Ben Alagnam - MeMovingToCanada

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Showing posts with label Transportation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Transportation. Show all posts

Saturday, September 28, 2013

48 Hour Parking at Changi Airport: How Much?

We all know that taking a taxi late at night, specifically after 12:00midnight, the fare will be 50% more.

Usually, the fare from Changi Airport to my house, by taxi, cost me around S$42.00.  This I considered as expensive.

Why I Decided to Park at Changi?
Few days ago, I have a trip to Penang for two days.  Since I travelled with a companion, I decided to bring a car to Changi and decided not to take the taxi back and forth.

Our flight is at Changi Airport Terminal 1, which has an open parking area.  But instead, I decided to park it at the covered parking of Terminal 2. 

The reason I parked the car there is not for some price difference, because there is none, but I thought that it might rain when we arrive the next two days. It's difficult for us to run through the rain with the baggage and tired faces.

Parking at the Terminal 2 is so energy consuming.  The reason is that we have to walk from Terminal 2 to the Skytrain then going to the Terminal 1.  What a waste of time and effort.

Terminal 2 has a walking distance of about 300 meters, please correct me if I'm wrong with this number.  Adding up the 100 meter walk from the Terminal 2 parking area then the ride on the Skytrain, is not worth it.

How Much is the Parking Fee at Changi Airport
Two days or 48 hours after, we arrived at Changi Airport Terminal 1.  So, the next destination is to walk to Terminal 2, the long walk...Again!

We reached the carpark and placed our baggage inside the car, then headed to the parking gantry.  It cost me S$45.00 dollar parking fee for a 48 hour parking at Changi Terminal 2 airport.

If I compare it when taking the taxi, this is feasible enough.  But, if I stay longer than 2 days abroad, it's not worth to park the car at Changi, better take the taxi.

Let's do the Math:

Rate:  S$20 per day parking fee

Taxi - house to airport (early evening) - S$28.00
Taxi - airport to House (late night) - S$42.00
Total for Taxi: S$70.00

Car - Petrol - S$10.00
Car - Parking - S$45.00
Total for Car: S$ 55.00

Savings: S$15.00 (But next time, I'll park near the terminal)

Other Posts:
How to Save Money in Flight
Bus and Train First Timer

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Philippines: No Need to Show Printed Plane Tickets

I was browsing the internet and brought me to the Yahoo News, where it stated that there's no need to show the printed plane tickets to go abroad.  Read here in Yahoo News.

This I wondered why it goes out to the news just now.  I've been doing this 2 years ago.

What Do I Present When I Check-in?
Each year, I travel 5-6 times, going to other countries or in Philippines from Singapore. There are some documents that immigration requires, like Visa, Invitation, etc.. depending on the country of destination.  I don't show my e-ticket, but I bring it along with me just in case they ask, and they never.

If I'm from Singapore going to an ASEAN country, I don't show my e-ticket, just my passport and my Singapore Identification Card (IC).   Some may ask me for an invitation, some don't.

When going to China, where I need a Visa, I showed my passport with a Chinese Visa in it, and IC. 

If I'm departing from the Philippines, I just show my passport, Overseas Employment Clearance (OEC), and IC.  This is always the case.

Usually, the airline should have our names ready on their database before the departure.  They will just type in the name of the passenger and the list follows...

Going out of Singapore's Immigration
Usually, when a tourist or worker returns to their country.  After the check-in process, they will go to the immigration officer for a stamp.

In Singapore, if you are a Singapore Citizen, Singapore Permanent Resident or holding a Long Term Visit Pass (Overseas Foreign Worker), you may not go to the immigration officers for a stamp.

Instead, Singapore has an electronic immigration pass where you can just scan your passport and your fingerprint then you're good to board the plane. 

This is applicable for Departing and Arriving passengers.  Cool, right?

Other Related Post:
Flying to Singapore with a Signal No. 1 Typhoon
Sending Gifts to Philippines from Singapore

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Best Gate in the World in 2013

Have you ever been to the Best Gate in the World?
Gate is the very first location where you invest a lot in beautification.  This is to let your visitors see before they go in to your home. 

The first impression of each visitor as soon as they visit your home is the most important to achieve. You want them to be blown away and be totally relaxed once they enter your place.

Singapore Has The Best Gate in the World!
A country is a big scale of a house (home).  The visitors are those from neighbouring countries or even at the farthest east and west side of the globe.

The Gate of a country is the airport and is obviously where the visitors had their first glance as soon as they arrive.  As long as you can read the English alphabet, you will not be lost in Singapore.  A lot of big signboards that directs you to each terminal designations can easily be spotted.

Digital clocks with large size numbers are positioned few meters apart that you can keep track with time.

Oh, I forgot to mention the free use of computer with internet that are located at a strategic corners of the airport.

Singapore had made its gate as attractive as she can.  The Terminal 1 (T1) is decorated with unique Kinetic Rain Sculpture that can change figures once each piece of raindrop is positioned.  It can be in a wavy figure or even an aircraft.  Watch the video below or at the Youtube channel.

On the other side of the airport, which is the Terminal 2 (T2), you can see the beautiful sculpture inside a small garden.  It's a colourful tiled flower-like structure that has live flowers enclosed in it.

The flooring is made up of wood with small LED lights that changes colors at a given time.  A small pond flows continuously within the garden.

This is definitely the best place to relax, be calm and release your flight stress.  The artificial sound of the forest is played on the speakers placed at a strategic position around the garden.  This simulates the sound of a rainforest.

It's A Shopper's Paradise
After visitors visited the garden and calmed down for while, there are places where shopaholic visitors love and enjoy.

Terminal 2 is surrounded by shops that sells high end products from bags to chocolates.  This will make you feel like you're not inside an airport.

What is the Best Airport of the World in 2013?
The gates of Singapore are its airports and no doubt that the world had voted the Singapore Changi Airport as the World's Best Airport in 2013.

It was voted at the World Airport Awards at the Passenger Terminal EXPO in Geneva.

I've been to the best airport in the world, so can you! 

Plan your next vacation in Singapore and see why it's the No. 1!

Other Related Posts
Sleeping at Singapore Changi Airport
Singapore Here I Come
Flying to Singapore with a Signal No. 1 Typhoon

Monday, November 5, 2012

Singapore View on Video

The road is my everyday mate and now I'm taking videos of it.  The cool thing now is that it has directions and street labels.  This video is intended for new motorist and also for tourists that has no idea how the road of Singapore looks like.

You can check my YouTube Channel not only for the videos of the road but some of the random places like parks, stations and airport in Singapore.

For me, taking these videos are not just for FUN but also storing my memories of Singapore in a digital way.  Through this, when my age reaches 80 years (I hope), I can see how I traveled to a place where a ship is placed on top of the building (Marina Bay Sands), the Lion has a fish tail and the Right way is LEFT.

*If ever you found a copy of the law or rules that disallow filming road or streets in Singapore, kindly send me the link below so I will take out these videos immediately.   I really can not find the regulations such as this. Please help me find. My intentions for this video is to let the foreign motorists know what the road of Singapore looks like before their visit.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Visiting Philippines Every 2 Months: How?

I've been thinking about my family, day and night. This doesn't stop torturing my mind here in Singapore.  The loneliness is there always and keeps on visiting me at times when I'm not busy.  This also happens every dawn, when everyone are asleep.  This is the reason why I visit Philippines every 2 months to take away my emotional stress.  

Visiting Concerns
The main problem that I've encountered visiting my family in Philippines is the financial matters.  I need to have lots of "bala" money to enjoy with them and bring "pasalubong" presents.  Then we go on shopping and lots of dining.  

To solve my money matters, I allotted a budget for this.  Usually, my budget includes airfare, taxi from airport to my house in Singapore and entertainment (shopping and dining).

Airfare Budget
Every week, the five airlines serving Philippines to Singapore are giving away discounted fares ranges from S$121.00 to S$160.00 round trip.  But this booking will be done 2 months in advance from the flight schedule.  So I have to make sure that the date is final and had filed my company leave before availing the ticket.  

Company Leave
The usual annual leave given to a worker in Singapore is 14 days.  When a holiday falls to a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday will be a holiday or they will add it to our annual leave days.

But Singapore don't have holidays that much.  The longest holiday is only for 2 days, which is the Chinese New Year. 

Every time a holiday falls on Wednesday, I will go on leave on Thursday and Friday.  This will deduct 2 days on my annual leave and I could stay in Philippines from Wednesday morning to Sunday evening. 

Flight Schedules
As soon as a holiday falls on Wednesday, I will book a ticket that is scheduled at 12:05am, Wednesday.  I will arrive in the Philippines at around 4:00am the same day. Singapore to Philippines trip only takes 3 hours plus, but it also depends on the airline.  There might be few delays but still bearable.    

So after my work, which is 6:30pm, I still have time to pack up things and travel to Changi Airport.  I have to make sure that I'll be at the airport 2 hours before my flight.
My return ticket from Philippines will always be at around 9:30pm on Sundays and arrives at Changi Airport at 12:05am the following day.  This time, I have to ride a taxi since MRT are not available at this time.

To give you an idea on how much I spend every visit in the Philippines.  I'll list down the expenses in details for you.

Airfare                     - S$150.00 (Average, but not including Christmas Day fare)
MRT                       - S$    2.50 (estimate)
Taxi                         - S$  42.00 (I'm at the opposite end of Singapore)
Shopping & Dining   - S$300.00
                 TOTAL  - S$494.50 (S$ 500 rounded off)

So my budget every month will be S$250.00. But December is expensive, I will add S$500 alone for my airfare ticket and another S$500 for entertainment and Christmas gifts.

This is the cost of my happiness, excitement and self fulfillment.  It might be expensive but it's worth it....

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The 12:05am Flight Problem

Booking your flight is so easy today, it involves few finger clicking and a credit card.  The last step that you need to do is to print the copy of your itinerary.

When I book a ticket in Singapore bound to Philippines, my flights are usually scheduled at 12:05am or 1:15am on a certain date.  This brings chaos for someone who is not used to on booking a ticket and may sometimes leads to a  delay or even a forfeiture of his ticket.

Why the 12:05am Flight Schedule Creates Chaos?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cebu Pacific Long Queue Experience

After checking the weight of my baggage, I looked at the queue for the Cebu Pacific, I was surprised to see that it was long and immovable.

I arrived an hour an a half so I expected this to happen.  But the queue was almost still and is not acceptable.

There were three booths, two were the normal check-in and the other is labeled web check-in.  I'm not familiar on the web check-in thing so I just stayed at the normal one.  Fifteen minutes had past and still the queue was not moving.
The Cebu Pacific queue stretched until the main door of the Terminal.
I was almost leaning at the window glass when taking this photo.
I looked at the queue for the Tiger Airways.  The queue is so calm and is systematically arranged with queue-guiding rails.  Cebu Pacific should have done this also.

That was the queue for the Tiger Airways. They have rails to
guide their checking-in passengers.
I was playing with my phone games when a women ran speedily to one of the booth.  I looked at the farther side to see what's going on.  The man started to open another booth so Ben started to open his shirt buttons revealing the big S (Superman) logo on his chest...and with a blink of an eye, Ben is at the 5th place on the new queue.

The man opened a new booth at that far right.
Kidding aside, I was able to be at the nearest position on the new booth.  I looked at the queue where I was previously positioned and thought that those people back there were envied by me like Angry Birds, ready to swing, aiming at me.

But even I was on that new queue, it took me 10 mins to check-in, my goodness.

What's your experience with the Airline?

Other Related Post:
Singapore Budget Terminal Experience
Excess Baggage at Tiger Airways

Monday, August 15, 2011

How to Purchase the Cebu Pacific Baggage Allowance

I was excited to reach the Budget Terminal an hour and a half before the flight. As the bus door opened, I took my hand-carried baggage (a back pack) with me and alighted to get my check-in baggage, which I inserted at the bus baggage compartment.

Cebu Pacific Baggage Allowance
I went in the terminal and checked my baggage allowance at the weighing scale.  My hand-carry back pack is just at the right weight of 7.3kg, where the limit is 7kg.   

I bought an extra cost for the check-in baggage of 15kg at the Cebu Pacific online booking a day before my flight. 

Cebu Pacific has now an option to choose how much weight you would buy for a check-in baggage.  You can access this by going to Cebu Pacific site and click Manage Booking, then input the information of your itinerary confirmation number.  It will prompt you to your booking details, then choose Purchase Bag.
Cebu Pacific Check-in baggage option 
SMALL         - up to 15kg at SGD10.00
STANDARD - up to 20kg at SGD15.00
MEDIUM      - up to 25kg at SGD25.00
LARGE          - up to 30kg at SGD35.00
If you have purchased your ticket without the baggage, you can avail this add-ons anytime before the scheduled flight.  This will add up to your new itinerary cost breakdown and you can print it for your reference. 

Other Related Post:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

How to Buy MRT Ticket and Card Top Up

As soon as you arrive at the airport and you're at the MRT Station, find a GTM as seen at the photo below.  

What is GTM in MRT Stations?
GTM stands for General Ticketing Machines, where you can purchase your MRT ticket or top up your EZ-link cards.  If you have no Ez-link card, you can buy at the MRT cashier.

Card costs : S$5.00
Free Load : S$7.00
Total Cost : $12.00  

How to Top Up the EZ-Link Card?
If you have your EZ-link card, place it on top of the slot, labeled "Please place here" at the top portion of the machine.  The screen, at the lower corner will display the options of what you will do with your card. 

Press the "Add value" and follow the instructions. You can pay by cash (notes or coins) by inserting it in the slot, located at the upper right corner, or the NETS, at the upper left corner.  

If your EZ-link card is inside your wallet. You don't need to remove it, just place your wallet on top of the slot "Please place here".  It will automatically read your EZ-link card.  Make it sure that no other RF cards are present inside your wallet or else the machine will have difficulty detecting your EZ-link card.

Take note that the minimum top-up value is $10.

How to Buy a Single Trip Standard Ticket? 
Tickets are used if you don't have the EZ-link card. This is a single trip ticket and is useful when you're not staying in Singapore for a longer period.

At the screen, with the "Select Option", choose the Standard Ticket and it will prompt you to choose your destination.  Press directly on the map, at the right side of the screen, the location of your choice.
The machine will prompt you to pay, you can pay with notes or coins located at the upper right corner. Then follow the instructions. Then, the ticket will pop out of the machine bin located the the lower portion.  Tap it on the MRT barrier to open.

Take note that there is a $1 refund if you'll return your single ticket to the cashier or the GTM after using it.  If you don't want for a refund, keep it as your souvenir.

There you have it, happy trip!

Other Related Posts:
Bus and MRT First Timer
MRT Reserved Seating
Kranji MRT Station

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Excess Baggage at Tiger Airways

An email was sent to me by Tiger Airways that there will be changes on my schedule, a 30-minute delay.  In fairness to them, they sent it a month before my flight. Wew!

The day of my departure (spooky phrase) came and I arrived at the MRT Changi Station, followed the trail where the sign points "To Budget Terminal".  You will not miss the way, I tell yah!

The Problem. I arrived too early, as usual, and went to the weighing scales at one corner of the terminal.  There are two weighing scales, but needed to wait for my turn at a 2-man queue.  I have two baggages, one is for hand carry and the other is for check-in.  As I weighed my check-in baggage, its at 18.0 kgs and my hand carry is 8.5 kgs. OMG!

Check-in baggage limit for Tiger Airways is at 15kgs and 7kgs for hand carry.  So, this is a big problem for me.  I have to pay for the excess baggage at S$15.0/kg.  But I will not allow this to happen.

I planned to remove the excess 3kg from my baggage, but where can I dispose it?  Is it alright to hand it to the airport staffs or just throw it at the garbage bin, I thought.

The Decision. A decision was made...I will try to check it in and see how it goes.  I'll cross the bridge when I get there, as the saying goes.

As soon as the Tiger Airways check-in counters were opened, my heart started to pound hard.  There are too many "What If" questions.  So, I went straight to the counter, laid down my baggage at the conveyor, keeping my fingers crossed.

The lady handed me my ticket and passport, and tagged my bag...SURPRISE!!! They allowed my 3-kg excess weight. That was a sign of relief, but the problem wasn't solved yet.  I need to undergo another weighing checkpoint for my hand-carried baggage at the immigration. I have an excess of 1.5kg for that.

I handed my passport and ticket at the guard and went in.  To my surprise, they didn't bother to weigh in my hand-carried baggage. As I went out of the weighing room, I clinched my fist and said, "YESSS!".

 I LOVE Tiger Airways!

Other Posts:
Singapore Budget Terminal Experience 
Bus Terminals in Singapore
Airlines Serving Philippine to Singapore and Vice Versa

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Construction Sites in Singapore

Singapore has a lot of construction sites nowadays. We can say that the place is really booming with it's economy reaching high above the clouds.

I was on my way home from work, I was passing by a construction site, which is near the roadside.  I envy their way of putting pedestrians and motorist in their safety priority list.  I have been involved in some small construction in the Philippines, but we seldom practice these kind of things or never had.  

As a motorist, road signs are so helpful, which gives us a warning that construction is on going.  

Look at the picture and notice the battery down to the ground.  If it is in my country, that will disappear few minutes later and found sold at the second hand stores.

As a Pedestrian, walking is easy along construction sites.  As far as safety is concerned, we don't have to worry.  They placed a path of concrete and plastic barrier for us, complete with signs such as "This way to.."
Concrete Barriers for Pedestrians
Notice the temporary concrete path for the pedestrians at the photo below.  After the construction, they will remove it clean.  It will be considered as waste.
Plastic Barrier for Pedestrians
I know that planning for a budget in construction includes this type of safety devices and precautions.  Why can't Philippine construction firms do these as a standard even for a small scale works.

The problem maybe is due to corruption, it's what people always say about it!

What do you think? You can leave your reactions below...

Other Posts:
Price of Corrupt People in
Why I Chose Singapore to Work?
The Word Respect for Me In Singapore

Monday, March 14, 2011

Singapore Budget Terminal Experience

It was 11:00pm when I arrived at the Changi Airport from my HDB.  I have to make sure that I will reach the airport 2 hours before my flight.  As I alighted the MRT Station, turned left to exit and stepped on to the escalator, the sign "To Budget Terminal" is visible on my way up. Every corner that I head has the sign of it.  Informative enough even a grade school pupil can follow.

At the Bus Station to Budget Terminal
Then, I followed the arrow where it leads me to the Bus Station.  I saw few people waiting and mostly are my fellow Filipinos "Kababayan".  I was shy to greet them so I just stayed at one corner, pretending that I'm thinking about the deepest ocean.  Then I saw the bus schedule that states:

Bus to Budget Terminal (Waiting Time)
10 min - 5:00am to 1:59am
20 min - 2:00am to 4:59am

Well, I'm too early for my flight so the 10-minute waiting time is not that bad.  After about 5 minutes, the bus arrived and we prepared to board.  Some of the passengers placed their baggage at the bus compartment.  My things are not that heavy, I decided to carry along. As I entered the bus, there is no tapping in device because it's FREE! Yeah!!

At the Budget Terminal
Before the smile on my face faded, the bus starts to proceed to our destination.  It took us around 10 minutes to reach the Budget Terminal.  As it's slowing down, I can see people queuing inside the terminal.  It was the queue for the Cebu Pacific or the Tiger Aiways, I thought.
Outside Singapore Budget Terminal 
Then the bus opened its doors, the McDonald's fast food, inside the terminal, was visible on my left. As the automatic door of the terminal opened, I saw the queue for the Cebu Pacific have already been a 20-passenger length.  Oh my, I'm too early to be late...

The queue started to move one by one at a 3-minute per passenger.  It takes longer when some "Kababayans" brought all of their "Sala Sets", inside a box.  And even longer when those who have over weight...not the passenger, but the baggage.  They'll remove some of their belongings and insert it to where they could possibly insert.  Aargh! It took 45 minutes when It was my turn.

I handed my passport and e-ticket to the lady and placed my baggage on the weighing conveyor, the digits started to rise 8...13...15kg....I thought it would rise more but it stayed at 16kg.  Weew!  The limit is 15kg, but the lady just ignored it and handed me the boarding pass.  My backpack has not been weighed.

I held my boarding pass and was lured by the big "M" sign, the McDonalds. So I followed my heart and headed to the counter.  I ordered a burger sandwich and a cup of Milo, to ease my colds.

Another Baggage Check
The immigration gate is just 5-meter away from McDonalds and the toilet is just in between them.  Then, I decided to go in to the gate.  I was surprised to see some passengers goes back from the queue.  So I wondered why they do that.  As I moved on to the queue, there is an airport guy weighing the carry-on baggage, AGAIN!  The girl in front of me said, "PATAY!" "OH, NO, I'M Dead".

Her baggage is over the weight limit of 7kgs, laptop is not included.  Cebu Pacific or the Budget Terminal is indeed strict on this.  The guy told her to go back and to check-in their baggage. Kaching! Few bucks will fly away from her pocket.

When I handed my backpack, the guy placed it on the weighing scale and the digits touched 5kgs.  They can't steal bucks from me this time, haha!

So I prepared my passport, IC, and boarding pass and headed to the immigration officer.  I handed him my documents and he just scanned it and gave it back to me. It took me less than 1 minute.  No questions asked!

Free Internet
As I walked 10 steps away from the officer, I saw the duty free shops...I was lured by the wine shop but it didn't worked.  I have no budget for wine this time, sorry!  So I sat down for a while at the waiting area. The place was nice with a soft foamed chairs. I thought of having a nap, but I saw something...

I saw computers on top of the table.  So I stood up to look at it.  It's a FREE internet! My chance to update my Facebook, haha!  There is a timer in the computer, and it's counting down from 15 minutes while you surf.  It's still alright since 15 minutes is long enough.

Boarding Gate
My Facebook has been updated at 1:00 in the morning.  So I decided to proceed to the boarding gate.  It was a 5-minute walk from the Duty Free.  I saw crowds of people sleeplessly waiting for the plane with limited seats at the area. Some are standing and yawning.

The plane arrived as expected then the crew instructed the elderly and passengers with babies to queue first.  Then we started to walk at the tarmac to the Cebu Pacific airplane staircase.  The sky was clear with the twinkling stars saying, "BEN, see you in the Philippines!"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

MRT Reserved Seating

What I like in Singapore is that they are serious in posting all informational stickers.  This is to remind their citizens and visitors about the restrictions on each of their properties. 

This time, I was riding the MRT and thought to take a photo of one of their reminders regarding the MRT reserved seats.

When you enter the MRT car, you must be aware that the first two seats, usually in dark blue colors, are for those people listed below: 

Aunties and Uncles (old folks), 
Pregnant Women
Person with Children

If you know that you're strong enough to stand for an hour, give your seats to the needy.  A smile from their faces means a lot for you as you reach your destination. Like this... :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bus Terminals in Singapore

Riding a Bus in Singapore is the most convenient way, for me.  I feel like I'm safe and can estimate my time of arrival to point B.

Anyway, I would like to share to you why Singapore has a convenient Bus transportation.

Why is it convenient?
This place is at the ground floor of Jurong East Interchange MRT Station. After alighting from the MRT, just tap out and go down to the ground floor, turn right when you see the foodcourt, like karenderias but cleaner.  Then, you can see the Bus Terminal.  Check out the LCD screen hanging on the ceiling that has an information of the Bus departure time. See...they have these kind of information, and it's by the minutes! 

 Look how clean the place is, no litters on sight.

You know why?  
If you're caught throwing litters in Singapore, a very FINE day will be experienced, you will be fined S$300 for doing this.  Is it FINE for you?

If you are looking for which bus to hop on to go to your destination, you can see a list and a brochure stand in one corner of the terminal where each bus number has it's route information.  Check it out and find your way to the bus number post like this photo below, Bus number 105 is going to SERANGOON.

Queue in this railings and wait for the bus to arrive.  Each railings has its designated bus number.  This is a place where you can't see someone pushing each other just to be the first to board.

If you can't ride the first bus, wait for the next.  The next one will arrive 3 to 5 minutes after, but depends on the route and the peak hour time.

When the bus arrives, you can only board the Bus at the front door, that's the Entrance.  The door at the middle is the EXIT.  If ever the bus is full of passengers, you can EXIT at the Entrance door and tap out your EZ-link at the device found on the photo below. There are two at the entrance beside the driver and two at the Exit just beside Auntie.

Now, tell me how convenient the Singapore Bus transportation is.  Please leave some comments.

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