True Life Singapore: Expat Social Life

Moving to a new country, starting a new job and making new friends. Sounds easy right?WRONG. Living abroad and away from your home country comes with many obstacles. Having a good group to surround yourself with is one of the biggest.

I thought when I moved to Singapore, I would make friends with locals and have a great great experience. However, that’s not always the case. I find that local Singaporeans are really quiet and don’t speak to foreigners much. If they do speak to you, it’s at your place of work.

Meeting other expats is also challenging based on what kind of job you have. If you have a regular 9-5 job than it’s fairly easy. However, I have a 2-10 job with Monday & Tuesday off. It’s quite bad really. You miss out on weekends. The people you work with become your ‘friends.’ Notice how I put ‘friends.’

I say this because the first few months it’s great. It does feel like you’ve made friends. You really get to know people and then suddenly something changes. As this recently happened to me after 7 months of being abroad.

Suddenly, you notice co-workers popping up on Facebook and insta at another co-workers dinner parties, or afternoon tea. You realize that the WhatsApp group you are in is a joke. When you try to arrange something fun in the group chat, it’s responded with ” …silence…”  You miss parties and evening dinners with other co-workers whom you thought were your ‘friends.’ You then find your self starting all over, trying to make friends, while at the same time wonder what the hell happened.

No one wants to be lonely in another country. As an expat, you soon realize this. You really have to make an effort and put yourself out there. For me it’s easy to talk with people, get involved in yoga or dance classes. But when someone burns bridges and completely starts excluding you from things, its just rude. You begin to wonder if it’s something you did or said.. Then you realize its just them.
You start to really miss home, your bffs and bae.

Sometimes I wonder if I loose people due to my partners success in life. My partner and I live a great life that most people dream of. Neither of us walk around flaunting anything. We’re very modest and it’s crazy how people could possibly be intimidated by other people’s success. We’re constantly inviting people over for BBQ’s or just a night of drinks and pub quiz on the tele. Expat life is weird and you will have to put in a lot of effort to make it work. Especially if you want to make it feel like “home.”

What you have to do is keep your head high, meet new people and stay social. Don’t let toxic people around you bring you down. Rather than being excluded from your group of ‘friends,’ join meet-up groups in areas of interest and volunteer. It’s a great way to meet new people and give back to the community.

 

Working In Singapore

Singapore is the melting pot of Asia. If you’re one of the lucky ones to snag a job in Singapore you will be submersed in a culture that is very different than a western culture.

Jobs in Singapore

Lately the Ministry of Manpower has been constantly changing visas for expats. It is becoming harder and harder to get a job in Singapore unless you have a trade that is deemed in-demand by the government of Singapore.

Teaching English at a tuition centre is one of the easiest ways to work in Singapore. If you:

  • Hold a Bachelors Degree
  • Under the age of 30
  • Some experience working in a school environment/teaching

If you are interested in working in Singapore, do a quick google search of tuition centres in Singapore.

So what about the money? In Singapore, the average salary for an English Teacher at a tuition centre is $4,300+ SGD and goes up from there. It varies by centre.

This isn’t the easy TEFL job in Thailand or Indonesia. The schools expect you to go above and beyond. Singaporean parents expect a lot and then more. Full time working hours are 40+ per week. This isn’t traditional Monday – Friday ; 9 – 5pm
Most tuition centres will give teachers Monday and Tuesday off.
You will NEVER have a weekend off.

Questions? Comment in the section below!

 

 

Desaru, Malaysia

Desaru, Malaysia 

I’ve had this Resort booked and PAID for 5 months  (Jan – May 2017) at the Lotus Desaru Beach Resort, for my boyfriend and I. Unfortunately since he kept getting called away for work, I would have to reschedule our stay. After rescheduling more than 8x The lady on the other end of the phone finally said, “Ma’am I cannot reschedule the stay anymore.”

So my last reservation was final. I had 2 options.. forfeit my holiday that I’ve already paid for or just go! So I asked some ladies that I work with If they would like to go on a holiday before our actually holiday is coming up. So this is like our Pre-holiday, holiday.
The obvious response was YES! FREE HOLIDAY!

Ladies Pre-Holiday, Holiday

Turned out to be an alright resort. It was equipped with a waterpark that was full of kids. As a teacher right now, I need to escape these little monsters. So naturally, we all avoided the waterpark like the plague.

The breakfast was maybe 3/5 stars. It wasn’t the best I’ve had. I mostly ate Roti for breakfast because the ‘western’ selection was awful.  The actual rooms were ok. It was a 2 bedroom suite, queen bed. However, mostly everything was pretty outdated and looked rather old and dingy.

The resort was right on the beach, so we spend a lot of time in the ocean or lounging out, drinking cheap beer and reading a book.

 

A one point during the lounging out and reading, I was approached by what I can only describe as creepy.
We were all soaking up the sun under our cabanas and groups of people passed by behind us. However, there was one group of guys where one of the guys strayed away and out of the 15 cabanas available, he decided to come sit next to me. “Oh brilliant!” I sarcastically thought to myself.

As soon as this guy sat down he tried to talk, and we all had out faces in a book. He could clearly see that. So, he hung around. About 10-15 minutes pass and I’m finished with ,my chapter and set the book down to get a drink and he starts to talk.. with what I can only describe as drilling me with the 50 questions. I polity answer a few, give obvious fake name and then this dude whips out his phone and starts scrolling through facebook asking if this is my facebook.    WTF??

I basically kept saying, “No’ then he asked for my number, again I respond with a “No!”
This dude was super persistent. I thought a polite ‘fuck off’ might be in order. Instead I stopped talking and moved over to one of the other girls cabanas and drank until he fucked off. After that we joked about my pseudonym ‘Mary’

After that, we had a lovely time!

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Phuket, Thailand

Thailand

Anything goes.

Airport > Hotel 

When you are trying to leave the airport in Phuket to your final destination, I highly suggest getting a SIM card for $10-15 and ordering a “Grab” aka UBER for Thailand.

I was ripped off by the taxi queue. I initially ordered a cheap 200 bhat van ride to Patong Beach. However, I found out once I met my driver that the van doesn’t leave until its full! Which is not convenient at all. I asked for a refund or to book a proper taxi rather than share a van. she told me 600 baht more.

So I found a girl outside the airport who was also going near Patong Beach and we were keen on sharing a taxi. However the taxi lady seen us talking and then said 600 baht EACH. It was ridiculous. I even told the taxi lady, the girl would be going to MY place. She still wouldn’t let us share a taxi. I WISH I would have known “GRAB”was in Phuket. We could have split the normal fair 800 bhat.
ALSO don’t buy the cheap ticket unless you have about 10 people to fill a van.

Patong Beach 

Patong Beach area was quite nice. This was my first time in Thailand and I was keen on seeing the touristy areas. We strolled down Bangla Road and was met with the craziest party scene. I’ve been to Bourbon Street in New Orleans and Bangla Road takes the cake. They have it all. Cheap booze, cheap food, and entertainment shows which will make you say, “what the … did I just watch”

Animals 

We went to a wonderful Elephant Sanctuary in Phuket. The elephants roamed free on the land. This was a no riding facility, strictly retirement for the elephants. They taught us about some of the elephants and have permanent damage to their back being broken from the riding industry and this particular sanctuary we were at rescued them from those facilities. I highly recommend this place.