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Things to Bring With Me

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CitizenOfTheWorld
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Things to Bring With Me

Postby CitizenOfTheWorld » Mon, 05 Aug 2013 10:38 am

A couple of months back I started a thread about moving from the US to Sing to practice medicine. Despite the advice and warnings of many, I'm moving forward and will be in Singapore early next year. I will burn no bridges.

But I would like to ask the expat community about the sorts of things that I either can't find or are prohibitively expensive in Singapore. I'll be packing all my cloths, since it will be hard to find my size anyway. Also, mega dose vitamins. Anything else you can think of would be great to know.
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Postby Hannieroo » Mon, 05 Aug 2013 10:44 am

The only thing I can think of are toiletries if you buy anything particular. Choice here is good but not always the things you want. Razors are expensive.

Research your Internet provider. We are starhub which is ok but I don't think we can stream TV through it and we could have chosen better.

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Postby PNGMK » Mon, 05 Aug 2013 11:28 am

Medication; favourite OTC drugs (Nyquil for example), favourite snacks or cooking ingredients, good shoes (they're expensive here if you can get them in large sizes at all), decent work shirts (same problem as shoes), a good bicycle (a good Trek here is 100% marked up on US prices), sports gear (same problem) including your golf gear, a gun (you can import your target shot gun or pistol with correct permits and by joining the right shooting club), ammo for same ( v expensive here), photos. Don't bother with cars, motorbikes, electrical gear, mass market toiletries etc.

Assuming your shipping is paid for.

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Postby katbh » Mon, 05 Aug 2013 11:38 am

You can now watch Starhub on your phone or computer - you just need to log on with your 'hubber' account number ..... which we forgot about 10 years ago!

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Postby Dert42 » Tue, 06 Aug 2013 8:25 am

We went to costco and loaded up on things like razors, ibuprofin, benedryl, sunblock etc.
Then went on a clothes shopping spree. Although i don't think the dress shirts here are that much more expensive. Bought several pairs of shoes as well.
Buy a clothes drying rack! We got a big elaborate one at Costco for $30. Here it sells for over $200.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Tue, 06 Aug 2013 8:56 am

Definitely buy the ibuprofen... USD 8.00 for 500, SGD 4.00 for 10... a pharmacist dispensed medication... even the pharmacists will tell you how stupid this law is... and legal to bring in lots of ibuprofen... I've brought in 3,000 pills at a time.

Custom dress shirts are great... not the cheapest... a good teflon cotton shirt can run you SGD 100... but great fit, great wear-ability.

If you are into things like Zantac, anti acid, bring those as well... Mustafa's sells Ranatadine pills for about 35 cents a pop... Costco far cheaper... another annual import I always made.

You won't find jeans or trousers that fit... bring or buy on trips back home. Can find golf shorts... apparently wide assed Americans buy enough to find larger sizes in most golf shops. Golf shirts are insanely expensive... 100 USD for Tiger... and similar for others.

Cameras, computers, electronics (assuming dual voltage) will be cheaper in USA... just remember that USA pricks probably won't give you an international warranty.

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Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 06 Aug 2013 10:18 am

Definite recommendation on the Dayquil and Nyquil capsules. Although I go with the generic from Target.

Ibuprofen from target also.

Razors (gilette/schick) are about twice as expensive here. I usually order 12-16 refills at a time from Amazon and have my parents slip them into other packages they send.

Clothes are much smaller here, and the American brands aren't all the same. I wear a M dress shirt at somewhere like Banana Republic or J Crew. At G2000, a local Singapore equivalent (although it's actually much lower quality), I need an XL. So if you're an L or XL in the US, be prepared for issues.

Levis here are 4-5x the cost, and they're not even the same thing. The Levi name is just licensed to a local (well, regional for Asia) clothing company. Forgot who. While they do have Gap, Banana Republic, and some other brands like that with American sizes, cost is 2x-3x.

Shoes are another one. Anything over a size 44 (I think US 10?) can be harder to find, and you'll have limited variety. I usually go to Ecco for my shoes here, since they'll have shoes that fit me. But those are all $250+. I buy my Adidas from Amazon and have the parents ship those (with the previously mentioned razor refills inside). About a third the cost.

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Postby BedokAmerican » Tue, 06 Aug 2013 1:37 pm

Hydrogen peroxide and hydrocortisone cream are sold here in pharmacies but in small quantities. It's been my experience that you can't just pick them up at most local grocery stores like you can at home.

Another thing, if you've got allergies, bring Benadryl. I've never seen it here, and when I've asked for it or for something allergy-related, the people working at the pharmacy have no idea what I'm talking about. I had to have a family member ship some here.

This isn't medication related, but bring lots of whatever size batteries you tend to use for your computer mouses or other electronic devices. In the U.S., you can buy them in large quantities at Costco, Sam's, Home Depot, Lowes, etc. The largest amount I've seen here is a 12-pack.

Lastly, Amazon has started to ship here if you spend at least $125 but there are some restrictions on what can/can't be shipped.

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Postby BedokAmerican » Tue, 06 Aug 2013 1:40 pm

Hannieroo wrote:The only thing I can think of are toiletries if you buy anything particular. Choice here is good but not always the things you want. Razors are expensive.

Research your Internet provider. We are starhub which is ok but I don't think we can stream TV through it and we could have chosen better.


If you're an "Irish Spring" soap user, stock up!

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Postby BedokAmerican » Tue, 06 Aug 2013 1:54 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:
You won't find jeans or trousers that fit... bring or buy on trips back home. Can find golf shorts... apparently wide assed Americans buy enough to find larger sizes in most golf shops. Golf shirts are insanely expensive... 100 USD for Tiger... and similar for others.




It's not nice to assume that CitizenOfTheWorld is fat by telling him he won't find clothes that fit here. He could be a trim fellow. No offense, but you might hurt his feelings. :(

Not all Americans are overweight, although many are. Also, there are overweight Asians here and they have to get their clothes somewhere. Go to any shopping mall or crowded place and you'll see Singaporeans who are tall, short, thin, fat and everywhere in between.

I agree that a higher percentage of Americans than Singaporeans are overweight. But there are still all body types here.

Anyway, I think the main reason to bring clothes from home is because they're so costly here.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 06 Aug 2013 4:25 pm

BedokAmerican wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:
You won't find jeans or trousers that fit... bring or buy on trips back home. Can find golf shorts... apparently wide assed Americans buy enough to find larger sizes in most golf shops. Golf shirts are insanely expensive... 100 USD for Tiger... and similar for others.




It's not nice to assume that CitizenOfTheWorld is fat by telling him he won't find clothes that fit here. He could be a trim fellow. No offense, but you might hurt his feelings. :(

Not all Americans are overweight, although many are. Also, there are overweight Asians here and they have to get their clothes somewhere. Go to any shopping mall or crowded place and you'll see Singaporeans who are tall, short, thin, fat and everywhere in between.

I agree that a higher percentage of Americans than Singaporeans are overweight. But there are still all body types here.

Anyway, I think the main reason to bring clothes from home is because they're so costly here.


I was fat, then 5 years ago, I lost 25 kg and was thin, now I'm in the middle, I've always had to buy my jeans from the US as none here will fit. It's not the fact that Americans are fatter but the fact that Jeans sold in Asian are cut for the Asian build. (Levi's, for instance, are not made in Mexico, or Santa Domingo or the US (US bought ones) but made either in the 'peens or China (mostly China).

Doesn't matter, your height, unless you are very tall. I'm short and cannot get a comfortable fit either. I've been a 501 fan my whole life. The problem is most jeans here are built like cheap hotels. :o

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Postby CitizenOfTheWorld » Tue, 06 Aug 2013 10:03 pm

Thank you all for your advices. Will stock up on vitamins, medicines, etc. No offense at all taken on the 'cloths wont fit' comment. I would be in the "could stand to lose a few pounds" category. And the thing is, even if I did, Asian cloths still wont fit, since I also like weight lifting and have developed sizable upper body under the fat.

They are offering a pretty decent allowance for moving so I'm taking what I can. When I was there, I asked about the practicality of commuting by bike, but was shot down. If so, no point in bringing a bike. I had hoped to get an apartment close to work on the west side of Sing and bike to work. Would have been great exercise and I think I could get used to the heat. Humidity is another matter.

Regarding electronics, how much more expensive are they in sing percentage wise?
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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 07 Aug 2013 8:10 am

CitizenOfTheWorld wrote:Regarding electronics, how much more expensive are they in sing percentage wise?


If you shop them around and haggle at Sim Lim, you can usually about meet the going Amazon price (a good barometer for the market since they're usually low, but not the lowest price) before GST. They'll try to get you though with Credit Card fees, add-ons (like $50 for an extra battery that would cost $4 on ebay, etc), so have cash in hand the second they agree to something.

Big Box stores such as Harvey Norman, Best Denki, etc (SG equivalent of Best Buy in the US) will charge much closer to full US MSRP prices, or more. So expect things like TVs to cost at least 50% more.

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Postby PNGMK » Wed, 07 Aug 2013 8:24 am

BedokAmerican wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote:
You won't find jeans or trousers that fit... bring or buy on trips back home. Can find golf shorts... apparently wide assed Americans buy enough to find larger sizes in most golf shops. Golf shirts are insanely expensive... 100 USD for Tiger... and similar for others.




It's not nice to assume that CitizenOfTheWorld is fat by telling him he won't find clothes that fit here. He could be a trim fellow. No offense, but you might hurt his feelings. :(

Not all Americans are overweight, although many are. Also, there are overweight Asians here and they have to get their clothes somewhere. Go to any shopping mall or crowded place and you'll see Singaporeans who are tall, short, thin, fat and everywhere in between.

I agree that a higher percentage of Americans than Singaporeans are overweight. But there are still all body types here.

Anyway, I think the main reason to bring clothes from home is because they're so costly here.


I like Puritan shirts (from Wallmart). Easy iron, low wrinkle, 50% cotton, nice collar elastic button for fat thick necks and $16.

I was on a bus in Perth Australia and a guy next to me said - "you buy shirts in the states don't you?". I asked him how he knew and he pointed at his shirt which I realized was also puritan. He remarked how he loved them and there was nothing like them in Oz. It's not just Singapore.

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Postby Dert42 » Wed, 07 Aug 2013 8:46 am

I bought a tv here from best denki and i think it was about the same as the states according to my research.

Don't give up on the bike. It might not be best to commute to work with it, but there are plenty of places to ride it from what i can see.


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