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Moving to Singapore

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Paul the Pole
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Moving to Singapore

Postby Paul the Pole » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 4:02 pm

Hi, my wife who is a Singaporean is trying to convince me to move to Singapore. We met in the UK almost 10 years ago where I worked and she studied. Four years later we got maried. We didin't like Uk much so we moved to Poland where I am from. Currently, she is thinking of having children ands insisting on living in Singapore. I quite like my life in Poland, have quite a relaxed job and feel reluctant to change all that. Of course, I like the Singaporean culture, climate and food, however I expect this will not be as straight forward. I would appreciate any advice on this.

Thanks

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Re: Moving to Singapore

Postby ecureilx » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 5:35 pm

Paul the Pole wrote:Hi, my wife who is a Singaporean is trying to convince me to move to Singapore. We met in the UK almost 10 years ago where I worked and she studied. Four years later we got maried. We didin't like Uk much so we moved to Poland where I am from. Currently, she is thinking of having children ands insisting on living in Singapore. I quite like my life in Poland, have quite a relaxed job and feel reluctant to change all that. Of course, I like the Singaporean culture, climate and food, however I expect this will not be as straight forward. I would appreciate any advice on this.

Thanks


Ok, my 2 cents

Women want to be near their parents when they are pregnant and give birth and later ...

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x9200
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Re: Moving to Singapore

Postby x9200 » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 6:09 pm

Paul the Pole wrote:Hi, my wife who is a Singaporean is trying to convince me to move to Singapore. We met in the UK almost 10 years ago where I worked and she studied. Four years later we got maried. We didin't like Uk much so we moved to Poland where I am from. Currently, she is thinking of having children ands insisting on living in Singapore. I quite like my life in Poland, have quite a relaxed job and feel reluctant to change all that. Of course, I like the Singaporean culture, climate and food, however I expect this will not be as straight forward. I would appreciate any advice on this.
If you are happy with your job and feel no thrill about moving to Singapore, then I would say, stay in Poland.

Assuming you are going to get a reasonable job here but you are not a high-flyer (meaning earning excess of S$1000k a year) these may be your advantages (long term stay):
- warm weather all year round (if you like it)
- safety (very low crime rate, no drugs in school etc)
- cheap domestic workers (if you ok with it)

potential issues
- warm, monotonous (no seasons) weather all year round (if you don't like it)
- culture, including working culture
- no chance for any more spacious home with a garden
- people are everywhere, no place to hide, no place to go out and stay alone
- a car for ~10k (taxes and the car only) a year with nowhere to travel within the country
- education with the quality many expat would question and prefer to send their kids to International Schools paying ++20k a year per kid.

I believe many if not most of the expats live in Singapore because it offers a good balance of income and safety. These, if combined with a thrill of living in a cosmopolitan, multi-cultural environment may be a base of pretty enjoyable living, but if you are reluctant right from the start it may not work that well for you. Singapore don't have any really serious, critical disadvantages for anyone with sufficient money, but small things, annoyances and lack of what you had back in Poland, may just eat you up over time.

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Re: Moving to Singapore

Postby Paul the Pole » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 6:41 pm

Ok, my 2 cents

Women want to be near their parents when they are pregnant and give birth and later ...


Yes, I didn't think this way. Thank you.

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Re: Moving to Singapore

Postby Paul the Pole » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 6:49 pm

x9200 thank you for your response. i have a better picture now. i am a bit worried about racism at work ... does it happen a lot?

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Re: Moving to Singapore

Postby x9200 » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 7:24 pm

Paul the Pole wrote:x9200 thank you for your response. i have a better picture now. i am a bit worried about racism at work ... does it happen a lot?

If you mean like openly aggressive racist behavior then the answer is no, it does not happen at all (or is negligible). As a Caucasian you may experience some animosity but very, very unlikely at work and outside work, also unlikely. There is pretty strong anti-foreigner sentiment around but the Caucasians are generally not a target and I believe it is less racial but more nation based (i.e. animosity towards PRCs, Indians, Filipinos).

What may happen at work, are some racial based preferences. For example, while progressing with your career you may get the impression that some decisions are not exactly based on your professional merits. Of course nobody is going to admit to anything like this openly so this is more like collective perception than anything of more solid evidence.

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Re: Moving to Singapore

Postby Paul the Pole » Mon, 06 Apr 2015 9:38 pm

Reading local newspapers, I had the impression that immigration is a big problem, but it is nice to hear that Caucasians are not targeted. Thank you once again.

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Re: Moving to Singapore

Postby JR8 » Tue, 07 Apr 2015 1:01 am

Paul the Pole wrote:x9200 thank you for your response. i have a better picture now. i am a bit worried about racism at work ... does it happen a lot?


Not in my experience, and especially not if you're Western/'Anglo-Saxon'/'white-euro'. IME the typical latter come here with specialist skills, use those skills over some few years, reap the rewards, and then return home. The locals might envy your $ and bird-pulling abilities, but that's about it.

SG can be very dog-eat-dog. And as much as it trumpets it's harmonious multi-culturalism there is in SG a very definite suppressed friction and racial pecking-order. You see very few Afr-Ams/people of African heritage here, I feel for the few I see here, since they can be so looked down upon. Might be the star-trader or company director back home, but treated like a shoe-shine boy here.... [sigh].

At work and downtown no one (generally) will bat an eye wherever you are from. Get out into the local suburbs and the local's unwillingness to ever verbalise opinions or show feelings will mean even if you experience animosity you likely won't even realise it lol! If you have a local girlfriend, wife etc then expect that to draw some attention, as (I believe) some locals don't like the idea of 'their women being taken'. Again usually you'll never register it and care even less.

I've only had pretty in-my-face but dumb low-level racist encounters twice I think, but that's derived from me being white-Anglo and having a local wife. Learning the top-5 local swear words and phrases in Hokkien Chinese will allow you to give back so much more than you just received in most cases. I've only had to resort to using it in public twice, but OMG..... it was totally priceless!! :cool: :lol: Really though, I don't even suggesting bothering with that, problems are so rare as not to bother. I did what I did more for the fun of seeing what would happen, and sense of payback...
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Moving to Singapore

Postby Paul the Pole » Tue, 07 Apr 2015 1:29 am

JR8 thanks for sharing your experince. It's very valuable for me. I think could sort of sense that there is another dimension below that indifference while walking around with my wife in the suburbs ... but yeah, why bother about it. thanks.

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Re: Moving to Singapore

Postby x9200 » Tue, 07 Apr 2015 3:53 am

In the suburbs (called Heartlands) people don't see many Caucasians around so a Caucasian naturally attracts attention but it is not necessary anything negative. I lived in one of such districts for a number of years and never experienced anything bad. Admittedly, it was almost 10y ago but I am not really sure how the more recent changes, the mentioned anti-foreign sentiments, affected the situation, if at all.

This other dimension you sense is IMHO more of cultural nature than racist. I have generally better experience overcoming cultural reservations with people from the Heartlands than from some more downtown areas.

Besides, I participated in countless discussions with Singaporeans on why they are against foreigners. These discussions were always initiated by them and I never felt like it was about me. Most often, my interlocutors were just looking for somebody who would listen to them so they could vent off a bit their frustration.

Personally, I only once experienced something remotely resembling racist behavior. I was called from a group of people passing by, a bloody imperialist. It was not even physically directed to us (my wife and myself), so nothing face to face and it was over a decade ago.

Surely there is racism around but comparing to the European countries it is almost entirely passive. If you move over here, this IMHO, will be the least of your problems.

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Re: Moving to Singapore

Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 07 Apr 2015 6:10 am

My S$0.02: I think you need to consider what your profession/trade is, and how you will go about inserting yourself into the Singapore workforce. Depending upon what you do (and presumably, since your wife wants to domino in Singapore it will be only you making a living), you may find that salaries in many areas are depressed, comparatively speaking to what you might earn elsewhere. Couple this with high housing prices and you could find yourself limited in your housing options.

I'm not saying that HDB flats are not an option, just saying that I am very glad that I was able to earn enough in Singapore to stay in a semi-detached house with a small and pleasant yard, and a wonderful patio where I spent much of my home time. I had room for storage, a place to put the BBQ, and options for parking my motorcycle where it wouldn't be touched.

I'd really assess the type of home living I have right now and understand how much I would be willing to give up (yard size, privacy, single family, etc) in order to live in Singapore at a reasonable monthly rent.

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Re: Moving to Singapore

Postby TandD » Tue, 07 Apr 2015 10:24 pm

Just from a wife's perspective, I would agree that probably your wife wants to be near family which of course is important. However, so many expats wives I've met and others I have heard about have husbands who work long hours and weekends etc. (fortunately my husband is employed by a UK company so haven't been swallowed by work.)

So as I wife, as much as I would like to be near my family, at the end of the day, which one would I choose; my husband's time, attention and involvement or, much less of him and more of my family? I would have my husband anytime, after all I did choose to leave my family to share my life with him. Not only that, goodness, how many expats marriages have I heard of that has broken here (yes I know there are divorces everywhere, but it seems that the pressure, temptation, and whatever others factors of being an expats seem to weaken marriages in SG).

Maybe as a couple you need to consider if those potential change would affect you and in the bigger picture, what would be best for you as a 'family unit'. Not saying that by moving here you'll end up divorced, I'm just suggesting that you weight up the pros and cons and how it would impact your relationship.

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Re: Moving to Singapore

Postby Paul the Pole » Wed, 08 Apr 2015 12:32 am

Strong Eagle wrote:My S$0.02: I think you need to consider what your profession/trade is, and how you will go about inserting yourself into the Singapore workforce. Depending upon what you do (and presumably, since your wife wants to domino in Singapore it will be only you making a living), you may find that salaries in many areas are depressed, comparatively speaking to what you might earn elsewhere. Couple this with high housing prices and you could find yourself limited in your housing options.

I'm not saying that HDB flats are not an option, just saying that I am very glad that I was able to earn enough in Singapore to stay in a semi-detached house with a small and pleasant yard, and a wonderful patio where I spent much of my home time. I had room for storage, a place to put the BBQ, and options for parking my motorcycle where it wouldn't be touched.

I'd really assess the type of home living I have right now and understand how much I would be willing to give up (yard size, privacy, single family, etc) in order to live in Singapore at a reasonable monthly rent.


Thank you, probably my housing situation would not be that fortunate in SG. In Poland we live in a flat as well but SG prices still seem crazy ...

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Re: Moving to Singapore

Postby Paul the Pole » Wed, 08 Apr 2015 12:40 am

TandD wrote:Just from a wife's perspective, I would agree that probably your wife wants to be near family which of course is important. However, so many expats wives I've met and others I have heard about have husbands who work long hours and weekends etc. (fortunately my husband is employed by a UK company so haven't been swallowed by work.)

So as I wife, as much as I would like to be near my family, at the end of the day, which one would I choose; my husband's time, attention and involvement or, much less of him and more of my family? I would have my husband anytime, after all I did choose to leave my family to share my life with him. Not only that, goodness, how many expats marriages have I heard of that has broken here (yes I know there are divorces everywhere, but it seems that the pressure, temptation, and whatever others factors of being an expats seem to weaken marriages in SG).

Maybe as a couple you need to consider if those potential change would affect you and in the bigger picture, what would be best for you as a 'family unit'. Not saying that by moving here you'll end up divorced, I'm just suggesting that you weight up the pros and cons and how it would impact your relationship.


TandD this is very true. I emailed your post to my wife :). But seriously, I have some bad feelings regarding moving to SG, and would rather skip this. Thank you for your post.

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Re: Moving to Singapore

Postby nakatago » Wed, 08 Apr 2015 6:28 am

Paul the Pole wrote: But seriously, I have some bad feelings regarding moving to SG, and would rather skip this. Thank you for your post.


If you have a gut feeling about something, that's probably something you know but haven't (consciously) realized it yet.


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