Friday, 20 February 2009

Singapore: The verdict

Taking a career break was supposed to give me time to reflect on what I want to do next. So far I haven't given a lot of thought about WHAT to do next. To slip back into banking would be all too easy, but would I find it fulfilling?

I have been thinking about WHERE. London, New York, Sydney and Singapore are all contenders for various reasons in my mind.

Visiting Singapore last weekend was a chance for me to road test Singapore and try and create a more formed opinion of the place.

The positives
- One of the few places in Asia where I could get a decent paying job relatively easily. The same could probably be said of HK, but I have never been there.
- Possible to get all creature comforts.
- Great food. The hawker centres are real gems.
- Easy to escape to Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand for the weekend. Well connected by low cost airlines.
- English is widely spoken. I know this is only on the list for lazy people, but it does help integration...
- I have a number of friends who live there.
- The sense of order and lack of litter, graffiti etc... are all good.

The negatives
- The humidity! I am learning to handle the heat here in Bangkok, but the higher humidity in SGP was a killer.
- You can travel the whole of the island in a day. Is there enough to keep you stimulated?
- Apart from some historic temples, there didn't seem to be a lot of culture.
- The place is almost too pristine / sterile. Is there too much order?

I was left feeling a bit neutral about the place, which on reflection I have decided isn't a good thing. A friend who used to live in Singapore described the place as "Asia for beginners" and "lacking culture". I think Singapore might be best viewed as convenient springboard to the rest of Asia rather then a destination in itself. I might return to Singapore as an option, but at the moment the search continues.......


  1. It's a difficult one, isn't it. Because you would probably rather do a non-banking job in Thailand over a banking job in Singapore. But it's tough for the pension not to earn in hard currency...

    I would love to opt out for a year or two but I just can't!!

  2. I didn't know that travel adventures involved recon to find a new place to live... this just got interesting Richie!

    Given the choices- I'm putting my money on Sydney.


  3. I don't have to find somewhere new to live, but I'd be happy not to return to London for a bit if I found a place I liked and good job opportunity....