Life in Singapore 4

December 27, 2016 in Senti-Emmental

It has been one year!

(First post about Life in Singapore here.)

Our apartment lease is up, and we are moving to a new place. I can’t believe we have (sort of on and off) lived in Singapore for one whole year now.

It was Christmas when we first moved here.

Number76 was just words printed on a hoarding board.

Sakura was still in my tummy.


After one year, I am happy to announce that we are finally quite settled down. After one year of testing the water (and say real one, water here actually not bad. At least cleaner than Malaysia HAHAHA). We are all ready to start our new lives here. I told Qiu, xiexieni de country treat me so good. She said you are welcome.

Starting 2017, we would be officially based on SG, and will go back to KL and Japan every now and then. No more crazy flying 3 countries a month thing. My cabin crew friends said I fly more frequently than them lolol.

We are moving to a new apartment, which I am very excited about. Junya is going to school in January. Initially we registered him into a school in Kovan, but we really had no luck finding a house around that area. We saw a good one and then the landlord suddenly ate his words and rented out to someone else who could move in earlier. But I guess it really wasn’t meant to be. Because after that I chanced by another better school in a better location and suddenly our fate has turned around. We are now living in the city again. And I love it.

One year in Singapore is… (how should I say this without offending any nationalities lol) life-changing. It sets the standard for many things, and it is hard to look back. And I understand a lot of things I didn’t understand before, particularly about the tension and the need to compare between Malaysians and Singaporeans. I have read up blogs on experiences of people who have relocated/migrated from Malaysia to Singapore (and the other way round), and it seems like no matter which side they took they ended up getting pulverized so I learnt to be more careful with topics like these. Blogger不可以乱乱讲话。

The danna and I were having supper at Tanjong Pagar a few days ago, I was carrying Sakura and he was pushing Junya in the stroller. We were walking among crazy skyscrapers and quiet streets late at night and I sighed, “I can’t believe we are taking a walk here like it is a park.”

And I guess only people living in KL can understand this. The fact is that you can never, ever walk in quiet streets late at night, without being overwhelmed with paranoia. And you should rightly feel so for your own good.

“I like Singapore.” I told him.

For him the biggest reason (other than work) he chose Singapore, is safety. For me, I didn’t have many reasons, because I was very comfortable with our life in KL. Plus my work was based there. When he first told me we would be moving to Singapore, I had a lot of worries in my mind. I did have a few stereotypes about Singapore and Singaporeans.

1.The escalator need so fast anot!!!! (still getting used to.)
2.They need so speak so fast anot!!!! (still getting used to.)
3.The bloggers there need so drama anot!!! (not my daiji now lol.)
4.Things need so expensive anot!!!! (Sort of got used to this.)
5.They need speak so Singlish anot!!!! (Heng this one also I mastered liao.)

But most of all I was very kiasu about not being able to keep up to Singaporean’s kiasuness so I tried to keep up… huh, oh wait. I guess it all worked out well.

I no longer complain about Japanese groceries being expensive because… I just stop buying them lol. You guys are right, NTUC is like multiple times cheaper. Although occasionally I will indulge in Hokkaido Milk and Japanese daikon and tomatoes (really got difference, this one). And I just binge-shop for groceries when we go back to Japan, and then smuggle toilet papers back from Malaysia. HAHA kidding.

I am also very, very grateful for many things in Singapore. I rarely meet bad taxi drivers, and I rarely need to waste my time waiting or queuing for nonsense (willingly line up for Tsukada Nojo doesn’t count). I rarely need to strangle a waitstaff (in my mind la) for giving me the wrong order, twice. (both the order and the strangling.) I rarely have to end up making 5 trips to the wrong departments to get an errand done because of people who are incapable of giving direction.

Every other day I will sigh in amazement at random things until my Singaporean/Singaporean PR friends have to be like “Eh can you not be so Malaysian or not”. lolol. One example was I was literally thinking out loud “THIS LIBRARY IS FREE?” (I mean I know most libraries are free la but I didn’t expect one this awesome to be free!) until Qiu ask me to lower my voice because we were in a library HAHHAHA. She must be thinking OMG this Malaysian has no common sense lol.

After living here for a while I was like… huh then Singaporeans go to Japan they will still be amazed meh? It’s like… they already have everything. 还有什么你们没看过的。Heck they even import Sakura trees into Singapore during spring season omg. Then I felt a bit shy for raving about all the stuff in Japan. Come back to SG, cheh, here also got sell what. So… what amazes you in Japan? Can enlighten me, Singaporeans?

So yea, this one whole year I stood by my earlier promise to you guys ok. I always stand on the right side (by right I mean left) of the escalator, I never talk in a loud voice (except the library incident), I never chup any seats at your hawker center with tissue before. I 奉公守法. I am also paying foreigner price for certain things (like education fee) to help your economy 😀

We have just signed two years with our new apartment so like it or not, I am here to continue to leech off your rich economy for the next two years, Singaporeans lolol.

We went back to Japan in December, and it really feels like I am having the best of both worlds. Living in two of the safest and most advanced countries in the world. Traveling from the best airport to second best airport in the world, and then back to best again.

What more can I ask for?

(I know. More SGD. HAHAHAHA)


50 responses to “Life in Singapore 4”

  1. Yuxing says:

    WAH!! I am a Singaporean!

    Omg, your post really got me thinking… “Singaporeans go to Japan they will still be amazed meh? It’s like… they already have everything. 还有什么你们没看过的。”

    Thank you for thinking so well of us! Actually still have lah, there are still many things that amazes me when I go to Japan. <3

    Teeheeheee~~ *fangirls* don't know why but I actually feel very happy that you are also in Singapore!! xD

  2. Bee says:

    Welcome to SG! I was also from Msia (Klang) but stayed here for a while.. how about your Chiba dog? Will he be in SG?

  3. Ss says:

    The air and hospitality of people in Japan lololol

  4. Xiawa says:

    Welcome to Singapore 🙂
    Can totally relate to everything you said here, Singapore still amazes me like no end, although I still miss Malaysian food, haha.
    Wish you have a wonderful life in SG.

  5. Ang says:

    What about Champon? hehe

  6. Carol says:

    I live in JB so I feel sort of like I’m in Singapore when I’m at home watching TV. Haha. I can totally see what you mean and I sadly do agree. Every time I’m in Singapore I’m amazed that young girls can wear short shorts and roam around freely with nary a wolf whistle heard.

  7. Catherine says:

    I was about to ask what about Champon too hahah because Junya look so cute with Champon.

  8. Sylvia says:

    Welcome to SG and as a Singaporean, i’m definitely humbled by your comment on how great SG is! Although i know it is, but hearing it from a (Msian) neighbour, its a damn shiok feeling! Haha!

    PS: Also thanks for bringing number76 to SG. Was so bummed that there was only outlets in KL and Tokyo. So glad to be able to visit the SG one whenever i feel like it now! 🙂

  9. Serene says:

    Thank you for liking singapore. Im sure you already wrote as diplomatic as you can :D. As a sgporean, japan’s nature amazes me. That is something we dont have and 4 seasons! I also appreciate sg safety and when I am in Japan taking densha, i realise singapore densha has elevators to all platforms and exits so it is very wheelchair n stroller friendly. I hope one day you can try taking our MRT during the day (non peak hr) and visit singapore (botanic gardens, holland village, or heartlands like Jurong east with science centres and free rooftop huge playground for your kids -FREE at Westgate etc) with many jap food choices! Take care!

    • cheesie says:

      Yes you are right, Japan’s subway is way too complicated. >.< I do take MRT occasionally and it's really convenient here :))

  10. Cassandra says:

    Thank you for the post! As a singaporean reader I feel so humbled reading such a post from you :”) As for your question, I was so amazed when I went to Japan and even though it has been years since my first trip, it is the only country that makes me feel like making a return trip so badly! I agree that it is with the spirit and relationships of the Japanese people – they is generally much more civic-mindedness than in SG! As singaporeans there are parts of our society which we all think has room for improvement. So I guess I like how Japan is a clean place while SG is a cleaned place. Japan has legit seasons while we only have hot, very hot or super hot… but I am still grateful for SG. You get the drill. Cheesie, I hope your family will have a great time settled here. 🙂

    • cheesie says:

      Thank you so much for loving Japan <3 And omg, I never thought about it that way - a clean place VS a cleaned place. It makes sense. Which is why I want to start cultivating it at home. To start cleaning myself, and teach the kids to clean up instead of having other people to do it for us 🙂

  11. yiren says:

    Wah wah, as a Singaporean, i almost feel like you writing a love letter to me (shameless). thanks ah! also as a singaporean, japan is the only other country i would seriously consider of living in, mainly because of the safety and how everything runs as it should, which are things that i love and appreciate about sg too.. I think many people here don’t really appreciate how safe this country is until they travel more. i love that japanese people are so polite and japanese food is cheaper in japan (duh!) and also the spring and autumn seasons (something totally different!). in terms of service, japanese can superior in that they have an industry wide practice of how to greet and treat customer (altho some may say a bit robotic, but it does help make the experience better).

    sg is always actively striving to make things better for the older folks and families, which is great. altho we love to complain about everything, i also feel it’s a slightly better attitude than “shikatanai” (can’t be helped), which can be pessimistic at times. we complain till the goverment does something about it eventually, so it works out in the end. lol. it great that you are having the best of both worlds now! enjoy!

    • cheesie says:

      Haha love letter XD. Pls keep it nicely hor.
      Thanks for your comment!! I realize from all the comments that generally Singaporean love 3 things about Japan:
      1. 4 season
      2. Food
      3. Culture

      Which are the things i love the most also, plus all the cute stuff haha.

      It’s true that your government is highly efficient, I was really surprised when I went to government departments. It’s way more efficient than even Japan, and I come from Malaysia… so… you know la. XD. It really saves me from having many bad days XD.

  12. bel says:

    omg. didnt know you guys were house hunting. i had a full flat to rent out, near kovan area too.

    anw, sg is 什么都有,just people not as nice as japan (im a singaporean). HAHA. i still love japan!


  13. I remember being so surprised when you first moved to Singapore like it was yesterday. How time flies!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  14. dt says:

    Having done Malaysia -> Singapore (11 years!) -> Malaysia now I can definitely relate to how you feel. Singapore is so very much like Malaysia yet in many ways, totally different. There’s no better way to put it: it shows how Malaysia can be if we didn’t have so many scandals. But of course Malaysia is a much bigger country lah, not that easy to govern… but still…

    After over a decade though I really felt drained by the crowds, the expenses (and I was earning near the top tier!) and the rush-rush-rush for every single thing. So I’m back in the kampung for now 😀 Enjoy your time!

    • cheesie says:

      Someone said before, that “Singapore is everything Malaysia should be, but is not”. Although I personally also know a few people who moved from SG to Malaysia (usually because of spouse) and end up loving their lives in KL more. I guess it depends very much on your own priority. Some people long to own a car and a house, and it is hard to do so if you live in SG. I definitely can relate to the expenses part, I have to be so careful with spending now T_T. Hope you enjoy balik kampung :))

  15. HT says:

    Welcome to Singapore (: are you able to blog advertorial with discounts for us and not mostly for Malaysia? Thank you (:

  16. yuene says:

    Glad you like it here in Singapore! What do I like about Japan? Mostly the fact that Japanese service staff are way more polite than Singapore serving staff, although in most cases, it is pretty courteous. What else…hot springs in cold weather, probably.

    By the way, if you’re living in Tanjong Pagar, just to let you know, there’s a JR Rail Cafe just above Tanjong Pagar MRT (just outside the new office building–Guoco Tower, I think)! I passed by yesterday, and the first person I thought of was you! Also, Gudetama Cafe has opened in Suntec City Mall, and apparently the food is quite good. Go check them out some day!

  17. Mew says:

    Don’t know if you will read this…

    Just wondering if you guys plan to stay in sg for good or will settle down in japan eventually.

    I heard it is really hard for kids educated in foreign countries to get into Japanese school system (not cultural but paper wise. Schools are just not very willing to accept non japanese certs) so they usually go on to an international school in japan.

    If junya will finish his education in sg/msia i guess this won’t be a problem at all. But if your family will eventually relocate to japan, have you guys considered sending him to a japanese school in sg?

    Sg has a japanese kindergarten, primary school, junior high school and senior high school. They are all located in west coast (that is why the area has quite a high number of japanese). The senior high is a waseda overseas branch and apparently has a higher acceptance rate to todai compared to a lot of senior high schools in japan.

    Anyway i am happy you like sg enough and i hope sg will continue to surprise you (positively hahaha… )

    And oh, i love japan for the traditional stuff, the temples, art, culture, scenery, etc. I think it is wonderful that a country can move forward but still remember its roots and hold on to it. It is hard to do so and even japan has trouble with it. The young arent so willing to be associated with it but i still think japan has done a far better job compared to any other industrialized countries.

    • cheesie says:

      Yes it is true, which is why most Japanese family to intend to return to Japan will send their kids into Japanese school. But that’s exactly what we didn’t want to do. Our priority is language and in Japan he would only be able to learn Japanese and at most Japanese and English. SG is perfect for education, it is just we end up having to pay foreigner price which is very hefty.

      Thanks for loving Japan. They are trying very hard to get the young generation to practice traditional customs. This year they have a New Year Greeting Card campaign to encourage people to send out New Year cards (instead of LINE greetings, etc). 🙂

  18. June says:

    I must say japanese service and courtesy still the best despite I’m singaporean. Yes we’ve the convenient of many things but i feel is the manner and spirit i value for when i go to japan.

  19. Ashley says:

    As a fellow Singaporean who is so used to hearing Singaporeans complaining about Singapore, I get goosebumps reading your post. I can totally resonate with everything that you said about Singapore because I love Singapore too and can never imagine living anywhere else! Like your danna, my partner is a foreigner and he was super amazed at how he can walk in quiet streets late at night without the fear of muggers creeping up on you. Thanks for your post on this and your love for Singapore!

    • cheesie says:

      Where is he from? Yes after living here for a while it is hard to return to a less systematic city. I love convenience and modernity so SG is really quite perfect, with cleanliness being a plus!

  20. Joelle says:

    Welcome you & your whole family to Singapore (once again)!

    What amazes me about Japan? Their super on time transport system (though not so much the staircases at their subway stations, cos I was carrying my luggage up and down), their convenience stores, the little quaint eateries where one staff is all they need, their toilet bowls (this one very rare in Sg), bathtubs you can set water temperatures for (also very rare)… just the… whole feel of the place…

    • cheesie says:

      I totally know what you mean about the stair cases. I used to not bother about it until I traveled with strollers XD. Oh yes the combini!!! The combini in Japan has become so advanced that there’s a term called “combini ningen” (comvenience store human) haha. Hope you continue to find new inspirations in Japan 🙂

  21. Melissa Yeo says:

    Hey Cheesie (: I’m glad you’re warming up to SG slowly too! Japan and Singapore are my favourite countries in the world! They are both the epitome of modern metropolises; safe, efficient, clean. But Japan’s distinct traits are the omotenashi of the people, it’s seasons, rich cultural roots and the inaka and natural wonders. Whereas Singapore is a city but because of that I guess you can feel the heartlander warmth throughout it in some sense, like the city, even the CBD feels more humane as compared to the often stoic and cold Tokyo downtown. That’s my personal take at least! I hope that I can bump into you in SG someday (:

    • cheesie says:

      Ah I get what you mean 🙂 I love the convenience of Tokyo but it’s the inaka that warms my heart the most :)) Thanks so much for your comment 🙂

  22. Mag says:

    It must be lovely for us Singaporeans to have you around too! I hope Singapore continues to be a great place for your kids to grow up in(:

  23. Tammy says:

    Thanks for loving Singapore. I saw you once in Orchard Gateway but was too shy to ask for a photo 🙈 Would you agree to the request usually?

    Hope to bump into you again coz you’re one of my fav bloggers 🙂 🙂

  24. Jessica says:

    Hello Cheesie!

    I just blogged about my one year life in Singapore and then I saw your post!

    I do miss my life in Malaysia where I can go for mamak with friends at night, but at the same time I also love the safety and convenience of public transport in Singapore! Sad that they don’t have much places like mamak to hang out at night haha.

    Also thank you for bringing 76 to Singapore! I’m a Malaysian but I didn’t have the chance to visit Number76 outlets in KL and I finally had visited in Singapore. Love the service there. Staff were friendly and thoughtful ♡ Although the price is slightly high but I totally wouldn’t mind to pay a lil more for the customer friendly service! ♡ Hope to bump into you and cheesiepetit someday in Singapore 😛

    Happy New Year to you and your family! Wish you have a fruitful year ahead 🙂

  25. Sabrina says:

    Actually, the only vast difference between Singapore technology and Japan technology is perhaps the nicer culture in Japan and the weather. But I guess we take our “safety” for granted because it makes us ignorance walking around in one alley in Osaka at 1am and not feeling scared because it feels like home. Well… Osaka is not Singapore and crying for help eventually cause some language barrier except for the word “tasukete”

    I always enjoy reading your blog =) So happy that you’re in Singapore!

  26. SL says:

    As a Singaporean, what I appreciate about places like Penang and Malacca is the slower pace of life, and how chill everyone is. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side 🙂

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