One week in and I’m totally exhausted. I’m physically very tired after a week in the office. It’s been a big adjustment. The work itself is great, it’s as if the role was made for me. The content knowledge and business skills all just came flooding back. It’s a bit like riding a bike. The company is also very impressive (I’m not allowed to mention the company name here as this is a public blog, but you can find out on my LinkedIn page).
I’ve spent most of my time in meetings this week and there are a lot of names to remember. My biggest issue was the temperature change. I’m well acclimatised to the tropical climate and don’t mind the heat but in Singapore it’s freezing everywhere because of the aircon. The office, the MRT, the shops, the restaurants, … everywhere it is so cold. I’ll have to start carrying a cardigan around I think.
It’s a big adjustment for Seathan and the kids too, they’ve mainly focussed on school this week and the change in teacher was a good opportunity to review the schedule and the curriculum and to re-organise classes a bit. They’ve also started visiting the pool and the gym at Raffles on a daily basis and ventured into town to do some grocery shopping.
It’s a very strange feeling to all of a sudden be separated like this, whereas before we spent pretty much 24/7 together. We’re making the most of the weekend together and yesterday we went into town to play tourists. Today we’re just going to chill by the pool, here in the marina.
And then there’s the culture to get used to. Singapore is so different from anywhere else we’ve been. Everything is super organised and super efficient. But you can’t deviate from the rules. People work extremely hard and long hours, the dedication is impressive. Most people won’t leave the office until their boss goes home. There’s a strong work ethic and a culture of respect and inclusiveness.
The language is something to get used to as well. Even though English is the official language, most Singaporeans speak a local version of it. They tend to speak very fast without pronouncing everything properly and ignoring the grammar. It will take some getting used to. We were in a shop yesterday, buying some phone credit, and I had to translate to Seathan what the shopkeeper was saying (Singaporean English to normal English) 😂.