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What to bring when moving to Singapore from the US

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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uscate
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Post by uscate » Tue, 26 Jun 2012 1:08 am

Thanks for the info ZZM - I can appreciate that online and in-person shopping are different animals and look forward to poking around in Daiso.

And beppi - you TOTALLY made me decide to forego the catnip (and any thoughts I might have had about sachets). That is just BEYOND gross!!!! Thank you for that heads up - the cat will have to live without her mind altering substances for a couple of years, I guess.... :???:

Thanks to all!!

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Post by beppi » Tue, 26 Jun 2012 3:53 am

Here, you'll have to live with a certain level of crawlies, bities and other forms of life around you - read the forum threats about mold, ants and cockroaches.
If you can't stomach that, don't move to the tropics!

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Post by uscate » Tue, 26 Jun 2012 6:38 am

I'm pretty sure I can get grossed out by bugs and mold and still live in the tropics....I'm just learning some of the not-so-obvious-to-me do's and don'ts....

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Post by zzm9980 » Tue, 26 Jun 2012 12:57 pm

Watch where you walk then. I've seen roaches crawling around on the sidewalk, all over the beach (especially at the stone/cement breakers), and even just in the grass. I walked up to a tree last night near where I stay and saw at least four or five roaches crawling around in the grass near the base.

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Post by beppi » Tue, 26 Jun 2012 3:05 pm

In case it is any consolation: Roaches living in grass or trees are different species from those you see in the kitchen (another unavaidable in the tropics).
I could also fill volumes with my epic battle against the ants in our kitchen. They won, of course.
Or the snake I killed in the bedroom - but that was Thailand: In Singapore they kept to the backyard.

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Post by the lynx » Tue, 26 Jun 2012 3:09 pm

uscate wrote:I'm pretty sure I can get grossed out by bugs and mold and still live in the tropics....I'm just learning some of the not-so-obvious-to-me do's and don'ts....
Don't worry. These stuff are something you will learn to live around eventually. Just remember not to bring any precious textile, artifacts or paintings that are prone to mold or infestation after sitting in at the tropics.

You can search the forum further on geckos, ants, cockroaches etc later after you are done with the packing/moving.

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Post by JR8 » Tue, 26 Jun 2012 3:10 pm

The guy I worked for lived in a black&white on Mt. Faber, backing onto dense forest. They gave up on owning cats after the 3rd one was eaten by snakes.

I recall him coming in one day saying they'd woken up to find a cobra in the bedroom.

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Post by uscate » Wed, 27 Jun 2012 8:44 am

O - M - G.....Well, I guess I'm just going to have to learn the technique of "breathe in, breathe out" and just decide to share my environment and play nice....

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 27 Jun 2012 9:25 am

I lived the first half of my existence here in a black & white in Seletar Airbase. I've had black spitting cobras, more than I can remember (had a nest of 'em behind the concrete culvert in the monsoon drain in front of the house by the road. I've caught a number of them and transported them to less populated areas in the camp or just in the field beside the house. Never killed one as they tend to keep the rat population at zero! Also found a 1 meter python curled up on the alter one morning (made a nice complement and reminded me of adam & eve without the apple). That one was released in the field next door as well (after playing with it for a couple of hours). Also had several monitor lizards who like dog food. (One around 4.5' the other just under 6' nose to tip of the tail). Also got scorpions, various fence lizards, geckos and grass snakes. Flying cockroaches, swarming bees, termites, ants, and other assorted creepy-crawlies like garden slugs & garden snails that like to leave slimy paths across you patios. Also, must not forget toads as well. You'll love it here. :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 zzm9980 » Wed, 27 Jun 2012 10:51 am

I had no idea about the snakes in Singapore. Quite interesting. Just incase I ever come across one, are they overtly hostile, or more likely to be more scared of me than I am of it?

I've seen monitor lizards all over though. Are they considered uncommon? I see them in East Coast Park all the time. I've even seen one hanging out next to the sidewalk through the field at YCK MRT.

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Post by the lynx » Wed, 27 Jun 2012 11:27 am

zzm9980 wrote:I had no idea about the snakes in Singapore. Quite interesting. Just incase I ever come across one, are they overtly hostile, or more likely to be more scared of me than I am of it?

Most snakes in Singapore are pretty OK.

Snakes such as house snake (or wolf snake), paradise tree snake and oriental tree snake are small to moderate in size and are just as terrified to see us humans and will attempt to slither away. I have handled them before and I can assure you that they are harmless.

Those with green fingers might be familiar with the very tiny weeny Brahminy blind snakes that are sometimes mistaken as earthworms. Also very harmless, and beneficial too.

Spitting cobra, on the other hand, will assume a defence mode when felt threatened and will spit venom as far as 2 metres into enemy's eyes. This is one badass so you better stay away from it if you see one.

Reticulated pythons are quite common too (but only within forested areas). Well usually they will target smaller preys but if they are bigger than you and they are hungry, you better avoid that too.


I've seen monitor lizards all over though. Are they considered uncommon? I see them in East Coast Park all the time. I've even seen one hanging out next to the sidewalk through the field at YCK MRT.

Monitor lizards are pretty common. You shouldn't be worried about them, unless they look like they are mini komodo dragons, and you are menstruating when you see them (scent of blood excites them). :P :cool:

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 27 Jun 2012 11:53 am

the lynx wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:I had no idea about the snakes in Singapore. Quite interesting. Just incase I ever come across one, are they overtly hostile, or more likely to be more scared of me than I am of it?

Most snakes in Singapore are pretty OK.

Snakes such as house snake (or wolf snake), paradise tree snake and oriental tree snake are small to moderate in size and are just as terrified to see us humans and will attempt to slither away. I have handled them before and I can assure you that they are harmless.

Those with green fingers might be familiar with the very tiny weeny Brahminy blind snakes that are sometimes mistaken as earthworms. Also very harmless, and beneficial too.


You are the first person besides myself that I've found that also knows what they are. We had a lot of 'em when I put in our fence posts in the camp. Either blue ones or the normal blackish ones. My kids were small then and they thought they were worms so I got a rather powerful magnifying glass and then they could see the mouth & eyes.

Spitting cobra, on the other hand, will assume a defence mode when felt threatened and will spit venom as far as 2 metres into enemy's eyes. This is one badass so you better stay away from it if you see one.

When I used to catch them I'd always wear a Scuba Mask

Reticulated pythons are quite common too (but only within forested areas). Well usually they will target smaller preys but if they are bigger than you and they are hungry, you better avoid that too.


I've seen monitor lizards all over though. Are they considered uncommon? I see them in East Coast Park all the time. I've even seen one hanging out next to the sidewalk through the field at YCK MRT.

Monitor lizards are pretty common. You shouldn't be worried about them, unless they look like they are mini komodo dragons, and you are menstruating when you see them (scent of blood excites them). :P :cool:

Monitor lizards, while non-poisonous, pack a nasty bite and because they are scavenger, the saliva is filled with nasty bacteria and a bite by them will turn septic in a matter of hours. Additionally, monitor lizards, while excellent swimmers, are also adept at climbing trees as well. In fact their claws look more like eagle's talons than claws.
But it does make life interesting.
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 PrimroseHill » Wed, 27 Jun 2012 1:55 pm

Brits like me are always envious of US, everything is so much cheaper. Broadband here is expensive compared to London, whilst sky/cable is approx same price. Utilities, though is cheaper.
Starbucks are more expensive here even compared to London, curious.
There are quite a few sites that ship here.
I shop online on FP, prices aren't too bad. Giant is pretty good too. Missed Tesco - maybe a trip up to Nusajaya is needed.
I don't get the price of Walkers crisps :roll:

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Post by zzm9980 » Wed, 27 Jun 2012 2:11 pm

the lynx wrote: Monitor lizards are pretty common. You shouldn't be worried about them, unless they look like they are mini komodo dragons, and you are menstruating when you see them (scent of blood excites them). :P :cool:
Lucky for me I have nothing to worry about then :)

I actually found a shot of the lizard outside YCK that I put on Instagram for my American friends:
Image

And one of his cousins I met in Vietnam last CNY:
Image

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Post by zzm9980 » Wed, 27 Jun 2012 2:15 pm

PrimroseHill wrote:Brits like me are always envious of US, everything is so much cheaper. Broadband here is expensive compared to London, whilst sky/cable is approx same price. Utilities, though is cheaper.
Starbucks are more expensive here even compared to London, curious.
There are quite a few sites that ship here.
I shop online on FP, prices aren't too bad. Giant is pretty good too. Missed Tesco - maybe a trip up to Nusajaya is needed.
I don't get the price of Walkers crisps :roll:
The price of Starbucks here is ridiculous, even more so than in Tokyo. What's worse is that Starbucks customer service is so terrible here too. Everywhere else I've ever visited, even China and HK, Starbucks is one of the few places with consistently good service. Not here. Hell, the people in Tokyo who couldn't speak English (and myself with no Japanese) did significantly better with my admittedly complicated drink order.

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