Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Singapore Diaries- The 5 challeges of residing abroad.

Hello everyone!! So this year certainly hasn't been the one where I've posted a lot on on my blog. The reason being a lot happening on the personal front. I got married in September (Oohh Yes!) and moved from home country India to Singapore with my wonderful husband, within a few days after that. My husband, my pillar of strength & suppport, has been living here for quite a while and is well-versed with the country, so it's a big plus. Even then, it indeed has been quite a big change for me in many ways. Yes, I've been to another country than my own, yes I've stayed on my own for a while, but this, this is like really different from all of that.

So yeah, coming back to the topic, Singapore.. Yes Singapore is a beautiful country. It is clean, well maintained and systematic. It has plush locales and amazing views. It has many picturseque places and amazing infrastructure. It is like a blend of modern and ancient in many ways. The country is a melting pot and blend of many cultures like Chinese, Malaysian, Philipino and of course Indian (Especially south Indian) cultures. There is always a buzz, there is a lot happening around, people are always on the go and it's got an energetic vibe overall.

So yeah, It's a good country/city.

We'll talk more about it's awe-inspiring qualities, technology and beauty in times to come.

It's an incredibly stunning place in many ways and I'd like to talk more about it in my upcoming posts.

In this post, I particularly want to highlight a few challenges/ problems I faced when moving from one country to another. If you are an Indian you will surely relate to it and even if you are not,  then I'm sure you will relate to atleast some of them. It has nothing to do with the country per se. I feel any new country one moves to, one is bound to face these issues, atleast in the inital period.

1. New norms and rules.

Every country has some rules and regulations and one just doesn't question them. One has to adhere to them. Here in singapore, you can't eat/chew/sell chewing gum in public, there is a charge for littering around, there's a ban on homosexuality, you cannot feed pigeons or you are fined, etc etc sheesshh you get the idea.. It's a totally different world with people living differently. Some laws like ban on littering are much needed. That's why Singapore is so well maintained and plus. But some others are just weird. But yes that's how it is. Accept and adapt.

2. Culture differences

Of course, any new place one goes, the culture is different. Singapore is pretty multi-cultured and has a majority of Chinese and Malaysian culture and yes a large number of South Indians live here too. If you know me, you'd know that am fascinated by new cultures and different sorts of people, it's pretty interesting. But still, there is no denying that there is a difference in the way people talk, the way they dress, mannerism, etc and no denying that it takes a while to get used to. Fascinating definitely, but also quite challenging.

3. Food.

Of course! The basis of any country and it's culture is almost synonymous with the food they eat. Singapore cuisine is really unique with Chinese, Malaysian, Philipino, Vietnamiese cuisnines available. Indian cuisine available here tastes a bit different than what one would eat back home.
I like the variety of dishes offered by this place. Even then, being the typical desi in many ways, I miss food back home and the restaurants back in India. One can relate to that if staying abroad for a long time. The only way to eat food the way you do back home is to prepare it yourself. Eating outside can often be a challenge to your palette as well as your pockets and even if food is quite good, just because you aren't used to it, you need some time to adjust. Also, as vegetarians, me & my husband hunt for places serving vegetarian food all the time and trust me, that can be quite a daunting task.

4. Cost of Living.

This is a no-brainer. If you come from a country like India, everything seems overpriced. From clothes, to food, to bags, to shoes, paying rent, to health, to insurance. One has to calculate costs and weigh options carefully.  If you are a typical Indian like me who's recently moved to a foreign land, you have this tendency to convert foreign currency into Indian rupees and then do the math. (Lol) So yeah, cost of living is pretty high in many foreign countries. Travel is cheaper in Singapore though. The transport system of the trains  and buses is fantastic and I would say traveling around here is much cheaper than back home.


5. Do-It-Yourself

When you live abroad, you have to do most things by your self. Manage everything. Everything means literally everything. From cooking, to cleaning, to washing, to fixing anything, to other stuff. Back home in India, labour is cheap and one can afford to keep house help and there's always someone available to fix things for you, like say the plumber, the carpenter, the driver, etc. Staying abroad takes-off that dependency from you. You have to fix most things yourself, cook and clean for yourself, etc. etc.

It does make one very self-reliant and good at managing a lot of stuff. Nevertheless, it's quite challenging initially and fatigue can take it's toll. It's especially tough for students studying abroad as well. Yes, we do gain a lot, it makes us independent and resilient, but it's still one of the biggest challenge Indians face, while staying abroad.

So yes, there are a lot of issues one faces when he or she moves to another country. If you've faced any of these, or any other issues do share with us in the comments. In the end, I'd like to say moving out of India to another country has it's own perks and the challenges can be overcome in due course of time.

That said, I'd say Singapore is a good place to be, and so is the rest of the world. I love my country but that doesn't stop me from appreciating other countries and their awesomeness. Whichever part of the world you are in, just enjoy and live life to the fullest. That's all I'd like to say.

Till then,

Dream. Imagine, Be Crazy. Be You. 

6 comments:

Rajeev Joshi said...

Nice blog. Yes! Tourism is different than staying.

sany said...

Nice and FOB view..would want to read in another 6 months on the same topic. Perspectives would change which is interesting.

Saurabh Chundayil said...

Cool blog.....very informative

CHAITRALI PUJARI said...

Very nice blog👌👌

Padmavati Joshi said...

In the most lucid language, you have said it all that all of us have to express. Good!

Manasi Joshi said...

Thanks Mom & Dad, Thank you Chaitrali & Saurabh.. Glad you all could relate to the post. @Sany, thank you. Yes more stuff is yet to come. :)