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40 somethings - what are you doing for fun?

Events and gatherings for the 40's Club
SINexpat
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40 somethings - what are you doing for fun?

Postby SINexpat » Tue, 31 Dec 2013 10:50 am

So what are many of you doing for activities? I'm talking the 40 something expats that aren't hitched.

I do a lot of swim/bike/run training to occupy my mornings and evenings. It's fun, gives me fitness, and fills the time. To others they think I have no life.

Obviously travel is possible I only have so much vacation time (and money).

Few drinks every now and then is one thing but every weekend is not my thing.

My friends in the Singapore office are either young (early/mid 20s) or are married and tied down with family committments.

Looking for ideas and would like to expand my social network.

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Postby Su debi » Wed, 15 Jan 2014 6:32 pm

Sounds like my boyfriend. He just got a job here and he says the exact same thing. His danish. He usually heads down to rifel range road or the old rail road for his bike rides. I was actually looking for more social football groups or anything really.... where blokes just get together and do their chill talk and do their male bonding thing. Most of his co workers are family men too and the locals are not on the same page with conversations and chilling.

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 15 Jan 2014 10:07 pm

Diving. Being hitched or not doesn't matter. Once you've undressed in front of a bunch of strangers, things aren't the same any more.

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Postby Beeroclock » Wed, 15 Jan 2014 11:24 pm

JR8 wrote:Diving. Being hitched or not doesn't matter. Once you've undressed in front of a bunch of strangers, things aren't the same any more.
I did some diving here but missed this part! Must be going to the wrong places :wink:

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 15 Jan 2014 11:54 pm

Oh yah.... must have been one of those vanity/boutique joints ;)

Where I got rubbered up, puke, snot, blood, and shit, were all just as it is...


Nothing like that coy look on the surface as your buddy has his suit off and is flushing it to and fro....

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Postby Grumpy77 » Thu, 16 Jan 2014 12:49 am

Agree diving is a great diversion. Highly recommended for fun and to meet the expats and locals that are not into 'the clubbing scene'.

Think about what you did 'back home' then do the same here.

Fishing is great (locally or deep-sea). Play pool, join a club... It's pretty hard to say what would interest you, but I'm still not too bored after 19 years, but I'm also not single.

For better or for worse :-)

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Postby SINexpat » Sat, 18 Jan 2014 9:29 am

grumpy, the problem is that by "doing what I do at home" I won't connect with many people outside of work. We'll see how it goes after I move into my condo.

I shudder to think I may have to try the online thing. I find the locals all have very small circles of friends, etc so have to get exposed to people with similar interests.

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Postby JR8 » Sat, 18 Jan 2014 10:49 am

SINexpat wrote:grumpy, the problem is that by "doing what I do at home" I won't connect with many people outside of work. We'll see how it goes after I move into my condo.

I shudder to think I may have to try the online thing. I find the locals all have very small circles of friends, etc so have to get exposed to people with similar interests.


IIRC this topic has been touched on before. At the risk of repeating myself, a few thoughts/observations:

- It is difficult to make friends outside of work
-- A lot of people work long hours, and hence don't have a great deal of time for socialising. Those few spare hours tend to go towards, hanging out with your colleagues after work, few non-work friends*, and family.

- Life can be quite compartmentalised here. I believe that at times you consciously have to make time for recreation. I don't believe the western concept of work/life balance has arrived on these shores yet!
-- A major leg-up is to participate in shared social activities. 'Birds of a feather flock together' as they say. That could be sports based (hiking, sailing, SCUBA, horse-riding etc), cookery (example: Sunrice Cooking School), wine tasting, and so on. (I've been on cooking classes here, and they're so short and intense, IME they're not a place to make friends. What works better is an activity where afterwards you have a bit of shared down-time, to relax, have a beer and perhaps a meal. That (IME) is when you start hooking up with people. That said it's still not easy!)

- Life here for expats is transient. 'Here today gone tomorrow'. People are often not keen to invest spare time in people who perhaps won't be here next month.

- I've had very different experiences in making friends within condos in which I have lived.

-- The first place I lived I made a group of perhaps a dozen friends. This all begun from hanging out poolside and sharing a few beers one day. We were quite a diverse group, aged c25-c60, Brit, American, Canadian, Scandi, ANZ, Malaysian, Japanese (wow, note to self: yes, no locals!). A hard-core from within that group, maybe 5-6 also went out on the town too.

--- 2nd place, was much bigger (suburban, not central). I don't think I got to meet anyone there, not even to have a briefest of chats. I've recounted before one expat giving me a stoney silent 'death-glare' after I greeted him in the condo lift! In general terms I don't believe people wish or expect to make friends of their neighbours.

---- 3rd place. Similar to the previous. However we did have a very friendly neighbour, Malaysian, with an Aussie boyfriend. But they moved out about 2 weeks after we arrived! :-p


I've posted about online dating too. IIRC a relevant search-string might be 'f***-and-chuck' hehe... It is a ghastly dehumanising process for anyone with hopes and expectations.


So, for me, shared social activities is the way to go. If you can find one that attracts other 'people like you', and incorporates some down-time for hanging out and socialising all the better. That's one reason why diving works for me, as underwater it doesn't matter who you are or what job you have, it's a genuine leveller :) You get to hang-out at day end with people from all walks of life/countries, often people who perhaps tend to have seen a bit more of the world than average: It naturally lends itself to some very interesting discussions!

Unfortunately I don't know of any dive clubs in Singapore. There was (years ago) a dive shop on Beach Road that was touting a social side/club, but as I recall it was just a rather egregious and short-lived money-making venture on their part.

Sitting on the back-deck of a dive centre in Tioman/Lembeh/Malapascua/Lombok, 5pm, diving done, sun heading for the horizon... writing up the log-book, sharing observations and notes with fellow divers. Popping a beer... the final piece of the puzzle being transforming 'holiday friends' into real-life ones :)

* In my experience, SGns do appear to keep quite small, but tight, social circles.

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Postby SINexpat » Sat, 18 Jan 2014 3:29 pm

JR8, there is a dive shop in the same building at MoM on Upper Circular Rd.

Seems like my cycling friends will be where I have to connect with people for things to do beyond just work.

I'd like to have some friends to get together for BBQ at the condo, few drinks, etc. All (and I mean 100%) of my true friends from work all have kids and don't really do much activities.

Will take some time to figure out the interworkings of SG social scene I guess.

Can understand the short-timer thing but with the whole world being so transient so to speak, (at least in my eyes) not sure why that's such an issue.

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Postby goanna » Tue, 21 Jan 2014 11:24 am

SINexpat, the first thing I did after arriving (July last year) was find a swimming group so I could train with others. I have joined two and my three training sessions form the social core of my week (other than family) as I am working from home. There is a pretty strong triathlon community here too so if you are already doing the training why not try one?

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Postby the lynx » Tue, 21 Jan 2014 11:34 am

Ah for strange reasons, I missed SINexpat's bit on triathlons.

Join Meta Sport group, they are a very fun bunch of expats and locals with one thing in common - adrenaline!

In fact there is Meta Sprint Series kicking out this Feb onwards.

http://metasprintseries.com/

http://www.metasport.com/

I will be joining some of the events. You can sign up for their membership and join their training. Or sign up for their clinics for the events. And meet more people.

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Postby SINexpat » Tue, 21 Jan 2014 1:46 pm

goanna wrote:SINexpat, the first thing I did after arriving (July last year) was find a swimming group so I could train with others. I have joined two and my three training sessions form the social core of my week (other than family) as I am working from home. There is a pretty strong triathlon community here too so if you are already doing the training why not try one?


Private pool or public? I'm moving into private condo in Bishan on Friday afternoon and plan to be doing my 2-3 swims per week at Bishan swimming complex in the evenings. I ride or run 6-7 days per week in the AM.

My hardcore (and fastest) days are probably behind me (getting run over by car does that) but I love long distance endurance ANYTHING. My fitness sucks right now but getting it back little by little.

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Postby goanna » Wed, 22 Jan 2014 10:00 am

Aaah, I wasn't going to mention Metasport because I thought it might be considered advertising and I would get in trouble!

I train twice a week with Metasport and once with a masters group run from my kids' school. There is a Thursday night session at Toa Payoh in the competition pool (nice pool) which might suit you and a big Monday night session at Farrer Park where the squad has the whole pool. There are different programmes for those with different skills and fitness. I don't run or ride but they have lots of sessions for those too.

As the lynx said, good people and very welcoming.

I haven't tried training by myself at a public pool but those who have say it can be frustrating - minimal lane etiquette and no fins/paddles/pool buoys permitted (as you might hurt someone) even if you are the only one in the pool.

I swam in the Singapore Masters competition in October too. Good event, weird to be competing (had not raced since my teens), but fun and locals, expats and international teams all there.

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Postby the lynx » Wed, 22 Jan 2014 10:22 am

goanna wrote:Aaah, I wasn't going to mention Metasport because I thought it might be considered advertising and I would get in trouble!

I train twice a week with Metasport and once with a masters group run from my kids' school. There is a Thursday night session at Toa Payoh in the competition pool (nice pool) which might suit you and a big Monday night session at Farrer Park where the squad has the whole pool. There are different programmes for those with different skills and fitness. I don't run or ride but they have lots of sessions for those too.

As the lynx said, good people and very welcoming.

I haven't tried training by myself at a public pool but those who have say it can be frustrating - minimal lane etiquette and no fins/paddles/pool buoys permitted (as you might hurt someone) even if you are the only one in the pool.

I swam in the Singapore Masters competition in October too. Good event, weird to be competing (had not raced since my teens), but fun and locals, expats and international teams all there.


Metasport also train once a week on Tuesdays at Buona Vista Swimming Complex but only a third of the pool. And it will be closed for renovations come this CNY. Looks like I have to look elsewhere to swim.

goanna, I appreciate your concern to avoid advertising, even though you weren't advertising actually. This forum appreciates recommendations from members but sometimes we have problems from 'newcomers' (not saying you!) who make their first few posts, purportedly 'recommending' something they thought was good, but actually turned out to be back-handed advertising. If you hang around long enough and continue contributing to the forum, your recommendations won't be misconstrued by admins or mods as a ploy for advertising. And oh, welcome to the forum!

Back to SINexpat, private pools are usually the ones in condos, gyms like Fitness First, country clubs and exclusive swimming clubs (like Singapore Chinese Swimming Club). Annual membership fees are steep and can go from hundreds of SGD to thousands (except condos and gyms, since it is part of your rental/condo maintenance fee already). Public pools are the ones called 'swimming complexes' built by the municipality to cater to the general public. Entrance fee can go from SGD1 to SGD1.50 but it can be crowded so it is a gem if you go during off-peak hours (such as late mornings and afternoons on weekdays).

If you both like long-distance swimming, there is an international 6.5km open-water swimathon coming up this 20th April in Malaysia. It won't be as epic as the English Channel swim but it is good to explore the seas of other countries. I will post once the organisers have opened the registration link.

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Postby the lynx » Wed, 22 Jan 2014 10:30 am

SINexpat wrote:Private pool or public? I'm moving into private condo in Bishan on Friday afternoon and plan to be doing my 2-3 swims per week at Bishan swimming complex in the evenings. I ride or run 6-7 days per week in the AM.

My hardcore (and fastest) days are probably behind me (getting run over by car does that) but I love long distance endurance ANYTHING. My fitness sucks right now but getting it back little by little.


Oh there is a very lovely Bishan Park (not sure which part of Bishan you will be staying). It has a very scenic stretch that goes all the way to Ang Mo Kio. http://www.nparks.gov.sg/cms/index.php?option=com_visitorsguide&task=parks&id=8&Itemid=73

And if you like cross-training, running in Macritchie Reservoir is also another great hit. Also close to Bishan http://www.nparks.gov.sg/cms/macritchie.php?option=com_visitorsguide&task=naturereserves&id=49&Itemid=75

There are many reservoirs in that area but only Macritchie gives you the distance you need.

My fastest days are also behind me (as well as the days when you put on weight the moment you stop competing actively in school/university) but yes, one step at a time, and you will be kicking up dust behind you for kilometres in no time!


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