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Scared Aussie

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ozzimum
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Scared Aussie

Post by ozzimum » Mon, 20 Oct 2008 1:06 pm

My husband has accepted a three year assignment in Singapore with his company and we will be relocating from Australia in eight days time. It has been a whirlwind of excitement, nausea and anxiety - a rollercoaster of emotions. I am told this is normal and probably will be normal for some time (3 years???). We have a 3 year old daughter, so that makes everything more complicated. Are there any other Aussie mum's out there who have made the big move over to Singapore?? Any advice for me?? Also, my husband's office is located near Tanjong Pagar MRT and we hope to rent a condo close to an MRT with a short commute to his work. Also looking for a good nursery school for our daughter close by and a gym for myself. Any recommendations of family friendly condos close to MRT and the rest that has other expat families? Some Aussies would be nice too. :wink:

aussiemeg
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Post by aussiemeg » Mon, 20 Oct 2008 1:30 pm

Hi there

I am the mum of 3 (on sunday) year old twins and I absolutely adore it here. It has a heap of advantages over australia and of course some short falls. But in terms of an expat assignment it is great. you will find a constant stream of friends and family from oz coming many because they would never come here if you weren't here or they are off to europe. For the family there are usually cheap airfares and sometimes even ff ones.

Pretty much everything you have at home is here in terms of groceries and anything I can't get (like cheery ripes) I just get sent over. They have the koala brothers, new macdonalds farm banana's in pjs, playschool etc on tv.

The one hardship is backyards but there are plenty of condo living advantages if you decide not to go down the house route.

Live in helpers, domestic workers or maids a sensitive issue among expats but can make life easier meaning you have a built in baby sitter in case you need and some extra time to spend with hubby rather than 10pm ironing!

Great holiday options abound all on your doortep and the entire region it seems loves kids so it is lovely

Preschool is funny over here. By three many have their kids attending 5 days a week and some (the few it seems) don't have their kids at school at all. The Australian school has great nursery which does a 5 day fortnight. You will here it is a lng way from where your hubby is working but hey it is only 45 mins coast to coast here!!! There ae quite a few other options inc montessori, reggio emilia and encyclopedic curriculums I have just found that waiting lists tend to abound.

Congrats n making the move you will love it...and scream in desperation as well sometime ; )

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We are on our way too!

Post by EDC » Mon, 20 Oct 2008 2:46 pm

We are heading over from Oz in about 6 weeks - and am very excited about the prospect. The info we were given was work out where you want you child to go to school (and can get in!) and then find suitable accomodation in surrounding areas. For us, our boys will be attending Chatsworth East (K2 & P2) so are trying to secure a cluster house (similar to an Aussie townhouse, just more levels) in the East Coast area. Found East Coast was greener, seemed more relaxed lifestyle and was close to the beach & East Coast Park which is where I see us spending many a weekend! Advantage of the Cluster housefor us is that it gives us as much space/rooms as a large house and has some of the facilities of a condo - pool, playground & gym. The only disadvantage is no garden for the boys to run wild in, but as there are no cars on the ground level, they can hopefully run around and play star wars outside without getting run over. As long as there is an MRT station close by, your husband will have no problems commuting - as PP advised, everything is relatively close and the public transport system is very good.

We lived in Roxby Downs (outback South Australia) for 5 years, and had 3 visits total in the time we were there, and since we have told them we are coming to Singapore, already have 4 trips lined up by family........

Take time to aclimatise, enjoy the adventure and don't stress.


Eda :D

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sierra2469alpha
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Post by sierra2469alpha » Mon, 20 Oct 2008 3:55 pm

Crikey moses - us Aussies are all moving in 07/08, aren't we! And to think Howard and Rudd talk about the brain drain!!! Well, we're all here aren't we, LOL!

To the newcomers - good luck with your move and Ms. C and I wish you safe travels and no missing TV's (in our case!!).

To other Aussies - seeing so many have moved over, would anyone be interested if Ms. C and I organsied maybe a welcome get-together for new arrivals from Oz? We're happy to do the organising. Maybe something around Melbourne Cup?

Cheers, P & C

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Post by EDC » Mon, 20 Oct 2008 4:02 pm

Melbourne Cup a bit early for us - but will make sure I keep the Charddy on ice for Australia Day! (if I don't drink it all at Xmas)

Eda

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Post by ozzimum » Tue, 21 Oct 2008 7:06 am

Thanks for all the great responses. It is all very reassuring to hear of others that have gone through a similar big change or about to! I gather there must be quite a few Aussies living in Singapore. We were originally planning on living on the East Coast but because we won't have a car initially transport might be a problem for us. We are going to check out the Orchard/Newton area, somewhere close to an MRT station. Our house is being packed up tomorrow - so it's all systems go here. We arrive in Singapore next Tuesday so we are very excited, anxious and scared at the same time!! Any advice on anything we should bring along with us? Anything to buy before we come over?

aussiemeg
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Post by aussiemeg » Tue, 21 Oct 2008 10:27 am

bras
Bonds undies
bonds kids tshirts
kids clothes from target all very very summer required
kids clothes from cotton on cotton all very very summer

Because they wash fantastically
they are 100% cotton
you won't see everyone in them
kids go through so many sets of clothes here in a day it is amazing

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micknlea
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Post by micknlea » Tue, 21 Oct 2008 11:27 am

Don't forget to pack at least one of those big bottles of sunscreen, you will not believe how expensive it is here and the range is pretty limited too.
"My husband said it was him or the cat...I miss him sometimes." - Unknown

EDC
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Post by EDC » Tue, 21 Oct 2008 2:09 pm

From advice I have read & been given bring bras & knickers - unless you a tiny wisp of a thing and like the padded look (I don't need any extra help!), sunscreen, broadbrim hats from kmart, target & big W. bathers for yourself as it seems there is not alot of choice in the mid range and they only last a few months if used alot because of the chlorine. The same for the children - I have got a heap from Big W in seperates rather than licenced ones which are pricey. If they are going to go through them in a few months, you don't want to spend heaps on them. For boys, Big W had rash tops & board shorts for about $8 each. The bathers I saw in Singapore when I came over for a quick trip were either pink or blue and all in one suits with a zip down the front - not very flattering and no variety. I have been buying up on sunscreen which has a insect repellant in it, as one of our boys has an allergy. I noted most of the things I use were available, but in most cases more expensive. So I don't spend the 1st month spending heaps on everyday items, I am bringing a box of regularly use items to keep us going until I can find the best prices/places to get them.

Alot of over the counter medicines that I use for the children & us are not readily available, and I have been advised to buy up on the following: Demazin, childrens panadol, childrens nurofen, phernagan (sp?) vitamins, sanitary ware (I can't deal with Tampax & surfboards!), cold & flu, clarytyne tablets, zantac, nurofen, combantrim, lice treatment.


Hope this helps.


EDC

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Post by EDC » Tue, 21 Oct 2008 2:17 pm

Forgot to add, don't discount the East Coast because of having no car. A car is a very expensive luxury unless provided as part of your package. The MRT system is fantastic, and very easy to use, and taxis are relatively cheap (I know they have gone up recently) but as an example, we went from Orchard Rd to Mountbatten Rd - took about 20 minutes and only cost $10-12. Also everyone drives like maniacs and I wouldn't want to be trying to negotiate a new country with mad drivers!

Everything is relatively close, and if you really feel you need a car, maybe hire one and see how you go and how much you will use it. You will also need a permit to have a car, and I believe that are around $20K (someone correct me if I have the wrong figure) and cars are alot more expensive that what we are used to in Oz.


EDC

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sierra2469alpha
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Post by sierra2469alpha » Tue, 21 Oct 2008 3:01 pm

EDC's made some great points - well done! I second all of them.

Our "care packages" from back in Oz usually consist of: tampons, panadeine (can't get codeine easily), twin blade razor blades, stockings/pantyhose, non-padded bras (although if you like nice stuff you can order nice lingerie over the web - never been a hassle), but day-to-day then stock up.

Hope this helps, Ms. C

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road.not.taken
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Post by road.not.taken » Tue, 21 Oct 2008 3:13 pm

sierra2469alpha wrote: stockings/pantyhose
In this climate? :o

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sierra2469alpha
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Post by sierra2469alpha » Tue, 21 Oct 2008 3:41 pm

Yeh I wear a business suit (women's) for my work :) C

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road.not.taken
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Post by road.not.taken » Tue, 21 Oct 2008 3:52 pm

Boy, I don't envy you. That's yeoman's duty if ever there was.

ozzimum
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Post by ozzimum » Wed, 22 Oct 2008 9:32 am

Thanks all advice is much appreciated. The more knowledge and info the better. I will start stocking up on some necessary things as soon as possible. As regards the East Coast, we checked out that area during our short visit and we really liked it because of all the greenery and open space. There are also some good bike riding paths there too, which we enjoy. We were told there weren't really any MRT stations close by and that we would require a car if we wanted to live out there. We definitely want to try and get by without a car if at all possible so decided it might not be the best area for us. Let me know if this info we were given is not correct. It actually was a nice short commute by car for my husband's work and I think a work bus services the condos out that way. I guess we will do some more thorough research once we arrive over there. Thanks again for the info and advice....Keep it comin!

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