Types of expats in Singapore.
I know lots of people think they've seen one expat, they've seen 'em all. But because I am an expat under my local Singaporean disguise, I can observe the types of expat species in detail. Here are my findings:
I'll start with Indian expats. Not the ones who have spent 10+ years in the USA/UK/Australia, but the ones from Bombay/Kolkata/Delhi etc. I have noticed that their kids tend to be the one of the most kiasu amongst the International school set. Their moms tend to be the pushiest, too. Their kids tend to be the LEAST athletic & the WORST risk takers in sport. Why? Because their Indian mums coddle them and indulge their whims, they have maids who tolerate their ill mannered kids. If your child goes to forestadventure.com.sg, 9 out of 10 times the child who gets stuck up there too scared to take the next step is an Indian kid. BUT when it comes to academics, they push their kids HARD to get into UWC. That school has filled its quota for Indians many many years ahead. THIS is their future. The bad thing about them is, they make no apologies for their behaviour. They're rude to locals. They block traffic so their son/daughter doesn't have to walk in the rain. They definitely think they're better than the locals. (They are, but I'll save this for a post about local Singaporeans. Different kettle of fish.)
Now for Aussie expats. Don't count us in this group. I'm talking about your average blonde Kylie and beefy Geoff from Sydney's Lower North Shore whose kids go to AIS. They mix mostly with other Australians. I'm really really surprised that I had many Kylie's and Geoff's among my friends in Sydney but suddenly in Singapore I've become one of the locals because I look Asian. These Aussie women LOVE to go to Zara. So do I btw. Don't ask me why. There's only one Zara in Sydney. They've also started shopping in Uniqlo like it's a new curio. Weird lot. They don't try to talk local to locals. They're just themselves. Very aware they're white and they've got it good here as overlords in Singapore. Most of them taste the expat life of a maid, free school fees in a private school and they NEVER leave.
American expats. My favourite. They're the ones in sneakers, white socks and a t-shirt tucked into their shorts. Badly dressed men found in Chilli's or Hard Rock Cafe getting their burgers and watching "the game". I'm friends with a few Americans. Californians, New Yorkers, Seattle-ites. They're open minded and liberal, I like being around them. You'll catch many of them trying out the local slang. Many of the southerners, mid westerners, etc can be typical soccer moms. But you can tell which ones they are by girth. (Oops) Lots of hot latina mamas amongst the american expat group, usually in sky high heels and tightest clothes but they're usually shunned by the main group anyways.
Korean expats, who usually work for Samsung or Hyundai, they are right up there with Indians in terms of their kiasu pushiness. Their kids are taught to study like crazy. And they are coddled to death. The only difference between this group and Indian expats is that they do not socialise outside their race at all. They speak loudly and boisterously in Korean when in a group and super quiet when solo. Their kids are shit at most sports and uncoordinated.
Mainland Chinese expats. There are two types here. Many of them are amongst locals in local schools in blue collar jobs, thanks to Singapore's readiness to grant PRs to China immigrants. Another group I come in contact with most are the super rich who are able to afford International school fees. Their wives come and live in Singapore with their children who attend International school here. These wives are dripping in Hermes, Chanel & Dior. I avoid them because they try to make me translate things for them. This is when I play my angmoh card and pretend I don't speak mandarin. Why? Well, I think you should bother to learn to speak another language when in Rome than rely on a translator.
Japanese expats are also my favourite. They are shy but most are more friendly and open. They don't push their kids that hard and because most don't use a maid, their kids tend to be more independent and maybe slightly under disciplined because their parents don't have as much time for them to bother. These women are often amazing cooks and very good at craftwork (funny how they have time for this but not to discipline or do homework with them?), different cultural background, I guess.
I'll stop here. I'm tired out after a Sunday with the kids!