Expat Clubs/Associations worth it?

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TFNG
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Expat Clubs/Associations worth it?

Post by TFNG » Sun, 22 Jan 2012 10:31 pm

All,

I'm being transfered to SG. At some of my previous postings, belonging to a Club made my time in-country much easier.

SG has numerous Clubs/Associations (SG American/British club, many Country/Golf/Tennis clubs). I would like to hear everyones' opinions of these places. Are they good value or not really necessary in SG.

Thanks,

beppi
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Post by beppi » Mon, 23 Jan 2012 5:46 pm

Singapore expat clubs are generally expensive and don't have facilities that you won't find elsewhere (with a few exceptions, like the Swiss Club: huge green space and a little castle). So you basically pay for the possibility to be surrounded by your countrymen (and -women).
If this is what you want, go ahead!
Other than that, Singapore nowadays offers anything you'd ever want in abundance and such clubs are, in my opinion, as superfluous as "hardship allowances" for expats posted here.

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Post by facibus » Mon, 23 Jan 2012 7:12 pm

beppi wrote:Singapore expat clubs are generally expensive and don't have facilities that you won't find elsewhere (with a few exceptions, like the Swiss Club: huge green space and a little castle). So you basically pay for the possibility to be surrounded by your countrymen (and -women).
If this is what you want, go ahead!
Other than that, Singapore nowadays offers anything you'd ever want in abundance and such clubs are, in my opinion, as superfluous as "hardship allowances" for expats posted here.
The only hardship here is the price of wine :lol:
I came, I saw, I ate...

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Post by Mi Amigo » Mon, 23 Jan 2012 8:01 pm

beppi wrote:Singapore expat clubs are generally expensive and don't have facilities that you won't find elsewhere (with a few exceptions, like the Swiss Club: huge green space and a little castle). So you basically pay for the possibility to be surrounded by your countrymen (and -women).
If this is what you want, go ahead!
Personally speaking, my ambition is never to set foot in the British Club; from everything I've heard about it, it holds no attraction for me whatsoever. 7+ years here and so far, so good. However the Swiss Club is a great place IMO - their Oktoberfests are wonderful (do they still do those? Haven't been for a while).

There are of course many clubs of diiffering types here. For example, if you're into golf and can afford the fees (or your employer will pay) then the likes of Tanah Merah Country Club, etc. will fit the bill. In my experience, the expat community here is large and integrated enough that you're able to meet your fellow countrymen / women, and those of many other nationalities, without having to join a 'country' based club.

Each to their own of course...
facibus wrote:The only hardship here is the price of wine :lol:
Quite agree. For some reason, it seems to be classed as a luxury. Whereas it should be subsidised as a health tonic (when taken in moderation of course :lol:)
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Post by beppi » Mon, 23 Jan 2012 8:14 pm

Yes, I agree that the Swiss Club is great - and I use any opportunity to get in without being a member. They used to have an open house once a year with all-you-can-eat buffet (incl. Raclette!). Haven't heard about it for a few years, though.
The club is the second biggest land owner in Singapore (after the government): Shooting Range, Swiss Embassy, British Club, Swiss, German and International Community School and a few other things are on grounds owned by the Swiss Club - yet most of it is still jungle!

I was invited to the British Club once, in 1997. They didn't allow maids to enter, and had a generally snobbish air (just short of the infamous "Dogs and Locals not allowed"). That was enough for me never to return.

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Post by aster » Mon, 23 Jan 2012 8:55 pm

facibus wrote:
beppi wrote:Singapore expat clubs are generally expensive and don't have facilities that you won't find elsewhere (with a few exceptions, like the Swiss Club: huge green space and a little castle). So you basically pay for the possibility to be surrounded by your countrymen (and -women).
If this is what you want, go ahead!
Other than that, Singapore nowadays offers anything you'd ever want in abundance and such clubs are, in my opinion, as superfluous as "hardship allowances" for expats posted here.
The only hardship here is the price of wine :lol:
Good point. :) But with the constant offers that abound you can be ok if you are able to stock up for weeks at a time.

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Post by Mi Amigo » Mon, 23 Jan 2012 8:57 pm

beppi wrote:The club is the second biggest land owner in Singapore (after the government): Shooting Range, Swiss Embassy, British Club, Swiss, German and International Community School and a few other things are on grounds owned by the Swiss Club - yet most of it is still jungle!
Wow, how smart was that on someone's part, way back when land was cheap here. We could all learn a lot from the Swiss; in fact I'm sure the Singapore gahmen have indeed done so over the years.
I was invited to the British Club once, in 1997. They didn't allow maids to enter, and had a generally snobbish air (just short of the infamous "Dogs and Locals not allowed"). That was enough for me never to return.
Yes, that's the kind of story I've heard in abundance. My daughter (who's been invited there by school friends a number of times) tells me that the facilities are very good, as one would expect, but it does seem to have a reputation for stuffiness. A bit like the Tanglin Club in my experience. Again, I'm not trying to be a inverse snob here, just saying it doesn't appeal to me.

One place that must have been interesting in its day was the old German Club; now the Goodwood Hotel. The Bavarian looking towers give its heritage away. IIRC it was labelled as the 'Teutonic Club' on some old maps, which I think is wonfderful.

edit: found this history online:

http://www.crescent.edu.sg/ipw/2000/sec ... story1.htm
Last edited by Mi Amigo on Mon, 23 Jan 2012 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by beppi » Mon, 23 Jan 2012 9:15 pm

Mi Amigo wrote:One place that must have been interesting in its day was the old German Club; now the Goodwood Hotel. The Bavarian looking towers give its heritage away. IIRC it was labelled as the 'Teutonic Club' on some old aps, which I think is wonfderful.
The German Club was stripped of that property after Germany had started a world war (here: the first one - waaay before my time!) and became generally disliked in most parts of the world. They were a subtenant of the Swiss Club for a while and are now in a nondescript terrace house near Bukit Timah.

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Post by Mi Amigo » Mon, 23 Jan 2012 9:22 pm

I feel a Basil Fawlty comment coming on, but will resist the temptation, in order to avoid this thread drifting further off-topic. :cool:
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Re: Expat Clubs/Associations worth it?

Post by Strong Eagle » Mon, 23 Jan 2012 11:08 pm

TFNG wrote:All,

I'm being transfered to SG. At some of my previous postings, belonging to a Club made my time in-country much easier.

SG has numerous Clubs/Associations (SG American/British club, many Country/Golf/Tennis clubs). I would like to hear everyones' opinions of these places. Are they good value or not really necessary in SG.

Thanks,
If you have kids and a trailing spouse, you might want to consider a club. Am Club is northwards of S$18K for membership, and offers a lot of things for kids to do... not to mention a reasonably priced bar for the spouse or you to get sloshed. Seriously, there are multiple activities for kids and moms... if this isn't you, then the Am Club is more limited... as are the others... bearing in mind that you do meet a lot of people at the clubs... if you are into networking, at least one might fill the bill.

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Post by movingtospore » Tue, 24 Jan 2012 9:04 pm

After a couple of years here we broke down and joined the British Club, because it was closer to our place that the American Club (and less expensive, though I liked the American Club better, to be honest). I don't know if it's that snobby, really. That said, as we're not British we may not notice a lot of that. Mostly I go for the children's activities and the pool, and most of the people we know there are not Brits and are friendly. Lots of local families belong as well.

Food is not great though. American Club is much, much better for good restaurants and service.

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