Life in Singapore

I have been living in Singapore since October 2001 so I thought I would share some more of my thoughts about this island country with you. Since I started coming to Singapore back in 1999 on a regular basic when I was in the U. S. Navy so I have come to see Singapore in a much different light now. Mostly due to the fact that I have had a chance to be among the locals and learn about the surrounding unlike when I was just here on my 1 or 2 week visit. When I started working it really gave me the chance to learn even more since I was coming in contact with so many different people and from a wider background.

Like those before me I came as a tourist to see the sights, have a few beers, good food and check out the place (I.E. the clubs). The good part for me was that I met my future wife on my second stay in Singapore so she made a great tour guide for me around the city for me. We would spend hours walking around the city going to different places and seeing all the there was to see. What I really like about it here is that you don’t need a car to get from place to place. There are plenty of cabs, buses and the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) which will take you from in end of the island to the other and go to most places you’ll want to get to.

Transportation

Cabs in Singapore are all metered so you don’t have to worry about the driver ripping you off on the fare like in other Asian countries I have been to, and there are plenty of them so you don’t have to worry about trying to find one regardless of the time of day. One thing to check is the charges that apply to for the cabs during different time of day, pick hours, holidays, and after midnight. To give you and example, just be for midnight the rate start to increase gradually and then at 1am the total charge is a 50% added to what ever the fare is, so if you find your self running short of cash you don’t want to get caught out there after that time depending on where you live, most likely it will be the location where most of the hotels are and the area that you’ll be in. This could be a problem for you but if you do find your self short of cash the driver will be more than happy to make a stop at the bank or ATM for you. If you need to use your credit card there will a 10% charge added to the bill. In the near future your ATM card will be able to be used in most cabs in Singapore. Depending on your detonation you may be billed for road taxes, peck hours fares along with Holiday fees or one of the other fees that can be added. All of these are clearly posted inside the cabs.

To get a cab you’ll find cab stands close to many Bus stops and Malls or you can just hale one from the side walk by holding out your hand above your head and waving. If you see one with the roof light in green it will say “Taxi” or “For hire”, and if red it has a customer and will say, “Busy”. Singapore has also started to enforce the seat belt laws so to avoid the fine be sure to use them, a good point to remember if traveling with children that require a child safety seat although I am not sure how this applies you should call one of the companies to check first but I have yet to see any so far. When you tell the cab driver where you want to go just tell him the name of the location since that is how everything is know here. Address for the most part mean nothing, so you would say, “Take me to Center Mall” if you want to get to Madam Wong 2, for example. After a while you’ll get the hang of it easily enough. Often if not always the drivers will ask you which way you want them to go, this is find if you know, but if you are a visitor well not much use to you. The entire time I have been in Singapore I have never had a cab driver take the scenic route so don’t worry about.

I have listed 15 of the current cab companies.. To reach all the companies for a ride you can also call 6342-5222 or you can call the company if your choice below.

Beach Road Taxi  6487-7357
City Cab 6552-1111
Comfort  6552-1111
Silver Cab 6363-6888
Dover Taxi 6776-7702
Lakeview Radio Taxi 6252-2116
Premier Taxi 6363-6888
Prime Taxi 6778-0808
SMRT Taxis 6555-8888
Smart Cab 6485-7777
Trans Cab 6555-3333
Singapore Radio Taxi 6468-6188
Beach Road Taxi 6487-7357
Taman Jurong  Taxi 6265-4553
Roset Limousine 6425 9193

Things a tourist should know about taxis in Singapore

Just read a news report on taxi touts taking advantage of tourists at tourist spots like Clarke Quay, Boat Quay, and Harbourfront. They hit at various times of day but particularly at peak hours when taxis are hard to get. What they do is approach tourists and offer to get them a taxi but at a set price, one two to three times higher than what the meter would have charged. They will claim that the “extra” is for various surcharges. There are indeed surcharges but, with a meter, you will know whether these are legit because the meter will indicate so. Without the meter being on, there is no way of verifying.

Some taxi drivers do the same thing too. They wait near taxi stands during peak periods, supposedly for pre-arranged passengers (they have “on call” signs on), but when desperate and/or unsuspecting tourists approach them, they agree to take them but insist on not using the meter. They would not dare to do that with us locals.

If you are in a hurry and there is a long queue at the taxi stand and few taxis arriving, do what we do – call for a taxi. There is a surcharge of between $2.50 to $4.00 for calling a cab, but at least you know you are not being scammed.

Here’s the procedure for calling a cab:

  1. Before calling the taxi service, be ready to tell the operator the location of the taxi stand, including the road it is on (some shopping centers’ are flanked by two roads and therefore have two taxi stands).
  2. Call one of the following numbers: 6552-1111 (Comfort Cab) or 6555-8888 (SMRT Cab), and follow the automated instructions till you get to speak to an operator.
  3. Note down the license plate number of the taxi you have been assigned. For Comfort Cab, an automated service takes over, once the operator has taken note of your details.
  4. Look out for the taxi. If it does not arrive after some time, you can call the same contact number and ask the operator to contact the driver for you.

At some taxi stands, you may find signs offering an automated taxi call service. You can try this too. It’s basically the same idea except that the whole procedure is automated. Instead of speaking to an operator, you punch in the code number for the taxi stand when the automated service prompts you to. Hope this helps.

I have never had such problems these guys prey on tourists or people in vulnerable areas (tons of customers, no visible taxis). Expats may be causing some of these problems themselves, I was at the Quay area some years back and there was a huge taxi queue. These Expats tried to jump the whole queue yelling at the driver that they would pay $XX dollars to take them first. (The driver did not take them)

The laws and rules are tight, but they depend on customer reports and they are betting that tourists don’t have the time or know-how to do so.

Well, calling is a great idea they must put on the meter then, as the ride is recorded by the company.

If you are a tough personality, you can also play tough. Get in and refuse to leave the taxi without the meter. Take the ride and refuse to pay either all together or get a Bellman to mediate, But you have to be a tough-minded person to even try it so not really recommending – if you do, make sure you don’t become angry just stay calm and you’ll win the game. (but really don’t try unless you can pull off).

Don’t be put off – taxi drivers are pretty good here, I have never had a problem with in the many years I have been here but it is good to know what to do in these rare cases.

MRT Train System 

To use the MRT you purchase a MRT card from the booth located in all the stations or you can buy a one way ticket for the machines. If you use a one way ticket get it right before you get on the train because they are timed and may run out before you use it if you wait to long, I’m not sure of the exact time frame but at least you know there is one.

The normal MRT cards will cost you S$15. You can add as much to the card as you like depending on long you plan to be in country, you can return your card for cash before you leave. It is best to only put about S$20 on the card just incase you should misplace it. The MRT card is used for both trains and buses so you don’t have to worry about having two different cards to get around the country.

Trains run about every 5 to 7 minutes so catching one is not a problem with breakdowns being very rare. If you are in one of the 2 main train interchanges (City hall and Raffles) be sure you are on the correct level going in the right direction. To check, look at the map located in the loading area, it will show the direction of the train and the stations it will be stopping it. During rush hour in the morning (7 to 9) the trains will be packed full, so if you don’t want to deal with the crowds avoid that time frame when heading into the city area.

MRT trains depart the 6 main stations (East-West, North-South and North-East lines) around midnight so depending on where you are in the city would determine when the train reaches your location to get you home. The stations have signs saying when the last train will depart from that location; if not just ask one of the workers in the control station. The MRT line also goes to the airport at Changi, so if you have been here before and have an ideal where you are going you can take the MRT vice the cab and save about S$15.00 in cab fare to your hotel.  You will need to get one of the MRT fare cards while you will find in the stations, these cards are also used when riding the bus lines too.

The newest North-East Line or NEL as it is called and doing pretty good. This is a welcome site due to where it runs to and from. This North-East line starts from the World TradeCenter area located where the cruse ships pull in then head though the Chinatown and Clarke Quay area. After that it head into Little India and Upper Serangoon ending in the Punggol area which is planned for major development in the up coming years.

In some of the housing areas to help people reach their Flats  you will find smaller trains called LRT’s which connect to the mail MRT line and make a circle though the area returning to the Main line.

The newest line under construction is called the Circle Line another 10 MRT stations are scheduled to open in 3 years. The new line, which bypasses the city centre, is meant to cut down travel time between suburban areas. These stations are on top of the 16 that will start to open in 2007 in section and thought 2008 until fully open.

(Click to Enlarge)

 (New MRT Map (April 2008)

There will be a total of 13 stations along the 4th and 5th stages of the Circle Line.

Thomson Station in Toa Payoh Rise and Bukit Brown Station in Jalan Mashor will only be built when there’s development in the area. The line then runs to Adam Station near the Botanic Gardens, and on to Farrer and Holland in the Holland Village area. An interchange will be built at Buona Vista, before the Circle Line runs along the high tech corridor of Buona Vista, One-North and National University Hospital. West Coast station will also not be built immediately. The line then heads to Pasir Panjang and Telok Blangah before ending in Harbor Front, another interchange.

All in, there’ll be 29 stations along the 33-kilometre Circle Line which opens in phases from 2007. The line, which bypass the city centre, will offer commuters direct links between suburban areas cutting down travel time. For example, someone traveling from Bishan to Buona Vista now has to change trains downtown at Raffles Place, and this takes about 35 minutes. With the Circle Line, it’s a direct trip of about 20 minutes.

Like the North East Line, the Circle Line will be fully automated and underground but the stations will be different. The trains will be the same but instead of 6-car trains, there will be 3-car trains and because of that, the stations will be smaller, 40% smaller than the North East Line stations.

Buses run the same as the MRT but no time listed of the last one. So now you can see how the cabs have a racket on the 50% fares charge after midnight with everything shutting down. One more thing on the cabs you may find it hard as hell to get a cab starting about 11:45 pm. They tend to hide out until midnight to start to pick up customers for the added fare charge.

MRT Doors Video (how much time to do have to get on)

Future MRT Lines

The Government has announced plans to build three new lines, namely the Bukit Timah Line, the Eastern Region Line and the Jurong Region Line. The three lines are estimated to cost more than S$11 billion and will be built within the next 10 to 15 years. While the Government will try to expedite the development of these three projects, the actual schedule will depend on the state of the economy, which determines funding availability, and viability of the lines. Rail lines are deemed viable when its benefits to the nation exceed its implementation costs and when operators of the new rail line do not require an operating subsidy from the Government.

Bukit Timah Line

The Bukit Timah Line will serve the Bukit Panjang, Upper Bukit Timah and Bukit Timah regions. The line will alleviate the heavy traffic in the Upper Bukit Timah/Bukit Timah/Dunearn Road corridor

Eastern Region Line

The Eastern Region Line will complement the existing East West Line and enhance inter- and intra-town traveling in the eastern region. The line will benefit residents in Tampines, Bedok, Marine Parade, Macpherson and Kaki Bukit.

Jurong Region Line

The Jurong Region Line is a light rail system. It will serve residents in Jurong who live beyond the end point of the existing East West Line.

The above rail line proposals are currently under detailed study, including the evaluation of their technical feasibility. The rail alignments are being refined to minimize impact to existing and future developments, and stations are located as close as possible to higher density commercial and residential developments. Where feasible, integration with developments and other modes of public transport are also being developed. This is so as to reduce travel time while maximizing overall convenience to users of the public transport system.

Hotels and Motels

Being a small place Singapore has some outstanding hotels and fairly good deals due to the exchange rate right now of S$1.36 (Jun 1, 2008) to 1.00 USD on average. You can get a 4 or 5 star hotel for S$200 and up. There are plenty here to choose from too and all in the central area of the city so just about everything is with in walking distance if you are up to it. On the on other end you have budget motels throughout the city that will range from S$8 for a backpackers place to S$69 for a nice budget motel like Hotel 81 in the Geylang area. Some of the smaller motel can be quite cheap in the way the rooms are as many are use be the working girls throughout the city for short time trips, hourly rates apply in many of these motels but the government is trying to stop this practice. You’ll need your passport to check into the high class hotels while just about any kind of ID will get you into a motel. There are plenty of web sites that list the hotels in Singapore and many give great rates for internet reservations so it is worth checking them out. If all you need is a place to lay your head down for a night sleep then check out the Geylang area to meet your need or some of the other smaller motels throughout the areas, when in doubt ask your cabbie and he should be able to take care of your needs. One of the biggest costs you’ll have while in Singapore will be for your hotel.  So if you over come that obstacle then you’ll have more cash in hand for other things.

The Hotel 81 chain has hotels all over the island so their web site can really help you find a place. If you are already in Singapore and are just looking for a place for a Friday or Saturday night it is best to make your reservation for the day you want it since the hotel are filled with the weekend lovers who need a place to meet up at. Over these two days the rates are also higher by about 20 to 30 dollars depending on the location of the hotel. during the other days it is all walk in traffic and if a room is not available then wait about and hour and there should be a opening then.

Many smaller Hotel and Motels have rooms at hourly rates, you can guess why I’m sure. these rates run from 10 to 15 bucks normally.

On a added note about the hotels in Singapore, taking guest to your is never been a problem with the staff. Security may ask (not normally) who the guest is but that is about it. Some places I stayed in added a S$10 charge for the additional person in the room which they collected in the morning. So like I said, no big deal!

The Locals

I have found most everyone to be very friendly and helpful here. Crime here is very low but it is still present so you should take care when out on the town. Singapore has its gangs like anywhere else along with its pick-pockets and other low lives. In the pass Orchard Road and Suntec City Mall has been having more than its share of pick pockets back in 2002 but that has lessened over the years but it still something to be aware of. I have never had any problem but that is just me, maybe my travels around Asia while I was serving in the Navy gave me certain sixth sense about traveling around and avoiding trouble.

You’ll find that Singapore that a mix of just about everyone in Asia here. Many of the construction workers here are from India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand to mention a few places. Maids working here are from the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia and work 6 days a week on meager wages (S$300 to 500 per month for the maids).  The men doing the construction work that the Singaporeans don’t want to do will make about S$1,000 to S$1,300 but for them this is good money. So for most of them Sundays are their days off and you’ll find them throughout the city mingling together on Orchard Road around the malls and other locations around Singapore. You’ll know then when you see them because there will be masses of people just standing around talking, having picnics or doing what ever.

As for the Singaporean, I find them pretty complacent for the most part. There is a need to establish one self before getting married here so many of the younger people (18 to 35) are single and available for dating but not a firm rule. There are laws against harassing the women here so if your advances fall on deft ears don’t push the issue because you may find your self confronted be the police in a very time since just about everyone has a hand phone and yes they will call in a problem if seem. You can go into many of the clubs and find plenty of people to talk with that are out on the town with friends most of the same gender. I can’t figure this out because there are a lot of great looking girls here and I never or hardly see them approached the guys in the clubs. It may be from the discouragement of dating at a young age (secondary school) thus they don’t develop the skill for dating that others do in different countries, but this is just my opinion. Plus living at home until they marry has to have its affects also on how people date here one would also think. One thing you don’t see here is the drinkers like I am use to seeing in the states or even Japan so this is hard on the clubs here and many small places do not last for long or changes management often to try to survive.

People here love to travel too, as I walk around I’ll see Hard Rock Tee-shirts from every where around the world and if you talk to many you’ll find that they have been to at least 2 or 3 other countries if not more. A few of the girls I have talked with had European, Australian or American boy friends at one point or another. So if you hit the club scene don’t feel you will be singled out because you are not a local everyone had a fair chance here in Singapore. Yet I will add that some clubs you may have better luck depending on your race. It’s just the way it is like every where you travel to, it’s not the rule it’s just human nature I guess. All I can say is go out and have a good time anyway and you’ll do fine here.

Tourist season is from December to March for the most part but there is always someone coming here. The big deal is when the U.S. Navy pulls with one of its aircraft carriers and 5,000 guys hit the town. A few days before the news paper will let the country know what ship is pulling in and to take care of your girls. It was funny as hell to read and what was said. (I should have saved it) most of the guys will head for Orchard Road, Boat Quay or Clarke Quay, these are the best known party areas to the fleet guys so other parts of the city go relatively untouched by sailors during their stay. Orchard Road will be teaming with the guys looking to meet anyone they can and as much as I hate to say it they do it in the normal loud American way most of the time. It’s not as bad as it use to be but you can always tell when the FLEET is in the club. This makes it easy for the Sarong Party girls (SPG’s) and hooker to seek them out and start the partying that is more that welcome from the lonely souls on liberty.

Due to the weather 33c to 36c (80 to 90f) during the day here the cloth that are worn are light and colorful but black seem to be a favor color of many of the ladies while on the town. You can see it all here too from the hip hugger pants to the mini skirt with the platform shoes. What ever you seek you can find here in Singapore in the way of fashion. The discos have age and dress codes so it is best to call before hand to make sure you are wearing the appropriate attire, this is usually just a shirt with a collar and slacks so that shouldn’t be a problem for anyone. The pubs, well just about anything goes in them when you figure that just about everyone lives in shorts and sandals anyway. One last thing, don’t forget your umbrella it can come in handy while waling around or for the rain that can come at anytime so get a small one that can fit into you backpack so you will not have to carry it when it is not needed.

   The Family Housing Units 

Since there is a shortage of land in Singapore most of the population lives in housing units call “flats”, these can be anywhere for 2 to 5 bedroom in size in high rises that average 16 floors or more. To buy a flat you have to be married or above the age of 35 if a Singaporean because of the shortage of flats and the time needed to build more. So because of this kids have to live at home until their days come. This makes the family a tight group in most cases. While Singapore is a fairly new country (1965) many of its roots are from China, Hong Kong or Malaysia which Singapore was a part of until it independence. So for the age group that was born after 65 life has been different that for those that migrated here over the years and helped to make the country when times were a lot harder. The people that grew up here have had a fairly easy life with family housing available for first or second time buyers though the governments Housing Development Board (HDB) program and with the good economy that the country had for such a long time where jobs were plentiful and just about everyone worked!

   Working

Well now that is not the case since the Asian market crashed back in 1997. So with things changing in the area and companies cutting back on workers and many older workers find it hard to get reemployment due to their age and the market is more geared to younger workers that will be with the companies for a long time and have come out of collage while many of their predecessors had only secondary education. In Singapore employers will seek out exactly what they want in a worker this will include; age, sex, race so you may be better qualified for the job but may not be Singaporean or be too old or a male / female. That is just the way it here, like in so many other Asia counties. Also those coming from the states there doesn’t seem to be any laws to protect workers or sexual harassment regulations so when I was working it was a bit different for me.

Singapore is all about is all about making money first and foremost! “If it doesn’t make money it’s not Singapore” a cab driver told me one night and he was dead right too. You see this everywhere if you look. Everyone works to get save up to buy a flat, S$225,000 for a nice 3 or 4 bedroom place. If you want a car well that is another matter. That $20,000 car in the states will cost you about $45,000 here and another 2,000 just to get your Driver License. (see link on driving for more information) So when you figure that the average Singaporean makes from S$2,000 to S$2,500 a month that is a lot of saving. But when you live at home and have only a few bills it shouldn’t be that hard to save.

Many of the Expats that are on contract here have large packages for the companies and make well over the average Singaporean income with rent being paid by the company so life is good for them. One thing that companies have started to do is cut back on the long term contracts for Expats and now tend to lean towards the short term contract to save money.

The Water

For those that come from the UntiedStates or countries in Europe the drinking water is good and is never a question here in Singapore it is the same so don’t worry about that. When you check into your hotel you will have you 2 to 3 bottles of water which I suggest you take when you go walking around if you are not use to the heat. While there are plenty of places to buy water you never know.

In September 2002 the government introduced what they called “New Water”, this is Waste Water that has been processed and is clean for drinking straight from the tap. When it will be island wide is still unknown but at least it is on the way at last.

I wanted to add this part just so you were aware of the status of the water here. One more thing to add is that most of the water here comes down from Malaysia across the causeway that links the two countries together. Singapore buys the water cleans it up then distributes it out and even sells some of it back to Malaysia, figure that one out?

Cost of Living

When I first came here I spent money like it was going out of style because I didn’t understand how Singapore works but once you get the hang it you find that the cost of living here can be really cheap. First off eating out in a nice restaurant can run a couple about S$75 with a few drinks included. But at the same time you can eat at a Food court or Hawker center for S$10. These are areas that have food stalls selling all kinds of food and drinks. That glass of beer you paid 10 bucks for in the restaurant well get you 2 bottles of beer or 5 glasses in the food court and that 35 dollar crab you had can be gotten for only 15 to 18 dollars. So you see you can save a lot on your cost while in Singapore if you know where to eat at.

Using the transportation system will save you a bundle also vice taking cabs all the time. Again once you find your way around the central area you’ll see how close everything is and that you can walk to many of the spots you which to go. Plus walking give you the chance to see all the small places you miss while in a cab. There are many places that can be missed that are worth seeing. From the airport to the central area in a cab will cost around 15 to 20 dollars while if you take it MRT it will only cost you $1.60, see how it adds up?

Renting a place (flat) can run from S$500 to S$800 for a room in someone flat or S$1,500 and up for the entire house that is furnished depending on the area where it is located. Since 2007 these prices have gone up greatly so now places can cost you as much as 1,500 or higher to renew a whole flat for your self. If you are just on a short trip then this will not work for you but if you plan to be here for a while you may want to check out this option vice staying in a motel the whole time. You can find places in the paper or on web site for Singapore. If you are coming here to work and plan to get your own apartment or service apartment in the business district these will cost you in the S$3,500 to S$10,000 range per month. But chances are if you are coming here on a contact you’ll be making enough or your company will pick up the cost of your service apartment so with it would not be a concern to you. Many if not all of these apartments are fully furnished and all you will need is your cloths to hang in the closet.

Singapore can be a very expensive place to live if you go about it like most tourist do but then again they are here to spend their hard earned cash on vacation. Some come here looking for deals on electronic equipment and computer items. Well from what I have found is that is just about the same in cost as anyplace else you go. You can try Simm Lim Square or Tower for your deals. It is close to Little India or the Bugis Junction MRT station which is just 2 short blocks away.  You will not find any deals on Orchard Road so save your time and don’t go looking there. Another place you can try is in Little India or even China Town for your deals. These shops are more like mom and pop shops and a lot friendlier too so you may be able to swing a deal if your skills are up to it. With the economy being what it is they want to make the sale so you have that on your side. Another place you can try is around the housing blocks and smaller malls where you can also find street fairs where they will set up for a week or so to sell their good. These move around from place to place so you might have a hard time finding one. If you do just ask a cabbie and he should be able to take you to one or two of them.

If you are looking for the CD games or programs at discounted prices (pirated software) it can be found in Singapore but is illegal to sell or have. From time to time the police will raid the shops and shut them down but they always seem to reappear either in the same place with a new manager or close by but lately (10/03) even these shops have been harder to find. The computer software and CD’s will run you S$10 and up depending on how many disk are in the set while games go for S$8 and X-rated DVD’s are in the S$4 to S$10 Range although a lot harder to find since the border checks have increase and have caught some pretty large shipments coming in.

Since many shops have been raided and closed down sales have gone mobile. You may see a person coming into your office building or even the club you are in asking if you want a DVD? What I have found is that many have set areas they working to so it will not interfere with anyone else sales plus if you have a problem with your DVD they will gladly swap it for a new one for you. Great customer service they provide you. But keep in my at the same time that this DVD are illegal and if found in your possession you can and will be charged. What I have found is during the day time there will be people walking around the factory areas selling the DVD’s door to door and the workers know when these sellers will be in the area or even have there contact numbers so they can place orders of their movies. At night you’ll find these same selling in the pub area around the country. So finding shops may be harder you can still find them all you need to do is ask the local on the job or the bartender and they can tell you when.

The cab drivers in Singapore are Singaporeans and know the city well so give them a chance to get you to where you want to be, like in any city if you need something just ask a cab driver!

Hard Times in Singapore

Over the pass years I have been here I have viewed and read a lot about how the economy has affect the lives of the local Singaporeans and the Expats’ that live here. Many (if not all) of the employers are only looking for those that have either a PR status or a work permit before they will even talk to you. With many Singaporeans being retrenched (laid off) there is a ample supply of workers that can be hired with out the employer having to put up the S$2,500 work permit bond needed by the government so for the non-Singaporeans that are looking for work here it can be a bit hard to find yourself employed for a while. Many of the companies are looking for personal with degrees to booster the yearly earning to help get the company back on its feet. Many get recruited by the many head-hunters that have jobs posted for foreign workers. It appears that these job pay very well for those that are able to land them since many are in upper management or Senior Director Positions. On the other hand many Expats have been leaving Singapore since a company can save money by releasing the high paid managers and may not speak Mandarin or Cantonese since these are the languages are widely used by the locals and in China which Singapore is looking very at as the next area to invest.

In the local paper there was an article about the rental units around the Orchard Road and how they were not able to rent them out at the prices as they did before. Many of these service apartments would start at S$3,500 and go up quickly from there in price but since the Expats were not renting many lay empty right now.

Singapore is doing all it can to help its citizens though the times that have been come over the small country yet many of the locals are not happy with the way things are going at the moment. With 5% unemployment here that unrest can be understood since Singapore was doing so well before the Asian market crashed in 1997. As companies resize and try to cut cost many Singaporean feel the noose tightening around then. Housing sales are down and most are holding on to their cash to see how much longer this recession will last before making any big purchases.

Now as we end 2008 the job market is doing good so finding work is pretty easy for the average Singaporean, PR or work permit holder.

Read about Working in Singapore in jobs that are always available, if you do not mind the hours or the pay, Click Here

Alternate Life Styles

Singapore is like another place in the world so what you find at home you will also find here. One difference, at least for me, is that unlike the States, this alternate life styles seem to be more openly accepted. It is not uncommon to be in a club or disco and realize that the person on stage isn’t a lady but is in fact a guy. So if you come to Singapore and find your self in such a club you have, as always, have two choices. One you stay or two you can go. Don’t make a big deal out it just accept it and get on with your life.

Wanted to be fair to everyone that will visit my site I included a list of gay clubs for those that may be interested which can be found on my Singapore Gay club list. There are a few articles in the News Archive Section that covers the Gays in Singapore which may be of interest, so check it out.

    Drug Help

• You can call the following numbers for help:
• For counseling – The Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA), tel. 1-800-732-4444 (English and Mandarin) and 1-800-733-4444 (English and Malay).
• To report drug abuse – The CNB Hotline, tel. 1-800-325-6666.

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