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Singapore & US life cost comparison

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vink2
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Postby vink2 » Wed, 30 Jan 2013 12:28 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
the lynx wrote:Ah finally! I scrolled and scrolled and scrolled through the 4 pages of this thread (how it got to THAT length in barely 24 hours is really beyond me), before I finally see an actual discussion of this thread.

Anyway I'm watching this thread with interest. I have never been to the USA (yet) and I also would like to know the comparison.


Feel free to ask any direct questions that do not involve a comparison between Singapore and European Welfare states :P



My question: how often average US people travel overseas? If only 50% of them have passports - is it because it is expensive for them to travel and they do not have enough leave days?
Do US people often go to Canada? Is US pretty much the same as Canada or difference is huge?

Thanks.
Last edited by vink2 on Wed, 30 Jan 2013 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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zzm9980
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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 30 Jan 2013 2:18 pm

vink2 wrote:My question: how often average US people travel overseas? If only 50% of them have passports - is it because it is expensive for them to travel and they do not have enough leave days?
Do US people often go to Canada? Is US pretty much the same as Canada or difference is huge?

Thanks.


Using the people I grew up with as an example, a solidly middle-class neighborhood in Chicago, I would suspect less than 20% travel internationally if you don't include Canada and Mexico. I suspect the main reasons are a mix of cost (less so) and distance/flight time (more so).

Of my friends and professional colleagues I've met in later life, I'd say about 50% travel internationally for non-business reasons. But a fair amount (25%+?) were born outside of the US.

Canada is different enough in certain places (say, Quebec), but is also quite similar that I'm not aware of a lot of people going there on holiday unless it's to either see family or be able to say "Oh I went to Canada!". I've been there twice on holiday. Once was Skiing in Quebec (organized by a friend that lived in Montreal amongst a group of friends spread through-out eastern Canada and the US), and the second was to Vancouver. My reason for visiting Vancouver was to see the city (I like cities) and also Whistler (no skiing) and the drive between the two. I'm also a BSG remake fan and wanted to see some of the places were the show was filmed. Yes, I went to Balthar's (nuked) house and the Opera House on Kobol (actually downtown Vancouver). Go ahead and laugh. :P

Oh, also getting a US Passport can be a pain, time consuming, and pricey. I believe USD$160 now for the slow turn around time of 8-10 weeks. You can also expect to wait in at least an hour queue at most post offices in major areas that process passport applications. This is probably a turn-off to some people at least.

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Postby vink2 » Wed, 30 Jan 2013 2:30 pm

zzm9980 wrote:Using the people I grew up with as an example, a solidly middle-class neighborhood in Chicago, I would suspect less than 20% travel internationally if you don't include Canada and Mexico. I suspect the main reasons are a mix of cost (less so) and distance/flight time (more so).

Of my friends and professional colleagues I've met in later life, I'd say about 50% travel internationally for non-business reasons. But a fair amount (25%+?) were born outside of the US.

Canada is different enough in certain places (say, Quebec), but is also quite similar that I'm not aware of a lot of people going there on holiday unless it's to either see family or be able to say "Oh I went to Canada!". I've been there twice on holiday. Once was Skiing in Quebec (organized by a friend that lived in Montreal amongst a group of friends spread through-out eastern Canada and the US), and the second was to Vancouver. My reason for visiting Vancouver was to see the city (I like cities) and also Whistler (no skiing) and the drive between the two. I'm also a BSG remake fan and wanted to see some of the places were the show was filmed. Yes, I went to Balthar's (nuked) house and the Opera House on Kobol (actually downtown Vancouver). Go ahead and laugh. :P

Oh, also getting a US Passport can be a pain, time consuming, and pricey. I believe USD$160 now for the slow turn around time of 8-10 weeks. You can also expect to wait in at least an hour queue at most post offices in major areas that process passport applications. This is probably a turn-off to some people at least.


Thanks, valuable comment.

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Postby alittlerisky » Wed, 30 Jan 2013 2:43 pm

I'm sure I read somewhere that a huge number of US citizens cannot even point to to the USA on a world map.

About housing rental costs in the US, whoever replied at some point right... prices in NYC are disproportionate, a bit like London. I've lived in both and was broke most of the time :???:
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Postby vink2 » Wed, 30 Jan 2013 2:48 pm

zzm9980, how do Americans see Europeans?

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 30 Jan 2013 7:19 pm

A point I haven't seen anyone else make. An American can travel relatively widely without a passport, not only the whole of the USA, but the Caribbean too.

Now, if you only get 14 days leave a year (which seemed typical at the time I lived there) how much time would you wish to spend traveling yet further afield on holiday?

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 30 Jan 2013 7:45 pm

JR8 wrote:A point I haven't seen anyone else make. An American can travel relatively widely without a passport, not only the whole of the USA, but the Caribbean too.

Now, if you only get 14 days leave a year (which seemed typical at the time I lived there) how much time would you wish to spend traveling yet further afield on holiday?


Not anymore, except Puerto Rico and US Virgin islands (American territory so, duh). You can get a passport card (http://travel.state.gov/passport/ppt_ca ... _3926.html) for ground (maybe sea?) travel to Canada and Mexico, but it is an add-on (and additional fee) to a passport, nothing something you can get in lieu of.

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 30 Jan 2013 7:48 pm

vink2 wrote:zzm9980, how do Americans see Europeans?


There is no major disdain or strong feelings one way or another, especially since most caucasian Americans strongly identify with their European ancestry. The question "What's your nationality?" when asked in the US (at least while/where I was growing up) is always a reference to your ancestry (At least in places like Chicago or NYC where it is very big ethnic melting pots with lots of distinct communities). For example, I'm Polish and Italian. And around other Italian-Americans, I make sure to specify Sicilian. If you said American, someone would probably slap you for being a smart ass.

Everyone in the US likes to make fun of the French though.

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 30 Jan 2013 7:50 pm

alittlerisky wrote:I'm sure I read somewhere that a huge number of US citizens cannot even point to to the USA on a world map.


I also read North Korean scientists found evidence of historic Unicorns. If you really believe obviously bullshit stories like that, you're a bigger idiot than they're trying to portray Americans to be.

About housing rental costs in the US, whoever replied at some point right... prices in NYC are disproportionate, a bit like London. I've lived in both and was broke most of the time


Yep. NYC is expensive. You can live somewhere like Chicago with most of the 'frills' of NYC for less than half the cost, and then 90% of the rest of the US for less than half the cost of living in Chicago.

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Postby Brah » Wed, 30 Jan 2013 9:23 pm

Oh, so now vink / alittlerisky is trying to stir the $hit about Americans.

zzm, good response but I wouldn't give this guy the effort of an answer, he was obviously baiting on one of those tired cliches about Americans which has been done to death on this forum and most others.

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Postby Brah » Wed, 30 Jan 2013 9:45 pm

JR8 wrote:Now, if you only get 14 days leave a year (which seemed typical at the time I lived there) how much time would you wish to spend traveling yet further afield on holiday?


I thought it was a barbaric 10 days (2 weeks but we're talking the same thing).

Good point - after working the other 50 weeks of the year, some people just need down-time and me-time.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 30 Jan 2013 10:42 pm

Brah wrote:
JR8 wrote:Now, if you only get 14 days leave a year (which seemed typical at the time I lived there) how much time would you wish to spend traveling yet further afield on holiday?


I thought it was a barbaric 10 days (2 weeks but we're talking the same thing).

Is this a bare minimum by law or just universally accepted?

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 30 Jan 2013 11:34 pm

zzm9980 wrote:There is no major disdain or strong feelings one way or another, especially since most caucasian Americans strongly identify with their European ancestry. The question "What's your nationality?" when asked in the US (at least while/where I was growing up) is always a reference to your ancestry (At least in places like Chicago or NYC where it is very big ethnic melting pots with lots of distinct communities).


The question reminds me of the film 'A fish called Wanda' where an American character gives a Brit character a full-on cultural assassination re: 'what makes the Brits so ''jolly'' British' (example: starting every sentence with 'I'm sorry...' :-D

zzm9980 wrote:For example, I'm Polish and Italian. And around other Italian-Americans, I make sure to specify Sicilian. If you said American, someone would probably slap you for being a smart ass.


It's interesting. Do you think this is genetic snobbery, or is it the reverse, seeking commonalities i.e. 'bonding'. It is ironic in a way that immigrants tend to celebrate and take pride in the culture of the place they chose to leave, more than those who remain back-home, who I suppose could be described as culturally complacent.

I'm reminded of one of the 12-odd Board execs at the bank I worked on Wall Street. I never saw the inside of his office but apparently it was decked out like a full-on leprechauns grotto! :-D

zzm9980 wrote:Everyone in the US likes to make fun of the French though.


The French take themselves way too seriously for their own good, so it is only fair that they get brought down a peg or two. I'm glad to see that we have another thing in common with our 'Merican cousins in facilitating this :-D

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Postby Brah » Wed, 30 Jan 2013 11:56 pm

JR8 wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:There is no major disdain or strong feelings one way or another, especially since most caucasian Americans strongly identify with their European ancestry. The question "What's your nationality?" when asked in the US (at least while/where I was growing up) is always a reference to your ancestry (At least in places like Chicago or NYC where it is very big ethnic melting pots with lots of distinct communities).

I would agree, but it does depend on the family - some identify more with just being American, or fans of the same football team or having kids in the same High School.

JR8 wrote:
zzm9980 wrote:For example, I'm Polish and Italian. And around other Italian-Americans, I make sure to specify Sicilian. If you said American, someone would probably slap you for being a smart ass.

It's interesting. Do you think this is genetic snobbery, or is it the reverse, seeking commonalities i.e. 'bonding'. It is ironic in a way that immigrants tend to celebrate and take pride in the culture of the place they chose to leave, more than those who remain back-home, who I suppose could be described as culturally complacent.


It's a little of both, but this goes back to the waves of immigrants coming to the States and looking out for each other, so for some it goes / went deeper than bonding, it was business. Like Korean grocers in NYC.

And it's the reason for a lot of the bigotry.

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Postby alittlerisky » Thu, 31 Jan 2013 1:18 am

Brah wrote:Oh, so now vink / alittlerisky is trying to stir the $hit about Americans.



Call me a cyninc mate, but I have lived in India, Luxembourg, Belgium, UK, USA, Japan, Vietnam, Germany, France, Holland.

No other other country has consistently invaded other countries apart from the US. (ok, possibly the French and Germans) I'm not judging ALL Americans, I've never met a yank I did not like. Its the administration that are a bit useless. Well, Bama seems to be doing a better a job tho.

Vietnam, Korea, Cambodia, WW2 etc etc etc. I mean why the hell to the American forces have bases in germany, luxembourg, france, india, vietnam, (pick other any SE Asia country). Get your soldiers the hell out of my country man.
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