Elesse, native Singaporean
Project Director @Absolute Translations

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Elesse is a native Singaporean who has previous experience as a Lawyer. She now works as a Project Director for Absolute Translations as part of their project of expansion and offices opening in Singapore. She agreed to give us her insight about Singapore and her point of vue as a local; here’s what she loves about Singapore and what makes her city incredible!


 How to Get Started in Singapore-la!

Having trained and worked as a lawyer, words have always been the tool of my craft. I had taken some time off work to raise my little family but was looking forward to getting back into it. So, it was a great fit when Veerle of Absolute Translations mooted the idea of getting me involved in their new Singapore office. And that’s where I am right now, on an exciting new adventure. Please allow me to give a brief introduction of Singapore from a local’s perspective:

Singapore is like a plate of rojak: a smorgasbord of nationalities converging on this little tropical island which takes you forty-five minutes to drive from one end to the other. And then the various cultures and languages that come with it. Whilst that makes for an interesting experience, a little help in navigation does not hurt.

It is often cited that Singapore is the gateway between the East and the West. So, for someone coming from the Western world, it might get a little confounding. But then for another coming from the Eastern world, things are not entirely recognisable either. So the best way to enjoy the unique place that is Singapore really is to drop all expectations and lurid tales that the media has tried to feed you. With an open mind, take it for the place it is.

Businesses will find that Singapore offers a stable and conducive regulatory environment as well as attractive economic incentives for locating here. There is not much by way of cultural mishaps in business relations with Singaporeans as we are, by and large, used to the Western as well as Asian way of working. A port city at heart, things move fast and have attracted various industries and supporting services to its shores and therefore companies will find themselves tapping into networks easily.

There are four official languages (English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil) and a lingua franca – Singlish, with English being the main language of business.  Singaporeans are generally friendly and ready to help but can sometimes be reserved – cannot help it la! – and formal in their interactions.

Boredom is hard to achieve in Singapore, whether for adults or children (especially for children!!). www.visitsingapore.com is a good platform to start as to the goings on in town. Singapore calls itself a garden city and indeed there is green all over the place, creating a relaxed atmosphere in this 24-7 economy island-state. And when a change of scenery is in order, Singapore’s Changi Airport offers convenient connections to many countries in the region. There is always an adventure to be had a short flight away.

Back to that plate of rojak: food is a national obsession and one can truly ‘eat around the world’ on this island. There is a plethora of choices from the top end restaurants to the modestly prices options. Champagne brunches are great but for a truly authentic local experience, grab a Singaporean in the know and head to the hawker centres for the quintessential local fare.

As a parting shot, in fast-moving Singapore, news moves fast across social media platforms, particularly when misdemeanour is involved. So, unless you wish to be subject to virulent attacks across such platforms, it is wise to exercise some circumspection.

You live in Singapore as an expatriate or as a local like Elesse and want to share your testimonial with us? Click on the button below and fill the form, we will be more than happy to get your tips and insights living in Lion city!

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