About Me

3rd generation Singaporean. Ceylonese Grandparents made this home a century ago. As I’m a homebody who can’t imagine life away from family, I’ve been here ever since.

Started blogging in 2005 and finally got my own domain, Singapore Actually, in 2011 encouraged by my cousin.

I used to write under the pseudonym, bookjunkie, and value my privacy and copyright, but every thought is authentic and me.

It’s 2022 now & I am attempting to revive my blog after my cancer journey. I now go by my real name Shanti.

I may be a homebody, but I have an adventurous spirit when it comes to travel. I especially adore travel writing (Paul Theroux, Bill Bryson & Peter Mayle come to mind..) but am able to write about anything under the sun.

You can contact me at singaporeactually@gmail.com for paid writing assignments or drop a note here with your email and I’ll get back to you.

68 Responses to About Me

  1. James Dupree says:

    Is Singapore an urbanite city-island? How do the people in Singapore live and what they do for a living? I stumbled on your very interesting blogs and was hooked on some of your blogs about Singapore.

    • bookjunkie says:

      You’re so right James…the whole island is like an urban jungle…the whole country is the city and the city the country, but we do have areas of green as well. Small but it keeps our temperatures from rising. Most Singaporeans seem to work for the civil service and people in the Finance and Insurance industry seem to prosper the most.

  2. Miss D says:

    I was wondering if you knew the companies there that offer a positive work-life balance?
    Or in other words, companies that you would recommend? I am interested in working in editorial/publishing industry

    • bookjunkie says:

      Actually that was a really good question. I know of more bad companies than good, with super long working hours and bad office politics.

      I would love to work at such a place too. Maybe I’ll do a post about this one day asking for recommendations. At the moment dream companies for me would be Google or Apple.

  3. San says:

    G’day, bookjunkie!

    I can’t quite remember how I stumbled onto your blog – probably via trawls through the web for stories about the upcoming Presidential Elections – but its been great reading so far…enough to keep me from a basketful of clothes crying out to be ironed. Keep at it, and I’ll be back again!

    • bookjunkie says:

      Thanks so much San 🙂 that most kind comment really made my day. I actually want to give up this blog but your encouragement makes me reconsider. Seriously.

  4. San says:

    Please don’t!!!! It’s refreshing (and a relief) to find a blog that I can enjoy for its personal yet constructive views as well as the grammar and syntax. Forgive me if I sound “snobby”, but too many blogs (and posts) are so riddled with typos and grammatical faux pas and/or devoid of punctuation that I stop reading from sheer frustration…so please keep going. Seriously.

  5. Szhcornan says:

    Happened to pass by here when looking for some PE2011 nomination day happenings. Good blogs you have written and you are writing them with your heart.

    Seems that you are both concerned and have wishes for the future of Singapore. Not with blind faith.

    I can say, you are not alone and will not be alone.

  6. Jazz says:

    Enjoy reading your blog too. Do continue.
    Best Wishes! :-))

  7. vivi says:

    i like your blog very much! add oil!!!haha~~

  8. santhi says:

    hi, I truly enjoyed many of the views you had expressed in your blog. THey are thought provoking and interesting. I am a married 39 year old Indian woman who completely agree with several of your views. Its heartening to realise that you are not alone. As th school exams are over, i have more time to savour your well-written articles. Keep going!

  9. Cp says:

    Googled around n found ur blog. Love it ..

  10. Linda says:

    Hi!! I’m thrilled to have found your blog with all the info about Singapore, etc.! We’re going to be moving to Singapore from the U.S. in March and are supposed to be there for 2½-3 years. I haven’t had much time to do a lot of digging for details and will definitely be reading a LOT of your blog now that I’ve found it! I recently started a Facebook group to have a place to ask questions and share infomation for Expat Americans, but anyone who has something to add about life in Singapore is more than welcome and I would love to see you there:

    I’ve thought about having a “Living in Singapore” blog of my own but I don’t write nearly as well as you and others who already have them, so maybe mine will just be to keep in touch with friends and family… haven’t decided yet. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your experiences via your blog!

    • bookjunkie says:

      I’m so sorry to have missed your comment Linda (silly me). It really made my day to discover it today. I hope you’re having an awesome time in Singapore. I hope you start a blog too. Would love to read about all your experiences 🙂

  11. Edi Knijf says:

    I’m not sure how I landed on your blog but it’s very enlightening. March last year my husband and I arrived from Holland. For the first time we could live and work somewhere else. We go back to Holland at the end of March. After one year living here we have no idea how to explain it all at home. We have honestly enjoyed this year and have so many incredible impressions. Confusion! While also understanding the many ways of life here in Singapore. It fitted very well with us. On the one hand, some of us could learn from the Singaporeans how tolerant with each other in terms of different races. On the other hand, some Singaporeans could perhaps learn a lot from our way of courtesy and responsiveness to each other. I do not know. I do know that I totally agree with you regarding that everyone should be more kind to each other. We are all equal human beings in this world. I’ll keep following your blog when I’m gone. Sincerely, Edi

    • bookjunkie says:

      your comment touched me so much Edi. Thanks so much for taking the trouble to express your feelings about your stay here…your second home now? 🙂 I love learning about new cultures too.

  12. Usha Hari says:

    Hi, I am not particularly new to Singapore, having lived here for a couple of years before. I am totally enjoying your blog, though I must admit, I have only managed to read a few posts. Some of the things are new and some, very similar to India.
    I like your simple style of writing and your ability to find happiness in little things.
    Keep it going !

  13. Leslie says:


    I enjoy your blog. Cannot wait to read more. I didn’t, however, find a tag or post on ‘where to live?’. I’m moving to SG in July. My job will be out in the Woodlands. Any suggestions?
    Thanks, Leslie

    • bookjunkie says:

      Thank you so much Leslie…keeps me motivated to write 🙂

      Not really an expert on housing but that was a great question. Never thought about it before because I guess I didn’t need to.

      My first thought is to find a place near an MRT in the central or north area. The West or East would be a bit far I think. This might be a good site for you to check out prices and such.

      Sembawang is a nice area. Or you could stay at Woodlands itself but apart from being near the causeway and JB, Malaysia it can be a tad crowded.

  14. abbey says:

    Hello just stumbled upon your blog while searching for interesting stuff to check out in Singapore, I must say you really do have an interesting site and very helpful for people travelling the country, true word from a local. Anyway I am currently in Malaysia and will be going to SG tomorrow until Saturday night so not so much time in my hands, what do you think is the best place I should check out given that I don’t have much time. I really liked Haji Lane, are they open everyday? Thanks!;-)

    • bookjunkie says:

      Definitely the whole of Kampong Glam (Arab Street & Haji Lane). It’s my favourite place although sometimes the shops are closed. I think the tend to be open later in the afternoon and evening as the office crowd then comes out.

      And if you have time after that – Duxton Hill (it’s more for the younger crowd but I loved it – wrote about that very recently too). Hope you have a wonderful time Abbey.

      There’s a post about what to do in Singapore if you’re here for a week. Wrote it last week. Included Little India as well.

  15. BarkyBitez says:

    Hi! LOVE your blog! I have been researching places to visit while my husband, son & I travel there next month. Your blog is full of interesting tidbits & I have added several places to stop on our visit. Thank you!

  16. Samantha Teo says:

    Hello! You have a great blog! I am from a local book distribution company, and would like to work with you on book reviews. Please do contact me at my email address should you be keen! Many thanks in advance!

  17. Shan says:

    I am trying to come up with a unique retail experience that is related to our natural environment and also encourages reading. Pl feel free to contact me at bsrpower@yahoo.com.sg. Thanks

  18. Hi bookjunkie,

    Early thirties asian female just getting a whiff of freedom, cutting all ties from what has been and intent on living and letting lose in your fair country (technically just gradually letting lose). I have been staying in SG for close to three months and really keen on exploring the city (and myself yada yada, search for identity, raison d’etre and all that stuff). Thanks to your guidelines. 🙂


  19. Singapore Memory Project says:

    Dear bookjunkie,

    On behalf of the National Library Board (NLB), we would like to invite you to pledge your blog to the Singapore Memory Project as part of efforts to collect memories that are already manifested in existing online channels.

    The Singapore Memory Project (SMP) is a national initiative to collect, preserve and provide access to Singapore’s knowledge materials. Spearheaded by NLB, the SMP aims to build a national collection of content in diverse formats (including print, audio and video), to preserve them in digital form, and make them available for discovery and research.

    By pledging your blog to SMP, you are affirming that every memory matters. Whether your posts are an account of your daily life, or an expression of your thoughts, the SMP hopes to find a home for your memories so that it can help build towards an understanding of Singapore. You will also receive a badge that you can display on your blog in recognition of your contributions.

    Contributors to this blog pledging initiative will be listed on Singapore Memory portal’s blog pledging webpage. All blogs pledged to SMP will archived using NLB’s web harvesting software, in addition to images of each blog’s landing page.

    If you are keen to pledge your blog to SMP, simply fill up our response form at this following URL: http://singaporememory.simulation.com.sg/Public/Pledge.

    You may find out more about this initiative at http://www.iremember.sg/blogpledging.

    We are looking forward to your contribution.

    Krishna |Social Media Analyst|Simulation Software & Technology (S2T) Pte Ltd
    583 Orchard Road #14-02 Forum The Shopping Mall S(238884), Singapore
    o: +65 61006747 |f: +65 62341956 | w:www.simulation.com.sg

  20. The truth is a bitter pill says:

    Hello and thanks for your informative blog ,am a Malaysian trying my very best to adjust to the quirks of the Singaporean lifestyle

  21. theravenwine says:

    Chanced upon your blog and as you can see have enjoyed it so much that I’m following 🙂 As a repatriate of sorts who grew up in Singapore your blog definitely gives me a strong sense of nostalgia, and I see that as a good thing!

    • bookjunkie says:

      I am so glad you feel that way. Thank you so much for your kind words. Inspires me to continue to keep writing in this public diary of sorts.

  22. Hey, I thought we may meet for a meal one day? Can you email me at rubbisheatrubbishgrow@gmail.com please? take me to Indian food at the hawker you love!

  23. david says:

    Hello! I love your blog. 🙂 I was googling for a place to write in Singapore and luckily I stumbled upon your blog. Cheers! (I want to be published storyteller someday and I like to take advantage of my excess time, current “emotional state” and being away from my country. 🙂 )

  24. gurkhason says:

    Hello there, I’m Wilson (aka gurkhason) from Thoughts on Air. Thank you for your pingback on my post of Sophie Bakery. Yes, they don’t have a seat there and you can see the choices are really limited for now. I enjoyed reading your blog. They are informative, entertaining and interesting. Keep the good blogs coming!

  25. cheryl-ale says:

    Hi Bookjunkie! I stumbled upon your blog while trawling other blogs in the past week. Your posts transport me back home when I’m feeling homesick and I really enjoy reading them!

    I am a fellow Singaporean but have recently moved away with my husband for an overseas posting.

    I’m a little like you. I love to write and I used to journal regular in the form of long letters to friends and family when I was a student studying overseas (that was eons ago!).

    Somehow, I lost touch with writing and as much as I would love to start again, I don’t seem to be able to write as well as the bloggers out there (just like you!). Maybe I’m just too haphazard. No plan, no structure.

    Maybe I should attempt to start journalling again just so my new experiences and adventure will not be forgotten!

    Oh and thanks for such a wonderful blog! Please keep writing!

  26. carmen says:

    We are a Singapore magazine . We saw your blog , and feel you are very suitable to do our ” editorial consultant .” Specific work items is for us to see our school English articles ( many of which are Chinese translated into English ) , please be assured that two months time you need proof 40 manuscript .
    Needs and your very sorry to say is this: we can not provide you with any fees , but we will give you the following benefits:
    1, put your signature ( editorial consultant ) on the copyright page .
    2 , when you see the article in the school put on your CREDIT.
    3 , each send two magazines to you.
    4 , you can open the magazine columns, and can be up to a maximum of two . The title of the article and you can be on the cover exposed.
    5 , Do you have any other things we need to promote , and we can discuss all say.
    We enclose our magazine electronic file link : http://share.weiyun.com/154ceafd42299b4fcb10de06eb8b07ca
    If you are interested , please write back , we go into the details .

    Looking forward to your reply.

    founded in 2006 , is Singapore’s local magazine , bi-monthly in English , concerned about the health of older elites live audience is between 40-60 years of age , in addition to health, this age group are concerned about a lifestyle we will report , such as tourism , fashion , beauty, feng shui , pets, emotions and so on. Currently editor in chief of Taiwan’s former editor DAVID WANG. Is now the largest selling health magazine in Singapore , one of the island bookstores, newsstands and convenience stores have sold.

  27. imp0ssibled says:

    Hi, you have a very nice blog, I’ve been following it on and off for more than a year now, I like how you are showing the places to visit in sg, it shows me kind of like the everyday stuffs which I like, the places to go, the things to eat, your pictures are very descriptive of the places you’ve been to also. Please keep it going.

    I also like to ask which theme are you using in wordpress too?

  28. Pauline says:

    Hello, I can’t remember how long ago I have been reading your blog. I remember I stumbled upon it while checking out what to do in Singapore. I have been there at least once a year since 2012 and it has always been a fun experience.

    There was a time you were very quiet and I though maybe you no longer felt like writing but when you started and talked about what you have been going through then I understood the absence.

    Please continue to write whenever you can, you have an avid reader in me. You will be included in my prayers and your family as well as you go through this phase in your life. God bless and much love from the Philippines 🙂

  29. Malaikah says:


    I stumbled upon your blog as I am going through a path same as yours.
    Battling recurrent stage 3 cancer and been writing all thoughts in my head.
    I hope you do not mind if I took inspiration in your line “I write under the pseudonym, bookjunkie, and value my privacy and copyright, but every thought is authentic and me”

    As I have been trying to think this exactly but couldn’t find the words for it.

    I just want to say, hold on there. We have the Almighty. We got this. 🙂

  30. Thank you for following my blog, look forward to catching up on yours! 🙂

  31. I discovered your blog today and I feel you are akin to me.
    Also, I went through cancer, too, twice

    • bookjunkie says:

      Oh wow, there must have been a reason the universe brought us together. I had endometrial cancer in 2016 but it recurred in 2017. Ok for now after a second chemo in 2018. Hope you’re doing well too

    • bookjunkie says:

      So glad to connect with you Luisa ☺️

  32. Hello, Shanti! I’m glad you’re still writing. Whenever I take time to read your blogs, I find them very interesting, honest and thoughtful.
    At 88 I feel I am slowing down so very much. So I have a hard time catching up with everything. I am still not quite over it, having to live completely on my own since my husband Peter died in December 2020.
    I try writimg a bit of fiction now to cheer myself up!
    Thanks for being a blogger friend.
    Sincerely, Aunty Uta ❤

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