English girl living in Singapore - Interviewing Changmoh Girl

Published: 26 Mar at 9 AM
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Filed: Interviews,Singapore
This is an interview with the girl behind the anonymous and successful Singapore life and style blog Changmoh.com. An unusual blog in that she's become so assimilated with local culture out in Singapore that she's earned herself the nickname of 'Changmoh' which stands for Chinese Angmoh (local speak for Chinese Caucasian). Huge fun, it's irreverent, honest and frank and a good read whether or not you are Asia-based. Changmoh Girl's expat blog is called Changmoh (see listing here)

Meet Changmoh Girl - English expat living in Singapore
Meet Changmoh Girl - English expat living in Singapore

Here's the interview with Changmoh Girl...


Where are you originally from?
The UK

In which country and city are you living now?
Singapore

How long have you lived here and how long are you planning to stay?
We've been here a total of 4 years. 'Forever for now' is probably the best way of looking at it.

Why did you move and what do you do?
My husband was recruited to do a job here in Singapore but is actually half Chinese (Singaporean) and so had family here already. I look after two small people, I write, I blog and I also advise companies on their social media presence and how they can best manage it.

Did you bring family with you?
Just the four of us.

Singapore taken by a local photographer I chanced upon and have become friends with (Irene Kuok)
This is a shot of the skyline of the multi cultural city that is Singapore taken by a local photographer I chanced upon and have become friends with (Irene Kuok)
How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
Because we had family here and because English is still the national language in Singapore, I didn't feel I was being taken to live in a place I couldn't relate to and didn't know. I was excited and I was very lucky to have people to show me the ropes.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
I have a mixed group of friends, all of whom I couldn't live without. Half are expats and half are locals. Meeting people and making friends, from the beginning, was relatively easy as people understand what moving to a new place is like. They are - generally - prepared to make an effort with a new kid on the block. Looking up friends of friends, or whoever you are put in touch with by great aunt Mabel, is generally as good a place to start as any.

What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
Go local. Don't try and recreate England/wherever you are from. Embrace the culture you've been thrown in to!

Nyona kueh (multicoloured local cakes that are very Singaporean and one of my favourite things to eat)
Nyona kueh (multicoloured local cakes that are very Singaporean and one of my favourite things to eat)
What do you enjoy most about living here?
Not shivering on a February morning, drinking teh tarik any any time of the day or night (bubble tea, it's delicious...try it) and living in a truly multicultural city

How does the cost of living compare to home?
You have to remember that you are paying a lot less tax living here than you would be in England (this kind of puts it all in to perspective). However, if you are comparing the day to day price of milk, Waitrose in the UK looks like a bargain basement. Petrol on the other hand is cheaper than it is at home but eating out ranges from horrifically expensive ($300 for a steak if you go to a celebrity chef restaurant) to terrific value ($3 for a bowl of delicious noodles, albeit eaten from a plastic bowl at a hawker centre with strip lighting).

What negatives, if any, are there to living here?
You are generally not surrounded by your nearest and dearest, the people you have grown up with and the people who know you best. There are no seasons. There is never a time when you can wear knee high boots.

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving here, what would it be?
Enjoy the ride and think of it as an adventure you are lucky to be having. It's also a chance to make some new friends.

A row of Katong shophouses in the East Coast of Singapore
A row of Katong shophouses in the East Coast of Singapore
What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
Being away from family when the inevitable momentous occasions happen, whether happy or sad.

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
Will I return home? I think I will always live in Singapore but may split my time, with some of it spent back in the UK

What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Respect your host country; you are a guest here.
  2. Try to embrace local life.
  3. Make friends.
  4. Be interesting.
  5. Be interested.


There are masses of great places to eat, including this - one of my favourite dim sum joints - the newly opened MAD at Turf City
There are masses of great places to eat, including this - one of my favourite dim sum joints - the newly opened MAD at Turf City
Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
My blog (see link below) is an online diary of my life in Singapore, where I have one foot in the expat camp and the other firmly planted on the local side of the fence: I love durian [a stinky local SE Asian fruit loved by some and loathed by many], I have a bunch of Singaporean friends who found it a scream that when I arrived I paid at least 30% more than they did, for anything, even if I bargained and, lastly, I like to think I am actually half Chinese. Maybe even three-quarters. Changmoh.com chronicles my journey through Singapore city living, treading the gap between the two worlds of East and West

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
Via the contact form on my blog, Twitter: @changmohgirl and Facebook: www.facebook.com/ChangmohGirl

Changmoh Girl blogs at http://www.changmoh.com which we recommend a quick visit if you haven't been already. Changmoh has an ExpatsBlog.com listing here so add a review if you like! If you appreciated this interview with Changmoh Girl, please also drop her a quick comment below.

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Comments » There is 1 comment

Helen McClure wrote 4 years ago:

I just landed in Singapore yesterday, so thanks for the insight. Staying for a couple of days before heading to Java.

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