InterNations Featured Blog
Pierre: Eviltwin in Singapore
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Singapore, etc.
I am a South African Expat who moved to Singapore in August 2011 with my wife and two dogs. I am an avid foodie, enjoy travelling and sport. We live in Bishan, considered the “heartland” and a very local area which we find very enjoyable.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I started my Blog when moving here as a means to stay in contact with our friends and family. The Blog has evolved and has become much more than just a communication with friends.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
One thing I have learned in the past year is blog posting success depends on my readers and often I get surprised when a specific posting gets enormous following although I thought it was not really that interesting. The Blog audience has changed dramatically with Singapore now number one and my home country in the 4th spot. I let my readers decide here. Here are the top three.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Singapore differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
Singapore is very different from South Africa in many ways. The initial few months certainly was a culture shock. The biggest adjustment was getting used to the weather. Singapore is very safe, clean and everything is efficient. Getting use to not having a vehicle and the public transport did take some adjustment.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Singapore? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
We did do a one week Look/See and personally I did loads of online research and honestly that was not sufficient. Nothing beats having access to a local Expat who can help with the initial adjustment and even preparing before coming here. My Blog has afforded me the opportunity to assist and help several other Expats in this way.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
The local Singlish language is certainly quite funny. “Can” or “Can Can” means Yes. I still find the whole reverse parking very funny. The queuing phenomenon here is astounding.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Singapore?
Do as much homework and certainly visit the country before coming here. If you can hook up with a local Expat before and after you get here to fast track your learning experience. There are also some excellent local companies like NCompass Mobility to help you with your initial integration.
How is the expat community in Singapore? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
The Expat community in Singapore is quite diverse. It’s not easy to make new friends but joining local community groups does help. Many Expat groups have their own Facebook “communities” which is very helpful.
How would you summarize your expat life in Singapore in a single, catchy sentence?
A million bucks and 3 Degrees cooler this would have been my heaven on earth.