Wednesday, 18 January 2012

pack-ing cha-cha-cha


pack-ing cha-cha-cha 


for travel-ing cha-cha-cha

yes, packing.
and more packing.

for we are repatriating to Australia after 5 years of living on the Little Red Dot, also known to many as SINGAPORE!

We have been asked by others how we feel. This is incredibly difficult to answer. We are finding it to be harder than we expected. 
Way back in 2006 we had a phone call asking if we would be interested in working in Singapore. At first John said no because both had good (work) positions in Australia which we really enjoyed, we had two dogs and our town house in the city area.

Why would we want to give all this up?

But after much discussion we decided to go ahead with the move. It was going to be good for John to gain some 'global experience' and for us to experience living in another country.
I have lived in Canada and the US, but living in Asia would be quite different.

After all it was only for two years right?

Well we moved here on February 9 2007 ..... two years soon came and went, three years, four years and now its five years. Where did that time go?
(above: Melbourne Airport: February 9 2007)
We moved out into the Heartlands as soon as we arrived as we had no desire to live closer in to Singapore itself. It was the best thing we could have done. By moving out amongst the heart of Singapore allowed us to settle in much quicker than we imagined. We made many friends and got to know the local area for shopping within a matter of weeks.

Singapore soon became part of our heart too and we became PR's (Permanent Residents) as soon as we could.
We immersed ourselves in the local culture, the local events, meeting people, we attended the festivals and we too - learned to live in harmony.
(above: at the Hari Raya Festival)

(above: at the Pongal Festival)

(above: at Bukit Brown Cemetery)

(above: at the Battle of Pasir Panjang Walk)

(above: last train out of the Tanjong Pagar Rail Station)

We attended many of the heritage tours and walks around Singapore to learn more about this young nation, by learning more you have better understanding of how or why things are done the way they are. By understanding the history, you can understand the present.

Our 'walks' have taken us to many area's of Singapore that even the locals tell us they have not done. 

           and so it is with a heavy heart we leave our adopted country.

we cannot possibly list the things we will miss, for there are too many. But we will miss our friends most of all.

Our Singaporean friends that took us to heart soon after we arrived, for we were never treated as just another Ang Mo!

Our 'expat' friends that were always there for us!

We have spoken to many others - some that have lived here for up to 20 years - asking the question what is it that keeps bringing you back to Singapore or what is it that you miss most.

Not one can give us a clear answer.

They don't really know, they like the welcome home at Changi Airport, where the customs and immigration people greet each of us with a  smile - yes a smile and they all say welcome home.

They always enjoy the drive from the airport along the ECP (East Coast Parkway) where it is covered in flowers and greenery. A sure sign you are back in Singapore.


They also enjoy the smells, the foods, the people, the vibrancy, the festivals, the harmony, the local shopping areas, the hawker food, the weather, the safety, the cleanliness, the ease of getting around on the public transport, for they all enjoy being HOME where they feel comfortable.

 Singapore is in their heart

as it is in ours and none of us can give a clear answer as to why. For we were not born here, nor did we grow up here, but we have all learned that living in harmony, in a safe environment, certainly does mean a lot and shows us that it can be achieved wherever we live.

So after writing the above thoughts, its time for me to get back to the sorting of what we are taking back to Australia or what not to take back.

                                       But that's another blog post for sure!


Oswald Chong said...

What makes you and your husband really impressive is your understanding of Singapore. I share your experience... being a Singaporean living in the US... there's always a question on if I really want to stay here for long or go back to Singapore.... just like my ancestors before me.... they made Singapore their home... and I will make US my home. I hope there are more people like yourself who make this world a better place with your sharing and knowledge. Enjoy downunder all over again!

Leone Fabre said...

Thank you Oswald .... your comments have always meant a lot to me.

I appreciate your thoughts, as always. L x

Adventure Spirit said...

Had been following your blog for many years, I have learned so much from you. Will adopt the spirit of adventure and adaptability when I venture abroad to work in near future. Good health and good fortune to you.

Roger Smith said...

Yes your sentiments about Singapore - living there, experiencing local life, friendships formed with Singaporeans and leaving - mirror my own. (

In truth, if you truly love a country you never leave it. Good luck with you relocation back to Oz. For me it was Auckland, about 18 months ago after four lovely years in Singapore; we lived in Queenstown.