Singapore 101

>> Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Heads up to those planning for a vacation or considering better job opportunities here in Singapore. :) Fortunately, we did not have a hard time adjusting since we have friends who provided lots of information about things here.

Hmmm, Singapore is the second country that I have been to. I went to Hong Kong several times already (cumulatively: about 3-4mos) and I'd say there are lots of similar things on these two countries. Mapping as follows (hahaha, analyze to the max ito)! Some are merely observations so you (readers) may not entirely agree with me. hehehe...

  • Local residents of both countries are Chinese and they are both under British Colony before. Most Singaporeans can speak english well compared to those in HK. And I'd say, SG locals are friendlier than HK locals.

  • They have a very efficient transportation service. Commuters can pay via cash or through their automated payment system (SG: ezlink, HK: octopus). Using their fare cards is actually cheaper than paying in cash. And having designated stops, prepare your feet for long walks (healthier though hehehe)

    • MRT (SG)/MTR(HK) stations are strategically located per area. There are several train lines to go to several places via interchange. Both countries calls train lines via area (SG: North West Line, East West Line, North East Line and soon, Circle Line) (HK:Island Line, Tsuen Wan Line, Disneyland Resort Line Etc.). Similarly, their trains can also be identified per color (i.e. Green Line, Red Line, Purple Line, etc.)

    • Bus stops are also properly organized to cover most areas. Most bus has upper decks too. Some difference though,

      • In Singapore, you have to signal the bus driver that you will board the bus at the bus stop and press the stop button before your actual stop since bus drivers does not normally stop at all designation bus stops unless there's a signal. Commuters need not queue since there's no specified area in the stop per bus code.

      • In HK, there are rare cases that one has to press the stop button. Normally, commuters who will alight the next bus stop just have to stand near the exit to signal the driver. Also, per bus stop, there's a designated area where each bus should stop (depending on code). Therefore, drivers can determine if someone needs to board his bus. Commuter queuing is required.

  • Food: I haven't explored much on SG local delicacies but there are the usual dimsum, cheong fun, iced milk tea, iced lemon tea, roast/barbecued pork, soy chicken, hainanese chicken, congee, curry/sweet and sour dishes.

  • Shopping Malls: They are just about anywhere. Most of the times stores are on sale. Feast to women's eyes hahaha..

  • Filipino Hot Spot: It's Lucky Plaza (Orchard) in SG and World-Wide Center (Central) in HK.

  • Grocery/Convenience Stores: 7-11 almost everywhere (for both SG and HK)... There's Circle K in HK, Cheers in SG. Groceries: Fair Price, CarreFour in SG while Wellcome and Park N Shop in HK.

Oh! I could list a lot more comparisons for both countries but enough of that. I'm just happy that there are a lot of same things to both countries that I did not have so much adjustment to do. Now, I'll focus on Singapore alone. :)

Temperature is almost the same with our country. Only that it seems that it rains here more often. Someone said (can't remember who) that considering that Singapore is a tropical country, amount of precipitation is high. So if you perspire a lot, bring water, fan, towelette or what have you to be more comfortable while walking.

First timers may find it difficult to get used to navigating Singapore. But if you have internet connection, you can go to their online street directory. They also have an available street directory book and bus guides to help you find your way better.

As with the laws, strictly no eating and drinking on buses and MRT stations. No spitting and definitely keep the surroundings clean. Cross on the appropriate pedestrian lanes. Most authorities are in civilian clothes so beware! Penalties cost a lot.

Aside from Filipinos, there are other races here. Along with seeing Chinese/Locals in public transports are Malaysians and Indians. There are many Caucasians and other races as well but I think they are mostly expats or tourists.

Cost of living in Singapore is definitely much expensive. Eating in fast food chains in malls would cost you a minimum of SGD6-8 (around PHP150-240 [PHP30 conversion]). Expect shelling out more cash on restaurants. Good thing there are hawker centers that are cheaper (minimum of SGD2.8). Take note that there are no drinks to the estimate cost I mentioned (minimum one dollar).

Piracy is a no-no here. Boring life, it is. Also, downloading of music, videos or movies over the internet are strictly monitored. You might be surprised that someone is knocking your door only to discover that you've been caught. Katakot!

I appreciate that areas here sort of create a community where you can conveniently go to. Seems that almost all areas have their own parks, children play areas, tambayan (frequented mostly by elderly or PDA lovers), wet markets, police stations, child care centers, schools, hawker centers and anik-anik stores.

I think that's just about it. Touring or living (temporarily or permanently that is) around Singapore definitely needs some getting used to but worth the time. Just make sure your pockets are full! Hahaha...

4 hirit/s:

Mon Wed Oct 31, 11:51:00 AM  

Yep, life here is very different from the life I'm used to in the Philippines... More kilometer-long walks, really large gargantuan cats, more expensive night-outs and the like. However, SG is very progressive which makes up for what appears to be a "restrictive" environment (very few pirated products, strict rules about food in MRTs, buses, and stations, etc); Give up a few perks to get better ones. Efficient public transpo, extremelylow crime rate, good-paying jobs. No wonder people flock here.

ji Fri Nov 02, 07:38:00 PM  

ate che! ang haba ng post mo! hahah :) pero i enjoyed reading it, analyze galore nga iyon. fashionable ba mga people jan? hahaha yun eh noh?! hahaha

Anonymous Tue Nov 06, 11:44:00 AM  

very very observant che, nakuha mu lahat hehe! keep writing :)


harbie Wed Nov 07, 04:46:00 AM  

nice points Che! naks, SG-eans na kayo ah!

uyyy, client namin yung CarreFour! i worked on a project for them for over a year na. hehehe! do they have those red-bordered discount coupons that they print at checkout? kami gumagawa non! hehehe! promote daw. =P

sounds like the next Japan ang SG ah. more disciplined people, more progressive. enjoy your stay there! =)

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