Year 1 Singapore Reflections About Our New Home Country
It is a new dawn and December 6, 2017 officially marks our living in Singapore for 1 entire year!
Wow, Time Flies!
I can’t even believe how fast this year has flown by. Unfortunately we spent 6 months out of the past year recovering from our motor scooter accident on January 20th, 2017 (Yes, that date is burned in my mind) in Langkawi. That incident left me with 12 stitches in my knee which I’m almost fully recovered from. This experience provided an an educational adventure learning all about the amazing corporate medical coverage I have and the Malaysian hospital care system.
Can’t Keep Us Down
Despite that setback, moving into our new home, and adjusting to everything Singapore, we still somehow managed to travel to at least 14 cities in 8 countries:
- Bandung, Indonesia
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Da Nang, Vietnam
- Hakone, Japan
- Hong Kong, China
- Krabi, Thailand
- Langkawi, Malaysia
- Macau, China
- Rangali Island, Maldives
- Melacca, Malaysia
- Penang, Malaysia
- Phuket, Thailand
- San Jose, USA
- Tokyo, Japan
F8T Thoughts on Singapore
In terms of my observations about Singapore, during year 1, as with any place in the world, there are pros and there are cons:
PROS | No Driving
I don’t know how else to say it other than how impressed we are at just how easy and convenient everything is here! For the first time in our lives we haven’t had to personally drive anywhere and that’s just liberating.
We rely on public (Mass Rapid Transit/Over Ground Bus) or crowd sourced (Uber/Grab) transportation for both our commute and everyday getting around; either method being very affordable and reliable. You can literally get anywhere on the island with a click of your phone app or just a stroll down to your local bus stop.
PROS | Fast and Cheap Internet
I also appreciate how inexpensive certain things are; one that always comes to mind is my fiber internet! Not only do I have blazing fast speeds, but the best part is I only pay $39 SGD a month for it. Now when I think about my countless $100+ Comcast bills back at home, I just cringe.
PROS | Location, Location, LOCATION!
Lastly, one of my favorite things about our home is that our condo located in a perfect location for us (in the Central Business District), surrounded by tons of restaurants, bars, hawker centers, bus stops. Never mind that we are walking distance from the nearby metro station and we practically live above our new Orangetheory gym! Not only is the area the complete opposite of our past suburban life in San Jose, it even has the most amazing pool for the weekends that we are in Singapore. Going down to our 7th floor pool feels like we’re chilling out at a resort!
We couldn’t ask for anything more.
CONS | No Returns?
When it comes to the less than ideal things, I’d say one of the biggest things I miss about the US is consumer rights. Here in Singapore, returns are rare and major brands (ex: Starhub) leverage some of the most antiquated customer service policies and systems I’ve ever seen; making it so difficult to make changes and/or deal with them as a customer. The entire problem resolution experience is less than perfect.
CONS | By the Numbers
Another slightly annoying thing is the strict adherence to rules with no room for any flexibility or even sometimes common sense.
From a very recent example, at Subway, there is a holiday promo where if you buy a sandwich and then double the meat, you can get a free soda and cookie. Not realizing it was only applicable to footlongs, we had purchased a footlong. We then had to pay the full combo price in addition to the double meat cost.
Technically we could have just bought 2 six inch subs and double the meat and he’d then have to give us 2 drinks and 4 cookies (double what I would have received if he only allowed for the offer to be applicable to footlongs) thus costing them more money in terms of promotional free items. Yet, NOPE, we were not applicable for the promotion. Worse yet, he seemed to understand and yet he wouldn’t budge.
Final Singapore Reflections
Regardless of the minor complaints, life in Singapore has been great! Sure the weather has taken a lot of getting used to but living here hasn’t been without it’s undeniable perks:
- Offering us lots of opportunities to travel to many amazing neighboring destinations
- Making it a lot easier for me to go home and see my grandmother in Penang
- Great variety of affordable local dining options which would have been considered exotic back in California
We are so thankful for the great life we’ve built and the wonderful friends we’ve made.
Can’t wait to see what else is in store for us in year 2!
- Can’t beat the variety of great food
- Goodbye car, Hello MRT!
- Can’t believe how green downtown is!?
How’s your year been?