I'm doing my own business, and it is a .com. But I'm not "rich" (not that I'm desparately seeking to be rich...). Guess I'm out of this world.Originally Posted by brian
I'm doing my own business, and it is a .com. But I'm not "rich" (not that I'm desparately seeking to be rich...). Guess I'm out of this world.Originally Posted by brian
Late last year, Singapore was ranked the world's best city (not country) to visit for being safe and clean. In case you want to know, the world's best country to visit was Australia for her beautiful scenery.Originally Posted by Sion
Singapore tends to appear clean, at least in many public places, but our public toilets and garbage collection centres in estates and wet markets, are downright disgusting. I have overheard tourists complaining about the state of our public toilets. We even have campaigns to keep our toilets clean. I don't see that many "Please flush" signs in the toilets of Australia but they don't smell like a massive pee-hole. It is also a fact that S'pore hires a very impressive army of sweepers cleaners. Without them, is S'pore really that clean?
Well-educated is also true but to a certain extent. I know young teens in Australia who study business, psychology, photography and popular languages (French, German, Italian, Japanese) as a second language in their secondary schools. Their education appears more broad-based. Interestingly, I see/hear of more younger entrepreneurial and inventive persons in Australia than in S'pore. Like most of Asia, S'poreans learn by rote-learning which really isn't the right way to learn. I suspect this is the reason why westerners invent much more, and Asians imitate and pirate.
I can only believe that Singapore is safe due to 2 reasons: geographically small and strict laws. Being small means criminals have difficulty hiding. Strict laws means people think thrice about committing crime. Bear in mind, S'pore was recently in the limelight for having 1 of the highest death penalty rates in the world (even higher than China). Australia does not believe in the death penalty.
I don't know why you consider Singapore as dynamic. Much of the international world labels S'pore as, in exact words, the nanny state. You know what nannys do? They hold the cane, and say "you can't do this, you can't do that, and no arguing". I suspect this label appearing in any foreign news is censored by the government. The government has been ruling S'pore with a very cautious and conservative mind, perhaps too cautious and conservative.
In comparison, I have been reading news about the happenings in China, and as the motherland of all Chinese, they are really quite open in mind, even more than S'pore. Nude models are used to promote businesses, products and services in public. Guess where you secret stash of sex toys were made in? Not US or UK! It's made in China! Not many years ago, nudity for art/photography in China was a no-no but not these days. In fact, it appears that S'pore rang more alarm bells worldwide for the recent news of a S'porean blogger showing her nude photos. China is like a western society now.
Every now and then when our PM or SM talks about the economy, say during National Day rally speech, they may mention or hint that China is booming. India too. I believe not many realise the real extent of the issue. Being cheaper, these countries are taking away a lot from S'pore, and is the reason why S'poreans are working longer and harder for less wages to compete with them. Unfortunately, it seems that we are fighting a losing battle.
On 26 June 2005, The Sunday Age (Australian newspaper) published a full page report about the booming economy of China, and how much it is worth in figures. China sucks up raw materials like a dry sponge and produces so much export products at cheaper prices that even a large nation like Australia (the world's 6th biggest) and Aussie manufacturers are threatened.
If your skin is yellow, that's the real big problem. On the other hand, did you realised they (the British) merge pretty well with the dark skin fellas?Originally Posted by zcf
Well, let's see how this people can manage them.Originally Posted by Hommie
All in all a very interesting discussion. My gut feeling actually reckons money has very little to do with it all in the grand scheme of things. It's a factor, but not a big one by any stretch of the imagination.
As has already been discussed here, mentality has a major part to play. Assuming we're discussing an Eastern to Western culture venture, then it is a *very* big social and cultural difference. And it is usually what forms the strongest opinion between whether to stay or go. Or more accurately put, between whether to go or not to go. If you read the replies here, someone's way of thinking comes across very strongly, whereas usually there are scattered, weaker substantiated reasons for their choice.
If you're Western thinking, you're probably going to be better in Western society. If you're Eastern thinking, you're probably going to be better off in Singapore. It will colour the way you look at the society in which you live, and you won't be happy in the "wrong" environment.
I make no secret of the fact that I'm fairly Western in my thinking. And strangely enough I've found that in general, I much prefer life where I am now in England. Like David, I looked at my prospects for when I'd graduate, and really didn't fancy the idea of paying for a mortgage and car in Singapore. Since then, I've discovered lots of other pluses living overseas, but a good share of minuses as well.
I graduated three years ago now, and I'm not doing pursuing what I read at university. I wouldn't have imagined I'd be this settled into "life" this quickly when I was in Singapore. By that I mean, I've got a job, a two bed terrace house I call home, I drive a fairly nice car, I lead my own life. And recently, I even got myself a cat. I'm doing well at my chosen profession, and starting to make a (small) name for myself.
By some of the above you can probably deduce that I'm earning more than I would be in Singapore *in all probability*. In terms of numbers, I'm definitely earning significantly more than in Singapore. In real terms (ie once you factor in the cost of living) I probably am as well. I'm saving some money, although I think the biggest cause of a smaller-than-might-be-hoped savings is not the cost of living but supplementing my photographic equipment...
Other incidentals for me preferring it over here are:
 The four seasons.
 The countryside (not the same thing as above).
 Driving is a lot more fun and/or relaxing.
 The climate (as in, general climate - Sg is too hot for me).
 Pace of life is slower.
 More respect for my given profession.
 People of casual acquaintance are friendlier.
 Society is more open.
 No reservist (don't laugh).
 Better social welfare.
No doubt there are plenty I haven't listed too because I've only given it quick thought. And I've not really listed anything specific about Singapore than I don't particularly like, either.
Downsides (or benefit of Singapore if you prefer)
 You're always "different" in terms of race. There might not be racism, but there is a barrier. Day to day relationships are not a problem though, and this really isn't a major deal. Put another way, I still refer to Singapore as "home" sometimes.
I know tax is lower in Singapore, but I still take home significantly more here than I do in Sg, so it doesn't bother me.
I think Gooseberry gives the best advice. Try both. It might surprise you, but it's certainly worth the experience. You cannot honestly say one place is better than another (even for you) if you've never known anything else.
So, are you a proffessional photographer?Originally Posted by Jed
If you feel that it is too stifling in Singapore, it is best to take the plunge and go overseas to work, live, or study for a few years to see how you like it. You should plan to stay for at least 2 years. The first year is a "honeymoon year" - you are wide eyed, curious and are more readily to accept everything. Difficult as it may be to uproot yourself and settle in a different environment, it is better to go forth and experience life outside Singapore for once, rather than to live a life wondering about the "ifs" - how your life could be different if you had gone etc.
As many have already said, the grass is not always greener on the other side. We only see the good side of things before we get over there.
About money/salaries, it might look like people working overseas are earning big bucks compared to people in Singapore. How do you arrive at this conclusion? Based on converting the amount in pounds/USD/euros into SGD based on the current exchange rate? If so, this is not a reliable comparision because the exchange rates fluctuate all the time. When the SGD is weak, you find that your overseas salary is very "high" and when the SGD is strong, then your overseas salary is "not so high". You'll go nuts after a while comparing the salaries in this manner. And don't forget you are spending most of your salary in the country where you earn it, not in Singapore. It's not like stay in JB, work in Singapore and earn Singapore-standard salary. Now it's stay in X country, earn X country's standard salary and spend money based on X country's cost of living. A better comparison would be to compare the % of the salary earned that you can save, after subtracting tax, rent, and other living expenses. Also consider what things you hold dear: more money versus more time; vibrant city life versus quiet small town living, interesting work that cannot be found in Singapore etc.
The more money versus more time debate is a never-ending one, especially between the Americans and the Europeans. Basically, if you value more time in the form of annual holidays and flexi hours work environment, then Europe is the place to go, though in UK, they usually work a lot more hours than the Scandinavians and work environment may not be less stifling than working in Singapore. But it is extremely difficult to find jobs in continental Europe now because of high unemployment numbers and except for the UK, if you don't speak the lingo, the chances for finding a job here is close to zero.
I was feeling like you, 5 years ago after graduation from NUS, and I was tired of living in a sheltered environment and could not wait until I get married to move out from my parents. Any Western country (not just English speaking ones) beckoned. Having lived my whole life in Singapore then and "missed" the chance to study in an overseas uni, I decided that if I wanted to experience what it feels like to live in another country, I just had to take the plunge then as I did not have any emotional & financial commitments. The plunge I took when the opportunity came and it brought me to Finland, a place which cannot any more different from Singapore as night and day. No regrets though life has not been easy here: miss family and friends, miss Singapore food, sometimes miss Singaporeans' efficiency at getting things done, miss Singapore's high standard of healthcare at reasonable prices. The experience has also made me a lot more appreciative and proud of Singapore's achievments. In short, I do miss being in Singapore and would like to move back, but moving back is not so easy now, due to emotional commitments and work interest considerations.
You will be forever changed by the experience, be it good or bad.
Actually, not only the dark skin (negros or Afroids) but even Indians too. In Britain, there is a TV drama called the Kumars At No. 42 (or something like that). In recent years, more and more Indians are being given bigger roles in movies like Bend It Like Beckham and more recently Bride And Prejudice.Originally Posted by Spectrum
Even in Melbourne (which is regarded as the most British-European city in Australia), I noticed that dark Indians and dark Africans seem to make their way into the lives of Caucasian Aussies. My ex-housemate (a Caucasian girl) has a sister who is happily married to an Indian man.
By my observation and suspicion, I believe it's because these dark skinned people arrived into a western society with a more open mind to mingle and blend in. Furthermore, they tend to speak better English than most S'poreans. More confidently and more eloquently, they enter and gain greater acceptance in the western community.
On the other hand, the Chinese mostly tend to keep to themselves, working and trading among their own kind. In Melbourne's history during the Gold Rush days, the Chinese who came from China to find fortunes in gold always kept to themselves and never mingled with the Caucasian dominant race, resulting in misunderstandings and intolerance, and hence violence which led to fights, hatred and deaths in the Chinese.
I'm not saying that you don't see white-man-and-Asian-woman couples. You do. Bear in mind, in such cases it's probably the white man who initiated the move to know the gal, or otherwise, had an open mind enough to accept her move and her in general. The reverse, Asian-man-and-white-woman is much lesser seen. It just suggest how much Asians keep their minds closed up like dim sims.
Even though it's all in history now, many of the yellow-skins who come to Melbourne persist in the thinking that "birds of a feather" flock together. I find this extremely narrow-minded and silly (pardon my frank opinion). I know of S'poreans who came to Melbourne, spent years studying here, spent so much to apply for PR, but have not a single contact number of a Caucasian Aussie. Caucasian Aussies have been living on this land much longer, understand social and legal systems much more than fellow yellow-skin PRs. Despite this, these S'poreans huddle together asking each other for less than accurate information, making minimal or no contact with white locals.
i am a doctor with 3 teenage kids in singapore. i have been around and say unreservedly that our society is not perfect but we try and do rectify wrongs. in some countries, you have people in high places cheating the man in the street blind and they are never brought to justice. i have friends who have emigrated to NZ and Australia who have their children spat upon in school amidst cries of " Chinks gohome". i have another colleague now a professor in London earning about the same amount as TT durai who wants to come back to singapore because the english winter of 3 months of no sun and cold is driving him crazy.
i am not advocating blind loyalty but to me singapore is home, friends, relatives, good food and abundant leisure activities like photography, drives up to malaysia and short holidays to neighbouring countries. not to mention that no one here starves, no one here is denied health care orr education and no one here sleeps on the streets. [ i have worked in temperate countries where homeless peolple die on the streets in winter] having siad that, "money no enough" is always the case. my humble advice is be happy with what you have . Blessings of good health, family and friends are priceless. Thank God every morning for the sun that sines, birds that sing and beautiful flowers that bloom for us to take photos with our macro lenses. God bless you all and have a good good weekend
Do not think that working overseas will have automactic expat benefits or 30% more pay than in sg. In a recent recruitment drive you won't believe how many Sg ppl willing to go overseas with the same pay rate they are earning in SG. Dips asking for 1.6-2.0K, grads asking 2.0-2.7K.
So it's most probably thier oppuntinity is limited in sg, as well the high cost of living. In my personal view it;s the housing cost that affects us, imagine working our whole life to just pay the home, which is ridiculousy priced for a public housing which is more like rental. How are we going to dare step out and try and invest or chong without thinking of the house commitment?
Those that are professionals, born rich, or have inherited fortune will nvr understand the common man problems that starts out with nothing.
I always tell my friends:" I love Singapore, but Singapore don't love me..." look deeper in my words, hope it has some meaning to you all.
I lup SG, but SG don't love me...
Maybe during the British Empire, this countries are rule by them. So they get used to this people till now.Originally Posted by Jemapela
For the Chinese thing, maybe not Chinese alone. Might be Vietnamese too, you know? Anyway, they all look alike in the eyes of most whites. Don't you guys think so?
As for the Singaporean in Australia thing, you got the point dude.
20 odd years ago, I packed two bags and with a little savings hopped on a plane to land in Sydney. I didn't have any idea how my future in the new country would be. I believed it was going to be a tough life. But it turned out to be easier than I first thought.
Personally I find the greatest difference between working in Asia and the west is the leisure time one enjoys. Back in Asia I left work after 9pm most nights and often worked 7 days a week. Working in Australia I have so much leisure that I could moonlight on photography that has become a serious source of 2nd income. Only thing I wish the tax is not that high.
Another thing is the Asianization of Sydney. There are now so many Asian shops and restaurants in some Sydney suburbs e.g. Cabramatta, Ashfield, Campsie, Rockdale etc that walking along the main roads feels like going home. There are Chinese radio station, Chinese cabled TV, Chinese DVD shops not to mention several Chinese Daily newspapers. There is even an Australian Chinese Photography Club here which holds its meetings in a Chinese restaurant.
There is no pressure to assimilate or to culturally change yourself here. We go to any part of the world and build a Chinatown there and make it like our homeland. We introduce Vietnamese noodle soup, sushi, chopsticks and Kung Fu to Ang Moh wherever we go. In time you don't have to migrate anymore lah because the whole world is one large Chinatown.
Well, not in most Muslims countries as I can see.Originally Posted by Sion
In that case in future... the world will be 2 countries... Chinatown and Middle Eastern town...Originally Posted by Spectrum
are you absolutely sure about these? 'no one here is denied (basic) health care or education' sounded like borrowed from tharma and khaw.
Originally Posted by gtan
Last edited by reachme2003; 23rd July 2005 at 03:29 PM.
Originally Posted by reachme2003
But health care in Singapore is expensive. In the western countries like US, Canada and Australia, health care is taken care of by the state. That is the reason why the tax is higher as you are tax on your income to help the state with the health care and others.
Thre is no denying that the grass looks greener the other side. I studied in Australia many years back, but decided to return here to work. The reason was that I faced the colour issue as the place where I studied was an agicultural area and the whites there do not mix with the visitors much and so do not understand us and therefore racial remarks do occur.
The worst part is the a professor in the uni where I studied is a racist and he was younger than me. When we asian asked him questions about the subject, he would just say "its in the book" and walk away.
When the whites ask him, he would stand there and explain. the whites in that class finally had had enough of him also and approached us and said that if we have questions, to pass to them and they will ask on our behalf.
Great huh? That is why until today, I have not thought to work overseas but may retire there eventually.
Some Csers were sharing about working for less $$ for less stress.
I find that it is true. I used to work for a huge US MNC. Everyday work from 7 am to 1 am. Even Sat/Sun on standby for customers. After 6 yrs, gave it up to work for 35% less $$ and am enjoying myself. Have proper family life. When working for the MNC, did not get a chance to see my son grow up. When I leave the house, he is asleep, when I come home, he is asleep. Now he is in Pr 1 already.
Luckily, I managed to see my daughter grow up as my working is just office hours and it is a 5 day work week.
But I sometimes still wonder if I should venture overseas to work for a while.
What planet are you living on? Healthcare in the US is extremely expensive, there is no welfare system to speak of, and health insurance is both expensive and has a lot of exclusions. Many Americans do not get necessary medical treatment because they cannot afford health insurance.Originally Posted by felixcat8888
What a wonderful world.....
WELL SAID.Originally Posted by Jemapela
THERE'S NO "TREASURE HUNT" IN SINGAPORE!!