Look back on so far since I moved to Singapore
It’s been a month since I moved to Singapore. I like Singapore so far. Life in Singapore is comfortable. The dishes are delicious and the cities aren’t very crowded. I try to look back on so far as it’s been about 1 month since I moved to Singapore.
Objectives in this month:
- Finish quarantine without any problems
- Learn Singapore’s Law in the Covid-19 pandemic situation
- Get the work pass
- Get SingPass account
- Open a bank account
- Setup the living/working environment
- Setup living space
- Try various local foods
- Get used to using public transportation
Finish quarantine w/o any problems
I was spending my time on because of the Stay Home Notice (SHN) for the first two weeks. I had to be in my room all time during the SHN. I couldn’t step out of my room except to pick up a package for me or meals from the door. And I had to check my temperature and put it into an application that is created by the Singapore government 3 times every day. The application is also tracked my location automatically to make sure I didn’t move out of the room. Furthermore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) staff called me every day to make sure my location and registered information are correct.
One of the hardest things during the quarantine is smoking is not allowed by the hotel. I tried to negotiate with the hotel staff before I started 2 weeks quarantine, but the situation did not change at all. Since a colleague of mine who live in Singapore helped me to buy a Nicolette, I could be patient with a smoking habit. And he also got me some snacks and an extra display.
I was staying at the Ritz-Carlton. It was a nice room. It has a very nice view. It’s very big and clean. There was a very big TV that is free for watching Netflix and Youtube. I wouldn’t stay at the hotel as usual. I can say the hotel was more comfortable than my house. The physical condition was almost perfect. But actually, I felt stress from the quarantine. I tried a lot of things so that I didn’t get too stressed. The dishes were not bad. I could eat many dishes from different countries. Singaporean, Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, Japanese, etc.
And at the end of SHN, I had to take a swab test and get a negative result. My result was negative. That was very good because if I got a positive result, I had to stay at the hotel until I got a negative result.
Learn and get used to Singapore’s Law in the Covid-19 pandemic situation
There are some restrictions in Singapore. Unlike in Japan, these are not requests, but compulsions. If I violate them, I will need to pay a fine. It is not called “fine” city for nothing. Perhaps because of these restrictions, the spread of the disease is considerably more contained than in Japan.
- All people must always wear a mask when we go out except during exercise
- Can’t have more than six people together to prevent clusters
- All people have to check in with the contact tracing app called TraceTogether and check their temperature before entering the store
Get work pass
I went to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) as soon as I finished the SHN to get my work pass. I had an accident there. My documents were incomplete and my application was not accepted. I submitted another application the next day and got my work pass successfully.
Get SingPass account
SingPass is an ID provider that is similar to My Number Card in Japan. But it is more powerful and convenient than Japan. I applied to SingPass as soon as I got the work pass. Once I registered my personal information to SingPass, the 3rd party vendors (e.g. Bank) can access to personal information via API such as OAuth application.
Open bank account
I applied to open a bank account. The entire process is completed online. I didn’t have to go to their office. And almost personal information was filled automatically once I grant access via SingPass. That was an amazing experience that I wouldn’t have had in Japan.
Setup the living/working environment
My house is shared with colleagues of mine. Also, my room is a little bit small. Actually, it isn’t my room, but my boss’s room. But he is staying in Japan and he won’t back to Singapore for a while because he has some tasks in Japan. We’ll move to a larger house when he back to Singapore and I’ll get a real room. I built a minimum environment where there is no inconvenience.
Try various local foods
Colleagues of mine have a lot of knowledge of Singapore because it’s been 2 years since they moved to Singapore. They took me to various restaurants, food courts, and hawker centers. I tried a lot of local foods from different countries. There are a lot of delicious foods in Singapore. Even though I’m a picky eater, I don’t seem to have to worry about food. Especially I like Nasi Lemak, Yan tao foo, Prata, and Salted Egg Chicken Rice.
Get used to using public transportation
Singapore has a very well-developed public transportation network and payment system. I’d like to use public transportation instead of Grab/Taxi. It’s a more natural way to live in Singapore I think. If I take a bus, what I have to do is just touch my credit card to the contactless card reader. I can say the same thing about the train. I used a lot of buses and trains this month to go shopping and sightseeing spots.
Participate online community in Singapore
I can’t attend offline meetups because having a rally of more than six people is illegal in Singapore right now. I try to find online meetups in Singapore. I could find JS communities easily as my friend helped me to find communities in Singapore.
I participated virtualtalk.js — August and Going Serverless with GraphQL in this month. Actually, I hadn’t participated in online talks as an audience. I felt that there was less of an experience that an attendee would get compared to an offline meetup because there aren’t get-together in the event. I felt that I should to actively participate in events. For example, asking questions to the speaker or giving a presentation.
Objectives in next month:
I built the essential foundation of life this month. Next, I’ll try to find new friends and hobbies in Singapore and build a social environment.
- Prepare shoes and clothes for the rainy season
- Start society activities to find my new hobbies
- Make new friends in Singapore and go out for dinner with them
- Decide the topic to give a presentation in an online meetup
- Setup VPN to access Japanese media