Singapore Expats Forum

Want to Leave

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

taxico
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Re: Want to Leave

Postby taxico » Fri, 14 Mar 2014 8:26 am

kukumalu wrote:...I am a local guy who is really sick of the inane mind-numbing mall-hopping tedium of life in Singapore. This feeling is becoming especially acute ever since I came back from hiking Mount Kinabalu and all it's wonderful natural beauty.

...I really want to get out of this place, at least for a while and if it's not too much trouble I would like to seek some small insights as to whether sg living is really all that great. Almost everyone I know seems to really believe that we are the best place to live in and somehow I dont quite feel its true...


singapore's not the best place to live. i don't think there are many places like singapore. i like it here for many reasons singaporeans don't care for or take for granted.

if you're a true blue singaporean, i don't think living overseas will work for you in the long run. you'll want to come back eventually.

so... go for your big OE (many WHPs you can choose from) and return when you really can't overcome home sickness. who knows, you might just be in the minority of singaporeans that CAN successfully make a new life overseas.

don't forget your exit permit!
Aut viam ad caelum inveniam aut faciam

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Postby earthfriendly » Fri, 14 Mar 2014 8:56 am

I have been privileged to have lived in two countries. I would not be the person I am today if I had lived all my life in a single country, be it USA or Singapore. Traveling and exposures to unfamiliar territories helped me to understand myself......... a little more. This may be helpful.

http://solotraveluncut.com/2014/02/9-wa ... the-world/

Girl_Next_Door
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Postby Girl_Next_Door » Fri, 14 Mar 2014 10:01 am

There are two sides of every coins, and in my opinion, it depends on the following factors:
- How much traveling have you done previously? Are they mainly asia, europe or america?
- Do you have any existing commitments which will pose as challenges if you leave?
- What are you trying to achieve out of this? To travel a bit? To change your existing lifestyle?
- Are you comfortable in your existing lifestyle and willing to have a drastic change?

If you merely want to see the world, you do not have to give up your existing life in Singapore to do it. You can either try to find a job that allows you to do business travel or simply make an effort to plan trips! My husband and I actively plan vacations, on a monthly basis. Its hard work and we are managing our trips using an excel worksheet, but knowing that a vacation is not far away, make us happy.

Personally, I love the convenience that Singapore offers, the low tax rates and the weather. Most financial centers have high tax rates, otherwise, the weather is too cold for my liking. You can't have it all, but Singapore have what I feel is important to me, at this point in time. I don't plan to retire in Singapore but Singapore is currently a great place for me to earn my retirement pot.

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Postby Beeroclock » Fri, 14 Mar 2014 10:08 am

Girl_Next_Door wrote:I don't plan to retire in Singapore but Singapore is currently a great place for me to earn my retirement pot.
+1

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ScoobyDoes
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Postby ScoobyDoes » Fri, 14 Mar 2014 10:15 am

Leaving home and working overseas is/was the best thing I ever did, and probably for most foreigners here. And I include everybody from the boss of Rolls-Royce/HSBC to the thousands of construction guys in that statement too.

Even if you do end up coming back to SG later, the experience will be the best thing on your CV. Many top local managers here have worked overseas before coming back. Many, of course, never come back......much like some of us that will never go home. In the past 20yrs I've lived and worked in four completely different countries and I'm barely in my 40s and overall, it's been a blast.

Difficult times? Absolutely. Being laid off twice in cutbacks, miles from 'home' sharpens both the mind and the pencil. You find out quickly how good or bad you are in that case as well.

Oh, and you'll owe me 50-bucks if I read a word of that in Today or the Times.
'When Lewis Hamilton wins a race he has to thank Vodafone whereas in my day I used to chase the crumpet. I know which era I'd rather race in.'

SIR Stirling Moss OBE

earthfriendly
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Re: Want to Leave

Postby earthfriendly » Fri, 14 Mar 2014 10:17 am

taxico wrote: you might just be in the minority of singaporeans that CAN successfully make a new life overseas.



I have come across many Singaporeans who are happily settled and enjoying the natural landscape, vastness, cultural aspect and opportunities offered in USA. They are quite at ease with the lifestyle here and do not like the prospect of having to fight the crowd of SG. And they are here because they enjoy the lifestyle, not because of some grandiose idea or fantasy about USA or using it as a stepping stone.

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Fortan
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Postby Fortan » Fri, 14 Mar 2014 10:53 am

I have Singaporeans in my team that are split into two groups. The ones that have always been living in Singapore and the ones that have either studied abroad or have spent parts of their career working abroad. There is a distinct difference in their mentality. If I had to hire someone today and two applicants turned up with similar qualifications, I would hire the Singaporean who has spent time outside the red dot any time. Not sure whether that is politically correct but that is how I feel.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 14 Mar 2014 11:41 am

Years ago, when I was still a headhunter, I wouldn't hire a Singaporean in a hard engineering discipline unless they had spent at least two years on an overseas multinational project. Generally I would also give preference to those Singaporeans who had western degrees, gotten not by twinning, but by actually attending the university's campus for the duration. A plus for me was a Polytechnic Diploma holder who then went overseas for an additional 3 years an got a western BSc. These guys are quite good as they not only know the theory they also know how to make it work in real life as well. Local engineers without overseas experience/education, "generally", aren't work the powder it would take to blow them up. YMMV

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nutnut
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Postby nutnut » Fri, 14 Mar 2014 12:29 pm

Go to Switzerland if you can afford it and find work. It's safe, has seasons, and has natural beauty. Also a lot of finance jobs are there and you can kinda get away with English as a primary language. I assume you can speak English well, i.e. you can be clearly understood by non native English speakers?
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Re: Want to Leave

Postby BedokAmerican » Fri, 14 Mar 2014 1:57 pm

kukumalu wrote:Dear Expats of Singapore,

I am a local guy who is really sick of the inane mind-numbing mall-hopping tedium of life in Singapore. This feeling is becoming especially acute ever since I came back from hiking Mount Kinabalu and all it's wonderful natural beauty.

I've tried asking around in my social circles for advice on overseas life and how it stacks up with sg, but it appears that no one has any useful insights to offer. If anything, the propaganda instinct goes into overdrive and all the other countries 'unsafe', 'crime everywhere', 'boring', 'no shopping', 'racism', 'no maid', etc etc all starts spewing out.

I really want to get out of this place, at least for a while and if it's not too much trouble I would like to seek some small insights as to whether sg living is really all that great. Almost everyone I know seems to really believe that we are the best place to live in and somehow I dont quite feel its true

Thanks so much!


What type of work do you do? Maybe you could teach Mandarin Chinese abroad if that's something you think you'd enjoy. The only reason I mention that is because I've heard of Americans going abroad for a few years to teach English.

Another thing some people on here mentioned was Singapore's low taxes. However, I think the high prices of rent/housing, cars and groceries here negates that.

As far as what your friends have told you......

Also, anyone can be a victim of crime, but it's less likely if you stay away from shady characters such as drug dealers and lock your doors. Another thing, the government controls the news media in Sg, so you only hear what is "approved." I've seen crime stories buried on page 10 of the newspaper here, whereas they might make headlines if the same thing happened elsewhere. Maybe bad things are more known about other countries because they have a more freer press not affiliated with the government.

There's plenty of shopping most cities and it's more affordable. It's just that Sg is a series of overpriced malls on steroids. When I got here I was shocked how many malls there were and wondered how they could all stay in business.

Racism is everywhere. I can't speak for most of the world, but the majority of Americans don't have anything against Asians. There are lots of Asians in America, especially in large cities. Most of the racist Americans live in small towns in the "deep south" and they're too busy bad-mouthing Hispanics and blacks to worry about Asians. Another thing, some Sg businesses require job applicants to provide a photo with their resume. That in itself is racism. Why should it matter what a person looks like? Why not look at their qualifications/experience and not judge by looks/skin color? That kind of stuff would not be allowed in the USA unless someone is applying for a job as an actor/model.

No maid. Yes! That's true. There's something to be said for being able to do things for yourself and to have privacy, although many will disagree with me. Minimum wage laws (which Sg lacks) make the cost of live-in maids unaffordable in many Western nations, which is why only billionaires might have them. There are weekly/monthly housekeeping services, though. It's so funny how people come over to my place in Sg with a look of disbelief on their face and say stuff like, "You don't have a helper? You do this all by yourself? You clean yourself? You cook your own food?" I have to laugh and say it's no big deal.

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Re: Want to Leave

Postby Beeroclock » Fri, 14 Mar 2014 2:23 pm

BedokAmerican wrote: Another thing, some Sg businesses require job applicants to provide a photo with their resume. That in itself is racism. Why should it matter what a person looks like?
....
Minimum wage laws (which Sg lacks) make the cost of live-in maids unaffordable in many Western nations, which is why only billionaires might have them.
Yeah I also found it weird when requested to put your photo on your cv here....

Regarding live-in maid affordability in Western countries, I think the minimum wage is one point but a key issue is immigration law. Singapore has the FDW program to enable this. Most Western countries it will be a lot harder/costly to gain entry and work permit legally. Furthermore all the other employment law issues (occ health & safety etc) associated with have an employee stay and work in your house, will make it prohibitive for all but the super rich as you said.

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ecureilx
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Re: Want to Leave

Postby ecureilx » Fri, 14 Mar 2014 3:02 pm

Beeroclock wrote:....

Regarding live-in maid affordability in Western countries, I think the minimum wage is one point but a key issue is immigration law. Singapore has the FDW program to enable this. Most Western countries it will be a lot harder/costly to gain entry and work permit legally. Furthermore all the other employment law issues (occ health & safety etc) associated with have an employee stay and work in your house, will make it prohibitive for all but the super rich as you said.


maids?

cue the Indian diplomat's saga ....

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 14 Mar 2014 3:17 pm

Cue "lying" Indian diplomat.

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the lynx
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Postby the lynx » Fri, 14 Mar 2014 3:38 pm

I honestly think it is not really the experience of living abroad that shape the person. It all boils down to that person himself. I've met better people, both in talent and in character, who are too poor/underprivileged to be given opportunity to step out of their country, but relied on reading and dissecting what they read to learn about the world outside and how it should shape their view and their character.

I have met people who used government funds to study English in Leicester and come back being the same narrow-minded witch, but this time with half-baked British accent and probably a secret of alcohol consumption. Or a guy with a silver spoon who studied in good schools in the West in excellent programme but came back being an arrogant snob because of his perceived gain of experience, knowledge and status from having that coveted scroll.

Life is unfair. To be immersed in the life of a global citizen, you need to be part of that global community via work or vocation. To gain access into that opportunity, you need favourable qualifications, especially from real reputable schools or holding passports of favourable countries. To be able to study in those schools, you need daddy's money or government's money. To get hold of those funds to study there, you need to either perform well in a fair meritocratic system (where?), or know somebody big in that network, or be born in favourable circumstances that will grant you that privilege.

So if you're effed up from beginning, you will never have a chance. Ever. Unless by divine intervention of any sort. This is what I learned to live with.

/rant off

Of course, living/working really generally broadens the horizon but it is worth nothing until you make something out of it.

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Wd40
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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 14 Mar 2014 4:11 pm

Good post that one, Lynx!


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