I broadly agree with you on a few points. Yes, for instance, there are few caucs on here asking for friendships (normal, not romantic) with locals. I'm sure this must be because in the course of our stints in Singapore that we are outnumbered (obviously) by locals, and if we are friendly people, we will get into the crowd, and have lots of local mates. I did, and still have them, they visit me here in the UK, and I stay with them when I go to Singapore.
However, I do think I am one of the exceptions. It's true to say that most expats do tend to stick with their own lot, you know, 'The Tanglin, The Brit Club, etc etc.' Especially the women. I can only say that there are expats, usually serial expats like me (lived in Dubai, KL, Guyana, Nigeria, Singapore etc) who know the ridiculousness of not mixing. Maybe lots of these expats who don't mix are newbies? I don't know. Or terribly homesick and then the only faces who'll do are your own race. Please don't think it doesn't happen, even to me, who loves Singapore very much. Some days you wake up and think, 'Oh God, take me home to the frost, the autumn, the rude Brit public' you know how it goes? But it does pass if you're a long termer. Maybe these rude expats have other issues, maybe they are truly racist. Though I very much doubt it. Don't you?
Again, the issue with local men and expats. I can only speak from a Bitish woman's viewpoint, and don't forget I'm an old hand at expat life........and say, to me Singaporean men are very attractive (no, no, not letching here, lol) just an observation. Again, it's because you grow accustomed to their faces if you're a true expat. I can understand how different everything must seem to new arrivals, and again, one's who don't settle. Then everyone is off their list, friendwise, romance wise, everything wise, and they shut themselves up in the little 'Home enclave' and buy expensive Brit newspapers, magazines, go to only expat places.......in short, become a bit of a drag. (Though I always sympathize)
Also, don't forget that even if these expats like it here, they are always aware that they should not offend their hosts, and be fair, there's a lot of difference in cultures and sometimes even humour. There are lots more 'filial' duties for the Singaporean, whereas in Britain, even though we care for our parents, generally, there is none of the onus on us to see it through properly to the end, as in Singapore. As such, it's something we're not involved in and something which lots of locals spend much time and energy on, and therefore we cannot be part of that side of their lives. Just a little something which makes the gap a bit wider.
Festivals too, although if you're lucky and have good mates, you're invited. Singaporeans, in my experience, are mighty welcoming. But, if we don't break down the barriers initially, well then, serve us right if we're not included, is what I say.
Yes, so, I agree, we could make more effort, that's for sure, but I always think there maybe other reasons, apart from being offhand, which stops some expats reaching out. It's not always simple, is it?
Bubbles.........rotten day here, Saturday, raining, more like the winter.....I'm off to get a cuppa.........see you all.