Korea and Singapore
In 2003, I was working for a famous French fashion company where I was responsible for organizing fancy fashion shows. This was a dream job for many as it involved a fancy office and a posh lifestyle. However, this was not what I was looking for from life. I had decided to move away and one day, Singapore came up. I have no idea how or why but Singapore became my destination, and it just stuck.
I decided a cutoff date and bought a one way ticket to Singapore. I sold my car, cleared all the debt I had and drafted my letter of resignation. When I went up to my boss to present my letter, he was astonished to hear the reason for my resignation. He along with many other people told me that this was a bad idea, and I would face failure. It was a bold move to decide to go to Singapore since I had no work or place to live there. However, I decided to leave most of these things to fate.
Fate smiled on me when I bumped into a Joanne in my church. A native Singaporean, she was spending her last week in Korea and was telling everyone about how she had come from Singapore to work in Korea. I met her after the church service and engaged in small talk. I told her about my plan to move to Singapore, and she was surprised about the blind leap of faith that I was about to take in two weeks. She gave me her phone number and asked me to call her when I reached Singapore.
When I reached Singapore, I took refuge at a tourist hostel with a big dorm room. I couldn’t sleep at night thinking about what the next day would hold for me. The next day I called Joanne, and she came to meet me in the hostel. She asked about my plans of the future and I still hadn’t figured them out. She offered a place to stay with her grandparents. With no place to go, I decided to move into the house of Joan’s grandparents. We couldn’t talk much as they only spoke Hokkien which I neither spoke nor understood.
Every morning I woke up and went to the nearest subway station called Bueno Vista. I read classifieds in different newspapers and looked out for job openings for people who were bilingual in Korean. The only available job was at customer service centers. I emailed and called all the companies that were looking for a workers. This was my usual routine in Singapore at the start of my stay.
Two people that had a huge impact in my life
The first person was Joanne herself. She is the most generous and amazing person I have ever known in my life. She is currently working for the Singaporean government. She married her boyfriend and has the most adorable kids now.
The second person was Dorothy whom I met during a church service in Singapore. She helped me a lot and was a very loving person. When I think of Singapore now, it was my Singaporean friends that helped me survive in a country where I had no job and knew no one. My life would have been terrible without them.