[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.
here come with a varying amount of facilities. A pool and BBQ pits seem common at most condo
s, 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:
– 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]