My perspective about being back in the US

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RobSg
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My perspective about being back in the US

Post by RobSg » Sat, 01 Feb 2014 12:34 am

After living in Singapore for almost 25 years, I returned to the States last October. I gave up my PR and felt that at least for me, a quality retirement was not really possible in Singapore. I rented apartments, since up until my retirement, the place I worked at always provided a hefty housing allowance, so there was never a need to buy.

I now live in Blaine, Washington, right on the border between the US and Canada. I have a Nexus card, which allows me to almost drive through the border crossings with little or no delay. From where I am now, I can be in Vancouver in about 30 minutes.

What do I miss about Singapore? First of all, the food. I had a Food Court addiction, since being single meant it was almost cheaper to eat out every day than to cook at home. I miss that convenience so much. Second, I miss the convenience of not needing a car, and having a simpler lifestyle without a car. Third, I miss the convenience of cheap air travel to most places in Asia. Fourth, I miss the ability to walk to so many different movie theaters. I love a good movie.

What do I like about being back here in the States? First, it's so quiet. I don't hear a sound at night, and little during the day. I have a new house in a new neighborhood. Second, I am learning to cook, and as a result, living a healthier lifestyle. Hawker food in Singapore is convenient, but I'm not sure if it's healthy. Third, I am able to have a dog (English Labrador Retriever pup) and raise him in an environment that allows long hikes and a lot of fetching on open land and mountain trails. Fourth, I have "almost" free health insurance, since I'm over 65 (67). Fifth, I love the small town atmosphere of Blaine, but spend about a third of my time in a nice apartment in Vancouver with a Canadian friend from China. I have the best of both worlds. Sixth, the crowded MRT's, the congested traffic, and the people living on top of each other in HDB's is a memory of the past, and one that I really do not miss. Finally, the area I live in is safe. I look at the police reports for Blaine every week in the newspaper, and have to laugh at the worst thing for last week was an older man racing down the street in his wheelchair. A lot of people leave their doors unlocked.

I still miss Singapore so much, although the good of being back in the States seems to outweigh the bad. I plan on visiting later this year, and also Malaysia. A person does not really need to live overseas to appreciate travel.

Anyway, those are my thoughts.

Rob

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PNGMK
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Post by PNGMK » Sat, 01 Feb 2014 10:48 am

Thanks Rob.

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Post by bgd » Sat, 01 Feb 2014 11:19 am

So there is life after Singapore :-)

What about climate, do you miss the constant heat? I suspect that's what I'd miss most.

I looked up Blaine, you are in a very nice part of the world.

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Wd40
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Post by Wd40 » Sat, 01 Feb 2014 11:27 am

If I were to move to quieter part of the world, I would seriously miss Singapore. I would miss the noise, the feeling of being with people. I simply cant imagine moving to a place where everything closes down at 5pm and people stay indoors and sleep early. No way. I am a late sleeper and I love waking up late. I love places like Singapore and Hong Kong where there is lots of stuff to do even until midnight. We have got used to spending weekends evening outside until like 11pm-12 midnight. A place that doesn't let us do that, wont work for us.

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Post by zzm9980 » Sat, 01 Feb 2014 12:15 pm

Wd40 wrote:If I were to move to quieter part of the world, I would seriously miss Singapore. I would miss the noise, the feeling of being with people. I simply cant imagine moving to a place where everything closes down at 5pm and people stay indoors and sleep early. No way. I am a late sleeper and I love waking up late. I love places like Singapore and Hong Kong where there is lots of stuff to do even until midnight. We have got used to spending weekends evening outside until like 11pm-12 midnight. A place that doesn't let us do that, wont work for us.
I agree, but notice Rob spends a third of his time in Vancouver. He has the perfect balance between serene wilderness and a decent sized vibrant city. Vancouver is actually a bit like a mini-Hong Kong (even called Hong Kouver by a lot of friends). It has lots of good Asian food, pretty mountains behind the skyline, and lots of obviously rich asians buying up the property and making prices skyrocket. :D

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 01 Feb 2014 12:42 pm

Hi Rob. Thanks for the sitrep on your return to a different type of civilization. It would seem you have the best of both worlds there at the moment. I'm still running a halfway house to a lot (including one of my own and the old crone) so still cannot "make a move" yet. And yeah, I'm looking at 67 this year as well. I DO miss the "solitude" that only the countryside can bring. One of these days....

Do stay in touch.

sms
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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JR8
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Post by JR8 » Sat, 01 Feb 2014 2:57 pm

It is strange and purely coincidental, but this morning perhaps due to the holidays, I woke to the sound of bird-song, rather than the usual traffic.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 01 Feb 2014 3:56 pm

JR8 wrote:I woke to the sound of bird-song, rather than the usual traffic.


^^This!

One of the biggest things I missed after buying this flat in '99. I loved living in Seletar Camp for that very reason (and the fact that I could run out of the front door into the grass (not tile) of my compound and pluck fruit off the various trees in the yard! (Can do the same on the farm, but the fruit on the trees are obviously different). ;-)
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by the lynx » Wed, 05 Feb 2014 2:38 pm

Nice sitrep RobSg, it is always nice to read your updates.

How's the weather like in Blaine at the moment?

RobSg
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Post by RobSg » Wed, 05 Feb 2014 11:17 pm

Lynx,
My only concern about moving to Washington was the wet cloudy weather I heard winters were like here. I'm not sure why, but this winter has been pretty dry and clear, but cold. Yesterday is was sunny with a high of just above freezing, and the rest of the week will be the same.

I'm looking forward to Spring and Summer, but I don't mind the cold weather.

Rob

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