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What do expats actually like about singapore?

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 18 May 2008 9:19 am

On this particular board that might get boring at times! :P :cool: I mean, look the the times of a lot of these posts. Occasionally spices up the board somewhat.

It's all good because the majority of the posters here do apologize after letting off steam or going on overload in the heat of discussions.

That's what's so good about this board. :cool:

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Postby QRM » Mon, 19 May 2008 10:08 am

I was thinking of the more off beat things about Singapore, clean streets, cheap food, safe etc is what everybody already knows, it’s the little quirks that usually that only come to light after living here for a while.

Here are two more

Stuck in Honey:

The speed at which things are done here, its like Singapore is covered in a layer of clear honey, if you buy 10 CD it can take a good 15 mins for the cashier to cut each alarm tag out, manually type in the ref numbers, one by one stick them in the bag, dial the credit card for authorization, and then pick her teeth while waiting for the authorization rather than move on to serve the next customer.

At Singtel it took almost 45 mins to buy a phone, I suggested, if he served three times as fast he will then get noticed and promoted, the sales guy said it doesn’t happen like that here, so no point working up a sweat.

Now that I have been here for a while, its that stuck in glue like movement, that gives the place its laid back charm, I now dawdle along the highway, when I go to Hong Kong or New York, the pace is unbelievable it like the fast forward button has been pressed. I breakout in a sweat just looking at the people scurrying around the pavement. It’s a big relief when I return to the sloth like ways back in Singapore.

One big Family:

My Aunt used to hate being called Auntie Flow, made her feel old, but now in Singapore every one is an auntie and uncle, or little brother or little sister, it’s a nice touch that makes the place feel like one big family.

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Re: What do expats actually like about singapore?

Postby ozchick » Mon, 19 May 2008 5:15 pm

Plavt wrote:


I have no complaints about the Singapore immigration officials and even managed to have a laugh and a joke with them on the numerous times I have left and re-entered the country.


Same here. Always find them good. And if some of us don't find them 'a laugh a minute', well what do want for nothin' :-| ? They've got an important job to do and can't spend all their time entertaining the expats.
'Are you trying to tempt me because I come from the land of plenty?'

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road.not.taken
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Re: What do expats actually like about singapore?

Postby road.not.taken » Mon, 19 May 2008 5:51 pm

ozchick wrote:
Plavt wrote:


I have no complaints about the Singapore immigration officials and even managed to have a laugh and a joke with them on the numerous times I have left and re-entered the country.


They've got an important job to do and can't spend all their time entertaining the expats.


Gee Ozchick, and that's exactly what I though they were there for :? I have never seen them be warm and friendly to anyone, expat or ex-anything. The people at DFS? well that's another story.

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Re: What do expats actually like about singapore?

Postby QRM » Mon, 19 May 2008 7:00 pm

While it must be the most thankless task, rubber stamping all day long, they are at the front line of Singapore, and while in uniform represent Singapore Govt..

Last time I traveled two of the immigration guys in the booth joked that they would be willing to work for me, as our helper was flying business class ( She had a free upgrade).

I came back and found my favorite lemon flavor sweet was not in the sweet pot, they went out of their way to get a couple of new ones for me.

When I lost my Dep Pass, They helped me with my bags and guided me to all the correct departments to sort it all out, I was apologizing, and they where all smiles and no problems.

Its so important to give a good impression of the place to a first time visitors, and I think they really do a great job.

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Postby maneo » Tue, 20 May 2008 6:24 am

The varied perceptions might suggest that they are mirrors of the personalities before them.
8-)

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Postby road.not.taken » Tue, 20 May 2008 6:33 am

maneo wrote:The varied perceptions might suggest that they are mirrors of the personalities before them.
8-)


Or not. I suspect this issue is more definitional than anything else. More of a tomato vs. tomaaaahto thing.

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Postby Saint » Tue, 20 May 2008 3:36 pm

I've never had a problem with immigrations at Changi, ok so you never get more than a grunt from them, even got a slight smile from one once but then again that could have been wind!!

but..........

The them at the ICA Building!!!!! I have been trying for 4 hours this morning (got up at 4am!) to try and speak to someone in the PR department and the general number is permanently engaged and I managed to find a few direct line numbers but they won't answer the bloody phone!!! :x :x :mad: :mad: ](*,)

Yes, I know what it's like there but..........

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Postby EADG » Sun, 25 May 2008 7:43 am

Forks wrote:"Come to Singapore... Clean Toilets!"


Agree Forks, hardly criteria for a Chamber Of Commerce (Ministry Of Toilets?) advertising campaign.

But....is it only me who finds more pissed-on toilet seats here than anywhere else?

I mean, even in my MNC office toilets, and despite those silly cartoons hanging on the walls.

Isn't this the place where laws had to be enforced to stop people pissing in elevators? (!!!)

Ok, I'll respond more objectively to the OP shortly.
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Postby Forks » Mon, 26 May 2008 12:47 am

As mentioned before MRT toilets can be quite surprising, in a bad way.

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Postby Loops » Mon, 26 May 2008 9:44 pm

LOL - by the time I've arrived at Changi from whichever crappy airport around the globe I happen to have departed from, i couldn't care less what the immigration staff looked like, let alone if they spoke to me or smiled at me..........I'm just too happy to be in that nice, big, clean airport once again!

But what are we talking about again? Things we like about Singapore as expats? Loads of stuff for me - you get frustrated from time to time with some things like crappy drivers and bus drivers who last drove a horse and cart, but then, that's not so much different from where I'm from. At least the bus is about 9 times more likely to actually turn up here!

Yup - I can see the coin from both sides and both sides have their good and bad points. I'm happy to stick with Singapore for the time being.

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Postby ksl » Tue, 27 May 2008 12:37 am

Singapore for me, is one of the best places to live, and first of all, i mix very well with the locals, there is the odd, headbanger, but i can assure, you the UK have at least 5000 headbangers, to 1 in Singapore.

Evolution, and history repeats itself, now the UK is back to square one, with nothing to show, for its history, only chaos! Singapore maybe laid back, but all the people i have talked too, have been quite open and friendly...
My pet hate is the weather, i miss the four seasons.

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Postby jpatokal » Tue, 27 May 2008 4:24 am

Ah, typing this ~5000 mi away from Singapore makes me nostalgic. Two more days until the flight home... so a few things off the top of my head:

- It's TROPICAL! I've been here years and I still get a kick out of palm trees at the bus stop.
- The world's most efficient airport, home to one of its best airlines.
- You never have to check the weather forecast.
- Restaurants serving up pretty decent attempts at every worthwhile cuisine on the planet. (Well, almost. Any Ethiopian restaurants in Sg yet?)
- The air doesn't stink. (You need to spend some time in, say, Bangkok, Jakarta or Delhi to really appreciate this one.)
- Pretty good public transport. (Not quite a match to Tokyo yet, but getting closer all the time.)
- Corporate tax breaks.

There are many places on the planet that do something or even a few things better than Singapore, but on the aggregate, it's tough to find anything that compares.
Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague

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Postby cutiebutie » Tue, 27 May 2008 11:45 am

I've refrained from posting on this topic as I am not an expat in Singapore, but I am on ein Thailand and Malaysia, so maybe I can make a comment - nothing to do with patriotism SMS, as I am fully capable of comment without nationalism. (Actually if my friends were to know that i am being called nationalistic they would laugh)

I think Jpatokal outs it quite well: it is a summation of things that are good, not necessarily the best.

Too true about living elsewhere, try Bangkok = yuck!!!!!!

Negatives abound in Singapore, no doubt. But so do positives.

Good air, few traffic hassles, low crime, lots of nightlife, an impressive infrastructure, food from everywhere, the GP, low amount of corruption, and the list goes on.
(We can discuss the negatives on another thread and I will contribute there as well)
- Thank God for Darwin -

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 27 May 2008 12:14 pm

CB, why bring me into this thread? I've only made one tiny post in the whole thread.

There nothing I can say. My actions speak louder than anything that I could write here. I've been here 25 years, I own an HDB flat, I work for a local SME, and I'm a Permanent Resident. Yes, I complain about a lot of things. I do in my own country as well. That's why I complain. When we make enough noise, we get noticed. If enough people get noticed then changes are made. Simple fact of life. If I didn't like Singapore "overall" I wouldn't be here. But, one must admit, as was written somewhere else, this is NOT utopia. On it's way trying to get there (at least in "white papers").

I think JP said it best. " .....but on the aggregate, it's tough to find anything that compares."


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