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Expatriate?

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Wd40
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Postby Wd40 » Tue, 25 Mar 2014 2:15 pm

Hannieroo wrote:Why can't you? You do see that would be as offensive as me saying I couldn't imagine an Indian in a condo in Holland Village, right?


I can't picture, because I havent seen them. The 1st time I will see one, obviously I will be shocked. The more and more I see them, I will get used to it and take it for granted, that yeah whites can live in HDBs in heartlands.

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Postby Steve1960 » Tue, 25 Mar 2014 2:18 pm

Wd40 wrote:Steve1980, atleast you live in Toa Payoh. Can you even picture a white living in a HDB in Ang Mo Kio or Tampines? I cannot.

I had an Indian colleague in my previous company who got a job in Barclays and he "behaved" like a real expat. He lived in a condo in Bishan and he travelled only in Taxi. He stayed here for 2 years and finally he said Singapore is just too expensive with even 9k salary per month. He got almost equivalent of that salary and moved to Pune and now he is living like a true expat there and is happy.

So I agree, it has nothing to do with colour of skin.


Hey thanks WD40 you just knocked 20 years off my age :wink: :lol:

I didn't look at Tampines but we did consider Ang Mo Kio but I take your point to an extent.

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Postby Wd40 » Tue, 25 Mar 2014 2:25 pm

Oops! 1980 is my year of birth :)

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Postby Hannieroo » Tue, 25 Mar 2014 2:27 pm

But maybe if people wouldn't be shocked more people would feel they could branch out?

I don't think I expected to be stared at quite so much. But I don't care. Plus it's probably the only time that a 135lb, 165cm, middle aged, average blonde can be the closest thing to the advertising posters.

That also bothers me. Why all the white models? Why the forum on here full of people trying to Caucasian their faces and boobs?

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 25 Mar 2014 2:30 pm

Wd40 wrote:
Hannieroo wrote:Why can't you? You do see that would be as offensive as me saying I couldn't imagine an Indian in a condo in Holland Village, right?


I can't picture, because I havent seen them. The 1st time I will see one, obviously I will be shocked. The more and more I see them, I will get used to it and take it for granted, that yeah whites can live in HDBs in heartlands.

I though SMS lives in AMK. He is pretty White as much as I could tell.
I have surely seen seeing Whites living in HDBs clusters around Jurong point or in CCK.

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 25 Mar 2014 2:32 pm

We liked very much the coffee shop back in CCK long time ago. People were staring at you, granted, especially at my wife drinking beer, but it was all very friendly, more like, hey, nice you come over here as everybody else do. My motorcycle mechanic who had a workshop nearby and who was spending there late Friday afternoons bought me once a beer seeing us dining there. I've never felt any better sense of integration with local people as it was there. All other occasions, from work, other gatherings, everybody just plays their social and professional roles. Painfully artificial.

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Postby rajagainstthemachine » Tue, 25 Mar 2014 2:46 pm

Wd40 wrote:Steve1980, atleast you live in Toa Payoh. Can you even picture a white living in a HDB in Ang Mo Kio or Tampines? I cannot.



I have a German friend who lives in AMK, I have french living in my HDB block. Maybe you haven't been looking hard enough? :D
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Great question!

Postby TryingTBBMom » Tue, 25 Mar 2014 2:50 pm

Being an "expat" means something different to many people. I call myself an expat because I am currently living outside my home country. I am a trailing spouse who gave up my career for the advancement of my husbands. It was what his company required. I am an average sized Western women and I cannot shop in the stores here. One they are very expensive and secondly the sizing is not any western sizing I have ever seen! They are more tailored to petite. and your right you will not find a Sari in a shop on Orchard but the beauty of going to Little India or Arab St is so much funner. I lived in India for 3 years and would do it again. My Indian friends, call me crazy but I loved it. As a parent it is my responsibility to take each adventure (posting) as it comes and make it a positive one.
My kids do not attend Tanglin and frankly I do not associate with people that would judge because of a postal code or school. I have local friends and expat friends and we socialize together often. My friends care less what type of package you have but how your adjusting or how my family is. Differences in areas like salary, housing school are for me comfort points and not a ranking. Make no mistake I live in a nice home but I do not own it. It's what our package afforded us. I'm not going to apologize for that. And the comfort points are not the criteria for which I make new friends. The impression that expats are caucasian, elite is harsh but I'm sure many think that. Everyone holds their opinion until that opinion is changed. Once you go home you will find you have less in common with your old friends and will find yourself gravitating towards other who have had your expat experience.

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Postby rajagainstthemachine » Tue, 25 Mar 2014 2:57 pm

For me an Expatriate would define as a person displaced from his country of Birth/Origin and who lives in a new country that is ALIEN to his/her culture.

e.g : Russian Person in Singapore

e.g : French Person in China


In this day and age this term is starting to be largely diluted thanks to Internet and media so people already know a fair bit about what to expect when relocating to another country.
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Postby Hannieroo » Tue, 25 Mar 2014 3:03 pm

Not to pick, TBB, but where would you shop at home? We're all fairly average sized Brits and do ok. The only things that I have difficulty with is choice of lingerie and shoes for my smallest. Genuine question.

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Postby Wd40 » Tue, 25 Mar 2014 3:23 pm

It is stereotyping, like many other stereotypes we have.

If you see a Bangladeshi and he tells you he is a construction worker, you wont bat an eyelid but if he tells you he is a brain surgeon, you will look at him hard(not necessarily in a bad way, but more in a surprised way) and tell, wow thats cool man.

If you see a white and he tells you he is the director in an Investment bank, you say okay and move on. If he tells you he is cleaner in a HDB block, obviously you are going to faint.

Ofcourse these are extremes, but you know how we have well defined areas of work for different races/nationalities here in Singapore and when someone doesn't fit that stereotype, they get stared at.

In Australia, I have seen whites doing some really hard construction related labour, wearing those big gum boots stuck with mud all over them. There you are less likely to have such stereotypes.

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Postby maneo » Tue, 25 Mar 2014 3:29 pm

rajagainstthemachine wrote:
Wd40 wrote:Steve1980, atleast you live in Toa Payoh. Can you even picture a white living in a HDB in Ang Mo Kio or Tampines? I cannot.



I have a German friend who lives in AMK, I have french living in my HDB block. Maybe you haven't been looking hard enough? :D

Unless you stay in those areas it's not likely you'll see the others that do.

Might have stayed in AMK myself when I first came in the mid-90's, but had to be somewhere more central, so ended up near the old Hoover Theatre.
Ate in the local coffee shops a lot and sent our kid to the local school.
It was a great time - have fond memories.

Seeing a lot more of this nowadays, especially "out west" in Clementi and beyond and even the other side of SG, up near Pasir Ris and Tampines. Sure, some of the westerners may have a little difficulty asking where things are in a Sheng Siong, but they figure things out.
It's no longer a big deal.

Those that have difficulty adapting may need to stay near their comfort clusters.
The rest get a better feel of really being here.
Last edited by maneo on Tue, 25 Mar 2014 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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shopping at home

Postby TryingTBBMom » Tue, 25 Mar 2014 3:35 pm

firstly I was in the design industry prior to expating, so I shopped everywhere. From local second hand to Saks. I am not a label monger and I also can construct(sew). I'm fairly laid back so Gap is my go to. in the US there are a lot of outlet malls and why pay full retail if you do not have too?
I am a us 10 or UK 14 and I have yet to find anything larger than a 10 in Singapore. I actually make out nicely by buying fabric on Arab St and having things stitched. I like using local merchants and craftsmen as much as possible. That is probably why i Love India so much as it is the norm to have your cloths stitched than buy off a rack. They are one of a kind and I know I will not see the same outfit walking in the botanic gardens on a sunday or hanging in Tanglin Mall. I order online as well. I also have kids shoes issues so I stock up on our yearly trip home and Lingerie is tough for me here.
At my age I have a nice closet with what I call staples and add a few new pieces here and there. I personally just find the prices on the high side. So I will only buy here if absolutely necessary. My kids wear a uniform so I found after trial and error that they need a lot less. My husband replenishes his work attire yearly or as needed and "fun cloths" he buys in the states as he is tall.

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 25 Mar 2014 3:44 pm

Wd40 wrote:It is stereotyping, like many other stereotypes we have.

If you see a Bangladeshi and he tells you he is a construction worker, you wont bat an eyelid but if he tells you he is a brain surgeon, you will look at him hard(not necessarily in a bad way, but more in a surprised way) and tell, wow thats cool man.

I may assume he is a construction worker for the pure reason of likelihood but if he tells me and I see nothing immediate that could contradict it? No way I would find it surprising. Maybe because I have many people like this in my surrounding.
Besides, this kind of open reaction (a surprise) could be offensive.


If you see a white and he tells you he is the director in an Investment bank, you say okay and move on. If he tells you he is cleaner in a HDB block, obviously you are going to faint.

Yes, that would be a bit surprising but based, again, on likelihood not the race. If I see an Eskimo, or a Zulu working as an HDB cleaner I would be equally surprised.
BTW, I believe there are some of Caucasian cabbies in Singapore. I traveled with one few years ago.
.

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Postby Hannieroo » Tue, 25 Mar 2014 3:45 pm

Zara, Mango, Esprit, Topshop and Dorothy Perkins etc all do up to a UK 16/large. Robinson's too, they carry some really nice ranges aimed at the 35+ market.

I just wondered. But I suppose an awful lot of the shops here that carry western clothing are more European than American.


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