Thoughts about SG After Living Abroad for 1 year

Hi, this is D! I’ve been back for slightly less than a week so far and my daily thought revolves around 3 words: it’s so humid!

So I decided to write a bit about my thoughts about Singapore after living in Japan for almost 1 year.

The Good

Being away from SG gives us the opportunity to notice the good in SG.

First of all, it is definitely the transport system. So far, my wait for a bus or a train has been less than 5 minutes everywhere I go. Like, seriously, it is THAT efficient (okay maybe I’m just super lucky). I was taking 854 from Yishun interchange and I was really surprised that the bus was running at 5 minute intervals! When I boarded the bus, there were only 2 passengers and the next bus was coming again in 5 minutes time. I honestly appreciate the high frequency but it is kinda wasting resources, isn’t it? Let’s not forget how cold the air conditioning is in buses, which only contributes to global warming, which is very ‘felt’ in SG. But I shall talk about that later under ‘bad.

Next, the convenience and technological advancement in SG is really crazy. At Jewel, my sister had difficulty finding her car and apparently, at this directory, you just have to key in the numerical parts of your carplate number and the system can apparently identify your car. My sister and I were very doubtful because her car plate number is just 2 digit, e.g. SGU80K. So we just keyed in ’80’, half expecting an error because how can a car park gantry detect the car movement, right? But to our surprise, the full digital map was shown, with clear dotted interactive guide to show you where you should walk towards to get to your car, complete with a snapshot of your car in the parking lot! *mindblown* Amazeballs.

The other point that really took me by surprise is that there are actually USB charging ports on buses nowadays! I have to give it a mention because I know if this was in Japan, I’d be praising Japan endlessly. So of course, I’ve got to give it to Singapore for doing this for commuters. Awesome.

Of course, food. No elaboration. It speaks for itself. 😀

The Bad

The weather. Oh My God, the weather. I just can’t take it. Many people kept telling me how this week is the coolest week in a while and I’m still complaining like crazy over the heat. I do admit that the temperature isn’t that bad but holy shit the humidity just drives me up the wall every time I step out of the house. My complexion right now gets sticky and oily after a while and I can already feel a few pimples popping. *sulks* Let’s not even talk about my hair. *double sulks* At the rate that shopping centers and buses are blasting air conditioner, I bet it will just get warmer and warmer in SG. I’m really not keen to live in this kinda weather and sadly, this is one factor that no one can do anything about.

Next, the crazy drivers on the road. As you should have read in GJH’s post about drivers in Japan, it is generally smooth and peaceful on the road in Japan. So when I was on my sister’s car on the way back home from the airport, I was taken aback because drivers were so rude. They were cutting lanes hap hazardly, not giving way, and of course my dear sister herself was 相変わらずに bitching about the annoying drivers in front of us (something that I oddly miss, of course, haha!). It is nothing new to me but it is a big change compared to the roads in Japan. It’s bad, of course. I feel that it makes driving and being on the road such a negative and toxic experience; the two factors that I avoid more and more as I grow older.

Finally, the lack of personal space. So I was shopping at Waterway Point and many times, the walkway in malls, or aisle in shops tend to be narrow. Naturally, if you want to stand still at the aisle to look at the clothes, you’d naturally let the people who are just passing by pass by first, right? Well, apparently not. Many times, I have to curve my body like an S shape just to twist my way out of the path. Or, they’d approach and stop dead in their tracks to look at the clothes, blocking my path completely, not showing any sign of apology. Or, when there are two glass doors and I push open one to go through? So many times, another person will try to squeeze through too at the same time, even from the opposite direction, instead of giving way first or just waiting for that one or two seconds. In Japan, even if it is just a slight nudge, people will apologise or move away. I just hate the lack of personal space in SG, or more like, the lack of sense for personal space.

In conclusion, I guess nothing much changed. The bad points aren’t new to me but I guess being away and being back magnifies it a little. But the good points are indeed great!

So, I shall enjoy the rest of my trip back. And pray hope I won’t get another sleepless flight back!

Till then,
D.

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