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Scared S***less in London

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Qua5ar
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Scared S***less in London

Post by Qua5ar » Fri, 21 Dec 2007 12:52 am

Hi all,

I'm a 31yr old British female working at T5 Heathrow in the UK and recently signed a 2.5 yr contract to work on a land-mark project in Singapore.

I've been checking this forum out weekly for the past couple of months to familiarize myself with Singapore and was sure I was mentally prepared for the move.

I fly out of London on the 8th of Jan. and with less than a month to go I think it has suddenly dawned on me what I'm letting myself in for. I'm leaving the comfort of home and the support of my friends and family to live and work in a strange place for over 2 years.

Don't get me wrong, the relocation package is brilliant and I was initially looking forward to it, thinking it'll be a long holiday. But it's not is it?

I need help, someone to tell me I've made the right choice and it'll be a breeze (or not..) In any case someone please say something, help put my mind at ease or help me prepare for the worst, let me know how your first time was (no pun intended!), and what you did in the weeks leading up to your move.

Looking forward to your replies.

Kabuki
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Post by Kabuki » Fri, 21 Dec 2007 1:00 am

Lol

don't worry about it. Ill be also moving to singapore jan 12th and guess wut? Im 18 yrs old and ive never lived on my own b4 + my parents r in usa so basically they're on the other side of the world. Just stay calm and make a list of wut u need to do and you will feel so much better. Singapore isnt going to eat u alive lol, alot of people there are nice. Im guessing that you're a caucasian? correct me if im wrong. You might get a few stares here and there just because you're white since whites r probably one of the smallest minorities in singapore right now.

singapore does make alot of the legal document procedures easier for foreigners/permenant resident but at a higher fee tho. I.E. Identity card for foreigners cost 50SGD but for citizens only 10SGD. Since u already have a job waiting for u there and set. It should be alright

Qua5ar
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Post by Qua5ar » Fri, 21 Dec 2007 8:51 am

Hi Kabuki,

Thanks for the reply and words of encouragement.

I'm afraid I have to disappoint you however as I am not caucasian. I think the colour of my skin or where I stand with regards to the general demographics of Singapore is the least of my worries.

It's nice to hear that inspite of your age (or lack of it) you are taking such a big step into the unknown on your own and I wish you the best with your endeavour.

Regards,
It's not denial!
I'm just very selective about the reality I accept.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 21 Dec 2007 9:26 am

Qua5ar,

don't worry about it. Tune in here and join the 30's club. Stay in the general forum and living in Singapore and relocating, moving to Singapore. You will find that the efficiency here will amaze you (although service standards in the private sector may well dismay you). You will find all the support you need and thing are easy here. Don't worry yourself too much as there is little to be worried about. If your package is reasonably padded and you have searched and read a lot of the threads in the aforementioned forums then you should be right.

My first time? :oops:

Anyway, slip of the keyboard! I arrived here 25 years ago with one suitcase and one briefcase and didn't know anybody either. Not a biggie let me assure you. Especially if you already have the relo package (which I didn't) and the job in hand. I am assuming here that you are single so the move will be even easier as you don't have all the fretting over schooling to worry about. Should be a skate in the park.

Oh, and welcome to Singapore from all of us here a Singapore Expats! :cool:
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by ukdesigner » Fri, 21 Dec 2007 11:12 am

hey Qua5ar,

I moved here this year. Slightly older (not much) and single and came with just a suitcase and hand luggage.

Let me tell you, compared to the UK life here is a breeze. You wake up to warm, if sometimes wet weather - no dark nights at 4pm :D .

As sms said the efficiency here is jaw dropping especially after living in the uk. To keep in touch with family and friends use skype. I see to my mother more now here than I did when I lived 5 miles away. It'll do video and to landline and is very cheap.

There are several groups to check out that help you get into the swing of things here; the 30's group - which do cinema and food outings (food is one of the singaporeans past times) and WNDC & FNDC (wednesday & friday night drinking club). I haven't been to WNDC but I've met all my friends through FNDC and it's a great intro. There are other activities like volleyball on saturdays aswell and I believe a girls night out sometime in the week.

You will be very surprised at how easy it is here. Everything is in english, the mrt is ultra efficient and exceptionally clean, there are malls and malls and malls (another singaporean past time) and its so safe compared to london and to honest anywhere in the uk. It's not a no crime place but definately a low crime. You'll feel safer here walking around at 3am than you would walking around oxford street on a saturday at 2pm!!

So don't worry you'll be fine. There are lots of people who have been there and done that here. Plenty of brits, americans, aussies etc etc.

So nearly welcome to Singapore!
Don't p*ss me off! I am running out of places to hide the bodies.

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Welcome!

Post by remersonh » Fri, 21 Dec 2007 11:29 am

No worries. (Or if there are, let us know what worries you and we'll talk about it.)

Welcome. Life here is different and (as other posters pointed out) often better. There will be things that drive you crazy ... there will be things that you will miss sorely after(if) you return to London in 2 years. It won't be a holiday, but it will be an experience!

Best of luck!

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Post by cbavasi » Fri, 21 Dec 2007 11:39 am

although i'm not single anymore - i find living in singapore much easier than london! in fact, sometimes i wish i was single and living here as it's very safe, clean and super efficient. i'm sure you'll miss your friends and family and that would be hard moving anywhere outside the UK - but like someone else wrote - you'll keep in touch on skype, sms and the phone cards are unbelievably cheap! i spend less calling my parents in california from here than i did when i was living in new york! as for the weather - you won't have to worry about being cold again (except for an overenthusiastic air conditioner at work :) )... plus since you're on this side of the world - there are so many fantastic places to travel that are within a couple of hours.
what a big adventure for you - i'm envious!!!

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 21 Dec 2007 12:25 pm

cbavasi,

I came here on a 12 month contract. Been here a quarter of a century! :)
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by Plavt » Fri, 21 Dec 2007 3:53 pm

Qua5ar,
I think you are in for what could be the treat of al lifetime and I envy you myself only ever a visitor to the country and region. No miserable climate as a poster has mentioned and if you like traveling easy access to Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and The Philippines only 3 hours by air, 4 to Taiwan. Honk Kong is only 3 hours away too With more time Japan is six hours away and Australia around 7 if flying to Sydney. There are some good budget airlines in the region and competition has produced some low fares both on the large and small carriers, the locals and other expats will keep you informed on that. Singapore has plenty of restaurants, public toilets are plentiful well kept (most if not all MRT stations have them at leas around the centre) and devoid of drug users (no surprise there), taxis are a good deal cheaper than here and women can go home at any hour in safety. Medical care is good (most doctors as far as I know were trained here or in Australia - somebody can correct me if that is wrong). Bank ATM's are plentiful and work. Western sized clothed can be hard to get but simply go to Takashimaya on Orchard Road and they keep a range of American sizes. Getting there is no problem with clean efficient MRT (underground) - a treat to use after's London dirty facility.

When you arrive you will notice how clean and efficient Changi Airport is; where your luggage is will be indicated on TV screen at the end of the walkway from the plane e.g Flight no: Belt No:. You might care to take a cab from the airport to the town since it's your first time - lovely in sunny daylight with the sight of the palm trees and the brilliant greenery. Enjoy yourself much better than you might be thinking. :wink: :D

Qua5ar
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Post by Qua5ar » Sat, 22 Dec 2007 3:59 am

Hi all,

Thanks for the replies (special thanks to our esteemed moderators :wink: )

The responses have helped a little towards calming my nerves, finishing at work today was a bit of a bummer though as I was leaving colleagues I had worked with for the better part of 3 years.

Anyway onwards and forwards as they say, I'm getting ready for my last Christmas in London for a while and will begin packing my bags after the new year. Yes I am single but will be leaving behind a boyfriend I have known since I was 13 as well as my 2 younger sisters whom I have shared a house with for the past 3 years, so I'm feeling rather emotional.

The tales of the MRT, the food and cleanliness in Singapore are legendary so that's something to look forward to. Travelling the region as Plavt said is another.

So it all sounds good, I just can't get rid of the accursed nerves 8-[

I'll keep you all updated as my departure date draws closer - maybe keep an on-line diary of sorts.

Here's wishing all you guys out there the best of the festive season and the coming new year.

Regards,
It's not denial!
I'm just very selective about the reality I accept.

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Post by tilly » Sun, 23 Dec 2007 8:53 am

look you're going to have a really awesome time! get along to all the 30's club WNDC and FNDC stuff and throw yourself into your new life. put yourself in new situations, try new stuff and meet heaps of people who have all been in the same position as you (come to SG alone) be amazed at what awesome and diverse friends you're going to make. And will keep you from getting homesick and work stressed.

I moved back to the UK around a month ago and miss SG like hell! It might only be a little red dot, but it sure is mighty. Crikey I should work for the tourism board!

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Post by ukdesigner » Sun, 23 Dec 2007 9:22 am

look you're going to have a really awesome time! get along to all the 30's club WNDC and FNDC stuff and throw yourself into your new life. put yourself in new situations, try new stuff and meet heaps of people who have all been in the same position as you (come to SG alone) be amazed at what awesome and diverse friends you're going to make. And will keep you from getting homesick and work stressed.

I moved back to the UK around a month ago and miss SG like hell! It might only be a little red dot, but it sure is mighty. Crikey I should work for the tourism board!
Honestly, listen to these words, she is right and also one of the best friends I had here until she sadly went home :cry:

Singapore is an awesome place to meet new people, experience new cultures and basically have a brilliant time. Embrace it and you will love it here.
Don't p*ss me off! I am running out of places to hide the bodies.

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Post by EADG » Sat, 29 Dec 2007 10:17 pm

just to set your expectations a bit:

the food is legendary to Singaporeans, most Westerners find it greasy and unhealthy, but you can get Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, etc. food here

as for cleanliness, the streets are clean, it's the restaurants you have to watch out for.
Qua5ar wrote:The tales of...the food and cleanliness in Singapore are legendary so that's something to look forward to.
but don't worry, Plavt & ukdesigner are right, and this should be a good move for you, it's a pleasant place to live, and nearby to some interesting countries

embrace it and embrace change, Change Is Good

Qua5ar
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Post by Qua5ar » Sun, 30 Dec 2007 12:49 am

Thanks for the reassuring words guys, they've done a lot to calm my nerves. As my departure date draws closer I find I have less time to worry about it than I initially thought I would.

I'm in the middle of sorting out my house in London and trying to get it into good enough shape to rent out my room. There's also my leaving do to organise and shopping to be done in the sales :D

My employers have arranged an apartment for my first month, my EP application's been submitted and should be approved in January (I hope) and my sister and a close friend are in the process of booking tickets to visit in Feb for Chinese New Year so it's all coming together nicely.

You know what, going through the responses so far and what I've read and heard about Singapore I reckon it'll be a blast.

Watch out everyone this party girl is about to rock the town!!! :lol:

I wish you guys a happy new year in advance and the very best of the coming year.

Qua5ar
It's not denial!
I'm just very selective about the reality I accept.

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