Mistakes expats make in Singapore

Hello everyone,

Did you make any mistakes when you first moved to Singapore? What were they?

How did you address your mistakes? Did you learn anything from them?

With hindsight, what would you do differently?

Are there any tips you could give future expats in Singapore to help them avoid these kinds of mistakes?

We look forward to hearing from you!


Avoid smoking in a non-smoking zones -

One of my friends who has been in Singapore for many years shared this experience with me. He was caught in an unlikely manner. He saw a guy talking to what he believed to be a law officer. They were arguing in a loud manner. They guy was a tourist. He then asked the two what the argument was all about. The officer smiled and said, "That is the one we are talking about", pointing to my friend's hand who, at the time was holding a lighted cigarette. The officer then called another law officer to talk to my friend. "This is a no smoking zone. You should know that", This is what the officers explained to my friend and to the tourist. He paid (I think) 250 sgd. From then on, he avoided the same mistake.

Moving to Singapore is an easy transition. But two pieces of advice would have helped me. First, if you have a drivers license, convert it to a SG license within the 1st 3 months of moving here. This saves the hassle of having to do a driving test. I am now in the unfortunate situation where my CDN license is expired, and I have to wait to renew it until I go back to Canada for a holiday (and I'm not 100% sure how easy that will be considering I no longer reside there). And I lack the time to study for the test here. Second, do NOT lose your work pass. If you use the automated passport lane at changi, I suggest never traveling overseas with the card (bring a photo of it instead) because I was pickpocketed overseas and lost it that way. If you lose it, you pay a fine, and there's a risk that if you lose it more than twice, MOM will refuse to issue you a replacement. Because this happened to me twice (unlucky, eh ?). Now, I don't even take the card out of my apt unless I have to go to the doctor.

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