Singaporeans in Italy

Omnious Clouds

During my first few weeks in Italy, I was extremely homesick. Its a whole new world here – different culture, different people, different language. I felt really lonely. I really miss my family and friends back in Singapore.

My world was like a diablo map.

Diablo

You know, when you start out, your map is all black and uncovers when you start exploring. (As a sidenote, I am really anticipating Diablo 3, it looks fantastic so far)

Hence, I tried to find a way to connect.

And the easiest way that I could think of was by searching on the internet, looking for the different events that might spark my interest like how it is in Singapore – on sites like www.sg, ping.sg and tomorrow.sg.

Help! Rinaz asks, where is ping.sg?

Unfortunately, trying to do the same thing here wasn’t so easy. A quick search in google for ‘events in Rome’ would only lead me to mainly touristy places to see or even worse, the website has not been updated since March 2008!

And that was when I remembered stumbling into a group that focuses on expatriates living in Rome on facebook and decided to go for a couple of their events.

Too many people

Its not that the people there aren’t interesting. But it was just not for me. I needed to be with a smaller group, in a conducive environment to feel comfortable with.

I remembered my friend Clare (who is living overseas herself) telling me about Elaine, a lady that she knows in Italy and urged me to email to her. And from that point onwards, I started to network with a small amount of people living in Italy. This was very impressive to me at how close knitted they are – Singaporean women living overseas. And fortunately for me, a number of them had facebook accounts.

Singaporeans in Italy Facebook

That was when I decided to start the group ‘Singaporeans in Italy’ on facebook. It is a small group but it was heartening to see them posting on the wall, interacting with each other. And that was when the Rome gang decided to meet up.

Our first meet was in this restaurant called Thai Inn which was owned by a Malaysian. There, I met Lynn, who has been staying in Rome for the past two years as well as Xiangwen who arrived in Rome about the same time as I did.

Singaporeans in Italy - Rome

It was really lovely to hear some Singaporean accents.

We talked almost everything under the sun like, how we’ve been adapting so far, random daily misadventures, as well as talking about our lives back in Singapore.

Xiangwen and Lynn talking

I really felt at ease. It was really fantastic to finally be able to communicate normally (as opposed to being stunned trying to talk in Italian)

We met again recently in Garbatella in an Egyptian Restaurant. And it was such a delightful evening.

My kebab
A tad oily, but its the first meat that I’ve had in ages!

Sure, we might not be such a large crowd, but it was more meaningful and intimate to me, having heart to heart discussions and having a laugh together. Probably a good step to ease in, in a country so far away from home.

Singaporeans in Italy - Rome

My Diablo map isn’t complete, but hey, its still a good start :-)

Links :

P.S : Dont you think that these spoons that Lynn made is absolutely pretty?

Polymer Spoons made by Lynn

Sidenote : Jerrick is coming over to Rome tomorrow! YAY! Cart and I will be playing host!

13 thoughts on “Singaporeans in Italy”

  1. hehee! I get a mention too!!
    Congrats on your growing facebook group! yeah Singaporeans ladies living overseas take care of each other !!!!!

  2. Hi all !

    Will u guys be attendig Singapore Day on 25th April in Hampton Court Palace ? That will be a good opportunity to meet fellow Singaporeans n hv a yummy chow down as well. The fest will cost SG 6 million dollars, so it’s bound to be quite a happening :-))

    I’m over at The Netherlands btw. Been here for a very long time n the homesickness has eased over the years but I do hope to hv a home in SG when my dutchman retires ;-)

    The Facebook initiative is great lah !

  3. Jerrick

    Waking up at 4am for pizza is totally worth it :P

    Clare

    Of course you do, you are the one who started it all! :-)

    Elaine

    Lets hope to see many more activities :)

    Dutchie

    I dont think that I am going, unless they sponsor me :P Its a tad bit far but hmm … Jerrick is staying in the UK so he might be interested :)

    Are you going?

    How long have you been in the Netherlands by the way? How did you cope staying away from Singapore for so long?

  4. Hi Rinaz :-)

    Plans for the SG Day is hanging on a thread bec hubby might be going abroad in mid April. It’s a hassle to travel from home to the airport n the trip from Heathrow to Hampton is also quite an undertaking. I dont fancy going solo :-(

    Hey, Jerrick might hv a couch to spare ? Just kidding lah !

    Been married 26yrs this past January – I was ready to bolt back to our Lion City after 1 week of culture shock n the sense of living in a void but I persever bec there r many good reasons to stay put. First of all, it meant the world to hubby n I did gradually appreciate the liberal life n the freedom to choose to do anything within my capabilities. I had to tackle the language barrier first n then found a job with a publishing firm. Good pay enables me to see my folks back home every 2 years.

    My office lies 85km from home. It’s a 25min walk to the train station n at the other end, it’s a rush for the trams. I started work in the winter. It’s dark in the morning when I left for work n the same when I arrived home in the evenings. I get depressed from lack of sunlight ! Also lost 12kg the first year I was here. I took early retirement when it was offered to me – so am potting around the garden, doing the unthankful domestic chores, read heaps/solving word puzzels for my leisure. I bought my first laptop just a year ago n got hooked up to the internet – yeah, I’m kinda way behind but I do catch up ! Loved reading blogs n sometimes it took the whole day away – thank goodness hubby doesnt go *tsk tsk* abt it – haha.

    If u need to a listening ear, I’m all ears, okay ?

  5. AsianMommy

    Thats one of the joys of the internet :)

    Its made searching for people for the same interests much easier. Even before facebook, there was MIRC, Ecircles, Friendster, etc.

    Dutchie

    Jerrick was searching for cheap airflights from Rome to London – me and Cart are still considering though.

    And its great that you have a laptop last year, better later than never. The internet is a huge vast of information. Its helpful to find the things that we are looking for here :)

    Oh and Jerrick is a student, so I dont know if you’d be comfy living in the dorms with him. But for sure, he’s going there. You guys should meet!

    Wow, 26 years! Thats amazing. I think I am starting like you are. The first few weeks is depressing for me, cold and dark. Moreover, I dont have my own friends here and I dont speak the language. It really isnt easy.

    But its better to do something about it than moping around yes? And if you can make it, I will try to do the same too :)

    Kak Su

    Ok ok sahaja :)

  6. That gds, I slalu tgk Marina punya blogs.. Its kind of fun,since im a housewife.. Bole jgk surfing n msn ngan kawan2 kt mane tmpt… Baru kelmarin I tunjuk my mother(Mak Ngah) ur blogs… She was surprise to c u… She tot dh tk bole c anak sedara ia … Hehe… Kirim Salam ngan ur hubi… :P

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