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#1 GeraniumQueen

Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:58 PM

New thread time original.gif

link to last thread

#2 mummyk8

Posted 23 February 2012 - 12:16 AM

Oh wow! We got a second thread for the group.

You should be proud Mel original.gif

#3 readyandraring

Posted 24 February 2012 - 05:32 PM

woohoo, that means we are definitely growing. I am enjoying hearing all your hints and finding out who else is moving here.

My question for today, does anyone know of a company that delivers fresh fruit and vege? even meat?

We have found fair price to be the best for grocery delivery, much cheaper but they do not have much in the way of fruit, vege and meat.

I know I should go to the wet markets for this but at 31 weeks pregnant I am not really enjoying this experience now. Plus it would be great to have in place for when bub is born so I can just order all our food and I can cook at home. I know the hawkers are cheaper but they are not healthier and I really don't think I will want to do that for a while.

any suggestions?

#4 bearosauraus

Posted 10 March 2012 - 07:00 PM

Hope you dont mind me asking a question in here.
How pram friendly is singapore? We are going o/s for 4 weeks in june/july and DS will be 15 months old.  I was thinking of taking a cheapo stroller on the majority of our trip but wondering if its worth lugging around thailand for 10 days to keep for when we stop in singapore on the way home? We will also have a backpack carrier, but would prefer pram!

#5 sks_2009

Posted 10 March 2012 - 10:33 PM

QUOTE (readyandraring @ 24/02/2012, 06:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My question for today, does anyone know of a company that delivers fresh fruit and vege? even meat?

We have found fair price to be the best for grocery delivery, much cheaper but they do not have much in the way of fruit, vege and meat.

Sorry I can't help you with deliveries...

QUOTE (bikingbubs @ 10/03/2012, 08:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How pram friendly is singapore?

I'd definitely take the stroller, Singapore is quite stroller friendly, Thailand usually isn't, so I'd use the backpack for Thailand and the stroller for Singapore.  You can take the stroller for free on the flight, so it's worth taking.

#6 franno

Posted 16 March 2012 - 10:10 AM

Hi all,

Randomly found this group i didnt know there was one. Hi! I have been living in SG for 2 years. Previously Sydney where DD was born (originally kiwi).

Ready and dreaming - have you tried supernature? It's organic so on the pricey side. There is another I have used but can't remember the name - its called the organic grocer or something like that. Cold storage also do online deliveries and friends day they are great.

#7 Kiki M

Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:57 AM

Hi Singapore ladies,

Not sure how many of you are still around, as it seems a while since anyone has posted here. That's ok, I'm writing this as a part vent anyway, but also to ask for positivity. We have moved to Singapore a month ago, and TBH, I'm struggling. We are here for three years. At the moment, I'm feeling I will be lucky to last six months.

I need to know some positive, good things about what you love here . . these are the things I'm struggling with:

NB: Yes I know these are 'first world problems' and that I may sound whiny and ungrateful. I just need to vent.

1. The heat and humidity Yes, I knew it would be hot. I didn't know how hard it would be to actually do anything in this weather. I take DD out for a run in the playground and we both come back dripping with sweat. Plus, the groundhog day-ness of the weather - every day the same. No relief.

How long does it take to acclimitise? We have aircon of course and a pool at the condo, but my DH seems intent on using the aircon as little as possible.

2. Getting around My biggest fear was always not having a car (because they are so expensive here). We had two cars in Melbourne, getting around was easy. Trying to juggle an active toddler, fold a pram and get my travel pass out, not to mention trying to keep DD still when we are on the bus - nightmare. As a result, unless I have DH with me, I don't go out. It's too hard. This results in me feeling trapped and isolated.

We are getting a domestic helper, so it will be easier then. Still, I hate public transport.

3. Employment I have been on maternity leave since DD was born. I have been looking at jobs here, there isn't a lot in my field. There is very little part time work. The salaries are rubbish, and they are hardly ever listed in job advertisements. The general working hours seem longer than back home (this was confirmed by a friend who has moved here that I used to work with back home).

4. Accommodation Back home we had a modest three bedroom townhouse. But it had a big kitchen, plenty of storage etc. Here we are paying what I would consider a lot of money for a three bedroom apartment. When I saw the size of the kitchen I nearly cried. The storage is completely impractical, because I am not nine feet tall and I can't reach that high. The bathrooms look very Franco Cozzo, circa 1990. The condo facilities are good, but having three pools and a gym doesn't really compensate when I'm trying to find a home for all my kitchen appliances.

I could also mention that mobile phone reception is terrible and so is the TV, even though we have cable, and that I have little hope of finding a hairdresser capable of doing blonde highlights on caucasian hair that is also in close proximity and reasonably priced.

So, I hear a lot of people say that life in Singapore 'easy'. My question is: how? If it's too expensive to own a car, the cost of decent accommodation is high, wages are low compared to back home, working hours are longer, milk and meat are expensive, and it's stinking hot all the time?

OK, thanks for reading this far. Now hit me with a dose of positive thinking - what do you love about Singapore?

#8 jenayds

Posted 05 July 2012 - 09:02 PM

Hi Kiki M,

I lived in Singapore for three years and now live in Hong Kong, so have some experience with what you're going through. I have a book called "The Expert Expat" and according to it, what you are experiencing is totally normal. It says when you move countries, you go through three stages:
  1. an early period of optimism (the honeymoon phase)
  2. a 'slump' as the stresses of transition become overwhelming
  3. the gradual progression to reconnection as you adjust to the new environment.

You sound like you've just hit the slump. Hang in there, it gets better.

With regard to your specific concerns, here is how things worked out in my experience:

1. The heat and humidity. Yep, that definitely is a 'thing' in Singapore. I just compensated with the airconditioner (and still do in Hong Kong). Maybe a talk with your husband is needed, explaining how the heat is affecting you and how you would really benefit from using the aircon more. Sure, it's expensive, but it's just one of those things that you need for your mental health (and physical comfort). Lee Kwan Yew was famous for saying he couldn't work without airconditioning. If the father of the nation couldn't bear to be without it, I reckon you might have a genuine need too! wink.gif

Groundhog day-ness of weather. Yep, again definitely a 'thing'. We compensated with holidays away to other climates.

2. Getting around. I sympathise about juggling babies, toddlers and prams in public transport, having been there and done that. It is difficult. This is but one area that will improve greatly when you get a helper. It becomes much more manageable. So this too shall pass, and you will not be stuck in your local area forever.

3. Employment. Do you need to work? Perhaps you can just take the opportunity to enjoy time at home with your child? Or perhaps you could take the opportunity to do something different - start a small business, write, pursue a hobby...? When I was in Singapore I did a course and then started working in a different field after seeing an interesting job advertised in the paper. If you think outside the box do any possibilities occur to you?

4. Accommodation. Yep, another 'thing', which I can assure you is very much worse here in Hong Kong. You just have to adjust. You have a three-bedroom apartment which is good going as far as most of the population are concerned. Vertical storage is your friend. Sounds like you need to invest in a stepladder though! You just adjust to the reality that you need to store your stuff vertically, and you need to occasionally move some things to reach other things...just a fact of life when space is limited.

For your other concerns, eventually you make friends who will tell you which hairdresser they have found to be good etc etc. Don't stress too much about those things at this early stage.

Life genuinely does become vastly easier when you get a good helper. They free you up from all the domestic chores so you can choose what to do with your time.

The things I loved about Singapore included:
  • great base for travel in Asia
  • the zoo!
  • eating chilli crab at Jumbo's
  • making some great friends (these were fellow expats - it was hard to make local friends)
  • the ease of getting around on the MRT/buses etc - reliable public transport, unlike Australia
  • how clean everything generally is
  • having a pool downstairs, that I didn't have to clean or sweep or chlorinate - just enjoy!
  • dinner at the hawker centre with friends after dark, when it's not so hot
  • cultural diversity (Indian/Malay/Chinese) and seeing/hearing multiple languages, but everyone understands English so I can still function easily
  • a chance to develop appreciation of other cultures

How are you going with finding a group of friends? That was a major sanity-saver for us. It is usually much easier to find when you have a child - you connect naturally with other parents via your child's activities/preschool etc.

Good luck with it all and let us know how you get on.

#9 sks_2009

Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:37 PM

1. The heat and humidity Yeah it's tough, but it's getting cooler now, the past week has been much better. May & June are the worst, the humidity is a killer. You do get used to it.

2. Getting around It gets easier. I walk many places with my DD's as I find buses a but hard, we also take taxis, but avoid peak times.

3. Employment It's hard to be fixed on a certain field, you need to be flexible and think if other things, such as English teaching or something, it's a great flexible job that's higher paying than other jobs.

4. Accommodation make use of high cupboards, cull, you really don't need so much stuff!

It does get easier, we've been here for 5 years and it's a great place for kids. Once you meet a few people it becomes easier.

Pm me if you have any questions.

Take care

#10 kellj

Posted 12 July 2012 - 07:38 PM

Hi There,

Sounds like you are doing it tough.  We've all been there.  Cold Storage has brought me to tears on more than one occasion!

The Heat:  I love my air conditioning. I refuse to sweat in my own house and I'm lucky that we can afford it, although I try and only run it in the room which I am in.

Getting around: I opted for a car over a helper, but both my DD's are at school so the decision was a bit easier. I love having a car but I still use the MRT, taxis and even the occasional bus!  I have heard from friends that the bus with a pram is a nightmare. :-(

Employment: I'd love to work part-time here but the country just doesn't seem to like PT work. I've returned to study and have some other plans to break the boredom in the next half of the year.

Accommodation:  We are fortunate to have a decent size house so I can't help you out on this point.

You aren't alone, although it probably feels like it.  We all struggle, and usually with different aspects of life here. For me, it is grocery shopping. I miss visiting just one supermarket and knowing that I will get everything I need in the one trip!


#11 Kiki M

Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:52 PM

Hi ladies,

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my post. It's good just to know that I am not alone, that others have been through this too.

My last week has actually been better. I've had a job offer at a company I used to work for in Melbourne, our maid is closer to starting, and we've had family staying. We even invited a couple over for dinner that we just met, they have a DD the same age as ours. I guess that's the beginning of making new friends . .

Jen - I might try and get hold of that book you mentioned, and I'll definitely try and find the Lee Kwan Yew quote about aircon to show my DH! And you are right - I just have to live with the Singapore 'things' and try to appreciate the advantages of living here.


#12 kellj

Posted 15 July 2012 - 11:35 AM

I'm glad that you are feeling better!

#13 ridgeback

Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:20 AM

Hi lovely ladies in Singapore!

We are visiting Singapore over the Easter break for 6 days and I'm just wondering if you have any hints or tips for a holiday with the kids. The children are 7 and 5 - no strollers required!
My DH is insisting on using the MRT but we lived in Hong Kong for 5 years and I have been put off underground trains for life - can't stand small closed in crowded spaces anymore!)  I am planning on getting a taxi to most places - DH says they're expensive there but others tell me its pretty cheap?!
We are planning to visit Universal Studios, LegoLand, The Night Zoo (apparently we are told the Night Zoo is better than going during the day?) , Night Safari, the Cable Car to Sentosa, Light Show and a must see is the Marina Bay Sands Casino?
Are there any hints / tips on which days are good to go - less crowds?
Any websites where I can pre-purchase tickets for any of these places cheaper than buying them at the actual venue on the day we visit?
Where do I book the bus to take us to Legoland?

Any help appreciated


#14 sks_2009

Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:41 AM

QUOTE (ridgeback @ 15/03/2013, 12:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My DH is insisting on using the MRT but we lived in Hong Kong for 5 years and I have been put off underground trains for life - can't stand small closed in crowded spaces anymore!)  I am planning on getting a taxi to most places - DH says they're expensive there but others tell me its pretty cheap?!
We are planning to visit Universal Studios, LegoLand, The Night Zoo (apparently we are told the Night Zoo is better than going during the day?) , Night Safari, the Cable Car to Sentosa, Light Show and a must see is the Marina Bay Sands Casino?
Are there any hints / tips on which days are good to go - less crowds?
Any websites where I can pre-purchase tickets for any of these places cheaper than buying them at the actual venue on the day we visit?
Where do I book the bus to take us to Legoland?

The mrt is quite good but for a lot of places it'll be easier just to take a taxi. Taxis aren't that expensive, avoid peak times and they're cheap (peak times 7:00am-9:30am and 6:00pm-midnight). Some places just aren't accessible by mrt, such as night safari (which is the night zoo). I'm a big fan of the zoo rather than night safari, but my kids are younger than yours. The zoo has a great water play area so take your bathers if you go. The night safari is ok but it takes a while to go around so it's a late night.

I'm not sure if you can buy tickets to things that are cheaper, ie universal studios, I think they're a fixed price.

I don't think the casino is worth going to, it's just a casino, nothing fancy, and honestly, this may sound horrible, but it's full of construction workers, I went there got 10 minutes and left.

I haven't been to legoland so I'm not sure about the best way to get there, hopefully one of the other ladies can tell you.

My list would be zoo, universal studios, sentosa (luge), cable car to sentosa, bird park (take bathers) and just walking around Orchard area, going to food courts and some Hawker Centres for local food.

Sorry I haven't answered many questions, hope someone else pops in and helps out.

Have fun.

Edited by sks_2009, 15 March 2013 - 12:42 AM.

#15 kellj

Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:45 AM

I think there's a bus to Legoland that leaves daily from the Singapore Flyer, there's details on the LEgoland website.  Make sure you take lots of sun screen and hats, as it can be really hot there and there is very little shade.  also take an umbrella as the day we went it POURED. We walked through ankle deep water back to the car park!

Marina Bay Sands is worth a look, but not the casino part.  It is a great view from the top of MBS but there are other cheaper views, like Pinnacle at Duxton or from Level 33 if you can get dinner reservations in advance. Great place to watch the light show from.

I'd choose the Night Safari over the regular zoo, as my kids only want to see the water park at the zoo and race past all the animals!

Have a great trip!

#16 Its Percy

Posted 10 July 2013 - 12:01 PM

Hi guys

My DH's work have asked us to think about transferring to Singapore. We have two girls - 6 and 3 - and while I'm excited about the move am a  bit worried about schools. I've done some research and it seems for every good review of a school there is a dreadful one!

We live in NZ at the moment but will end up back in Australia one day so would like to follow the Aust curriculum. Is AISS or Avondale our only choices?

Do you have children that go to those schools? The fees seem extortionate!

Any advice you can give? Should I contact the schools and put my 6 year old on a waiting list just in case?


#17 kellj

Posted 19 July 2013 - 10:07 PM


Sorry for the delay in answering.

My girls (aged 6 and 10) are both at AIS and I love it. I know a few people whose kids are at Avondale and they love it there, too! It really comes down to expectations but I would say to not let the size of AIS put you off it as the class sizes are still small and they stagger the break times so not all kids are outside at the same time.

There are LOADS of international schools here. LOADS! But Avondale and AIS are the only ones I know of that follow the Australian school calendar and curriculum.

The fees for all international schools are enormous, so try and have them covered in the work contract if you can. Check out what sort of a package they are offering before agreeing to commit. The more you can get the company to cover the easier it can be.

I know AIS does have a waitlist for some year levels, so it is a good idea to contact the registrar and enquire about wait times. The waitlists do cost a couple of thousand dollars from memory.  ohmy.gif

Feel free to message me if you want more advice or detail! I asked many, many questions before we moved, some of which now seem ridiculous but kept me awake at the time.

Good luck!

#18 Tan21

Posted 21 July 2013 - 09:17 PM


I have a 7 and a 5 year old at Avondale.  Although it doesn't have the facilities that AIS has my kids love it there.  They both have great teachers and the school has a real community feel to it.

Good luck with the move.  It is all very daunting!  It wasn't that long ago that we did the move, and I got a lot of information from this group here as well.


#19 au*lit

Posted 21 July 2013 - 10:19 PM

Hello Singapore Buddies,

I'll be moving up there in about 6 weeks. Slightly excited, slightly terrified, but in the meantime overwhelmed with everything we've got to do before we get there.

I know this group hasn't been really active but I hope I might get some pointers and support here. We're coming for DH's job. We've got one two year old DS. There's a possibility of me getting a job up there, otherwise I will do part time freelance work for Aussie clients.

Looking at living somewhere on the eastern part of the EW MRT line. We won't get a car, so we want to be close to an MRT station, or on a good bus line (not really familiar with the bus system).

After finding somewhere to live, the next step will be to find a good daycare for DS. We definitely want somewhere that allows lots of free play and is focussed on fun. 'Education' for a two year old is a bit OTT IMO!

#20 Hedgoth

Posted 22 July 2013 - 12:19 PM

Hi ladies,

Hope you don't mind me crashing your thread original.gif

We are a few years off moving to Singapore, but i wanted to ask if anyone knows of a babysitting agency or someone who does babysitting? We are coming over at Christmas and wanted to take our older 3 girls to Universal Studios and leave our 2 year old with a nanny/babysitter for the day.

I've googled but can't come up with much and wondered if any of you know of someone who'd be keen?

#21 monet

Posted 18 August 2013 - 03:18 PM

Hi everyone,

Percoriel, I have two kids at AIS and am happy with it.  AIS and Avondale are pretty much the options if you want the Aus curriculum and Southern Hemisphere calendar.  This was important for me as I want them to fit back in the right years when we return and I couldn't handle the 8-10 week mid year break like the northern hem schools.  Like Kel said there are some years with a waitlist at AIS so it is a good idea to call or email and have a chat.  All the international schools have high fees...I just take a deep breath and write the cheque!

Au-lit, good luck with the move!

CoffeLove, the majority of people have a helper or part time cleaner that do babysitting so I can't help much.  I googled and found a couple of sites but can't vouch for them.  When we arrived in 2008 both the Australian International School and the Australia and New Zealand Association kept a list of available babysitters...don't know if this is still the case though and at Christmas most of us head home! If you haven't found somewhere yet PM me and I'll send the sites I found.

#22 musingsofamartin

Posted 12 September 2013 - 01:17 PM

Hi everyone

Just thought I would jump in here to ask a few questions if that's okay?

It looks VERY likely that we will be relocating from Sydney to Singapore sometime in early TERM 4 this year.

Does anyone have a preference between schools?
There is places at AIS and Avondale that would suit my children's ages, but I am not convinced either way which to choose.

We haven't confirmed an area to live yet as we will be given a serviced apartment for two months. Can anyone suggest some good ones?

so many questions, my head is spinning!

Hope that you can all offer me some advice. It feels a little overwhelming at the moment..


#23 kellj

Posted 15 September 2013 - 08:53 PM

Hi Peta,

I think we've already chatted via email (my blog is Our Big Expat Adventure).

The only way I picked between the two schools was that Avondale only goes to Grade 6 and it is likely we will be in Singapore for Year 7 for my eldest so we decided AIS so that she wouldn't have to change schools.

Serviced apartments we stayed at Somerset Orchard and Orchard Parksuites, and Somerset Orchard is pretty miserable! Orchard Parksuites is right behind Orchard MRT station and Orchard Road and was a much better option than Somerset.  A lot of people stay at Great World apartments, but we opted for apartments closer to MRTs.


#24 Dani

Posted 18 May 2014 - 09:03 AM

Hi Girls.  ROLL CALL!!!

I'm an ex-longtermer and we've just accepted a 3 year secondment to Singapore and needing to see who is till over there.  Report in if OK, would love to hear from you all.....

Frazzled Dan  xx

#25 Orangedrops

Posted 26 May 2014 - 07:49 AM

Hi Dani,

Looks like we are moving to Singapore soon too. Where are you thinking of living?

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