Another expat in Singapore

Another expat in Singapore

Moving to a new country is not easy. You basically start from scratch in your personal and professional life. I started over with a new job, a new flat, new food and new friends. Singapore is this super developed country in the heart of S-E Asia. It is estimated that 40% of its population are foreigners. And I’m just another expat in Singapore.

Summer forever

The weather is very hot and humid, I love it. The temperature is a constant 30+ degrees, with dry and wet seasons. It is forever summer. I was imagining I will be wearing summer dresses all year. Well, turns out locals hate the weather and love AC.

Singapore Marina Bay
Singapore Marina Bay

The AC is always turned on at like 18 degrees, in every building and bus. Instead of summer dresses, I still wear my jeans and I cover myself in a thick scarf while drinking a hot tea. Longing for the sun through the office window. So yes, even if there is summer outside, it’s “winter” inside. You can see people wearing sweaters and long sleeve shirts.

Food diversity

A food court is a large open space with tables in the middle and food stalls surrounding it. Every shopping mall has a food court and there is a shopping mall at every corner. Restaurants everywhere with all types of cuisine. Asian food is the cheapest, of course. It can cost you as little as 4 SGD a meal.

Singapore food court SGD 4 meal
Food court SGD 4 meal

Eating out is very cheap and convenient. I had read about it before, but can confirm that it’s cheaper to eat out than to cook at home. For me it’s perfect, as I’m not a fan of cooking. What I noticed though, the food is not so healthy. The meals include rice/noodles and meat, but not many dishes with veggies. Salads are usually expensive. What I miss from Europe is bread, cheese and salads. You find them in Singapore too, but it’s not as common.

Bubble tea is the most common sweet drink here, every shopping mall has at least 3-4 stalls. You can choose all types of tea and coffee with toppings and chewing pearls with different flavours. They can also adjust sugar level and ice level. My favourite bubble tea is milk tea with tapioca pearls and 25% sugar.  

Singapore Bubble Tea
Bubble Tea

Shopping paradise

Yes, there is a shopping mall at every corner. I haven’t been anywhere with so many shopping malls. I’ve also never seen so many people on the streets wearing designer clothes and bags. And I’m usually not even paying attention.

Singapore is a tiny country you can easily drive from one corner to another, and there are not that many things to do. So shopping is a national sport. 

Entering another mall
Entering another mall

Life in Singapore

Singapore is one of the most developed and safe cities in the world. There are many restrictions, like the well-known one of banning chewing gum. When you read about it, it sounds bad, but actually you don’t miss on much. I can’t think of anything I wanted to do in Singapore and I can’t because it’s banned.

The city is new, clean and well taken care of. It was just when I went to Myanmar that I realised the striking difference. Myanmar is one of the least developed countries in the region. Because you get used to living in a place, you take what it offers for granted. And it’s just when you experience the opposite that you realize the benefits.

On the other side, Singapore feels quite superficial. Everything is manmade. The shopping malls and advertise panels everywhere. Skyscrapers. There are green spaces, but those are well organised too.

Singapore Botanical Gardens
Singapore Botanical Gardens

I can’t help but compare it with London. London has this vibe of land of possibilities, people live with hope, motivated or struggling, it’s a constant buzz. It’s a city that swallows you. You can’t help but be mixed in the diversity and dynamics of the city. Compared to it, Singapore looks like a one-theme city, where everything is similar, predictable, safe.

All in all, I think Singapore is a great place to live and there are literally no reasons to worry about anything. It all works so well. However, I heard other expats call it “golden cage” or “perfect woman – a mirage”. I am yet to find out how should I call it, as I’ve only lived here for 6 months.

Singapore Jewel
Jewel – waterfall in the airport

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