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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 12 Dec 2011 10:39 am

I've been in my HDB flat for 13+ years. I've got good neighbours, amenities within walking distance. Good public transport infrastructure in place and as a member of the RC I know a very large proportion of our neighbours, not only in our block but in the other blocks as well. I was looked strangely at first but that was over a decade ago. If you but make the first step, they are very accommodating. But local habit can still make you cringe and certain things you wish you could bitch slap 'em for. But that's part and parcel of Asia. If one doesn't like it, they can always go home. The onus is on us to make ourselves worth knowing. :wink:

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Postby boffenl » Mon, 12 Dec 2011 11:01 am

Oh, good one SMS. I do think I'm worth knowing. :D I have some expat friends who lived in an HDB for five years before moving to a condo--they still count their HDB neighbors as their closest friends.

It's tough since for us it's a logical arrangement, but I know for others living in an HDB would be a step out on the wild side. :) I was talking informally to a group of expats and one guy mentioned he lived in Clementi, I was surprised and said "I do too!" He said--"Oh yeah, Clementi Park?" Me--"Um, no I live in an HDB on XXX Street." You would have thought I had thrown the F bomb, they were all stumped into silence. Funny but true--it's not a situation most expats think of, but it's worked really, really well for us!

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Postby Barnsley » Mon, 12 Dec 2011 11:28 am

boffenl wrote:Oh, good one SMS. I do think I'm worth knowing. :D I have some expat friends who lived in an HDB for five years before moving to a condo--they still count their HDB neighbors as their closest friends.

It's tough since for us it's a logical arrangement, but I know for others living in an HDB would be a step out on the wild side. :) I was talking informally to a group of expats and one guy mentioned he lived in Clementi, I was surprised and said "I do too!" He said--"Oh yeah, Clementi Park?" Me--"Um, no I live in an HDB on XXX Street." You would have thought I had thrown the F bomb, they were all stumped into silence. Funny but true--it's not a situation most expats think of, but it's worked really, really well for us!


I have been in HDB since I got here 3.5 years ago. Its spot on , admittedley I dont know the neighbours other than my landlord. There are just the two flats on my corridor.

I am a recognised face around the local coffee shops as the folks always have my food and drinks ready by the time I get to the front of the queue. :)

I am not a pool person , and spend a lot of time in work. As for the gym , I just joined one instead its only $100 a month and suits me fine.

I have no idea if anyone is saying anything negatively about me, but all the folks around my coffee shops seem genuinely nice folk.
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Postby x9200 » Mon, 12 Dec 2011 4:12 pm

This is not about staying in HDB but the tolerance to the habits mentioned by SMS. I'd rather pay some extra $$$ not to be that much exposed. I have yet to meet a Westerner who is resistant to these habits and can completely ignore certain behaviors.

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Postby boffenl » Mon, 12 Dec 2011 4:29 pm

That's the Singapore bubble x9200. It's alive and well in all parts of Asia where the wealthy self-segregate. I assume it's like that all over the world now.

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 12 Dec 2011 9:51 pm

I don't really think it is about wealth at least in Singapore. If it is, then you still ongoing Honey Moon seems not fit the equation. Besides, we are talking about a norm, not a pathology and not security issues.
Admittedly, if I didn't land here on the expat package I would probably live in an HDB today. Ignorance is bless but once it's gone hard to justify a downgrade - I have this doubtful pleasure living in an EC at the moment and the difference to the regular condo is striking.

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Postby mummy mantras » Mon, 12 Dec 2011 11:39 pm

boffenl wrote:
It's tough since for us it's a logical arrangement, but I know for others living in an HDB would be a step out on the wild side. :) I was talking informally to a group of expats and one guy mentioned he lived in Clementi, I was surprised and said "I do too!" He said--"Oh yeah, Clementi Park?" Me--"Um, no I live in an HDB on XXX Street." You would have thought I had thrown the F bomb, they were all stumped into silence. Funny but true--it's not a situation most expats think of, but it's worked really, really well for us!



Funnily enough, Clementi was the first place I stayed when I first moved to Singapore. I rented a room in a 5-room flat from a a nice elderly couple (whose children had long since grown up and moved out) and they made me feel very much at home (especially the old lady who, being Cantonese, kept brewing herbal soups for me as remedies for whatever ailed me!).

They were sweet and kind (although always very inquisitive, but most old folk are like that, so I didn't really mind much) and helped introduce me to the weird and wonderful customs of my fellow HDB dwellers.

They also helped ease the fears of my family back home in the UK, who were (understandably) a little alarmed at me staying in 'public housing'. But I managed to reassure them that it was nothing like back home. :)

Anyhow, many years later, I still live in a HDB flat. And in fact I have always lived in a HDB flat. And I still don't mind one little bit... :D

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 12 Dec 2011 11:41 pm

Hehehe.... nice story :)

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Postby mummy mantras » Mon, 12 Dec 2011 11:49 pm

JR8 wrote:
Hehehe.... nice story :)



Yeah... My husband thinks it's cute that they sort of 'adopted' me when I came to Singapore. I'm their little ang mo daughter! :D

ringo100100
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Similar situation

Postby ringo100100 » Tue, 13 Dec 2011 10:39 pm

I am on a similar base as you. My monthly expenses are as follows:

Rent - 3,000 - I live in a nice 1 bed, but a long way out. Add 1,000-2,000 if you want to be close to CBD.

Utilities - 350 - electric/water/cable/ internet etc.

MRT - 100

Food basic - 800 - lunch/ dinner/ breakfast/ shopping

Entertainment - 200-300 per night out ++ if on date. I go out 6-10 nights per month.

Travel - 1000 per weekend trip (thailand, malaysia, indonesia)

Other - cloths/ electronics - really depends on you.

Tax - 2,000 per month

I save about 4,000-6,000 per month + my annual bonus

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Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 15 Dec 2011 8:24 am

That's a pretty massive entertainment budget. While going out in Singapore isn't cheap by any means, I can't imagine spending that much, and MORE if on a date. Those numbers sound like absolute top-end dinner then getting silly drunk.

Where do you "go out", so we can add context for other people finding this thread via search?

Everything else sounds very reasonable though.

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Postby boffenl » Thu, 15 Dec 2011 8:33 am

I also never go out was was stunned last Saturday when we spent the evening at Clark Quay. $45 p/p for dinner--no drinks! $25 cover charge for the club p/p, $35 for TWO drinks p/p and you're already over $100 per person. Dinner was NOTHING fancy, no beef. I was shocked when we added it up, and won't be doing that again anytime soon.

I think I'll stick with my airport duty free wine and call it even.

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Postby Barnsley » Thu, 15 Dec 2011 10:00 am

boffenl wrote:I also never go out was was stunned last Saturday when we spent the evening at Clark Quay. $45 p/p for dinner--no drinks! $25 cover charge for the club p/p, $35 for TWO drinks p/p and you're already over $100 per person. Dinner was NOTHING fancy, no beef. I was shocked when we added it up, and won't be doing that again anytime soon.

I think I'll stick with my airport duty free wine and call it even.


No surprises at the prices, Clarke Quay is not noted for its value for money.
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Postby boffenl » Thu, 15 Dec 2011 10:44 am

Just one example--I doubt Ringo 100100's entertainment venues are much different. Unless you're talking about dinner at Vivo and a movie (plus taxi and after movie drinks) you'll still spend over $200 for that evening.

If you're talking about a date at a Hawker place and moonlite walk by the canal--sure, also can. But that $30 (without DRINKS) is a much different category than entertainment as I'm sure the OP meant.

This is probably why we do a "night out" about once or twice a year--when friends are visiting from out-of-town. :)

ringo100100
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Singapore is very expensive

Postby ringo100100 » Thu, 15 Dec 2011 10:58 pm

I think a night out to an average type places is very expensive in Singapore. Other than rent and cars, this is really makes Singapore expensive for me.

Say a night out in CQ (which is not high end).

Taxi - $40 to and from - I live in Semei.
Dinner - $40-$50 - one main and either dessert or starter.
Drinks - 8-10 (me), 4-6 (others) at $15 a go on average
Snack after beer $10

A date may add $50-$100.

In London, I spend 50% this much. I think HK and Tokyo are cheap too (75%). Other SEA (Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila, HCM) you can have the night of your life.

I think it is sometimes cheaper to do weekend away in SEA, than stay in Singapore.


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