The Most Expensive Cities to Live in Today

The recent listings of the most expensive cities to live in are dominated by Asian countries. The ranking is based on the comparison of the prices of commodities such as food, housing, utilities, home services, personal care, alcohol and tobacco, domestic supplies, transportation, and recreation and entertainment.

Hong Kong (SAR)

Despite the recent upheavals in the special administrative region, Hong Kong retains the top spot as the most expensive city in the world for a second year. An expat should expect a mid-range monthly rent of HK$30,000, a full lunch meal for HK$93, and a pair of sneakers for HK$799.

Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is the 14th most popular tourist destinations in the world in 2019. If an expat moved into Tokyo in 2019, expect an average monthly rent of ¥45,000, ¥4,000 for transportation, and ¥20,000 to ¥30,000 for food.

Singapore

Singapore ranked fourth in the most popular cities in the world and the third most expensive city to live in. If an expat decides to move into Singapore, a single person should have a minimum budget of SGD$3,000 for monthly rental, SGD$12 for a full lunch meal, and SGD$95 for public transportation tickets.

Seoul, South Korea

Seoul ranked 24th in the most visited cities in 2019. If an expat decides to move into the city, expect an average monthly rental of ₩1,450,000, a full lunch meal for ₩9,608, and ₩67,000 for public transportation tickets.

Zurich, Switzerland

As the only European country to break into the top ten, Zurich is an ideal destination for those who want to enjoy a high cost of living and political stability. If an expat decides to move into Zurich, expect a monthly rent average of about CHF2,300, a complete lunch meal in the business district for about CHF26, CHF14 for fast food, and CHF142 for a pair of sneakers.

Shanghai, China

In Shanghai, renting a fully furnished mid-range housing can cost an average of 9,400元 per month, a mid-range studio for 5,700元 a month, 192元 for monthly public transportation tickets, and 60元 for a full lunch meal.

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

Ashgabat is a surprising entry to the top ten but not if you consider the Turkmenistan’s recent currency struggles. A person moving into Ashgabat should expect a mid-range housing rental of 2,130 Manat per month, a full meal for 44 Manat, and 249 Manat for a pair of sneakers.

Beijing, China

In Beijing, a fully furnished average house may be rented for 7,700元 a month while a more expensive rental can run up to 13,400元. For a full meal in business districts, you pay for an average of 50元 and 32元 for fast food.

New York City, United States

As the only entry from the Americas in the top ten, rental in New York City averages $3,100 per month, $16 for a full lunch, and $124 for public transportation tickets.

Shenzhen, China

In Shenzhen, rental can go for as high as 11,500元 for high-end homes, a total of 169元 for monthly public transportation tickets, and 44元 for a full lunch.

A Guide for Home Gym Maintenance

Having your own small gym at home is a dream come true for most people, but getting the equipment is just the first step of the challenge. Now you need to learn how to keep your gym in good working order.

Here is a basic guide to home gym equipment maintenance.

Clean the equipment regularly. It is important to sanitize the gym equipment even if no one else is using them but you. Wipe down the surface with a clean cloth and sanitizing spray. Use the spray only on the padded surfaces. Most people use chalk when handling the equipment, but this can get into hard to reach places.

Look for signs of damage. Faulty equipment can cause accidents or injuries. To avoid that, you need to inspect your gym equipment for signs of wear and tear and damage. If you are not confident with your skills, you can ask for assistance from friends who know what to look for. Have the equipment repaired if you see even small cracks or breaks or bends.

Use a conditioner. After cleaning the equipment, make sure to apply a leather or vinyl conditioner to the padded surface at least once a month. The conditioner will protect the padding from cracking.

Add oil to the tracks. Once a month, you should apply some oil to the weight tracks like the stack slides. But if you use the equipment often, you will need to make sure it’s lubricated properly once every two weeks. Besides the tracks, you will also need to add oil to the fittings as well as equipment used for cardio workouts, but make sure to check the instructions on the manual for using grease.

Lubricate the treadmill. Do not forget to check and lubricate the treadmill, bicycles, and ellipticals as well. Some of the equipment you use have unique requirements than the rest, that is why you should check the manual to make sure that you are using the correct cleaner and how much lubricant to use.

Use a clean cloth on other surfaces. You should use only a clean, dry cloth on the other surfaces. You can wipe the equipment once a week before using or once every two weeks if you don’t exercise often.

Apply a silicone-based spray. You can also use a silicone-based spray cleaner on your equipment if you want to make sure they are extra clean. But you need to wipe off the excess with a clean, dry cloth.

Do a system check. For more equipment, they usually come with software that keep you updated on your progress. Read the manual to determine how to keep the software functioning properly through updates.

Invest in trusted brands. Buy the best equipment that you can afford to ensure that you don’t have accidents and injuries while working out. Quality equipment are also easier to maintain and last longer than substandard materials.

Tips for Keeping the Aviary Clean

Keeping a pet bird in your apartment means you need to be able to maintain a clean, fresh-smelling home all the time. This will also help keep away parasites and bacteria that might make the bird sick. If you are a beginner, remember these tips to keep the aviary clean.

Do not place the food and water containers under the perches. The droppings can contaminate the food and water. Clean them daily by scrubbing them with a sponge. If there is a lot of soiling, soak it with hot water and mild dish detergent. Dry the dishes thoroughly before returning them to the cage.

Wipe the cage regularly. Wipe the interior and exterior of the cage with a clean, wet cloth. A wet sponge can also remove the dried debris. Dry the cage thoroughly.

Clean the bottom tray regularly. If you are using a bird cage with a tray that catches the droppings, clean it regularly with water and mild detergent then make sure it is dry before reattaching it.

Clean out the food debris and leftover. Make sure to pick up the food debris daily before turning in for the night. This will keep the uneaten food from spoiling and harboring bacteria in the cage.

Change the water daily. Always make sure that your bird has fresh water. Rinse out the droppings and food debris that might have gotten into the dishes.

Reexamine the toys and attachments. Once a month, you should check the interior of the cage and all the attachments and accessories inside. There could be loose or broken parts that might injure the bird. Check the perches and remove the debris that you have missed during the cleaning.

Clean all the accessories. When inspecting the items in the cage, you should clean them with a brush and mild detergent. Dry thoroughly before returning them to the cage. If you are using wood perches, which is the most ideal perch for birds, use sandpaper to clean them.

Rearrange the toys and furniture. Once a month, you might have to replace or rearrange the perches to keep the bird from getting bird. Cycle toys with a new batch every few months, too.

Clean the toys regularly. When you cycle the toys, make sure to clean the old ones if you are planning to use them again. Discard broken toys that your bird might choke on.

Change the cage liners daily. You might have to remove the topmost layer daily to remove the accumulated droppings and leftover food. If it seems like a lot of work, add several layers of liners every month so that you will only need to remove the top.

Remove vegetation around the aviary. If it is an outdoor aviary, make sure that the cage is not surrounded by plants because these can be home to parasites and bacteria.

Do not use harsh chemicals. If possible, use only hot water with a few drops of dish detergent to clean the cage and the other items. Do not use other chemicals that will be toxic to your pet.

3 Great Reasons Why Women Should Try CrossFit

So you’re looking for ways to exercise and while around somewhere in Singapore, you see a CrossFit box (the CrossFit term for “gym”). You get curious and check it out on the internet but you somehow get disappointed because the female CrossFit athletes you see there are PACKED with muscles.

Here’s something you should know though, those athletes are professional competitors and basically focus on CrossFit for most of the day. It doesn’t mean that when you do CrossFit, you’ll instantly look like them. Plus, there really are many other reasons to give it a try! Here are only some of them.

You will look lean and toned

Now, I know we said you won’t look like those pro athletes, but you will get some muscle. However, it won’t be to the point that you’ll look huge. When you start CrossFit, you’ll slowly look leaner and your body will look toned.

Your abs will be more visible, your butt will look perkier, and you’ll also lose convert that fat in your arms into muscle. Of course, depending on your goals, you can lose fat OR gain a lot of muscle when doing CrossFit. No matter what those goals may be, you can decide it all for yourself and no one will really stop you.

You can take the boredom out of exercise

If you’re not a complete beginner with working out though, you should already know that there are times when a workout session could get boring. Well, your time in a CrossFit gym will never be boring simply because workouts are constantly varied.

What you do tomorrow won’t necessarily be the same today. This allows for variety and will almost always incite fun in an individual. In addition to that, there are different exercises that cater to almost every component of physical fitness. There’s lifting for strength, gymnastics for flexibility and balance, sprinting-type exercises for endurance and many more!

CrossFit can help you realize your potential

One of the main highlights of CrossFit is that it helps you break your boundaries. For instance, if you’ve never tried running a 5k marathon before, you’ll say you can’t do it simply because you’re not fit enough. But then, after you spend maybe 3 or 4 months doing CrossFit and your friends invite you for a run, you decide to give it a try.

Then you discover that you actually can do a 5k run and you can even go for more! Doing CrossFit actually trains you to push through your limits. You won’t even question your potential again once you taste the success of completing a hard CrossFit workout.

8 Shows for You if You Like Game of Thrones

Can’t get enough of the fantastic action scenes and court intrigues of one of the most successful high fantasy series of the last two decades? Here are some shows that can help fill the void of Game of Thrones.

Rome

This historical drama recreates the events during Rome’s transition from a republic to an empire. Told from the point of view of two soldiers, Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus, the series details the civil war, the rise to power of Julius Caesar, and the Ides of March. It also shows glimpses of the future emperor, Augustus.

The Tudors

As the title implies, most of the events shown in the series took place in 16th century England, but it focuses on the life of King Henry VII. It begins with the ongoing negotiation for a pact of friendship with the French and his troubled relationship with Katherine of Aragon.

Knightfall

The story opens with a spectacular recreation of the Battle of Acre in 1291 between the Crusader and the Saracens. More than the Holy Land itself, the conflict also threatened the Holy Grail. The series then shows the events 15 years later by following the story of Landry du Lauzon.

Vikings

The series loosely follows various tales of the Norse sagas, although there is a lot of focus on Ragnar Lothbrok and his family. Ragnar is known for his conquests of France and Anglo-Saxon England.

Spartacus

There have been several adaptations of the exploits of the historical Spartacus, a gladiator who led a successful but short uprising against a dying Roman Republic. The series opens with the Getae campaign, in which the proconsul of Macedonia marched against Mithridates VI of Pontus. When one of the Thracians mutinied against the legate Claudius Glaber, his village was destroyed, and the man captured and sold into slavery.

The Borgias

The intrigues that surrounded the Borgia family have been a subject of various adaptations, including this show which focused on the height of the Borgias’ power over the Roman Catholic Church. This is the third known television series that depicted the lives of the Borgias.

Black Sails

If you loved Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, then this prequel series is for you. Set 20 years before the events of the book, it highlights the Golden Age of Piracy in the West Indies. It focuses primarily on New Providence Island and the life of Captain Flint. The series also features familiar names such as Charles Vane, Anne Bonny, Edward “Blackbeard” Teach, Jack Rackhan, William Manderley, and more.

The Last Kingdom

The series is based on the book series The Saxon Stories by Bernard Cornwell. It begins with the attack of the Danes in the 9th century at the time when England had seven kingdoms. The Danes were about to defeat the last of these, the Kingdom of Wessex.

How to Rock a Neck Tie or Bow Tie

Neck ties and bow ties are often associated with formal events, but you can still rock them for a casual trip to the mall or a get-together with friends. But first, you need to learn the basics of balance, layering, and tying.

Here are tips on how to rick a neck tie or a bow tie for any occasion.

Bow and neck ties are statement pieces. By keeping this in mind, you will remember that using too many other accessories will make you outfit look disorganized. A statement piece means that it is the focal point by which you decide the theme and the elements that go with it. Wear it like you would a necklace.

A balanced look is the key. Like with any statement piece, the background must be less flashy and more basic. That is why if you pick an extravagant neck tie or bow tie with eye-catching colors or designs, your shirt and trousers must have muted colors and patterns. For example, if you’re wearing a brightly-colored neck or bow tie, wear neutral-colored shirts and trousers to avoid looking like a clown.

Know when you can’t wear it. You can wear a neck tie or bow tie at formal events and at the office, but you can pair it with casual outfits as long as it fits the occasion. For example, if you’re going to spend most of the day under the sun, you will look out of place with your bow tie. General rule of thumb: if you can wear a neck tie for that location or event, then you can also wear a bow tie.

Experiment with different fabrics, colors, and patterns. The type of fabric also determines how casual or formal the look can be. More expensive fabrics such as silk and wool are more suited to formal events like weddings, while cotton or linen can be worn casually. Don’t be afraid to try various bow tie shapes and neck tie colors and patterns. There are also some styles that are already pre-tied which are perfect for casual outfits.

Know how to tie them properly. Keep practicing the different ways to tie knots. Some of the most commonly used styles for the neck tie are the classic knot if you’re wearing a spread collar, four in hand if you want a more informal look, and the simple knot for skinny neck ties.

Take note of the length and width. When purchasing a neck tie, make sure to measure the length. You will know that the length is right for you if the tip of the tie ends just about the beltline, not above or below it. There is also a basic rule when it comes to the width of the neck tie. For casual looks or for shirts with narrow collars, always pick narrow ties. If you have a bulkier body, however, pick wider ties and avoid the skinny ones.