So I’ve been in Singapore just over a week, and so far it’s going pretty great. It’s ridiculously easy to settle in here. Everything is crazily efficient and convenient. I think even if you’d never been here before and wandered around aimlessly for a whole day, you’d still find everything you needed.
I kept my sim card from when I was here on holiday. I switched it over on the plane and it was working before I got off, including data. Brin kept my ez-link (transport) card, so I could start using the trains straight away. You’re never far from somewhere to eat (more on this later), and being a foreigner means my card works in practically any of the ATMs. Not that you need cash most of the time.
I bought a new phone last weekend too (Samsung S4 mini). It wasn’t difficult – every mall has approximately 293 shops selling smartphones. My sim card was too big, so the guy there resized it for me, fit my sd card and applied a screen protector. This is typical service in Singapore. Everything is done for you.
This is my flat, as seen from the LRT (sort of like a mini train system):
And this is the view from my window:
My room’s pretty decent. My housemates are nice, there’s free wifi, and we’ve just had aircon installed. The LRT station is right outside, so it’s very easy to get anywhere from. And it’s only a few blocks away from Brin, which is nice.
I arrived on Thursday and started work on Monday, so I’ve already worked a full week. The office is seriously cool. It’s in a block with a lot of other startups and tech companies, so it’s got a pretty trendy feel to it. The nearest MRT station (one-north) has a Starbucks and a big food court, and a 3-storey gym at the top (although I think membership is about $200 per month, on a 12-month contract).
Our office is small but great. Super modern furniture, Macs everywhere, darts, pool table, tv and console. My colleagues are all around my age and pretty sociable; everyone goes to lunch together and it seems like there’s an event planned every week. Next week we’re going prawning, which is where you ‘fish’ in a pond that’s been conveniently filled with prawns. Then you BBQ and eat them.
The work itself is web development and pretty much what I’m used to, except it’s Ruby on Rails, which is sort of like Perl where someone else has done the work for you.
Ok, I’ve saved the best until last. The food here is unbelievable. Everywhere you go is packed full with incredible places to eat, every kind of food you can think of, and it’s a fraction of the price you’d pay in the UK. For example, this was my lunch today (Taiwanese hotpot black pepper chicken):
This cost $5.50, which is about £2.50. I can’t think of anywhere I’d get lunch for less than £3 in Macclesfield, except maybe a cheap sandwich from Tesco. If I’d paid £15 in a British restaurant for my meal today I’d have had no complaints. And $5 isn’t even a cheap meal in Singapore, as Brin keeps telling me. I’ve been doing a lot of eating.