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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
10 posts • Page 1 of 1
Singapore is very different than the USA. There are good things and bad things. The writer of that article was correct about something and very incorrect about some things. It is NOT easy to start a business in Singapore as a foreigner and it takes a LONG time to get approved...that is IF you get approved. It is also not easy to get an employment pass. I was turned down after waiting many months and then had to reapply and have my employer inside the country really push for me. I was approved the 2nd time, but it took MONTHS.
Singapore is expensive, but it's not any more expensive than NYC or other large cities. You will spend a lot on an apartment, but everything else is reasonable. Public transportation is where you will save money over the USA, for example.
The Airport is nice, but I like South Korea's airport better...
Article is a bit naive and over-optimistic. This is the most laughable statement: From a long-term view, being able to participate in an increasingly creative society might be the biggest advantage of moving to Singapore. Singapore isn't, even by a far stretch of imagination, my idea of a creative society. It's a one-government, one-party, one-thought country where people are simply working hard, harvesting their incomes and capital gains (tax free, true) and spending on luxury goods. Look at the number of museums and cultural activities, next to none. When I was there I was on time for the country's "most exciting" dance festival, Zook Out (http://www.zoukout.com/). I turned up around 8 in the evening thinking of a wicked all-nighter and juts about saw 4 acts. The whole shop was completely shut by midnight. Giggling little girls trotting away excited at how they had been "dancing non-stop since 4 in the afternoon"
Expat life is good if you have a good position, say you work as a company CEO or upper management, or you work in the financial sector. Anything upwards 160/180K SGD a year would give you a good life. Even then, I heard plenty of people complaining that life gets boring after a while. And let's not forget: the government has been heavily criticised for giving too much leeway to the wealthy expat elite neglecting the core of Singaporean citizens, including particularly vulnerable categories such as public officers and taxi drivers. As a result, they have been cracking down on Visas, from business and academic to citizenship. One friend of mine has been working there for 6 years and was denied citizenship. He had to hastily marry his girlfriend or he would have had to leave town.
Singapore airport is nice, but it has some serious rivals from HKIA and KLIA. Actually Delhi airport was pretty nice, with some of the friendliest security staff I've ever encountered.
Actually most airports seem to look the same these days, Norman Foster must be rolling out a production line of them.
I quit my boring cubicle slave job and now I'm Happier Abroad...
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Yup...that is absolutely true. As ironic as it sounds, it's safer to get a little drunk/rowdy in Thailand than it is in Singapore. Public drunkenness is not tolerated very well in Singapore. The use of drugs will land you in jail and caned. The selling of drugs can get you hung by the neck until dead. There have been several instances of white expats being jailed for allegedly groping a Singaporean girl in a nightclub. Singapore is tough on things like that, where as Thailand is not...
Yeah...but the secret is to work for a European company that will give you the statutory amount of paid leave for Europe: 20 to 30 days. That's when things can get interesting. Singaporean, Chinese, Japanese and American companies will stick to the 5, 7, max 10 days a year. True, they have the Chinese New Year celebrations with a few days off and even the Indian New Year (Divali) is a day off (not Thanksgiving, albeit many celebrate it at home). But then, Euro expats get to enjoy those as well!
One of my friends works for Barclays (investment bank) there and is hopping one and off flights bound to Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc. I think he's been to 10 different Asian countries in little more than a year. He's having the time of Riley, even if he has a girlfriend (Italian) living with him. And last time I talked to him, even he was starting to complain that his job was a bit less engaging compared to what he had in London. And that's true, the flip side of companies that have a secondary office in SG is that they rarely have their most interesting projects done over there. Banks are no exceptions, with a few notable exceptions (Standard Chartered is one).
Yet, something tells me it being jailed in Singapore would be preferable to being jailed in Thailand...