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Lifestyle: Hong Kong versus Singapore

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Postby Brah » Fri, 16 Nov 2012 7:34 pm

Thanks V.

Now back on track - I like this thread, and it is very timely. Lots to learn and prep for.

I wonder what the appetite is for SG=>HK transistions.

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Postby v4jr4 » Fri, 16 Nov 2012 11:20 pm

Brah wrote:Thanks V.

Now back on track - I like this thread, and it is very timely. Lots to learn and prep for.

I wonder what the appetite is for SG=>HK transistions.


Based on this:
BillyB wrote:Look into the future and HK will be economically irrelevant; contributing less than 1% to overall China GDP. Plus, it will lose its SAR status and fall back under China control in 2047 - that's very off-putting for many expats.


I think I need to go deeper :wink:
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Postby Brah » Sat, 17 Nov 2012 12:27 am

Yeah but there's the 35 year thing again. I think the likes of us on this forum just need to get through the next 3-4 years in the safest haven and in parallel plan the course to follow that one.

Maybe because it's Q4 of a bad year for a lot of businesses we're in and other 'environmental' things that are making getting out of Planet Singapore look either attractive or necessary, I'm not sure which.

It's not a choice I take lightly or even want to make, but this is about survival. I'm happy to stay here if it remains viable, but doubts I've had about that going back a few years seem to be coming real. I know guys who stayed on in Japan have taken huge pay cuts finding new jobs after being out of work for long periods.

A few weeks back finally heard after a long silence from an ex-colleague in the States, guy with a good reputation and did good business. Said he was one month away from being homeless. Sobering thoughts.


v4jr4 wrote:
Brah wrote:Thanks V.

Now back on track - I like this thread, and it is very timely. Lots to learn and prep for.

I wonder what the appetite is for SG=>HK transistions.


Based on this:
BillyB wrote:Look into the future and HK will be economically irrelevant; contributing less than 1% to overall China GDP. Plus, it will lose its SAR status and fall back under China control in 2047 - that's very off-putting for many expats.


I think I need to go deeper :wink:

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Postby v4jr4 » Sat, 17 Nov 2012 11:01 am

Brah wrote:Yeah but there's the 35 year thing again. I think the likes of us on this forum just need to get through the next 3-4 years in the safest haven and in parallel plan the course to follow that one.

Maybe because it's Q4 of a bad year for a lot of businesses we're in and other 'environmental' things that are making getting out of Planet Singapore look either attractive or necessary, I'm not sure which.

It's not a choice I take lightly or even want to make, but this is about survival. I'm happy to stay here if it remains viable, but doubts I've had about that going back a few years seem to be coming real. I know guys who stayed on in Japan have taken huge pay cuts finding new jobs after being out of work for long periods.

A few weeks back finally heard after a long silence from an ex-colleague in the States, guy with a good reputation and did good business. Said he was one month away from being homeless. Sobering thoughts.


I'm not pretty sure if China will make a bold movement to grab HK as soon as possible (not sure about the currency manipulation either). As for myself, due to the brutal exchange rate between SGD and IDR, I'm pretty satisfied with what I gained in SG so far. While the cutting process is still on the way, I need to make several ways, both good and bad, includes packing back my stuff and go back. Coincidentally, the offer comes, although it's still on bidding :P

HK and Malaysia may offer the package to survive. I'm not too confident about Indonesia, but you can find some satisfied expats around, especially at big cities like Jakarta or Bandung. How about Australia then? Some of my friends still survive there and manage to set their own foot :D
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Postby Brah » Sat, 17 Nov 2012 11:13 am

Was considering a role in Malaysia but feel that would be going in the wrong direction for me. Headhunter tried to sell me on a role that paid well below what I'm making and said KL apartments are "no problem for 3300 ringgit". Teacher friend who moved there from here said no way to get a decent place for less than 5000.

What you always hear about Aus is the taxes. I'm sure it's a nice place to live, it may depend on your nationality and how well you are received there. Per a friend who lived there and didn't like it for that reason.

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Postby v4jr4 » Sat, 17 Nov 2012 11:44 am

Brah wrote:Was considering a role in Malaysia but feel that would be going in the wrong direction for me. Headhunter tried to sell me on a role that paid well below what I'm making and said KL apartments are "no problem for 3300 ringgit". Teacher friend who moved there from here said no way to get a decent place for less than 5000.

What you always hear about Aus is the taxes. I'm sure it's a nice place to live, it may depend on your nationality and how well you are received there. Per a friend who lived there and didn't like it for that reason.


The term "decent" is, sometimes, ambiguous. A single friend of mine said that he's comfortable with 700S$ HDB. Now, 3300 MYR is around 1300S$, which means that it might be something like HDB, or a very decent condo :P

BBC's documentation about working lives in Hong Kong might be a good start to see the summary of Hong Kong itself. Too bad it doesn't cover financial/IT guys in the interview :lol:
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Postby JayCee » Sat, 17 Nov 2012 1:28 pm

I lived in HK for a couple of years until the end of 2007 when I moved here (via 6 months of being a bum and drinking my way round SE Asia :)

Obviously I'm out of touch regarding rental prices as it was 5 years ago and things have changed a lot (a friend in Singapore at the time was paying $1400 for a huge 2 bed condo in yishun which at the time really turned my head in this direction, shame the prices went crazy after that) but as you know you'll be living somewhere smaller, for a family I'd say no but for a single guy it should be fine, ditto regarding schools.

The main advantage HK has over this place is the excitement factor - nightlife better, more things to do due to being bigger. Most other things are similar - price of going out, safety, food, people (just as unfriendly and ignorant in HK as SG, but they work harder and are much more efficient), transport etc... (the buses are perfectly fine and probably better than here, I took one to work for 2 years so I know).

If you have to have your Indonesian food on tap and lots of Indonesian friends, Singapore is better as its more mixed than HK (over 90% are Chinese as opposed to roughly two thirds here), but other than I'd say go for it and give HK a try as you will most likely love it
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Postby Brah » Sat, 17 Nov 2012 2:35 pm

Good to know this. And thanks for that clip V.

I think another consideration, important to some, if being in a center, and HK is generally more of a center than Singapore for the Front Office and the like.

The further and longer you get away from the centers the harder it is to get back to them. I think some in Singapore are happy to be away from all of that, I often feel like I'm loosing some of my competitive advantage.

That, and a sense of vibe, which I never really felt here.


JayCee wrote:I lived in HK for a couple of years until the end of 2007 when I moved here (via 6 months of being a bum and drinking my way round SE Asia :)

Obviously I'm out of touch regarding rental prices as it was 5 years ago and things have changed a lot (a friend in Singapore at the time was paying $1400 for a huge 2 bed condo in yishun which at the time really turned my head in this direction, shame the prices went crazy after that) but as you know you'll be living somewhere smaller, for a family I'd say no but for a single guy it should be fine, ditto regarding schools.

The main advantage HK has over this place is the excitement factor - nightlife better, more things to do due to being bigger. Most other things are similar - price of going out, safety, food, people (just as unfriendly and ignorant in HK as SG, but they work harder and are much more efficient), transport etc... (the buses are perfectly fine and probably better than here, I took one to work for 2 years so I know).

If you have to have your Indonesian food on tap and lots of Indonesian friends, Singapore is better as its more mixed than HK (over 90% are Chinese as opposed to roughly two thirds here), but other than I'd say go for it and give HK a try as you will most likely love it

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Postby v4jr4 » Sat, 17 Nov 2012 11:18 pm

JayCee wrote:I lived in HK for a couple of years until the end of 2007 when I moved here (via 6 months of being a bum and drinking my way round SE Asia :)

Obviously I'm out of touch regarding rental prices as it was 5 years ago and things have changed a lot (a friend in Singapore at the time was paying $1400 for a huge 2 bed condo in yishun which at the time really turned my head in this direction, shame the prices went crazy after that) but as you know you'll be living somewhere smaller, for a family I'd say no but for a single guy it should be fine, ditto regarding schools.


So, the agents in HK are using the same style as SG?

JayCee wrote:The main advantage HK has over this place is the excitement factor - nightlife better, more things to do due to being bigger. Most other things are similar - price of going out, safety, food, people (just as unfriendly and ignorant in HK as SG, but they work harder and are much more efficient), transport etc... (the buses are perfectly fine and probably better than here, I took one to work for 2 years so I know).


I see. Nice to know that :D
Cause there's a small "spike" in my memory about the acid case, but well, sh*t happens.

JayCee wrote:If you have to have your Indonesian food on tap and lots of Indonesian friends, Singapore is better as its more mixed than HK (over 90% are Chinese as opposed to roughly two thirds here), but other than I'd say go for it and give HK a try as you will most likely love it


Seeing Andrew Zimmern's adventure, I probably will forget the Indonesian cuisine. Plus, I still want to stay back at Taiwan just because of the foods :lol:
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Postby JR8 » Sun, 18 Nov 2012 7:10 am

Brah wrote:The further and longer you get away from the centers the harder it is to get back to them. I think some in Singapore are happy to be away from all of that, I often feel like I'm loosing some of my competitive advantage.


Yes I can understand what you mean there. It is like you go to a relatively back-water office and you're out of the spotlight. Great if that is what you are seeking, but not ideal when trying to get up the career ladder by keeping a corporate profile and 'moving on and up'.

My ideal was always, get posted with a grade increase (Jo>AVP, AVP>VP ...etc) and the best you could on salary without leaving them begrudged. When you get deposted they'll reset your salary to a non-expat (home) one, but you keep the grade which ties straight into your bonus. Going home was always horribly anti-climactic, but it seemed reasonable to be at a higher level, due at least to your significantly greater experience...

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Postby earthfriendly » Sun, 18 Nov 2012 7:59 am

JayCee wrote: Most other things are similar - price of going out, safety, food, people (just as unfriendly and ignorant in HK as SG, but they work harder and are much more efficient), transport etc... (the buses are perfectly fine and probably better than here, I took one to work for 2 years so I know).


Yeah, many people have complained about HKongers being brusque. I find them forward, to the point and candid. Very much to my style. If you are into niceties, they may not be for you :wink: .

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Postby v4jr4 » Sun, 18 Nov 2012 11:29 am

JR8 wrote:Going home was always horribly anti-climactic, but it seemed reasonable to be at a higher level, due at least to your significantly greater experience...


+1
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Postby Brah » Sun, 18 Nov 2012 6:16 pm

While I don't think this is what JR and V meant with "significantly greater experience", I wonder when I hear from people back home, who have never worked overseas, when they say how great my overseas experience is and how more valuable that should make me.

There is experience experience, and there is overseas experience.

While benefiting oneself in many ways, for most jobs back home I don't think overseas experience would be significant criteria for most companies to consider one person over another.

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Postby v4jr4 » Sun, 18 Nov 2012 11:07 pm

Brah wrote:While I don't think this is what JR and V meant with "significantly greater experience", I wonder when I hear from people back home, who have never worked overseas, when they say how great my overseas experience is and how more valuable that should make me.

There is experience experience, and there is overseas experience.

While benefiting oneself in many ways, for most jobs back home I don't think overseas experience would be significant criteria for most companies to consider one person over another.


Hmmm... for some reasons, in Jakarta, generally I can say that someone who has overseas experiences can be marked as "diamond". However, for me, whenever I "jump", I always try to think that everything will be reset to zero. Working in another country does not always make someone wiser, smarter, or stronger. As anti-climatic as it is, well, we can consider this like "achievement unlocked" :lol:
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Postby offshoreoildude » Sun, 18 Nov 2012 11:10 pm

Brah wrote:While I don't think this is what JR and V meant with "significantly greater experience", I wonder when I hear from people back home, who have never worked overseas, when they say how great my overseas experience is and how more valuable that should make me.

There is experience experience, and there is overseas experience.

While benefiting oneself in many ways, for most jobs back home I don't think overseas experience would be significant criteria for most companies to consider one person over another.


I agree. Unless it's relevant and perhaps at the beginning of your career or a stage in your career I believe that 'overseas experience' is over rated. Working overseas means you lose the contacts you need in your market place back home - the networking you'd normally use is not there anymore.
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