I’m definitely a city girl, and it’s awesome being back in a city where the pulse of life is throbbing away at all hours. Hey the shops are open til 10 or 11pm every night – cool. Shops closing at 5pm really didn’t suit me. Not to mention every shopping centre has kids’ playgrounds of some description and that means if it’s raining, you’ve got a tonne of entertainment options for two adventurous lads and you can do the groceries at the same time.
Condo living is pretty much the norm, and while you can live in a house, why would you? Living in a condo means friends for the kids, potential friends for the adults and everyone comes from all corners of the globe, so you find yourself surrounded with a great mix of people – I love that. All national, religious and cultural traditions are shared with parties two seconds out your front door. Not to mention fabulous pools, kids playgrounds, tennis courts, squash courts, and free gym membership.
Soon we’ll also be embracing Cathy, our soon to be employed maid, who we hope joins us in the next couple of weeks. With Cathy on board, there will be no responsibility for washing, or ironing (not that I’m doing any), or shopping, or cooking, or cleaning, or anything around the house really. With all that covered, I just need to take care of myself, work as hard as I can, or spend time with my precious family. That is the biggest bonus of being in Singapore and one of the primary reasons for our return.
The schools are amazing for the kids, everyone is pumped up to embrace business opportunities (Asia is definitely humming right now), the government positively encourages entrepreneurs, the airport is 10 minutes away where you can get great deals all over the world, the restaurants are amazing, the entertainment options are growing by the minute as Singapore seeks to join the world’s most exciting cities, and architecturally it’s gone from being a pretty dull place to a pretty stunning place – all in the last few years.
I get a bit bored with comments like ‘but you can’t chew gum.’ Well guess what, you can, you just can’t buy it here without a prescription. But you know what? I bloody hate the sound of people smacking away on a piece of gum in my ear anyway, so for me that is a very big bonus.
It’s a clean place, it’s a safe place, and while the traffic can be shit, the drivers shocking and the cost of living extremely high for foreigners (3rd most expensive city in the world now), it’s a city where anything seems possible, and right now, that’s the perfect place for us to be.
I’d have to say one of the biggest bonuses is it’s warm all year round. Some hate the humidity, but after living through London and Boston winters, plus a chilly winter on the Sunshine Coast, I am so very happy about that.
Don’t get me wrong, I have my Singapore days too, where everything shits me to tears – the shocking driving, slow walking when I’m in a rush, the occasional encounters you have with pretentious expat wankers, the stupidity of the condo guards, or the crazy expense of many things – it’s not perfect, but it’s as perfect as it can be for me right now.
Singapore, derided by many for being boring, I am here to tell you it’s not. After the last two years wandering around trying to find a new life for us, and realising that what we left was better than anything we were finding, I am now fully able to embrace this town for what it enables me to achieve and the lifestyle benefits it offers my whole family. We’re still in temporary accommodation (five months now) but soon we hope to be in our own home, with our own stuff and then life can begin anew.
I wouldn’t recommend our last two years to anyone, but we learnt a lot of fabulous life lessons, and we’ve got our eye on the prize now, so let our new life begin!
Yours, without the bollocks