Dun know why there is so much talk about "grass seems always greener on the other side". I think unless you're someone who has packed your bags, left, and experience for some good few years what life is like working/living overseas, it's quite pointless trying to imagine that "Oh, singapore is better, wait till you go there then you'll see how bad it is".
In truth, it can work both ways: Either you find life over there better (so you become a citizen there) or you don't get used to it (so you want to come back). It's 50-50. Anyone's choice. No point arguing for and against migrating overseas based on what you imagine.
But what I can say is, you must know what you want realistically. If you are not the kind who can live without your late night entertainment/food joints, then perhaps a country like new zealand will make you suffer from depression and withdrawal symptoms. But then, there are singaporeans who simply can't stand crowds and the madness, rudeness, work stress and queer behaviors we have here. To them, migrating might seem like a good option.
Also, of those classmates and friends that I know who have migrated overseas, they are very happy there and will not want to come back here again. Well, at least not any time soon.
What I do notice is that, in Singapore, many people are kinda spoilt or overly acclimatized sometimes -- They find it hard to be detached from their social mould or what they are so used to. For eg, a male 30 yr old friend of mine like the opportunities he can get overseas -- better job and learning experience, higher pay, more things to see. When I asked him So why not you just go? Perhaps work a few years? His answer is simply: Too inconvenient. Dunno where to start, too much paper work and above all, I miss having my mum cook for me! That's how "spoilt" some Singaporean men can be.
On the contrary, I applaud and admire some of my foreign friends, eg from Indonesia and Vietnam. They readily would leave their families back home and want to seek out a new (better) life overseas. Are they sad to leave behind what they are so used to? Hmm, quite likely. But not for long. The world is so much smaller with the Internet and cheap air tics.
Unlike the typical singaporeans, they feel they are "adult" enough to leave their families and life has to start elsewhere. They move on, and get that better life they desire. What further impresses me is that, they start out with limited English. So they have to learn the hard way on their own. In a couple of years, they can speak better "understandable" English compared to the typical Singaporean on the street. And when their children grow up in their new country, of course, they speak really proper and good English. It's quite admirable to me. They are not afraid of the language barrier and are willing to "strike it out" despite whatever odds they face.
So sometimes, I think there's a lot fear among us here to pack our bags cos we have grown too attached to the country. Having said much, going overseas to work or live for a long time works for some but not others. You really have to know what you want and leave that fears and attachments aside.
If you want to be a cry baby and say, Overseas no cheap food, no MRT, must drive so far just to go to supermarket, etc etc... then you are perhaps one who is fond of complaining and don't even know why you are going abroad. What do you expect? Get all the perks of overseas stay plus bring over whatever you are so used to in your home country Singapore? Obviously that's not possible. Just tell yourself: For whatever plus points you can find here, there are better things over there. And of course, there are disadvantages living abroad also. Weigh the pros and cons. You have to work out what works for you.
Don't be swayed by nayslayers who over-praise Singapore when they themselves have not even stayed overseas. (Hmm... reminds me of how short-sightedness some can be by being trapped with the Buy Buy Buy syndrome here -- Being overly-concerned with buying (and collecting) so many expensive cams and lenses but losing sight of what photography really is.
Last edited by kiwi2; 11th February 2010 at 12:14 PM.
It takes alot of courage to migrate to another country. If our forefathers lack the guts to do so we won't be here either. However, in relationship to NZ's offer, we're not migrating to a third world country of unknowns but a first world country.
It's easy for some folks who are studying abroad to prefer Singapore especially on a scholarship with a ready paid job waiting for their graduation. They'll never understand what is going on on the ground to have first hand experiences in it.
For those who has worked and travel around a large part of the globe, the broaden view will help, when we decide where would be the right place to go.
For those that hate overcrowded malls and shopping centres, try shopping even in our neighbour's version up north. You can lift your hands without the danger of hitting another stranger in the mall and it is so big and spacious with high ceilings that you don't feel encaged in a human camp.
For those who have kids, do you want them to grow up with a rat race mentality with no capacity for human dignity and apathy?
While we may not have the distractions of 24/7 malls and cinemas, we can focus on the more important parts of human development like social interaction. Instead of going to a mall to watch a movie, we can have open house to friends and collegues to spend some peaceful but meaningful time, share our cultures and learnings, let kids play. Try do a house warming in a pigeon like apartment in HDB and see if it works out equally fruitful.
By the way, how does malls and cinema (the building) contribute to human developement?
For once, no one would like to be class by their forebears as cowards when they are remembered in the family line. It's a courageous decision, but solely yours and personal.
(ps. Not pointing to anyone, anything here is coincidental)
Last edited by eyes; 11th February 2010 at 12:33 PM.
Tum podem extulit horridulum...日出東方﹐唯我不敗。
I agree.... except I would very much also include "listening to people who over-praise another country''.... much like telling a foreign worker how much one can earn in S'pore... without telling them how expensive it is here, or how bad the working/living condition is.... remindered me, kind of like telling another person what they want to hear.... instead of what they need to hear.
If you have done your homework and is planning to leave.... go for it, there's nothing wrong at all to wanting a better life for you or your family. Fear not for S'pore.... there are more than enough foreigners willing to come and take over your place. I, myself, a 'pure' 2nd Gen S'porean..... don't mind having more 'willing' foreigners, than keeping 'unwilling' S'poreans.
Just my 2-Cents....
Scuba & Father... For Life
That's what I tell people too: Fear not. If you want to leave, just go ahead. But for the right reasons. Singapore will not be starved. Look at the number of foreigners we have here. The ratio of locals to foreigners will be lessened very quickly. The MRT, HDB, unis, sports, everywhere... all packed with PRs and foreigners working here.
As for people who over-praise ANOTHER country, yes, this can be common. Sometimes, I think cos some Singaporeans are quite naive. Just bcos they have travelled to so-and-so country for a holiday, they think it is so nice. Then they dream... How nice if I could live there. It's different as a tourist and as a worker there. So doing your homework and knowing WHY you wanna leave Singapore is important.
As for people who think Singapore is that good to come, same reasoning, as you mentioned. Things are so expensive here. Interesting that recently, a US visitor told me he found things expensive here when he went shopping. That proves the point. Some years back, I'd think that's not the case.
So I really don't know how come the authorities try to portray Singapore as a "Shoppers' Paradise". Goodness. Thrown in with the bad service in a handful of places... it's more like shoppers' nightmare. And also, "Food paradise"? That's quite a big joke too. If paradise means a lot of shops and food, then yes, perhaps. But if paradise means "Super good", then Singapore is definitely far from it.
So foreigners coming here also have to do their homework too, or else they'll never see the other side of life in Singapore.
This I totally agree.... It really piss me off when S'porean want to migrate for no other reason then "I can't afford to buy a Car", "Want more 'open space' to live"... as if nothing else matters. Worst.... people who 'threaten' to leave S'pore if he/she don't get what they want.... like some spoilted child making a fuss when their parents won't let them do as they wish....
For this part.... sadly, I disagree.... there are many reason why we are getting more pricey then last time. And that includes Cost (Workers pays, Rental cost), exchange rates (USD used to be $1USD to $1.65/85 SGD.... nowadays $1 USD to $1.42 SGD). S'porean might say its less cheap to shop in JB.... what do you think the locals in JB thinks....
I agree we are no longer the 'Shopping Paradise' we used to be..... mainly because of the rise in cost and limited land to open more shopping centres.... having been to Bangkok and seeing their super big shopping centre.... how the hell can small state like S'pore compare... not to mention that a salegirl working in thailand is paid $200-400 SGD at the most, a manager earns around $700-$800++. You think any S'porean willing to work for that pay.... so, how are business to lower cost ??
But I believe that we are still a Food Paradise.... hard to find another place where you could have food from all over the world, near to each other.... while not as cheap as at some neighbour counties... isn't too expensive too. I'm overweight.... one reason why being a S'porean is bad for your health
Last edited by diver-hloc; 11th February 2010 at 02:42 PM.
Scuba & Father... For Life
Well from my perspective .. A KIWI been living in Singapore for over 20 years.
: Transport: - cars cheap.
: Housing: - cheap, own your own land, certain areas restrictions on what kind of house you can develop, but generally speaking you can build what you want within your land constraints.
: Eating: - You have the usual fast food culprits, many hamburger places, lots of shops selling all types of foods, can goto a real butcher and ask for the meat he will prepare on the spot, lots of resturants, lots of world class wineries. Only Auckland has kopitiam style eating and then only in certain areas.
: Countryside: - lots of wide open spaces, lots of history still to be seen, lots of scenery, in this respect the world is your oyster, so many things to see and do, but requires as lot of driving ....
: People: - diverse mix of many races and many different cultures, can be very hard to understand, but sad to say, some do try to mix some prefer to stay within their own comfort zone.
: Transport: - greater distances to travel, different road conditions, 90% of roads all dual carriage, road conditions totally different from Singapore, when you get into some places like Milford Sound, you are gravel roads, lots of small rural roads are narrow, twisty, winter plays havoc on the roads etc ...
: Taxes: - SUCK big time, they use the PAYE (Pay As You Earn), normally paid weekly or fortnightly. Then at the end of the year still have to do assessement and normally still have to pay more to the IRS. (in the early to late 80's I was on average paying 45% tax with a take home pay of NZD$1000 per fortnight. As I worked in the Meat Processing Industry with lots of overtime, it pushed me to the next tax bracket. During the meat processing season, you could hit 55% which was the max at that time)
: Night life: - Well to be blunt not much outside the major cities like Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin etc. Most of NZ shuts at 6pm. I was back in NZ in 2007, was there for 5 days couldnt wait to get back to Singapore, simply because, everything shut at 5.30 - 6pm where I was staying, Northshore Auckland. Some places are starting to open later but not many, again not many places open on weekends, of if they do shut lunchtime or mid afternoon.
It all depends on what you want in life. The link, doesnt really give the full story, it glosses over many things, which would be hard to explain. If you want wide open spaces there are many, if you are used to being close to family, then thats 10 to 12 houres away by plane.
Its like all new places, its what you want and are you prepared to make it work.
Do I think I could live back in New Zealand, simple answer No.
Reason for me is now that I am living here, I have so much more to do, in the sense I need a break, anywhere within 3 hours by plane you can travel to another country and relax.
40D|BG-E2N|24-105L F4.0 IS USM |70-200L F2.8 IS USM
Thanks for sharing the other side of views.
Too bad most of the time we can 't get the best of all world, you gain some, you lose some.
Sony Alpha 700 hobbyist
I think the higher level of bureaucracy and inefficiencies here in NZ compared to Singapore will drive most new SG immigrants crazy. The highest tax bracket is $60K at $39% For those looking for exciting jet-setting job opportunities and earn big $, better stay in Singapore. Big ticket items like house and cars are cheaper, but small ticket items like food and CAMERAS are more expensive.
However, I have been living in NZ for the last 15 or so years and am absolutely loving it despite all the above mentioned disadvantages. If you are after a healthier lifestyle, space and cleaner air for the children, more time for your hobbies like photography and outdoors, then do consider NZ.
I guess at the end of the day, you need to pick what is important for you.
But and this is a huge BUT, I would recommend you secure the job you want before moving over, especially if you are no longer that young. I have seen too many examples of immigrants having to "downgrade" their jobs or forced to switch vocation due to the limited job range over here. However, this would not be an issue if you are planning to retire here with a huge cash saving.
Having lived in the US for almost 18 years, I can't wait to move back to Singapore. Others who migrated here are contented to stay for the rest of their lives.
To each his/her own, I guess.
Which part of NZ do you live in?
I felt the same way when I come here, with the way bureaucracy works. It was hard to adjust to the lifestyle here as I was never a big city person. But I found you could make Singapore as small as you want it depending on where you lived and what that area had to offer.
Do I miss the wide open spaces, yes, but its a trade off now as to what you want in life.
The hardest part I would say is this, for those going to NZ, it will take a while to adapt, fit in, learn the ways of life, where those coming to Singapore, its very much easier to fit in simply because it is One city, and a very vibrant expatriate community. Where as in New Zealand there are many places where there are no expatriates living there.
Again I would think very carefully, as you have said, get your job secured, go there visit the area first, look at the working conditions, and see if it appeals to you.
40D|BG-E2N|24-105L F4.0 IS USM |70-200L F2.8 IS USM
so tell me, living overseas is living overseas, right? now got different ways to live overseas? hilarious.
i think why i choose to take amusement at your posts is that you seem like a salesman trying to sell me a filter. when asked about the filter, all you do is gloss over how cheap it is, how pretty it is, how it glows in that light. i can notice that you aren't telling me about anything bad about it.
Last edited by night86mare; 11th February 2010 at 08:17 PM.
Last edited by Sion; 11th February 2010 at 10:04 PM.
I think it's great that New Zealand can offer this.
and it's good to hear insight from people who are on either side too