Advice for expat confusion over living in Singapore

Published:  15 Apr at 6 PM
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Given that Singapore is now the most expensive world city for expat living, a few useful pointers can ensure financial survival as well as having a great time.

Most expats arrive in the booming city aiming to stay several years at most, and rush out to rent an apartment rather than buying straight away. Experienced expats consider renting is a waste of money and buying is sensible, as most arrivals love the Singapore lifestyle and stay far longer than they first intended as a result.

Early application for permanent residency is another good idea, as it gives expats a better choice of property. However, if you’re a fan of the casino at Marina Bay Sands, PR is a bad idea, as residents and expat PR must pay S$100 just to get through its doors.

For those who’re not sure they can survive without basketball, baseball, American football or rugby, the only game in town is English football. English Premier League matches bring the expat community to a standstill regularly, and choosing a team to support isn’t as easy as its sounds as feelings run high.

Americans addicted to chewing gum will need to find another bad habit, as the Singaporean version is awful, and needs sight of your ID card on purchase. Forget about getting a car unless you’re seriously rich, as the state is the most expensive place in the world for vehicle purchase and traffic is hell.

Public transport is a good option in Singapore as it’s clean, cheap, efficient and rarely breaks down. If you simply can’t resist having your own transport, remember that red lights are just a suggestion with at least four cars running them each time, and note that indicators are never used.

Learning to love the foul-smelling durian fruit and attempting to learn Chinese is all part of the fun. You’re living in one of the planet’s great cities, with lying back and enjoying all it has to offer the only way forward.
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