My eyes nearly popped out when I saw an advertisement in our morning papers. It only costs S$286 (all in) to fly to Kuala Lumpur on Singapore Airlines. Last year, I paid S$440 (US$315) to fly there on a 35-minute flight just to attend a 30-minute meeting and back.
Competition does wonders I must say. For the longest time, 2 airlines SIA and Malaysia Airlines have enjoyed a lucrative, 35-year stranglehold on the Singapore-KL route.
And then on 1 Feb 2008, budget flights between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur made their debut, offering flights at less than half the price. Now, I've never heard of any offers on this route by SIA until today. Take it or leave it, it was the only fastest way to get to KL. So, today I am shocked, and happy.
Competition can bring about positive changes but when one is not ready to face it, it can be demoralising. I'm sure you must have had enough of me whining about my 'homeless' situation by now. I shouldn't be complaining really because I do live in a beautiful place with my parents.
When we first moved back, it was a haven for me and heaven for the kids. They loved the huge expanse of space and enjoyed running in the yard, catching butterflies and bugs in the garden. Life couldn't be more carefree and fun. They couldn't wait to get home everyday.
And then they grew up. Suddenly the bugs weren't so appealing anymore. Teenagers want their own space. They want to watch cable and go online anytime they feel like. They want variety in their meals, not eat rice with chopped up vegetables and steamed fish every night. They want to meet their friends sometimes, go to the mall or just hang out and be seen (not tucked away in the woods). They don't like being nagged at constantly for staying up late.
It doesn't help that some of our friends live in really nice houses or that the kids' father is now driving a new Beemer or looking at huge houses and renovating his new showroom in the city (but not paying child support)... it just doesn't make me look good.
Now, I'm not competitive by nature and I love a simple lifestyle. The kids know that and they understand. Yet being kids, they sometimes ask innocuous questions like, " Can we afford a nice house with cable TV and a garden for Cookie and Rusty to run in?"
I usually tell them, "Yes, we will get there someday..." and they're happy to wait another few more years (as long as I don't cut their allowance). They're good kids really.