When you first move to Singapore, it is a slow awakening to discover that it is a damn expensive place to live. Like a mirage, the cheap transportation and hawker food lures you into a false sense of financial security. The realisation I was living in one of the most expensive countries in the world hit me when I wanted to get back into fitness. I had to ask myself, why are gyms so expensive in Singapore? Holding gym membership here is both prestigious and a luxury. Running along the river or doing tae chi in the park are more popular ways for locals to burn calories however as a foreigner, I would struggle to exercise outside in such extreme humidity. And if you think doing yoga is a cheaper option, forget about it!
One of the first challenges I faced moving to Singapore was finding a place to rent. I learned quickly that the system, which is designed to protect renters, is full of unscrupulous real estate agents. Nonetheless, luck was on my side as at the time rents were low and there were plenty of vacant modern condominiums. I found a convenient two bedroom apartment close to the city centre… and I lived to tell the tale.