broke and still have a life (I)

I am an employee who receives a fixed salary credited into my bank account every month end and re-channels the money into my creditors’ accounts shortly after, I think someone calls this the Rat Race.

At one of those ordinary month ends, my exclamation at how time has flown by attracted a remark from a friend on my spending habit, inspiring me to share about things we can do in cosmopolitan Singapore without having to pay a single cent. If you can walk to the venue then you can also save the transportation expenses.

If you like clubbing (scroll down to ^.^ if you don’t like clubbing), there are ladies’ nights once a week in most clubs in Singapore. Ladies’ night means a lady patron need not pay for admission into a club, but such perks usually fall on mid-week when we have to work the next day. I see it as an advantage, because we will not over-stay and will make a move before the last train or the last bus.

Anyway, stay too long and you will be tempted to order a drink. I know I know, you may say, girls don’t have to buy drinks out of their own pockets. I assume when you are broke, your luck is also down (secretly don’t think so). By the way, why does a stranger want to buy another stranger a drink? My concern actually is, I still don’t know how a man can gain entry into a club without having to pay for admission. Please share your ideas by commenting below.

^.^ If you don’t like clubbing or like to have some variety in life, I have got a few places to recommend. The motto is, broke but not a cheapskate.

artwork created for Mid-Autumn Festival by “upcycling” unwanted books & magazines and other materials, at Bishan Public Library

1. The National Library Board Singapore’s GoLibrary has numerous programmes that suit different interests and age groups. Topics include arts, business, financial planning, heritage, story-telling & crafts, wellness, etc. Activities range from tours, exhibitions, workshops, talks, board games (third sunday of even months at Serangoon Public Library) and others. Almost all programmes are free, with a few charging a fee of SGD 2. Some require registration while others are on first-come-first-served basis.

I attended a free book art workshop at Bishan Public Library recently and all materials were provided! I had a great time there and brought home my prized work of creativity.

There are also lectures in Mandarin, story-telling in Malay or Tamil, classes to learn Malay in minutes as well as Tamil street theatre and many more!

October specials: Dark TalesRaffles and the Botanical Impulse;  Raffles’ Letters exhibition: Curator’s Tour

Printed monthly programme booklets are available at no cost at all libraries under the National Library Board. You will receive prompt reply to your registration and the library staff are friendly people who will answer your enquiries pertaining to the programme you are interested in, but please use your common sense before asking them questions as we want to optimise resources so that we can enjoy free programmes for as long as we can! Do sign up for their e-newsletter!

2.  esplanade theatres on the bay singapore is another to-go place for entertainment! Quit thinking that one has to be sported in a tuxedo or a gown to attend a performance at a theatre.

Key in “free” in the search box on their homepage and select what you want in the drop-down box. Whichever option you choose, you will be shown a (long) list of free programmes at the Esplanade; or click on What’s On to run through all the programmes in chronological order, the first few on the list could be free programmes of the week.

Visual art are usually showcased at Jendela, Concourse, Tunnel and Community Wall, or look around and up wherever you are at the Esplanade, you may receive pleasant surprises.

Most free performances and events happen at Outdoor Theatre, Forecourt and Concourse as well as The Edge during festivals. Two things nice about free performances are their duration of around 30-45 minutes, which is not too heavy, and we can drop in anytime during a performance, just remember to have the courtesy to minimise your disturbance to other audience.

Do not be disappointed that you will never get a chance to sit down in the grand Esplanade Concert Hall to enjoy a performance because you cannot afford a ticket. Thanks to free series such as Beautiful Sunday, which is held once a month on a sunday, we get to experience and enjoy musical wonders brought to us in a world-class concert hall.

If you are interested in a specific festival, it usually comprises of both ticketed and free performances, the key is to do your homework and plan ahead, the enjoyment is no less than attending ticketed shows!

October specials: 10th Anniversary Free Programmes;  Dedicated to Kids: Forgotten tales of SingapuraQuick Change; Kabuki Unmasked

In part II of “broke and still have a life”, I will share about ongoing individual activities offered free by kind souls.

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