Rara: Rare Mommy
- Recommended Expat Blogs: Singapore
- Jennifer: Diary of an Expat in Singapore
- Ays: Pink and Mints
- Crystal: Expat Bostonians
- Ekta: Just an Ordinary Woman's Interpretations
- Dewie: Sweet Life in Singapore
- Laura: Texas on Thames
- Diana: Tale of a Trailing Spouse
- Haidee: Expat Mom Diaries
- Pallavi: My Singapore Diary
- Danielle: Living In Sin
- Laura: Expat Adventures In Singapore
- Changmoh Girl: Changmoh
- Helen: Expat Explorers
- 21st Century Mummy
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Singapore, etc.
I am a 30 something Filipina working mother of two who has lived and worked in Singapore for 8 years - now trying to juggle having to manage a household, take care of two lively young kids and still carve a name for myself in the corporate jungle.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
It started out very simply as a desire to document all the wonderful and not so wonderful experiences that were happening to me and my family and then became an avenue for me to reach out to other people who were probably going through the same experiences as I was, in terms of managing kids, adjusting to Singapore life (even after 8 years) and just trying to find my place in the grand scheme of things.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
- One day I was going through my daughters' pictures and I just came up with the idea of creating comic strips around these pictures - I call these the 'Lexi and Adi Episodes' I have about four of these.
- One of the things that make me different I think is that I'm a working mother so as much as possible I am trying to also incorporate that aspect of my life into my blog.
- I was surprised at how convenient everything was in Singapore and I wanted to illustrate that by doing 'A Day in the Life of a Wired Parent'
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?
I've been in Singapore for 8 years so I would say half my working life has been spent here. It's different in that I enjoy greater convenience here and have much more exposure to different cultures. Any change requires adjustment but it helped that I treated it more like an adventure than anything else.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Singapore? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I was prepared to some extent, I did read up on the cost of living and someone gave me a booklet to read and websites to visit but I was very cautious about it and didn't know how long I would actually stay so I didn't make any long term plans or sign any long term contracts which I think gave me more flexibility to explore my options. I stayed because it was the right choice for me and not because I was bound by anything.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
Well, the Singapore accent is quite a tricky one and though I spoke English somehow people didn't get what I was trying to say. My first year, this had been problematic as I would tell the taxi drivers to bring me to one place and I'd end up in another. Like I'd say 'I want to go to Velocity mall' and I'd end up in VivoCity. It was much worse trying to go home though because I lived in a place called Shrewsbury Road so it was like 'Where you want to go?' 'Shrewsbury Road' 'Shrubbery?' 'No, Shrewsbury Road' 'Strawberry Road?' and so on.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Singapore?
- When communicating with locals, speak clearly. Make sure they play back what you said otherwise you won't get what you want and you won't get where you need to go.
- Don't discuss politics.
- Don't diss the locals. Whatever it is you may find that you don't like about Singapore, you are still a guest in this country so it's not worth antagonizing your host.
How is the expat community in Singapore? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
It's very diverse and quite a large number of expats here so there is no trouble finding people to connect with.
How would you summarize your expat life in Singapore in a single, catchy sentence?
living big in the little red dot