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notwavingdrowning
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In response to cheer up..

Postby notwavingdrowning » Wed, 25 Jun 2008 6:53 am

You want to know what happened to us? You want us to cheer up? (reference to previous post)

Hard for some to believe, but some of us simply do not like it here.

Some of us are terribly homesick and wish they were not here but for different reasons are stuck for a long period of time.

All I ever hear is that Singapore has so much going for it, people rave on about the food, the people and how close we are to other places for a quick weekend away.. Well for every good meal I have here I have 3 bad ones and for any good service I get..you get the picture.

I really don't think that the ability to pop over to Malaysia or Thailand for the weekend is promoting Singapore? There are other things I do not like about this place, but I don't need to be abused on this forum so will keep quiet.

Please understand that this is a thread for people who are NOT very happy here. People who are not in love with the weather, the food or whatever. Please do not criticize us or tell us to cheer up..Some of us just need a safe place to say how we are really feeling.

If I had of seen this thread when we were originally investigating coming to Singapore I may have had some balance when making our choice. Instead all I read here and heard was how amazing this place was etc.. So please let us be the .001% of people who do not like it.

Live and let Live :cool:
notwavingdrowning...is back from the Ashram and looking for a new career.

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jezzman
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Postby jezzman » Wed, 25 Jun 2008 10:57 am

I've been here for 5 months now and about two months ago I was ready to go back home, quit my job here and just leave.

I heard all about the culture shock and all that but felt I was more than prepared to take it. That was never gonna happen to me, I was sure of it.

I've been with the same company for 17 years and was being stationed here in Singapore, in an office where I'd been several times. I usually travel around 60-100 days a year and have seen most of the world and with that most of our offices around the world. But I never saw it coming.... that's the shock of coming here working! I was expecting to go to an office similar to the one I worked in. I was expecting to get treated the same way as I was treated back home. I was expecting the same company values which everyone raves about. Instead I found myself working in a "Chinese" company, being treated like a "Chinese" person.

All the stuff that are implemented in Europe are not even beginning to sink in here yet. At least not in my company. Back home I had flexible work hours. We had a good work-life-balance with gyms and other benefits. We were free to create our own work-life-balance pretty much. We had ergonomically correct tables. We had ergonomically correct chairs and work routines and I actually expected that when I came here. Instead I ended up in the most inflexible place of all. I felt like no-one trusted me. I felt like the people I worked with were unable to think for themselves. It was like rules were rules, just because of that - not because there were any logic in the rules. I was stuffed into a mini-size table with an old shitty chair. It was nowhere good enough but people didn't seem to complain although they sat as cattle stuffed in a room.

I'm still tired of being treated like a person who can't think for myself - it's so far away from who I am. I'm still tired of the inflexibility and all the idiotic rules but instead of hating it I've just begun to take advantage of it. I don't use my weekends for travelling anymore. I go out Monday and home Friday. I don't do overtime anymore. I've read the policies and take advantage of each and everyone I can for my own benefit. I guess I'm pretty much turning into a local in that respect. I just act now and take the consequences later, that's much easier than asking.... and yeah I guess I'm slowly adapting...

It's been tough but I'm getting there and although I'd prefer it to be like home I feel like I'm learning....
Me, fail English?
But nooo, that's unpossible....

notwavingdrowning
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Oh Jezzman

Postby notwavingdrowning » Wed, 25 Jun 2008 11:03 am

Jezzman, your musings are so on the money, I hope I have permission to quote you when trying to explain how I feel.. You have a great attitude, I hope in a few months mine will improve too.
Last edited by notwavingdrowning on Wed, 25 Jun 2008 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
notwavingdrowning...is back from the Ashram and looking for a new career.

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jezzman
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Re: Oh Jezzman

Postby jezzman » Wed, 25 Jun 2008 11:05 am

notwavingdrowning wrote:Oh Jezzman, you have just given such weight to what I am trying to convey.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I was really starting to feel it was just me and my 'bad attitude'.

I hope I have permission to quote you when trying to explain how I feel..


Feel free :)

Edit: and btw... it will get better trust me... what you are experiencing right now is point 3 in this graph.. or the way down to point 3. I consider myself being somewhere between point 4 and 5 and you will also get there... Complaining is a actually a good way of getting there because you get things of your chest and let it fly instead of keeping it in you.



Image
Me, fail English?

But nooo, that's unpossible....

notwavingdrowning
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this is amazing..

Postby notwavingdrowning » Wed, 25 Jun 2008 11:44 am

You are my savior..

I feel I have lost a small part of the weight on my shoulder. Its exactly how I feel. And I am definitely at phase 3. Roll on 4 5 & 6. I have already cut and sent this to my partner to explain how I feel. Where did you find this information?

Thank you so much :D
notwavingdrowning...is back from the Ashram and looking for a new career.

Isambard
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Postby Isambard » Wed, 25 Jun 2008 11:52 am

Does the graph represent happiness on the left axis? If so, does that mean a stint abroad is bad for your overall contentment and you're better off staying at home??

Damn! Now I feel depressed!

notwavingdrowning
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thanks for the laugh..

Postby notwavingdrowning » Wed, 25 Jun 2008 12:10 pm

Isamabard...


You just made me laugh.. :D

Thank you
notwavingdrowning...is back from the Ashram and looking for a new career.

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Leela
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Postby Leela » Wed, 25 Jun 2008 1:25 pm

I have to admit that I did hate Singapore for the first 6 months I was here. Like many others I had to leave my family, friends and job behind because my husband relocated to this country. Being stuck at home all day with nothing to do and knowing nobody made me feel awful. I couldn't stand the weather either, as the permanent heat and humidity wore me down and the air con in the buildings and public transport made me sick.

What changed things for me was joining the activities organised by people on this forum. I made many new friends, both locals and expats and we do a lot together. I also joined my local community club and started attending classes (languages, salsa, oil painting, badminton) where I met even more people.

I have been here for a year and a half and have just returned from spending 3 weeks in Europe. I definitely enjoyed spending time with my family there and loved the weather (no humidity and no need for air con where I was) but found myself missing my friends in Singapore and the things we do every week.

It's true that you will adjust and will learn to appreciate certain aspects of life here (I certainly missed how safe and clean Singapore is while I was abroad) but you will never like some others. I still hate the weather, the terrible service and the lack of initiative of Singaporeans, but now I can live with it.

The best you can do is take this as an opportunity to learn something new and do things you had never had the chance to do before. Getting involved in the community is far easier here than it is in Europe and the least time you spend at home the better, so think about what you want to do and do it.

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jezzman
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Re: this is amazing..

Postby jezzman » Wed, 25 Jun 2008 3:17 pm

notwavingdrowning wrote:You are my savior..

I feel I have lost a small part of the weight on my shoulder. Its exactly how I feel. And I am definitely at phase 3. Roll on 4 5 & 6. I have already cut and sent this to my partner to explain how I feel. Where did you find this information?

Thank you so much :D


My wife and I were actually shown a similar graph, when we attended a culture course. That was before coming here. Still I forgot all about it before I hit rock bottom and felt pretty much like you do right now. Then I googled it and found this one and then it all of a sudden made a lot more sense to me... :)

I'm so happy I could put a smile on your face... let me know when you start climbing the latter :D
Me, fail English?

But nooo, that's unpossible....

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solarv
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Postby solarv » Wed, 25 Jun 2008 11:12 pm

omg...this is a great thread..im in! LOL

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Morpheus
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Stop Crying!

Postby Morpheus » Thu, 26 Jun 2008 3:19 pm

Soph and Leela are right on - your life is what you choose to make of it. If you choose to sit around, moping all night and wknd watching Starhub and doing emails or generally Bi%tch about the local, weather, hawker food or whatever, you will be and deserve to be miserable. At least have the guts to vent this out at a bar if you feel you have so much more life at home - if you don't go out in your home cty, guess you are not missing much anyway (btw, this thread make it sound like you been force to come here against your will like the American Pilgrams or the African Slaves, but I bet 90% of you took the Opp / $ when they were offered, Bunch of CRYING BABIES!)

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Postby sammymck » Thu, 26 Jun 2008 3:39 pm

Hey everyone,

I've been here for 11 months now and I still have days where I scream at my husband and hate it here.

We are both Australian, born and bred in Sydney. I'm 26, he's 28, so we are quite young in terms of other expats we have met.

I'm due to have our 1st child in 3 weeks, so my pregnancy has kept me occupied for the last 9 months!

Apart from that, I tried volunteering at ANZA, but the women were all much older than me and I struggled to fit in.

My husband has many friends through his workplace and we mostly associate with them.

I feel very homesick and spend hours on the phone to my Mum, sister and friends back home in Sydney. My husband doesn't mind the phone bill cost, as he knows these phone calls keep me sane.

We are thinking of joining the American Club next year, as we will have a little one and will want to get her out of the house and playing with other expat children.

I miss having 4 seasons, I miss Sydney's live music scene, I miss the harbour, the beaches, the food, I could go on and on. Most of all, I miss my family. I miss the convenience of going to Coles or Woolies (our brand supermarkets) and being able to get all the foods I'm used to cooking with. Going to the butcher and not spending $15 on prime beef mince, like I do here!

For all you people who say "Get over it, get out there and make friends", I say shutup to you! I've lost alot of confidence since moving here. I gave up my career in the music industry. I gave up my close group of friends. I gave up bbq's with my family and so on. Settling into a new life and new environment is harder for some. Don't judge me just because I still miss what I had at home and have found it hard to adjust to life here!

I guess I try to keep an open mind and think to myself, hey, this is an experience and it's not forever. My husband wants to move to the USA after our contract here ends.

I know exactly where you are coming from. I don't know if I will ever get used to living here. So keep venting, it makes me feel better knowing I'm not alone :)

Petales Soufflez!
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Postby Petales Soufflez! » Thu, 26 Jun 2008 6:13 pm

Interesting thread here :D Always good to vent and find kindred spirits.

Myself have been moving around from place to place every 1-3 years on average (USA, France, Spain, Germany, Italy...) and it has always been a very mixed feelings kind of experience. Always looked forward to meeting new people, learning new languages, cultures, food etc, but somehow always found something (weather, food, bureaucracy, inefficiency, people...) to complain, whine etc (alot) about. Of course I miss my friends and family too, and I prefer the food, weather etc in Singapore, hard to believe as it may be.

But on the whole, I personally find that attitude has alot to do with whether you manage to adapt or not. It's usually for 1-3 years, and time flies. So I try to make the most of it parallel to my whining. In my experience, it usually takes at least 18 months to settle down and feel better and then it'll be time to leave. It's really quite ironic, but I usually "hated" being there and then I would also hate leaving.

It helps that I have my small family with me (spouse and kids) so it doesn't really matter where I go, we'll do fine. At the same time, if I were alone, I suspect that I'd do even better (like I did before) due to more flexibility etc.

And I always bring a part of the last country I was in with me. It adds on to my own culture and knowledge, way of life, eating habits etc. And it is also often a pleasure finding citizens from the countries I've lived in in my new country - like I'm as American, German, French, Spanish or Italian as they are! And in a way, I like to think that I am :D

Maybe that's why in Singapore many locals like to mix with the expat crowd. Brings back the experiences they have had when they were living overseas. I was a member of the French Alumni in Singapore, for example, if I were still living in Singapore, I know I'd miss France. Here in Italy, I am part of the tiny Singapore group, the larger Asian group, the English-speaking group, the French-speaking group, I do activities with the Germans and the Swedes, I have a good Bulgarian friend who used to live in China and who has Singaporean friends, and I try to make friends with the locals. I still whine, of course, very loudly too, but I'm also a part of things happening around me. Very often, of course, I would also be the one organising them.

My marriage grows stronger with each move we made. We go where our bread is buttered, and we grow together as a couple, as individuals and and as parents no matter where we are. There are moments the spouse knows I'm not happy wherever we are, the kids could face very serious problems with their schooling or friendships, but then we did make the decision to move together and we usually try to live thru the decision together. I do not think that people usually make decisions to move on a whim, and no expatriation, in my humble opinion, should end up making the other feeling like it was his or her fault everyone was there.

It is interesting to read about why people dislike Singapore. Sometimes that's how we feel about our own country, many times you realise that you just do not look at or feel about the same things/situations the same way. Mais c'est la vie. Can't please everybody and neither can everybody please us.

I can only hope that you either manage to have a more bearable existence in your remaining months or years here, or be able to make a "wiser" expatriation decision after Singapore. You know what they say, there are no good or bad choices in life, just the need (and courage) to keep making more and more of them.

Good luck! :P
Je pense donc je suis. Le reste du temps, je ne suis qu'une fleur.

notwavingdrowning
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Re: Stop Crying!

Postby notwavingdrowning » Thu, 26 Jun 2008 6:29 pm

Morpheus wrote:Soph and Leela are right on - your life is what you choose to make of it. If you choose to sit around, moping all night and wknd watching Starhub and doing emails or generally Bi%tch about the local, weather, hawker food or whatever, you will be and deserve to be miserable. At least have the guts to vent this out at a bar if you feel you have so much more life at home - if you don't go out in your home cty, guess you are not missing much anyway (btw, this thread make it sound like you been force to come here against your will like the American Pilgrams or the African Slaves, but I bet 90% of you took the Opp / $ when they were offered, Bunch of CRYING BABIES!)


Dear Morpheus, whilst I appreciate your attention on this thread, I feel I have made it clear that this thread was created by me specifically for expats who are unsettled. Looking at your previous posts, you offer to teach the Chinese Language. I am sure if I were fluent in Chinese my experience here in Singapore may be a little different. In my experience it is the locals who take enormous offense at the slightest criticism of their country. (for the record the whole world can bash my country and I don't really care, I am secure enough not to take offense) My intention is not too offend you or anyone else. Singapore is a lovely place, but I am feeling unsettled and need to talk to others in the same boat. That is why I advertise this thread to other unsettled expats. ONLY. You have 99.99% of this forum to yourself, please can we have a small place to vent.

We are all doing our best to get on.

Sincerely
notwavingdrowning...is back from the Ashram and looking for a new career.

notwavingdrowning
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On a lighter note:

Postby notwavingdrowning » Thu, 26 Jun 2008 6:40 pm

Petales Soufflez!- What a lovely post, I have to say that reading posts like this really make me feel so much more positive. I guess it is positive reinforcement I need right now).

A little childish I imagine of me perhaps, in a way like SammyMcK says, when we are taken away from what we know and the ones we love and even the simple things like our local supermarkets (why is that such a big one?) it is such a shock to our system. (I spent 3 years in Europe but did not experience these feelings) Probably explains my attitude at the moment. However I must say that starting this thread and being able to read others stories, in particular studying the graph on culture shock that my Star fellow expat JEZZMAN, posted earlier on this thread is making me feel more positive about my stay here.

My partner told me today his contract was going to be extended by 6 months (1 yr to 18mths+) and instead of bursting into tears (which I would of earlier this week) I actually thought, well I have no excuse now, I really need to get a life as I am going to be here a lot longer than expected..

So thank you, all of you. I hope this thread can keep going and possibly help others in knowing we are not alone, like it has helped me.
notwavingdrowning...is back from the Ashram and looking for a new career.


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