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What do I miss and don't miss

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RobSg
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What do I miss and don't miss

Postby RobSg » Mon, 29 Sep 2014 9:47 pm

Every week or so I look in on this forum to see what's happening in Singapore. It allows me to not feel so far removed from a place I lived for 25 years+.

I'm approaching one year from the time I left Singapore. As I reflect on what I miss the most, it's the total convenience. I miss walking outside my flat and being able to take short walks to eat at a food court, or see a movie, or buy groceries. I seldom took a taxi.

Where I live now in Washington state, I need to drive about 25 km to do any reasonable shopping. The one or two good restaurants in my border town get old after awhile. I am doing more cooking now, and just trying to load up on supplies so I don't have to make these trip so much. Nevertheless, I'll probably move to a small city called Bellingham, which can allow me to walk everywhere. I'll save that for my low 70's, when I'll really want to do that more.

What I don't miss is what I sometimes read about on this forum. While the Singaporeans are wonderfully honest, and I have always felt so safe there, the lack of close friendships even with neighbors in HDB flats always made me feel a little disenfranchised. Not uttering a word in lifts always made me feel a little unwelcome at times. Again, I loved Singapore, but you can love a place and still be critical. The noise, whether it be construction outside or neighbors doing renovation, children playing in the hallway or slamming doors are happenings I will not miss.

I walk down my neighborhood, and all my neighbors know my name and wave and say "hi". We always chat. I can open my windows, and there's total peace and quiet. For a while, that took some getting used to, but now it's the norm, and I love it.

Nevertheless, I still miss Singapore and planning a trip there sometime. Just thought I'd pass these thoughts on to you all from an ex-long-term expat.

RobSg

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Postby PNGMK » Mon, 29 Sep 2014 9:49 pm

I like the small town / old city life in the USA. I keep trying to convince my wife that we will live in a city like that one day.

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Postby Wd40 » Mon, 29 Sep 2014 10:10 pm

Interesting! So essentially it is few friendly people v/s plenty of unknown strangers. My wife and I actually like Singapore for its plenty of people thing, its true that strangers are not going to talk in lifts but you are more likely to meet the same people again and again here when you live in a HDB and keep frequenting the nearby wet market/ fairprice etc. Eventually some people will smile and talk. My wife has made so many friends here. This in contrast to the suburbs of even big cities of UK and Australia, where people live in landed houses and after 6PM if you walk on the streets, totally deserted and eerie, all shops closed, people just don't get out of the houses, is something we didn't like.

I don't know may be just psychological, I even hate staying in condos where there is absolute silence and no signs of life. In contrast, I like the hustle-bustle feeling of living in HDBs close to market places, you never feel lonely, even if you are. So I guess I am completely opposite of you RobSG :)

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Tue, 30 Sep 2014 6:35 am

Wd40 wrote:I don't know may be just psychological, I even hate staying in condos where there is absolute silence and no signs of life. In contrast, I like the hustle-bustle feeling of living in HDBs close to market places, you never feel lonely, even if you are. So I guess I am completely opposite of you RobSG :)

It is good to see how your social-sciences* development progresses. After becoming an expert in living in HK and Australia now a new field of expertise just emerged - living in the condos.

*) or better say mastering art of self assurance the decisions made were the right ones?

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Postby Wd40 » Tue, 30 Sep 2014 6:46 am

I have lived in condo room the 1st time I came to Singapore. Changi Green. Its crazy. The only thing nearby to get something urgent is the 7-11 in the shell petrol bunk 10 mins walk. Any shopping you need to go to Simei MRT by bus. Near the swimming pool/gym you will find people, but from inside the house, its very quite, no sign of life.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 30 Sep 2014 6:52 am

Sounds like heaven to me. Just what the doctor ordered. peace and quiet. The only thing missing would be the Milky Way in all her glory.

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 30 Sep 2014 7:09 am

Wd40 wrote:I have lived in condo room the 1st time I came to Singapore. Changi Green. Its crazy. The only thing nearby to get something urgent is the 7-11 in the shell petrol bunk 10 mins walk. Any shopping you need to go to Simei MRT by bus. Near the swimming pool/gym you will find people, but from inside the house, its very quite, no sign of life.

So you lived in a single condo in a single location and generalized over all of the condos hating them too in the process. I lived in few of them and there was nothing missing from your most wanted list (maybe except extensive noise). All shopping/wetmarket/eateries etc within 5 min walk.

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Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 30 Sep 2014 7:19 am

Wd40 wrote:I have lived in condo room the 1st time I came to Singapore. Changi Green. Its crazy. The only thing nearby to get something urgent is the 7-11 in the shell petrol bunk 10 mins walk. Any shopping you need to go to Simei MRT by bus. Near the swimming pool/gym you will find people, but from inside the house, its very quite, no sign of life.


Too bad every condo in Singapore is exactly like that with the same problems. If not, I bet hundreds of thousands of foreigners would be flocking to live in them!

Oh wait...

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Postby PNGMK » Tue, 30 Sep 2014 9:14 am

Bellingham looks great.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellingham,_Washington

A little cold for me maybe.

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Postby triste » Tue, 30 Sep 2014 9:21 am

the lack of close friendships even with neighbors in HDB flats always made me feel a little disenfranchised.


This is the one thing that still is a culture shock for me and I don't think I will ever get used to. Of the 7 neighboring households on my floor, only one household ever says hello to me or returns my greetings.

And what is this hustle and bustle of the HDB WD40 mentioned? A couple of my neighbors sit out on the porch all day, watching the buses and bikes roll by. Thrill a minute, I tell ya.

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Postby RobSg » Tue, 30 Sep 2014 9:39 am

Being 30 minutes from Vancouver from where I live, I visit there two days a week. My close friend, who also lived in Singapore, has an apartment there. There have been times that I forget I'm in the North America, because the area he lives in (not Richmond) is so Asian, that I will sometimes think I'm in Singapore. Most of the shops are Asian run. That has certainly helped getting over the occasional nostalgia for Singapore.

I was not being critical about the lack of courtesy and friendliness by Singaporeans displayed to me while living in Singapore, but just what I observed. If others find it totally different, then you've certainly succeeded.

RobSg

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Postby Wd40 » Tue, 30 Sep 2014 9:59 am

triste wrote:
the lack of close friendships even with neighbors in HDB flats always made me feel a little disenfranchised.


This is the one thing that still is a culture shock for me and I don't think I will ever get used to. Of the 7 neighboring households on my floor, only one household ever says hello to me or returns my greetings.

And what is this hustle and bustle of the HDB WD40 mentioned? A couple of my neighbors sit out on the porch all day,watching the buses and bikes roll by. Thrill a minute, I tell ya.


You need to live in a block close to the market place. Every neighbourhood has a market area where there is a wet market, lots of HDB shops, food courts, barber shops, doctor,playgroups etc all in one place. In Tampines there are 4 such neighbourhood markets, N1, N2, N3 and N4

Its like Rajagainstthemachine, live near Tekka market. You live near that kind of area, you will never feel bored.

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 30 Sep 2014 10:03 am

@Rob: As much as I can tell, others find the same and I don't think there is any substantial difference whether this is a condo or hdb. "Higher end" condo more likely people would greet you in the lift, that's probably the only exception.

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Postby x9200 » Tue, 30 Sep 2014 10:09 am

Wd40 wrote:You need to live in a block close to the market place. Every neighbourhood has a market area where there is a wet market, lots of HDB shops, food courts, barber shops, doctor,playgroups etc all in one place. In Tampines there are 4 such neighbourhood markets, N1, N2, N3 and N4

Its like Rajagainstthemachine, live near Tekka market. You live near that kind of area, you will never feel bored.

So you live close to such places to have even more noise and crawd as what your neighbors do is basically insufficient? Ok, to each his own, but I don't really think there are too many people around sharing your sentiments.

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Postby Wd40 » Tue, 30 Sep 2014 10:12 am

x9200 wrote:
Wd40 wrote:You need to live in a block close to the market place. Every neighbourhood has a market area where there is a wet market, lots of HDB shops, food courts, barber shops, doctor,playgroups etc all in one place. In Tampines there are 4 such neighbourhood markets, N1, N2, N3 and N4

Its like Rajagainstthemachine, live near Tekka market. You live near that kind of area, you will never feel bored.

So you live close to such places to have even more noise and crawd as what your neighbors do is basically insufficient? Ok, to each his own, but I don't really think there are too many people around sharing your sentiments.


Yes, I agree, not many people like living near such a place. We are an exception. :)


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