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1,840 5th Gear

About Mazda2gal

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    5th Gear
  1. Mazda2gal

    Advice needed for New Zealand road trip

    Hi All, I am planning a roadtrip to NZ South Island in early Dec, for 12days. Only 2 of us, both drivers who love to drive, we did a roadtrip to Tasmania before. Long distance driving isn't an issue for us. I recently drove from Terengganu to JB, over 500km, with only a half hr break in between, and I found it enjoyable. This would be our second trip to NZ, last one was 19years ago on package tour. We prefer to do easy walks/treks in scenic places hence have planned more of trekking this time. Have done White Water Rafting, Jetboating, Gondola, Luge in previous trip hence would skip these. Planned itinerary (accommodation all pre-booked, train tickets booked, rental car booked): Day 1 Reach Christchurch about 1pm. Drive to Kaikoura. Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway at least 3 hrs walk. Day 2 Whalewatching at Kaikoura at 7am, for 3.5hrs. Depart Kaikoura by noon for 400km Drive to Lake Tekapo. [This would mean if weather condition not favourable for the whalewatching, we won't have time to reschedule it. Wondering if I should cancel the accommodation at Lake Tekapo and plan somewhere nearer to Kaikoura instead. Have done whalewatching in Taiwan and Tasmania before, so far have not experienced any seasickness even in choppy water, so hopefully driving after that won't pose a problem.] Day 3 Lake Tekapo sightseeing for a short while. Drive to Mount Cook and do Hooker Valley Track. Drive to Queensberry to rest for the night. Day 4-6 Queensberry to Te Anau, where we will spend 3 nights. Plan to do Doubtful Sound Day Cruise, Milford Sound Cruise with Milford Discovery Centre & Underwater Observatory, Te Anau Glow Worm Cave, Tutoko Valley River Hike, Key Summit Trail. [Hope to start driving by 7am and reach Milford Sound by 9am to take one of the earliest cruises, to avoid the busloads of tourists from QT. After that do the Tutoko Valley River Hike for 6hrs before heading back to Te Anau by nightfall. Possible?] Day 7 Set off from Te Anau at 7am (check out time of our motel), drive to Queenstown. Probably reach QT by 11am. Sky Dive if weather permits. Squeeze in a 4hr LOTR Scenic Half Day Tour if possible. Day 8 Depart QT for Rob Roy Glacier Track, Blue Pools Walk. Spend night at Makarora Mountainview. Day 9-10 Drive from Makarora to Franz Josef. Spend 2 days in Franz Josef. Plan to do Heli Hike, short day walks (Lake Matheson Mirror Lake Walk, Roberts Point Walking Track). Day 11 Drive from Franz Josef to Greymouth Railway Stn. Take TranzAlpine from Greymouth to Christchurch. Day 12 Last morning at Christchurch before flying back to SG. We just booked a Ford Focus with Apex, at NZ49/day including zero excess. Think it was a special rate as a Yaris rental is NZ37 or so a day (excluding zero excess which cost about NZ20 a day). Qns: 1. I checked that Sunrise in Dec would be before 6am and Sunset after 9pm (9.11-9.27+-). Would there be enough daylight to drive between 7am and 8.30pm? 2. I believe shops and restaurants may not open till too late? Hence better to plan for early dinner say about 5pm? Would appreciate some tips/advice/recommendations regarding the planned itinerary and questions above. Thank you!
  2. Mazda2gal

    2015 Mazda 2

    I don't need the increase in size. Just that I've always wanted a taller ride. Since COE was lower and there was a good discount, I changed it.
  3. Mazda2gal

    2015 Mazda 2

    It was vibration when I was reversing the car. I didn't notice the vibration after a few more months though.
  4. Mazda2gal

    2015 Mazda 2

    In Jan I traded-in my Dec2015 M2 to get a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, was given 2k above paper value. Test drove Mazda CX3 too but Mazda only offered to trade in at paper value only, nothing higher. The Mazda 2 was really an awesome car, in terms of fuel efficiency and power, wont want to change if not for the low Coe prices recently. Drove it to terengganu before and it did great for long distance and high speed, didn't feel like a 1.5litre car.
  5. Mazda2gal

    Kia Stonic

    Thanks for advice. So far both my cars are Mazda 2 from AD, also had the min. loan requirement to qualify for 'discount'. It sounds good for those who need to loan, for people who don't need to loan, it's another consideration. Projected interest if deposit loan amount in FD for the loan period + loan discount > interest on loan --> take loan
  6. Mazda2gal

    Kia Stonic

    Considering to change my 3yo car if I find a car I like, Stonic is in my list, yet to test drive though. Would like to know how the trade-in discount works? My car is fully paid, total Parf and COE rebate now is about 45k. Since the AD wants me to trade-in my car to get the 5k discount, how much will they generally offer for my car? Let's say they offer me the paper value of 45k, and I get the Stonic EX at 72k, can I just get loan on the shortfall of 27k and still qualify for the loan discount? My current car is only my second car and I have not done any trade-in of cars before. Advice is appreciated.
  7. Mazda2gal

    Help pours in for family of 9 living on under S$3k

    In general, financial assistance is granted based on: 1. Per capita monthly income 2. Willingness to apply Encountered ppl from extremes: 1. Boy staying in bungalow is under financial assistance, reason? Father retired, therefore no income. Though family's net worth is probably higher than majority in the country, they qualify for financial assistance and they applied for it. 2. Odd job labourer is single parent to 2 boys with severe ADHD, also has a old mother to be fed, yet refused to apply for financial assistance for his sons. Reason being? He is physically abled and can work, therefore he doesn't want to rely on help. Sometimes his son has no money for meals. The system is there to help the real needy but there are loopholes for abuse. And sometimes the real needy do not get the support because they believe in not relying on help. The program wishes to highlight that it's possible to raise 7 kids on 3k per month because help is available? Unlike the past when life was much simpler and families could raise many kids just by providing basic necessities, leaving the task of academic education almost entirely to the schools, nowadays kids need substantial family support to cope with schoolwork because of the rigour expected. Nowadays having 5 kids or more in a family isn't exactly uncommon, however if an analysis of academic performance of children from big families is conducted, it'll show a worrying pattern. Of course parents can say they don't expect much of their children's school performance as long as they grow up healthy and happy. Yet we do know the realities of life, expectations of the society. I hope children who are receiving financial support will NOT have the mindset that help is always available, it's OK not to be self sufficient, just depend on handouts from society. Because if they do, there's a high chance they'll become victims of the system.
  8. I thought it's just me, I'm not a gadget person and don't like to figure out how new gadgets work. I only got the basic version of Mazda 2,none of the add-ons that comes with the luxury/premium (can't remember actual term) attract me, what Bluetooth connectivity etc I don't think I'll ever use. I only need the car to have car cam, be able to play MP3 and bring me to my destination. GPS I just use my hp. The more gadgets there are, the more things to maintain and repair, which lead to downtime and waste of time going to the workshop. My previous Mazda 2 was also a bare car and didn't give me any problems in 9.5years. My colleague got a new jap mini mpv with sensors, I think for lane departure warning and avoiding front collision at least. The new car went dead in MSCP, rolled back on ramps when she was driving and ferrying her kids. Sent back to PI to diagnose, they say it's the electronics, they reset some programming or sth. After that one day she stopped her car at a junction, when the right turn green arrow appeared in her favour, her car couldn't pick up speed to complete the right turn in time, according to her, she floored the accelerator but the car moved at crawling speed. It happened so many times she decided to sell off the new car at a big loss as safety is most important. Now still waiting to get rid of it, she has been advised to switch off all the sensors before driving.
  9. Mazda2gal

    SLT6883G - Time for you to get Famous

    When I first read about this, for a moment I wonder if it is fake news,and if an innocent person is going to be victimized. However I prefer to think that it's penned by someone genuinely concerned for the well being of the elderly pump attendant. I believe there are many cases of non-payment, just yesterday I drove past a petrol stn and there was a SPF signboard outside stating '14 cases of non-payment'. My own experience working in caltex as cashier 2 decades ago while waiting for A level results release definitely made me tend to believe in the account. Drivers who drove off without paying tend to be those driving luxury cars, and the bills weren't cheap. Cannot remember how the mgt dealt with it already, I only know cashiers were not held responsible. Once, someone pumped and drove off without paying, not long after he returned to pay, apologized and said he forgot, could see that it was a genuine oversight. Apart from that guy, I don't remember others coming back to pay. That time, there was a promotion, for every $30 petrol pumped, can get a 1.5l bottle of coke. We encountered customers who were unhappy because they didn't get to choose other soft drinks, who couldn't get another bottle because their car tanks couldn't take in another $1-2 worth of petrol, they held up the line to argue with us etc when the bosses (it was a franchise petrol stn) were not in. No offence to luxury car owners, these kinds of customers usually pump petrol for luxury cars. Of course most customers,including most luxury car owners, are understanding and easy-going. It's really a handful who gave us a hard time. Now that I'm a driver myself I still don't understand why those customers want to argue with cashiers over soft drinks. Another kind of customers I couldn't stand was those who threw their credit cards onto the counter when making payment, instead of handing their cards to us nicely. Of course there arent many of them but still enough to make an impression. After processing payment, I would simply place their credit cards on the counter too, let them take it from the counter themselves. Some of them got the hint, they looked embarrassed when they retrieve their cards from the counter.
  10. Mazda2gal

    Grab/Ryde issues and charges

    I commute by PIE over 60km a day, I've noticed that many roadhoggers on lane 1 are taxis, they drive 70-80km/hr. Just this morning I encountered 2. Even after many cars overtake them using lane 2, they still continue leisurely on lane 1 as if they've no sense that they're roadhogging and should move to lane 2. Can't help but notice that they are usually quite elderly, many seem to be above 60.
  11. Mazda2gal

    Grab/Ryde issues and charges

    Totally agree. Though I agree there are many PHV drivers who are irritating on the roads, as a consumer I'll say U and G do provide welcomed alternatives to taxis. I hardly take taxi for the past 11 years, on the rare occasions I took taxi, the service were either barely passable or disappointing. For one, many taxi drivers are really elderly, some do not even seem alert enough to drive. And many drive so slowly on expressways, they're roadhogging. Once, I took a cab driven by an uncle who looked in his early 60s,he drove so slowly on PIE lane 2, vans and lorries zoomed past us on lane 3 and the drivers turned to look at us in amusement. I usually ask to drop at my basement carpark but that day I asked to alight outside my place and walk in because he's simply too slow. Granted they may lack other skills to do other jobs, but having drivers who seem to lack the ability to handle the taxis confidently is also unfair to consumers. Plus many taxi drivers behave as if we owe them a living, I feel it strongly especially when I take cab home from the airport, some drivers will make noise or show displeasure once they know my destination is just a few minutes away from airport. The few times I took U and G, I met drivers from early 20s to mid 40s (generally younger than the usual cab drivers), their driving speed were acceptable and service were good, at least they were friendly, returned greetings and also thanked me when I made payment.
  12. Mazda2gal

    Teacher vs Parents = Police Report!!

    I did mention that I'm surprised the Principal didn't give in to the parents and that their rule is so strict. Whether 3mth confiscation is excessive or serve a purpose, is not up to us to determine. Just like those caught using mobile while driving will have their mobiles confiscated plus fines and demerit points (iirc), can we argue that mobiles can be easily replaced so it doesn't serve a purpose to confiscate it, unlike the points which cannot be topped up with cash money? The school has its rationale for having such a rule, and the fundamental reason is to ensure students don't get distracted by it during school time which is reasonable. Rules are not there to punish, they are there to ensure a desired outcome eg law and order. I believe most parents of the students in that school do not have an issue with this rule, they may in fact support it because it is meant to help their boys. Which parent want their boy to be whatsapping friends or on the facebook during lesson time? If parents really feel this rule is an issue, they can always transfer their boys to a school that allows students more freedom in that aspect.
  13. Mazda2gal

    Teacher vs Parents = Police Report!!

    Glad to see that most in this forum do not agree with the actions taken by the father. There are all kinds of people in this world, and of course all kinds of parents. Not all parents are psychologically wise to establish authority in the family, set high behavioural standards for their kids, and enforce rules and discipline. That's why so many wayward kids around. It doesn't help that there are more broken families, plus people are getting more vocal and assertive about their 'rights'. I don't think many schools practise confiscation of handphones for long periods of time, reason is simple, 'hard to enforce'. Why? Parents phone the school to complain, say no handphone they cannot contact their child, say their child threaten to commit suicide because no handphone to use, blame the school for causing them inconvenience, threaten to complain to MOE/MP/PM, how many principals dare to stand by their staff? The Principal of that school is a rare leader. Why parents don't support the school in disciplining their child who don't obey school rules? The parents may not even think using handphone during school hours is wrong, or they cannot handle the child who wants them to get a new replacement phone or threaten to jump just because phone is being confiscated. While so many are criticising the rich parents, I wish to highlight that it is just one isolated case that unfortunately gets blown out of proportion because the supposedly lawyer father decided to pursue the matter the way he is most confident of, and the judge didn't rule in his favour. There are countless cases of people abusing/bullying those who are just doing their job with integrity, and many are not even rich. The recent case of the crazy guy who intimidated and abused the LTA enforcement officer outside whitesand, a recent court case of a retiree who verbally abused the employees of a social service centre because he couldn't qualify for financial assistance (or something similar) as he just received his CPF payout of $150k. These are the reported ones. Countless incidents go unreported because abused employees just don't want to blow up the matter. It is a shame that we have notices that go something like 'Our customers matter, our staff matters too' at most customer service counters nowadays, be it National Libraries, Polyclinics, Hospitals etc. I feel very embarrassed when I see those notices because they just go to show how aggressive people are becoming. In mandarin there is a saying '有教育没教养', meaning that one is educated yet not behaving well or have no manners. Looking at those notices, one can't help but fear that SG is going towards that direction.
  14. Mazda2gal

    Teacher vs Parents = Police Report!!

    Kids with bad behavior are primarily the results of bad parenting and negative role models. If parents don't respect rules, and challenge the rules and the head of the school, how will the kid respect rules and authority? I'm surprised the principal didn't give in to the parent's unreasonable request. I believe not many principals have the balls to offend parents (especially of this kind). Then again, I'm also surprised to know that the confiscation period of handphones is 3 months, I wonder if it is because the situation of students using handphones is so bad in that school, that they need to use 3 months confiscation to deter them? The judge passed a great judgement. Not only educators will applaude him, many people will be relieved that he spoke for the educators and all those who are truly concerned about the mindsets and value systems of the youngsters. I love the part where he said the parent can enrol his kid in another school if he has an issue with the school rules. It's just so apt.
  15. Mazda2gal

    Resigning and using leave to offset notice period

    Nope I work in Jurong. My team runs programmes on top of other work that we are doing. :)