angel Face (Worth $432)

How it went:

The Adelphi is actually walking distance from my office, so I sauntered there after work. However, the beauty salon was hidden in a quiet corner in the basement and I had to make a few turns before I realised where it was. It would’ve been a great way to end the work day if it weren’t for the fact that the beautician (Li Yong, I think) was really rough. (Well to be honest, I don’t think she is unskilled but too rushed and rough for my liking because I did really want to relax.)

Tucked in a corner, right next to the National Council of Churches Singapore

Tucked in a far corner, right next to the National Council of Churches Singapore

Why do all these spa places only speak Mandarin to you? I usually respond in English, just in case I use the wrong words or say the wrong things. I hardly speak Mandarin, save for learning it in school. I’m not comfortable with it. I’d rather if you need to speak a Chinese language to me, you speak Cantonese. At least I converse with my Grandmother on a daily basis in Cantonese. Also, I thought it was kinda rude when she looked at my name and asked me “You not Chinese ah? You what? You Malay? You Philipine?”. I smiled and didn’t bother answering her.

Drapey curtains over the ceiling...

Drapey curtains over the ceiling…

The room was rather large and had 2 beds. The decor was a little surreal. It had fake brick walls, these flowing chiffon drapes on the ceiling but also a very quaint antique-looking Chinoiserie basin. I did notice it was really really quiet though. And I could’ve really just fallen asleep if it weren’t for the fact that the therapist kept bumping into the treatment bed or knocking over things. Also, I had no idea what she was saying to me and what the hell she put on my face. The first lotion she put was biting and it stung my entire face. She mentioned something about it softening my blackheads. Then she used something to scrape at my entire face and it hurt like a bitch. I tolerated it because I just wanted to see what their “Signature Radiant Facial” meant. She said RF RF RF several times and I didn’t know what she was talking about – I really thought it was something about radio frequency. Then when I left, I realised RF meant Radiant Facial because she kept insisting that I look in the mirror after the treatment because I looked “radiance”. I saw nothing to be honest, and I was kinda glad because I thought the scraping would’ve left some unsightly red bruises. I didn’t enjoy this facial at all. The therapist wasn’t thorough and she was very rough. After the treatment, I got up and I saw that my neck still had a huge patch of mask. She tried to quickly wipe it off and was really rough again.

The quaint basin... but the curtains hides a huge mess of machines

The quaint basin… but the curtains hides a huge mess of machines

So was it worth $432? NOPE! I don’t know what this facial was all about and I didn’t even relax! (However, if you need to do a multi-pronged programme. Go to Li Yong, she’ll have you in and out within an hour.) After the treatment, as usual, I was told there was a promotion that I had to get that very day. That I should stop buying vouchers and really buy a package at 1 fixed place so that my therapist can work on the condition of my very bad, very dull, very dry complexion. When she asked what skincare products I used and I said “L’oreal”, she ppffft at me and said that I can’t just buy cheap off the counter skincare when I really need intensive treatments. Little does she know, I don’t even use L’Oreal. I buy whatever is cheap that month. BAH! Will I go back again? Nope! Not even if there’s another $38 coupon waiting. Sorry!