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Relocation from the U.S.

Moving to Singapore? Ask our regular expats in Singapore questions on relocation and their experience here. Ask about banking, employment pass, insurance, visa, work permit, citizenship or immigration issues.

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Postby Brenstar » Tue, 03 Nov 2009 4:32 pm

My partner and I just relocated here from Australia. I'm originally from NY. We packed everything in our container, THAT I would not recommend. We were coming from a 3 bedroom house with tons of storage and now we're going be moving into a shoe box in comparison. Mike is a massive wine buff but we brought none with us. If they catch it in your container your done. As the guy before said, they do not play. It's the last thing I would consider. As far as shampoo and toiletries are concerned... you can find all of the brand names here and feminine items as well. If your wife is busty though she might want to consider hitting VS before she gets here as its a little tough to find the larger sizes. Also things like designer brand makeups are a lot more expensive so if she sees she's running out of her favorite mac lipstick it would be wise to stock up. They have all of the brands here but it can be double the price so if you can I would, I did, but its not the end of the world if you end up paying a bit more.
Things like seasonings though I personally cannot do without so if you have your favorite seasoning packet bring some. Last time I was in Vegas I went to Costcos and stocked up on my McCormicks Montreal Mix. It keeps me sane.
I don't know much about the building your moving into but the location is great. Its right around a bunch of expat bars and has the river right in front so you can go for a walk, run, ride your bikes if you have one.

Good Luck!

Leone and John
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Location: Singapore

Postby Leone and John » Wed, 18 Nov 2009 2:25 pm

the above "TXinSingapore" has some sound advice and you would do well to take heed.

I have been here 3 years and I find many of my friends panic when they get here and can't find the exact brand or item they are used to. Well, you are moving to Singapore, it is an Asian Country .... why would everything need to be the same?

You come here for the experience, the cultural changes etc ... if not, then you are far better off to stay at home. It will be far too stressful to spend each and every day looking for familiar items that you "are used to".

One friend from Houston brings her own meat / cheese / flour / frozen foods etc every time she comes back after holidays. Why bother?

There is an alternative to everything... maybe not exactly what you are used to to, but close.... you learn to adapt.

Most of all, you do need to bring an open mind and a sense of humour!!

As for wine .... yes, you can bring it in but you must declare it on the form you fill in prior to shipping .... be prepared to pay big import duty at this end. We brought in 19 bottles of wine and one of scotch .... total duty was $198.00 ...... Is it worth it?

You can get wines on special at the supermarket .... OK, still more expensive, but you get to enjoy it more as you will not be drinking it with every meal... :-)

"Brenstar" is right .... if your wife is larger than "Barbie size" buy up big on underwear ..... this is Barbie Country .... a normal size 12 - 14 will be an XXXL here. Which is VERY disheartening!

We find toiletries to be a good price here, it all depends on where you shop ... "Cold Storage" a supermarket here is the most expensive to buy anything .... there are cheaper supermarkets by far. Then there are the smaller local stores that sell these things at just about half price.

You do need to find a couple of friends that can show you around, point you in the right direction to find all these things. It takes time to learn where all these places are, but with the right helping hand, you can do it.

If you are on medication - check with your Dr and make sure you have a covering letter - for all prescription medication if you are bringing in 6 mths supply or more.

Vitamins etc are cheaper in the US than here, you may want to bring some in...... I buy mine in Malaysia as I do my medication..... I go over once a month and purchase what I need. Cheaper than in Singapore.

Lots of items are also cheaper in Indonesia ...... when I go there (again once a month) I buy up big on other items that are cheaper there.

Many people make reference to everything being much more expensive than in the states ..... you need to decide that for yourself. The salary is probably higher here, if not, you are then being compensated with the rent being paid a car etc, you need to add up the value of it all and then work out the % of your salary against the dollar here.... take into consideration the tax and everything else, it is not so bad after all.

One of my friends here just assumes the dollar is the same value here ... no way will she ever understand that the value changes... ... sometimes I wish Singapore had a different currency, it would be far easier to cope with.

She keeps telling me that when something costs $20,00 here and in the US "it would only cost $15.00" .....hellooo .... $20.00 here is $14.50 USD!!

You do learn to adapt.

Some things are better by far ..... somethings, maybe not. But keep in mind you are here for the global experience and the enjoyment of same.

:) :)
Leone + John Fabre
[ Singapore ]

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Postby road.not.taken » Wed, 18 Nov 2009 4:44 pm

Leone and John wrote:She keeps telling me that when something costs $20,00 here and in the US "it would only cost $15.00" .....hellooo .... $20.00 here is $14.50 USD!!

Maybe she means something that costs $20.00 here would cost $15.00 in the same currency :roll: That's how I would make the comparison anyway.

While I agree the meat/flour/cheese thing seems excessive, there are times when this makes sense if it is truly for a specialty item, or the price is too good to pass up, or you are a total foodie, or it's someone special comfort food, whatever.

Of course some adaptability goes along way, but these uber-expats out there who think blending in and adapting should be a newcomers #1 concern are just as close-minded as the person who refuses to accept any new things.

Some people are really just here for a short-term, or are on their 9th assignment and really have no interest in going local, yet again. It's not a character flaw, it's a choice, no harm no foul.

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Postby aussiePT » Fri, 27 Nov 2009 11:39 am

Last edited by aussiePT on Wed, 02 Mar 2016 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 27 Nov 2009 12:38 pm

'One sminoff at a club is over $10!' Wah, so cheap, meh?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 27 Nov 2009 12:40 pm

'One sminoff at a club is over $10!' Wah, so cheap, meh?
R.N.T., you are starting to sound more and more like Mrs. Col. Bagshot, what! pip-pip & tally ho. Me a bigot? Sounds like we both have passed our use-by dates.

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relocation from US

Postby AliciaCC » Mon, 07 Dec 2009 12:42 pm

HI, i moved here 6 month ago. I lived in MI, US before i moved here. I only had 5 boxes (well, kinda big and heavy ones) and i mailed them via USPS, and it costs me more than $1000 to just mail them to SG. some of my friend's advice is to use some other carrier to move your stuff. It is nice to know that you ahve already get an apartment set up. dont be too stressed out about the relocation. i m 23 and i moved here all by myself, and it's not as hard as expected. SG is very convinience since everyone speaks english. i dont really know what else I can let you know. so if you have any questions please feel free to contact me:

best luck!~


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