Sunday, July 12, 2009

Top Expat Challenges

Laura in Singapore enjoys being a foreigner/expat/immigrant, as most posts demonstrate. However, there are some universal challenges, not specific to Singapore, which potential future expats may not expect. To start, consider that many of your lovely possessions will either remain in storage or be rendered rather useless:You are likely to face new biological threats and vermin. How many Canadians know how to avoid boot mold, and the tiny bugs that eat the mold? Oh the tropical household ecosystem!Sometimes, you're just going to get stared at. An advantage is that your appreciation of your home cuisine grows. But this can lead to disappointment when things are just sometimes done wrong. This is my butterscotch parfait?
Similarly, we waited 2 years for Quiznos to come to Singapore, and when we finally went there, it was closed. Emotional roller coaster.Doing your taxes while you're out of the country? Nightmare. The Canadian Revenue Agency missed me so much that they kept writing me letters.Similarly, imagine the paperwork and time involved in immigrating here!Often, we just don't understand the jokes, the media, and especially the ads. Has this woman's "family heater" melted off her bosom?
Planes. May not be as fun as shown.
You just can't learn all the traditions and etiquette and try to make sense of it.
Family cooking. You gotta DIY, which is much harder than showing up with a bottle of wine.
It's hard to be subtle. Spot the expat in this picture.