Posted on 18/08/2008. By Pete Otaqui.
Welcome to the blog! I’ll be writing about our family’s experience of moving from the UK to Singapore. We fly out on the 22nd of September, so the first few posts will be about why we’re going and what it’s like to get ready to emmigrate.
Many people ask us why Singapore, so I guess that’s a good place to start. L and I decided that we wanted to live abroad even before we were married last year; it’s not that surprising since we both had international childhoods. We considered moving to the Middle East as we have links there, but in the end that actually weighed against the region – we wanted somewhere new, and since neither of us have much experience of Asia (L has travelled there a little, but I’ve never been at all) it quickly became our first choice.
Having settled on Asia in general, Singapore cropped up as a good choice for quite quickly – being a modern, clean and safe place (we are thinking of starting a family after all!) as well as having English as the language of business and lots of work for web developers like me. As a key trading port, it also has amazing links to all its neighbours, which is a definite plus.
There is also the constant 30 degrees weather all year round. Nice.
But you won’t be able to chew gum will you?
People’s reaction to hearing that you are moving to Singapore usually come in two forms: those who are excited and those who start talking about chewing gum. For some reason, although Singapore has been both a model for reasoned development and at times harshly authoritarian – it’s the law (which I gather are far less strict than they used to be – more to come later, I’m sure!) prohibiting chewing gum which seems to resonate most with people here in the UK. I’m personally not bothered about not being able to chew gum, and I certainly won’t mind not having it stuck to my shoes.
As to the greater issue of Singapore’s politics, I think it’s a bit more complicated than that. Coming from London – where I believe we have more CCTV cameras per person than any other city on earth – I can’t really imagine that it will seem very different.
It’s a long way, isn’t it?
I suspect the hardest part of moving to Singapore is going to be the distance from our families and friends. Obviously that is the price one has to pay for exploring somewhere new. I’m really glad that we’ll be able to video-conference with everybody, and plan on doing so as often as possible. There’s also this blog which I hope at least my mother will read on occasion!
Well, I suppose that’s it for the first blog post. We’re quite busy before we go, but I will try posting some more before we fly!