The 10 Reasons to Move to Perth

If you are Singaporean, Perth is probably one of the last places you will go for your holidays, much less a migration destination. It never fail to amaze me how often Singaporean tourists place shopping high on their to-do list during a holiday. Why, Singaporeans? Singapore has so many shopping centres littered all over the island such that you cannot possibly finish shopping if you spend your entire life trying. The turnover of shops are so high and shopping centres are perpetually renovating, evolving into the next gen shopping centre, you can have a brand new shopping experience when you do round 2 if you ever finish round 1. 

The last time I heard, you can now shop in NUH, there is a new shopping centre build at what is supposed to be a hospital and also one in the Sports Hub, which is a sports stadium. What next guys? Building a shopping centre in Bright Hill, Geylang or Choa Chu Kang cemetery? You can't say no one asked for it. In fact, you demand it. No demand no supply what. Singapore's strategic geographical position also ensures the island's entrepĂ´t trade hub status remains intact despite the PAP. With well-established logistical intermediaries, online shopping has never been easier before. You can shop till you drop even without leaving your own home.

And you go for holidays .... to shop?

The last bitch who lamented about shops closing at 5.30pm in Perth was buried in a secret place. She won't be the last. What do you want from the malls here anyway? The anchor tenants are usually the supermarkets. What's the thrill buying cheese and chocolates at 9pm? Then you get the smallish news agent cum lotto shop, the bottle shop, the butcher, baker, key cutter, pedicurist and a hairdresser. What do you want from them after office hours? Get a fucking life. If you have nothing to do, then masturbate at home just like the way you do in Singapore, since you are not into trying something different when you are out-of-country.

Due to the obvious conflict in priorities between most Singaporeans and myself, what attracts me to Perth will probably be irrelevant to you. However, I'll still list down what makes me move here because I am a introvert narcissist (go figure)

"Hey! Do you have 1 minute to talk about Christ?"
Reason #10: No more dribbling

I used to dribble past smiley insurance agents, donation ticketers, or any sales people in a clown suit with ease, all thanks to my football playing days in school. I would dash towards them as if I was taking them on and dribble past them like I would with the ball. As I grew up, it looked more awkward doing it. I didn't look as graceful anymore. I felt a little bad doing that to chio bus insurance agents too. So I moved to Perth. To date, I have yet to meet a canvasser in public. Heaven. Best of all, no more "Do you have a minute to talk about Jesus Christ" nerds who never fail to break their 1 minute promise. I wonder does Christ punishes liars? If he doesn't, he should, starting with his clan.

Reason #9: Wide open spaces

Don't think I need to elaborate more on this. In Singapore, the only wide space I can find without a human being in sight is the spacebar on one of those computers in Jurong East library.

Reason #8: Free parking

There are places I have to pay for parking in Perth but I don't visit those anyway. So I am left with free parking wherever I go. I can park at my friends' driveway for hours, or the lots outside the shops I do my groceries, parks, my daughter's primary school. It was one of the things that annoyed me to no end in Singapore. So it feels like getting rid of cancer here.

Reason #7: Amazing wonders of nature

Be it on land, up the hills or along the coast, Western Australia has plenty to offer. There are actually some Singaporeans (who don't like shopping) who come here for visit the wonders of nature WA offers. I feel lucky to be living in a place with access to these beautiful places that I can enjoy during my holidays without having to fly somewhere. Motivational gurus used to tell me instead of trying to live a life as a millionaire, be the millionaire instead. In principle, instead of visiting a beautiful place, live there instead. Being a millionaire may not even happen to me in my lifetime but living in a beautiful place and feeling a million bucks every day has been done.

Reason #6: Free healthcare

Okay, some will argue it comes from my income tax and I will leave it as that. However, I like this not because it is free but the fact that anyone who finds himself down-and-out will still get quality medical attention even if he would not have been able to afford it in the same situation in Singapore. I.e. even if you are unemployed, sick and desperate, you won't be denied treatment. If you want to talk about the balance sheet though, I did not have to pay a single cent out of my pocket for my cancer treatment, 2 minor eye surgeries and the entire pregnancy-to-delivery processes of both my children. How much money would I need to fork out for the same thing if I were in Singapore? Will that be enough to pay my taxes in Australia these 5 years? Many times over.

Reason #5: Friendly Perthians

Yes I never enjoy talking to strangers but it never fail to amaze me how strangers are willing to stop for a chat with me. Many of them are not just chatty, but helpful and encouraging. It is uplifting to live in such an environment. I feel more human and less machine after I moved here and I don't feel everyone around me is an asshole anymore.

Reason #4: Cheaper produce

Things are not as cheap as I will like it to be but getting good quality, raw ingredients to make my own meals is still much cheaper than in Singapore. Some says it hardly make sense to cook your own food in Singapore due to the easy access of low cost meals no matter where you live. On the other hand, it makes perfect sense to cook our own meals in Perth because it is much more expensive to have meals outside, which is fine by me.

Reason #3: Opportunity to own land

Real land. Not leasehold in virtual reality.

Reason #2: (Much) More options to live

If you are not born under a silver spoon in Singapore, you go to school for 2 decades, work, propose to your girlfriend by booking a HDB flat, spend all your savings on wedding and renovating the flat, make a few kids, go through a few decades of extremely stressful working life, do cardboard exercise after an early retrenchment. At some point of my life, when I realised my life can be described in a simple paragraph and it sounded exactly like everyone else's (with slight variations at most), and my children will go through the same thing, something is fucking wrong.

I know a Singaporean couple teaching in a regional area that one can only reach with a 4-wheel drive vehicle. A place I can't even spell, a few hundred kilometres away from the city. Another Singaporean lady [link] living in a farm, growing Canola and fussing over animals with interesting names. Even Perth metropolitan offer options. If you are hell bent on living in an apartment with an unblocked view of the ocean and have budget constraints, you can go down to Rockingham or further south. You can live in a chalet-style unit (They call them Villas here) in a small village-style cluster. Or live in a house. Or a house on a semi rural plot where you are allowed to rear a horse, make a tree house and have a goat as pet. If you are a sucker for "semi-D" living, it is called Duplex houses here. They are getting less common though. Otherwise, you can just go for the 'D'.

I've met an Aussie truck driver who decided to retire at 40. "Are you collecting cardboard for exercises?" I asked him. "What mate?! No, I'm going to live on the rental of my truck."

I have yet to see a single elderly who could hardly straighten his or her back, push a trolley along while the young walk past nonchalantly, without feeling something is seriously wrong with the society they claimed to be "First World." I have yet to see a handicapped on a wheelchair peddling tissue papers outside a shopping complex. That is not to say everyone is doing well here. I have seen the homeless. At least the authorities and newspapers are not sweeping things under the carpet. In Singapore, after installing railings or spikes on public benches, ledges and anything imaginable that someone can lie flat on, the homeless tent in public parks, blending with holiday campers, looking much better. Suddenly there is no more homeless in Singapore! After upgrading beggars to buskers, there are no more beggars in Singapore! Even the homeless in Perth have more options to squat, Heirisson Island island being one, only 1km away from the city.

The energy hippie in Perth can choose to go off-grid and live on energy generated by his solar, thermal and home made windmill. He can tap off the tap if he install a comprehensive water tank and septic tank system. He can produce his own Newater, drinking just his own shit rather than everyone's.

The organic hippie can grow his own vegetables in the backyard, fertilised with his own organic shit.

I know a retiree who lives on the fishes he catches. On some days, he catches more. He'll clean and freeze them for days he doesn't have luck or stormy days. His pension pays his utilities and running cost of his car and adequate food if he gets sick of fish. Not enough for tours or holidays but still a better form of exercise.

Children have a higher chance to be what they want to be. To be what they aspire in all walks of life. Ask the children in Singapore what they want to be when they grow up. Then take a look around you what we ended up being. Accountants, executives, engineers, and tuition teachers (after getting sick of the MOE). So did any of the kids tell you they want to grow up to be an external auditor who has to work till 4am in the morning?

Reason #1: The weather

9 months of amazing weather. 3 months of Singapore-ish heat. Cool nights all year round, even during many of the Summer nights. The air is dry, you hardly break into a sweat unless you are doing a serious workout. Singapore's built-in sauna is a nice feature but I didn't order it. Trust me, the weather affects our well being in more ways than you think. It is everything. It dictates your lifestyle, your thoughts and triggers your 5 senses every second of your life. It affects you like the air you breathe, the water that you drink.

During through  4 seasons a year makes me feel alive. It reminds me how fast time is passing as each season just come and go, prompting me to live my life to the fullest, instead of focusing on work and money. During my working life in Singapore, a decade can just slip away from me in a blink, as if I was in coma for years then waking up to realise I lost my time. I've done more than I ever did in just 5 years here.

We sleep about 1/3 of our life away. The lower light pollution here allows better sleep for me. The cool nights guarantee it. The amazing weather alone offers me a 30% improvement in my quality of life and all I need to do is to sleep. The rest of the 70% can easily be claimed from the previous 9 reasons.

1 comment:

  1. Well said. I agree with what you say. Was in SG recently for a few weeks to see family. It was hot and noisy. Temperature was going up to 35C with full humidity. It is hard to be out when one is drenched in sweat all the time. Even take a walk after dinner is unpleasant. Also The constant sound of traffic. Too many people. Only the shopping and food are good(lol). Having said that, it will be hard to live in SG once one has lived overseas.

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