Culturally, things are identical to how things are back home. A Malaysian going over to Singapore to work shouldn’t have much of a problem, communication wise. Although I’m generally quite surprised that Singaporeans do speak Cantonese too, which was very rare many years ago. Singaporeans mainly speak Mandarin and Hokkien. I do admit that their command of English is generally better than Malaysians. But what made me felt at home was when I was able to speak Malay. It was pleasantly nice to be able to speak to the elderly ones but I felt that the younger generations are slowly losing the ability to speak that language. Which was kind of ironic, where by the younger ones back home were unable to speak any other language except Malay, especially in the rural areas due Malaysia’s current education system. For those who are reading this from other countries apart from Malaysia and Singapore, you may be confused as to what I’m trying to say. Both of these countries, are made up of different races and we communicate with each other through different languages. A Malaysian of Chinese origin may be able to speak in Malay and a Singaporean of Indian origin may be able to speak Mandarin. So don’t be surprised.
Before going over to Singapore, I’ve this impression that working in Singapore is very stressful. Singapore = Stress. That’s how the mentality was. Truth be told, it’s just the same as back home. No more no less. It depends entirely with the people you’re working with. Yes, Singaporeans do like to complaint a lot. They even have ads at the movies claiming that there are known for complaining. It’s so weird I’m not sure whether I should be laughing at it, or not. Now, I have no other experience in other fields, but from the medicine side, things are just as busy as back home. Long queues of patients. Long waiting hours. Frustrated and agitated patients after such long waits. Malfunction lab machines. Network down time, etc. etc. It’s just the matter of how you cope with that stress. Therefore, is Singapore’s working life (in the medical field) more stressful? No.
When it comes to food, nothing beats Malaysian food. Sorry to all Singaporeans out there, Malaysian’s food is still the best! Bak kut teh does not taste like bak kut teh at all in Singapore. It’s closer to lat tong (pepper soup) back home. Well, maybe it’s their own version of bak kut teh, I guess. This is just one example, there’s a whole list of food I can talk about but I’m not going to delve into that.
Staying in Singapore is another whole different ball game. Rental in Singapore is ridiculously expensive. To rent a room here in Singapore which costs $700-$850 per month, I’ll be able to pay for a whole condominium installment back home. Of course eventually it would get easier once you’re earning Singapore dollars but when you just sit down and think about the money you’re spending on rental, you just wish you could use that amount of money on something else instead. Transportation wise, it’s very easy to get around in Singapore, unlike back home, where you need to have a car to reach your destination in comfort. Buses come on time and MRTs are strategically located. Then again, I miss driving!
One thing I’m definitely certain of…
I’m certain I have more time for myself, without the traffic jams since I commune to and fro work everyday by a pair of feet.