By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond
On quora.com, one can find many foreigners who study to work here praising Singapore.
Indian national Ritika Ojha who studied at the Asansol Engineering College moved to Singapore about 7 years ago. According to her write-up, she said that she “absolutely” loves Singapore. She listed 15 reasons:
- “Super safe: no matter where I am or in what condition, I know I will reach home safely”.
- “I don’t need to plan my outing schedules based on times. If I feel like going for a run I can do it at 2 am in the morning”.
- “Everything is within reach. Singapore is a small country, no doubt but the public transport is excellent.”
- “24×7 supermarkets. I can do my grocery shopping even at midnight“.
- “Run out of cooking gas. No problem. Dial and bam.. it’s at your doorsteps within 20 mins”.
- “I can drink water directly from the tap”.
- “No worries about power cuts”.
- “Air dust, not at all. Now I can easily wear crispy white clothes all day long”.
- “Direct & cheap flights to most Asian countries”.
- “SGD power …way to go”.
- “All important information online. Majority of things can be done online”.
- “Getting passport renewed : piece of cake”.
- “No strikes or road blocks for protests”.
- “No constant loud speakers”.
- “Excellent libraries”
“This country welcomed me with open arms and made me more confident, independent. I am able to experience freedom of living in a much better sense. In fact now when I travel back to Singapore (from her home country), I know I am back to my second home,” she added.
Not owning a car is ok
Indonesian student from VJC, Jessica Tjandra, who has just finished her ‘A’ level loves our “fantastic transport system”. She said that Singaporeans tend to take this for granted.
“Where I come from, public transport system is almost non-existent – the nearest ‘bus stop’ is twenty minutes away by car,” Ms Tjandra said.
“Theft is rife in buses and trains. Meanwhile, walking home alone at night is also dangerous – pickpockets and such (and even kidnappers!). There are rape cases documented by passengers too.”
In Singapore, she said she has never seen anything like that, “Walking home from the bus stop – a mere 200m walk, even at 2am is okay.”
She also said that not owning a car in Singapore is not an issue because the trains and buses in Singapore are “super interconnected”.
“Sure, sometimes trains break down and buses arrive 3 minutes later than what the app says (yes, there’s an app to show when the next bus is arriving) and people complain about it, but hey, the system is working well and I truly appreciate the reliability and convenience of Singapore’s public transport system,” she said.
However, Ms Tjandra did complain about Singapore’s weather being hot and humid. “And my room had no air conditioning,” she lamented.
Another foreigner, Ayesha Khan, who worked and lived in Singapore for 2 years also praised our “fantastic” transport system.
But she found Singapore to be small and got bored “very easily”. She also found Singapore not to have a proper work-life balance. She has since moved to London.
“The lack of a work-life balance is insane. Most people I knew worked really late, and were expected to stay late even if they finished early because of the ‘face’ time culture. When I moved to London, this was the single biggest differentiator I could see, which I felt really lacked in Singapore,” she said.
Freedom to walk in Singapore
Yet, another female Indian national, Neha Rehani, said the thing she likes most about Singapore is freedom.
“Freedom to walk at any time on the streets and knowing that I will reach home safely. Freedom to wear what I want and knowing that I won’t be frowned up on or judged. Freedom from the pressure of owning a car because every corner of the city is well connected by an excellent public transportation system. Freedom of living in one of the least corrupt countries and knowing that my ability to pay will not determine my status in the society, Ms Rehani commented.
It’s not surprising that most foreigners who praised Singapore tend to come from third world countries where the infrastructure is backward.
Those from India, especially the women, appreciate the safety of Singapore because the number of rape and assault cases are high in India. This is especially so if the women come from a lower caste in India.