CONFUSED WIFE - RE-LOCATING TO SINGAPORE (MARCH 2014) !!!!!!

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INA BEKKER
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CONFUSED WIFE - RE-LOCATING TO SINGAPORE (MARCH 2014) !!!!!!

Post by INA BEKKER » Sun, 29 Dec 2013 7:27 am

ANYONE - PLEASE FEEL FREE TO RESPOND!!!! WE LIVE IN SOUTH-AFRICA, WESTERN-CAPE, THE WONDERFUL CITY OF GEORGE ON THE GARDEN ROUTE. WE ARE IN OUR MID 50'S AND HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO RE-LOCATE TO SINGAPORE (MARCH 2014) FOR APPROXIMATELY 2 YEARS. I AM ONE CONFUSED LADY AFTER SPENDING 2 DAYS ON MY COMPUTER - TRYING TO GET AS MUCH INFO AS POSSIBLE ON THE LIFESTYLE AND NEW CULTURE THAT IS AWAITING US: HOUSING, AREAS TO LIVE IN, SHOPPING CENTRES, ETC SEEMS TO BE MUCH DIFFERENT THAN WHAT WE ARE USED TO (AND EVEN SPOILED INDEED). I AM AFRAID OF HIGH BUILDINGS - WOULD NOT LIVE ON 5TH OF 10TH FLOOR, ONLY SOLID GROUND BENEATH MY FEET, WILL MY HUSBAND BE ABLE TO DO HIS "BRAAI"? WILL I BE ABLE TO RELAX UNDERNEATH THE BRANCHES OF A BIG OLD TREE - JUST RELAXING AND BREATHING THE AIR? I GET IT THAT THERE IS A GREAT AMOUNT OF EXPATS LIVING IN SINGAPORE - BUT SOUTH AFRICANS? HAVE THEY SETTLED IN WITH THE DIFFERENT LIFESTYLE AND CULTURE, ARE THEY PART OF THE COMUNITY? IS THIS POSSIBLE (SPECIALLY AT OUR AGE?). I AM THANKFUL AND PRIVILEGE TO BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY - BUT SO AFRAID OF NOT FITTING IN AND NOT MAKING SOME CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS THE HOST COUNTRY. I AM NOT A LONER - AND WOULD SURELY DIE A SLOW DEATH IF I COULD NOT SPEAK MY MIND AND LIVE LIFE TO ITS FULLEST!
BLESSINGS, INA "B"[/u][/quote][/code][/list][/list]

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PNGMK
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Post by PNGMK » Sun, 29 Dec 2013 12:40 pm

Please don't SHOUT at us.

Plenty of SA people here of all colours. Leave the racism at home.

As for relaxing under the trees - you are close to Malaysia / Indo which have plenty of open space. Singapore not so much.

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Re: CONFUSED WIFE - RE-LOCATING TO SINGAPORE (MARCH 2014) !!

Post by taxico » Sun, 29 Dec 2013 1:29 pm

INA BEKKER wrote:...I AM AFRAID OF HIGH BUILDINGS - WOULD NOT LIVE ON 5TH OF 10TH FLOOR, ONLY SOLID GROUND BENEATH MY FEET,

WILL MY HUSBAND BE ABLE TO DO HIS "BRAAI"? WILL I BE ABLE TO RELAX UNDERNEATH THE BRANCHES OF A BIG OLD TREE - JUST RELAXING AND BREATHING THE AIR?...
what's your housing budget? that may dictate whether or not you can afford to rent a "solid ground" house instead of a high rise apartment.

even in high rise apartments, you may look for a unit on the lower/ground floors, or a low rise development (4-5 storey condo)

private space with some greenery and trees are not impossible to find in older condos (with big grounds), but big private green spaces in a private house are much tougher ($$$).

you may however, use public parks/gardens to relax and breathe. some have really old trees.

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Post by JR8 » Sun, 29 Dec 2013 1:37 pm

Hi Ina, and welcome to the forum, I’ll have a stab at starting to answer your questions.

Housing/areas. Location is usually derived by triangulating, $budget, commute, lifestyle. There are sub-levels, but those three are a useful starting point for further discussion.

Shopping. Don’t worry about that, the #1 recreational activity here is shopping (sad but true). Apart from niche ‘back home’ products, you can get just about anything here. Any of the former, bring a supply with you, or you can order online and get it sent over. Shopping centres vary from neighbourhood ones, to city-centre temples of OTT indulgence and branded goods.

I had to laugh at your comment re: high buildings, as this is perhaps the most vertical city in the world (or perhaps Monte Carlo is?). Don’t get me wrong I had a near-death (well, it felt like it) hit of vertigo once, which I’ll never fully dispel, so I know where you’re coming from. Depending upon your budget, you could look for an apartment on a very low or indeed ground floor. But as usual the tighter your requirement, the less choice you’ll get. If you have the budget you can rent a house which might come with some form of outdoor space. Use the property search tabs above to see a few examples. Note: a house with garden/terrace is often called a ‘landed house’, or ‘landed property’ here.

Most condos here come with a varying amount of facilities. A pool and BBQ pits seem common at most condos, bar the very oldest. So you book the BBQ via the condo management office, and you’re away.

Big old trees. Singapore doesn’t really do old, unless the Heritage Board decide something warrants gazetting, in which case they’ll then promote it around the world. There is such a very tree in my neighbourhood! More generally big old trees here tend to get plants (epiphytes) growing up in their crowns. These plants often are structured such that they hold an amount of water. Standing water = mosquitos = bad = old trees getting chopped down. All of that said I have no doubt that you will be able to find such a tree, even if it requires a trip down to the Botanic Gardens.

SAFR expats here. I have met a few, but these days I don’t tend to hang out with expats here much. Seek and though shalt find though I’m sure.
Google on ‘singapore south african club’ and near the top is:
http://www.saisg.org.sg/about-us – a mere S$45 a year, that is a screaming bargain for expat club membership here! Crikey I’m wondering if I should join myself! :smile: Could do with a decent bit of Boerewors and ‘vino tinto del South Africo’ :wink:
There are other sites that might be of interest, so search it yourself.
Making friends etc., at the base level, tends to come via the workplace. If you live in a condo it seems to be normal practice to live in a bubble, as if no one else exists. We're lucky this time, that our two immediate neighbours (one Malay/Aussie household, the other Korean) have been super-friendly from day #1. I recall last time I relo’d into SG, and we’d just moved into a condo that was in an area where there weren’t masses of expats. One day I got into the lift and was quite surprised to see a Caucasian man. Perhaps out of surprise or a feeling of ‘ah, a fellow expat, we’re all in the same boat eh?’ I greeted him. Cue: Him giving me a withering death-stare!
So making friends via work is the base level in for many people (and their family), joining a club, as above, is a gift if you can afford it, as many cost $thousands+. The 3rd route (IME) is via shared social activities (cooking, sailing, riding, soccer etc)

re: settling in/being part of the community. Any nervous apprehension tends to occur in the build-up prior to a relocation. Once you finally step onto the plane it seems to evaporate (IME).
I don’t know how long you have to be here to feel part of the community. The locals tend to be socially conservative, and add to that the anonymity of a big city and that’s the result. The average tourist spends 2.5 days here. The average expat, I don’t know, maybe 2.5 years? Locals are legendary ‘seekers of value’, and I just feel they have little incentive investing time and effort befriending an expat, when that expat is here today/gone tomorrow.

I don’t think age is of much consequence to such a move. (Side-note: The state even have a retirement programme pitched at foreigners). There are plenty of non-working ‘trailing spouses’ who have to work to actively back-fill a social circle, and activities. I’m not that far off your age, and am back here again 3rd time/last time. It’s a case of figuring out how to successfully join the dots, Mr. Death-Glare above, being one salutary lesson along my own path! :smile:

I'd have thought that new arrivals fit in, perhaps to the extent that they want to.
Re: Contributing to the host country. Well you’ll be doing that by paying more in taxes than the majority of locals do. Seriously though, get yourself here, get your home set up, and then maybe come back to the question. It has been discussed before so a search on the archive should bring it up, but I wouldn’t consider it something for your priority list right now.

re: Speaking your mind. That is something you have to do rather judicially here at times. Aka pick your audience thoughtfully, when discussing matters beyond the weather and shopping. Don’t worry, you’ll soon get the hang of it.

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Post by JR8 » Sun, 29 Dec 2013 3:11 pm

'Lands of Charm and Cruelty: Travels in Southeast Asia' by Stan Sesser

http://www.amazon.com/Lands-Charm-Cruel ... =sr_1_cc_1

I heartily recommend the above book for people preparing to move here. It gives you a unique and condensed insight into several of the countries in the region, including Singapore.

-----
'A rare and illuminating look at one of the most fascinating places in the world--a place of tyranny and repression that is also a place of beautiful people who warmly welcome the visitor, of ancient cultural traditions that still thrive today, of great religious relics and works of art. An enlightening, politically savvy, exotic journey of discovery
-----

And here is an eloquently put reader review...
-----
This is a fascinating book covering lands and peoples that get little notice in the West. Stan Sesser does not give us a touristy travelogue, but heavy-duty investigative reporting into the darker sides of these little known countries of Southeast Asia. His five long essays in this book cover Singapore, a bizarre construct of communist capitalism; Laos, a country that remains friendly and resilient even after a few centuries of being used violently as a pawn by larger empires; Cambodia, a land of strange politics where the genocidal Khmer Rouge have been welcomed as possible saviors into the modern regime; Burma, a potentially prosperous nation managed with horrific incompetence by paranoid and xenophobic hardliners; and finally Borneo (specifically the portion of that island controlled by Malaysia), which offers a chilling lesson in environmental devastation. It would have been nice to see similar coverage of Vietnam and Thailand, but there are only so many places Sesser can cover so strongly in one book. Sesser's main theme in his coverage is indeed charm vs. cruelty, as in these nations he has encountered some of the friendliest peoples and cultures in the world, which are being oppressed by the world's harshest regimes. While there have been many political developments since this book was written, especially in Cambodia, Sesser still offers many valuable lessons in the histories and social dynamics of these nations. Instead of a happy tourist diary of scenery and monuments, we get both the light and the dark of Southeast Asia in the most informative and enlightening ways.
-----

p.s. One thing I should have mentioned, but initially forgot. This forum has it's own social side too. Party-nights for the younger lot, and dinners out for the more mature crowd.
Just have a look at http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/forum34.html
or
http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/ftopic ... asc-0.html

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Re: CONFUSED WIFE - RE-LOCATING TO SINGAPORE (MARCH 2014) !!

Post by INA BEKKER » Sun, 29 Dec 2013 8:17 pm

[quote="taxico"][quote="INA BEKKER"]...I AM AFRAID OF HIGH BUILDINGS - WOULD NOT LIVE ON 5TH OF 10TH FLOOR, ONLY SOLID GROUND BENEATH MY FEET,

WILL MY HUSBAND BE ABLE TO DO HIS "BRAAI"? WILL I BE ABLE TO RELAX UNDERNEATH THE BRANCHES OF A BIG OLD TREE - JUST RELAXING AND BREATHING THE AIR?...[/quote]

what's your housing budget? that may dictate whether or not you can afford to rent a "solid ground" house instead of a high rise apartment.

even in high rise apartments, you may look for a unit on the lower/ground floors, or a low rise development (4-5 storey condo)

private space with some greenery and trees are not impossible to find in older condos (with big grounds), but big private green spaces in a private house are much tougher ($$$).

you may however, use public parks/gardens to relax and breathe. some have really old trees.[/quote][quote] THANKS FOR THE INFO - I DO GET THE PICTURE ($$$) GOOD ADVISE! INA[/quote]

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Post by INA BEKKER » Sun, 29 Dec 2013 8:25 pm

[quote="JR8"]Hi Ina, and welcome to the forum, I’ll have a stab at starting to answer your questions.

Housing/areas. Location is usually derived by triangulating, $budget, commute, lifestyle. There are sub-levels, but those three are a useful starting point for further discussion.

Shopping. Don’t worry about that, the #1 recreational activity here is shopping (sad but true). Apart from niche ‘back home’ products, you can get just about anything here. Any of the former, bring a supply with you, or you can order online and get it sent over. Shopping centres vary from neighbourhood ones, to city-centre temples of OTT indulgence and branded goods.

I had to laugh at your comment re: high buildings, as this is perhaps the most vertical city in the world (or perhaps Monte Carlo is?). Don’t get me wrong I had a near-death (well, it felt like it) hit of vertigo once, which I’ll never fully dispel, so I know where you’re coming from. Depending upon your budget, you could look for an apartment on a very low or indeed ground floor. But as usual the tighter your requirement, the less choice you’ll get. If you have the budget you can rent a house which might come with some form of outdoor space. Use the property search tabs above to see a few examples. Note: a house with garden/terrace is often called a ‘landed house’, or ‘landed property’ here.

Most condos here come with a varying amount of facilities. A pool and BBQ pits seem common at most condos, bar the very oldest. So you book the BBQ via the condo management office, and you’re away.

Big old trees. Singapore doesn’t really do old, unless the Heritage Board decide something warrants gazetting, in which case they’ll then promote it around the world. There is such a very tree in my neighbourhood! More generally big old trees here tend to get plants (epiphytes) growing up in their crowns. These plants often are structured such that they hold an amount of water. Standing water = mosquitos = bad = old trees getting chopped down. All of that said I have no doubt that you will be able to find such a tree, even if it requires a trip down to the Botanic Gardens.

SAFR expats here. I have met a few, but these days I don’t tend to hang out with expats here much. Seek and though shalt find though I’m sure.
Google on ‘singapore south african club’ and near the top is:
http://www.saisg.org.sg/about-us – a mere S$45 a year, that is a screaming bargain for expat club membership here! Crikey I’m wondering if I should join myself! :smile: Could do with a decent bit of Boerewors and ‘vino tinto del South Africo’ :wink:
There are other sites that might be of interest, so search it yourself.
Making friends etc., at the base level, tends to come via the workplace. If you live in a condo it seems to be normal practice to live in a bubble, as if no one else exists. We're lucky this time, that our two immediate neighbours (one Malay/Aussie household, the other Korean) have been super-friendly from day #1. I recall last time I relo’d into SG, and we’d just moved into a condo that was in an area where there weren’t masses of expats. One day I got into the lift and was quite surprised to see a Caucasian man. Perhaps out of surprise or a feeling of ‘ah, a fellow expat, we’re all in the same boat eh?’ I greeted him. Cue: Him giving me a withering death-stare!
So making friends via work is the base level in for many people (and their family), joining a club, as above, is a gift if you can afford it, as many cost $thousands+. The 3rd route (IME) is via shared social activities (cooking, sailing, riding, soccer etc)

re: settling in/being part of the community. Any nervous apprehension tends to occur in the build-up prior to a relocation. Once you finally step onto the plane it seems to evaporate (IME).
I don’t know how long you have to be here to feel part of the community. The locals tend to be socially conservative, and add to that the anonymity of a big city and that’s the result. The average tourist spends 2.5 days here. The average expat, I don’t know, maybe 2.5 years? Locals are legendary ‘seekers of value’, and I just feel they have little incentive investing time and effort befriending an expat, when that expat is here today/gone tomorrow.

I don’t think age is of much consequence to such a move. (Side-note: The state even have a retirement programme pitched at foreigners). There are plenty of non-working ‘trailing spouses’ who have to work to actively back-fill a social circle, and activities. I’m not that far off your age, and am back here again 3rd time/last time. It’s a case of figuring out how to successfully join the dots, Mr. Death-Glare above, being one salutary lesson along my own path! :smile:

I'd have thought that new arrivals fit in, perhaps to the extent that they want to.
Re: Contributing to the host country. Well you’ll be doing that by paying more in taxes than the majority of locals do. Seriously though, get yourself here, get your home set up, and then maybe come back to the question. It has been discussed before so a search on the archive should bring it up, but I wouldn’t consider it something for your priority list right now.

re: Speaking your mind. That is something you have to do rather judicially here at times. Aka pick your audience thoughtfully, when discussing matters beyond the weather and shopping. Don’t worry, you’ll soon get the hang of it.[/quote][quote] [i][color=blue][/color] THANKS FOR BEING SO GENEROUS WITH YOUR KNOWLEDGE, I TAKE NOTE OF EVERYTHING!! I MOST DEFINATELY HAVE MY WORK CUT OUT AS FAR AS THE HOUSING IS CONCERNED - SUPPOSE WITH TIME WILL COME WISDOM AND SACRIFICE. KEEP WELL, INA[/i][/quote]

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 29 Dec 2013 8:34 pm

Ina, please drop the All Caps. On forums it is considered either very rude or SHOUTING! PNGKM mentioned it in reply to you. Additionally, it is very difficult to read.

thanks,
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SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by martincymru » Fri, 03 Jan 2014 8:37 pm

All -
Is that group of ex pat women still live in Sg?
I recall a few years ago seeing that post or ad in a mag somewhere?

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