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self assessment - am i integrating ok?

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chris_pilgrim
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self assessment - am i integrating ok?

Postby chris_pilgrim » Sat, 08 Feb 2014 10:30 pm

hi luvs

for those who know me since i was a newbie from london, arrived sg, managing homesickness and settling in .. let me know if you think i'm doing ok integrating with the locals.

- i live in a condo at harbourfront.
- i do my grocery shopping at ntuc / cold storage / giant.
- i mostly eat at the hawker centres near home.
- i work in a local environment i.e most of my workmates are locals and a few expats from china and the philippines.
- i seldom do after-work drinks with my colleagues (pretty knackered after a full day's work :() and i spent my weekends alone.
- (so far) i have attended three CNY house parties and i'm invited to a church wedding this March and a Malay wedding in April.
- (so far) i haven't done clothes shopping in sg. i shop online at john lewis (intll delivery) n m&s (get my folks to mail my purchases to me)
- i don't listen to the local radio stations. sorry to say, but i cringe when some presenters/DJs speak with a phoney english or american accent .. i listen online to Heart London 106.2.
- same goes for tv. i only catch News on 5 and Channel NewsAsia.
- i gather the news of the day from The Straits Times and BBC News online.

oh dear .. after putting these thoughts into print,.. i think i'm kind of a hermit :???:
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Re: self assessment - am i integrating ok?

Postby IronMac » Sun, 09 Feb 2014 9:44 am

chris_pilgrim wrote:after putting these thoughts into print,.. i think i'm kind of a hermit :???:


Busted! :D

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Postby Addadude » Sun, 09 Feb 2014 11:14 pm

As I gather that you've only been here for just over a month, I wouldn't worry about feeling like you have 'integrated'. It's really far too early. Singapore is a lot different to London so there should be no expectation on your part to be able to instantly or even swiftly adapt to life here.

I noticed in another thread that you already seem to have started counting down the days until you go back home. That's a little worrying after just one month here. I would urge you to consider that you really don't know this place yet. There is far more to discover. And you need to be patient about how fast you can learn things for yourself.

Sometimes these kind of forums can actually give you the wrong impression about Singapore. There appears to be 'instant knowledge' immediately available. But you must bear in mind that this information is filtered through the different experiences and personalities of the people who share it.

It is VERY easy to find yourself getting into a sort of negative feedback loop where an initial bad impression or experience gets shared, repeated and eventually exaggerated into something quite unbearable. A minor annoyance or source of irritation, because it is mentioned so often, gradually becomes a major, unacceptable grievance.

Before the internet and forums like this, I saw just this kind of thing take place amongst expat friends who just kept moaning about the same minor crap (things that they probably would have ignored back home) to the point of working themselves up into a self-induced fury. Within 6 months to a year of this nonsense they had effectively talked themselves out of a very lucrative and cushy posting in Singapore.

With all these online forums that we now have access to, this process can and does happen exponentially faster.

My earnest advice to you would be just to get on with living your life day-to-day as best you can. Don't have huge expectations of yourself instantly adapting to local customs or being some kind do 'sophisticated, cosmopolitan expat' capable of adapting to anything.

In terms of socializing, if you are working in a local environment there is very little chance of getting together with colleagues for a drink in the evening. It's not really the 'done thing' here. Instead look at the activities you personally enjoy doing. Do more of them. Try brand new sports and past times like dragon boat racing or the hash house harriers. If you are into the arts, check out some of the theatre groups here. Sign up for music lessons. Hell, check out the Wednesday Night or Friday Night Drinking Clubs on this forum. Do any or all of these things (if you have the energy) and you'll start building valuable connections and friendships.

But, above all, GIVE YOURSELF (and Singapore) TIME.
"Both politicians and nappies need to be changed regularly, and for the same reasons."

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chris_pilgrim
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Postby chris_pilgrim » Tue, 11 Feb 2014 9:08 pm

Addadude wrote:My earnest advice to you would be just to get on with living your life day-to-day as best you can. Don't have huge expectations of yourself instantly adapting to local customs or being some kind do 'sophisticated, cosmopolitan expat' capable of adapting to anything.


thanks for your advice, i'm living my life day-to-day.
to make my life abit more interesting, i've started a 365 photo-a-day project with my iPhone :)

Addadude wrote:But, above all, GIVE YOURSELF (and Singapore) TIME.


ya.. guess i'm slightly too "kan cheong" trying to grasp everything in a wee time .. shall give myself and this little red dot more time getting to know each other and fall deeply in love :)

btw which part of the "darkest telok blangah" you're at? for all we know we could be neighbours :o
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Postby Primrose Hill » Wed, 12 Feb 2014 9:31 am

Chris, give yourself a break. Is it really that bad here, really truly? Next month, I will be starting my 3rd year here. There are times that, niggly issues that annoy me but mainly it is the way that most people here can't think outside the square box. And the driving skills.
That said, I find most things work perfectly here. Maybe try and make notes of the good things. Did you not want this posting to SG?
If you like I am more than happy to meet up one of these days.
1. I work in harbourfront
2. I buy my groceries at giant/cold storage. I also get Fairprice delivery, red mart and cold storage.
3. I work in mix enviroment - expats from UK, Stateside, EU and Australia.
4. I eat at hawker's center, food court and do eat at poshier establishments. I cook a lot and bake a lot too.
5. I too seldom do after work drinks.
6. I too listen to radio stations online and don't watch much local tv.

However........

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chris_pilgrim
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Postby chris_pilgrim » Wed, 12 Feb 2014 7:31 pm

Primrose Hill wrote:Is it really that bad here, really truly?


no.. not really bad bad .. there are dark days and some great days.

Primrose Hill wrote:There are times that, niggly issues that annoy me but mainly it is the way that most people here can't think outside the square box. And the driving skills.


i don't think most people here can't think outside the square box. i believe they ARE stuck inside the box!! And thankfully i don't drive here. else i'll jump the Thames (oops i mean the Singapore River)

Primrose Hill wrote:That said, I find most things work perfectly here. Maybe try and make notes of the good things.


ya ..there's light at the end of the tunnel, i'll just keep working towards it.
having said that, you may find things more comfortable as you have a hubby to cuddle at nite whereas i only have a 2ft Paddington Bear to snuggle with :)

Primrose Hill wrote:Did you not want this posting to SG?


there were other options ... let just say i was "mis-sold" by the headhunter ..


Primrose Hill wrote:If you like I am more than happy to meet up one of these days.

1. I work in harbourfront


thanks for the offer. i work at buono vista and live around harbourfront. will look you up when i can getaway from the office early :D

Primrose Hill wrote:However........


? However ......?
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Postby Primrose Hill » Tue, 11 Mar 2014 1:10 pm

I live close to Bouna Vista and work in Harbourfront.

My 3rd year next week and there are still good days and bad days :lol:

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Postby Tanuki » Tue, 11 Mar 2014 6:40 pm

Primrose Hill wrote:I live close to Bouna Vista and work in Harbourfront.

My 3rd year next week and there are still good days and bad days :lol:

If anyone wants to wander up a little from Harborfront to Tiong Bahru let me know, esp if it's Thursday to Sunday. There's a highly recommended English pub across from the MRT that I haven't tried out yet...

There are good days and bad days anywhere. Even if you had only good days there are levels of "good" that would start to look "bad" in comparison. Hehe. My worst days here are still pretty damn good and there's a nice pool downstairs to relax in to adjust my attitude. :o

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Re: self assessment - am i integrating ok?

Postby maneo » Wed, 12 Mar 2014 12:37 am

chris_pilgrim wrote:- i do my grocery shopping at ntuc / cold storage / giant.

You'll know you've really integrated when you start shopping at Sheng Siong.
Oh, but you said you live in a condo at Harbourfront.
Never mind.

chris_pilgrim wrote:- i mostly eat at the hawker centres near home.

Are there any hawkers centres besides Seah Im near you?

chris_pilgrim wrote:- (so far) i have attended three CNY house parties and i'm invited to a church wedding this March and a Malay wedding in April.

Being invited to such special events is really a very good sign of acceptance.
You can be happy about this.

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Postby local lad » Wed, 12 Mar 2014 9:56 am

Its a good sign you were invited to events the locals hold dearly. It shows the level of acceptance they have with you. Of course, do not be a clunt and disrespectful amongst them. I've heard expats said they had their meals at local hawker and so they have immersed with the locals. How phoney is that. Places you go which happened to have a higher percentage of locals do not qualify one to say they are mingling well... :???: ..It is only when the locals started to feel comfortable with your company ( eg having a conversation that is not work-related or teasing you knowing the fact you are not easily offended ) that you know you are accepted as one of their 'kakis'.... :)

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Postby TJ43 » Wed, 12 Mar 2014 7:13 pm

Don't be too harsh on yourself, integrating takes time and a month is nothing! Everyone has good and bad days, it's only natural :wink:

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Postby chris_pilgrim » Sat, 15 Mar 2014 6:58 pm

Primrose Hill wrote:I live close to Bouna Vista and work in Harbourfront.

My 3rd year next week and there are still good days and bad days :lol:


@Primrose Hill. we are so near yet so far ... :D

i live around Harbourfront and work at one of the ????polis at Buona Vista :)

your 3rd year here already ... WoW ... me only into my 3rd month :cry:
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Re: self assessment - am i integrating ok?

Postby chris_pilgrim » Sat, 15 Mar 2014 7:16 pm

@maneo

maneo wrote:You'll know you've really integrated when you start shopping at Sheng Siong. Oh, but you said you live in a condo at Harbourfront.
Never mind.


i heard about Sheng Siong ... need to figure it out how to get there ... whatabout living in condo :o ... i find things pretty costly in sg so need to watch my budget too :)

maneo wrote:Are there any hawkers centres besides Seah Im near you?


Pasir Panjang Food Centre :D

maneo wrote: Being invited to such special events is really a very good sign of acceptance. You can be happy about this.


i am but scared at the same time ...
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Postby chris_pilgrim » Sat, 15 Mar 2014 7:23 pm

@TJ43

TJ43 wrote:Don't be too harsh on yourself, integrating takes time and a month is nothing! Everyone has good and bad days, it's only natural :wink:


thanks luv xx .. guess i am too, like what the locals say, "kan cheong" ..

i still, at times, feeling "lost" in this little red dot .. :???:
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 15 Mar 2014 7:57 pm

Chris, I think you are a returning Singaporean. :-k


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