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Where do you want to bring up YOUR children?

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If we think things are getting bad now with "austerity" measures, our children are in for a seriously poor quality of life IMHO if we remain in the west.

 

Has anyone else had similar thoughts? Where are you thinking about moving? I have been thinking:

 

1) Vietnam

2) Singapore

3) Hong Kong

4) Malaysia

5) Norway

 

All ideas welcome.

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I have friends who give Singapore a big thumbs up.

Mainly English speaking, friendly population, and excellent quality of life.

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I have friends who give Singapore a big thumbs up.

Mainly English speaking, friendly population, and excellent quality of life.

 

I lived in Singapore for three years with a young family and hence I feel qualified to speak about this.

 

Yes it is a superficially attractive country, however the oppressive nanny state there tends towards telling you what to do and exactly how to do it. Children are at the brunt of that conditioning. Consequently many are unable to think creatively and, once grown, are best suited for intellectual but largely unquestioning roles in life.

 

Additionally the hunger for betterment has largely disappeared in today’s population. They have never known hard times, unlike their parents. Through constant PAP propaganda kids develop a highly consumerist mentality where status is determined by the 3 C , cash, cars condos. Locals are Kiasu (keen to get ahead) in these areas of life only. I think on this board we are trying to go beyond such a limited view of our existence.

 

Finally, it is now excessively crowded. The Chinese dominated government is desperately keen to ensure that the population balance is not excessively skewed towards the relatively rapidly growing Malay population (for reasons of national security). Hence they attempt to retain the existing racial balance by encouraging Chinese fertility (difficult as materialistic instincts mean that Chinese prefer big money over big family) and permitting migration of suitable (read non-muslim) nationalities.

 

Despite all these issues, Singapore tends to make safe and sensible decisions and does a wonderful PR job. However I would prefer my kids to see real life, warts and all, rather than taking part in some bizarre social experiment.

 

I think kids will ultimately get a lot out of the way we are going to have to live in the west. It will purge us of our lazy and wasteful ways, encourage self reliance and renew our ability to compete with the east. Kids will learn through the mistakes of the current generation. That will be far more valuable than being brought up in a cosseted bubble in a superficially wealthy enclave.

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I lived in Singapore for three years with a young family...

 

Additionally the hunger for betterment has largely disappeared in today’s population. They have never known hard times, unlike their parents. Through constant PAP propaganda kids develop a highly consumerist mentality where status is determined by the 3 C , cash, cars condos. Locals are Kiasu (keen to get ahead) in these areas of life only. I think on this board we are trying to go beyond such a limited view of our existence.

Is it much different in (say) Malaysia?

*Except for the fact that it is less crowded.*

 

Any comments on this living arrangement : Green Beverly Hills ??

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Count Hong Kong out. The air pollution is a KILLER. The government fudge the figures something rotten.

In Hong Kong, some of us worry about a Global Collapse, and how then HK might feed itself...

"Preparedness" : What is it ?

Early warnings in "Societal collapses" elsewhere

================================================

I got an email yesterday that included this EXCERPT

 

"i had a couple of friends over to watch the Basic Preparedness DVD for the past couple of evenings, and since there're 3 DVDs that take 6 hours to watch, and we also discussed and brainstorm afterwards for these couple of nights, my head now is swimming with open-ended possibilities.

 

"In addition we also wan to identify some potential areas in HK as a safer place than other parts more densely populated places within HK ."

...And it go me thinking: What is "preparedness"?

And what should we be doing in the West and places like Hong Kong?

(So far, times seem "normal", as we watch collapses hitting other countries)

 

Disaster preparedness of families with young children in Hong Kong

Olivia Wai Man Fung

 

Aims: The aims of this study were to explore the perception of disaster among the head of household mainly responsible for family matters of Hong Kong families with young children, and the extent of their preparedness for disasters. Background: Being prepared for disasters can minimize damage to our health, lives, and property. Families with young children are particularly vulnerable during disasters. Methods: A questionnaire was distributed

. . .

In preparing for unexpected events, these families reported having stocked up on ‘‘young children’s necessities’’ (82.8%, 73.7%) and ‘‘medications’’ (82.8%, 60.1%) sufficient for three and seven days respectively. These families also kept a flashlight with adequate batteries (74.7%), extra blankets (69.2%), and a first aid kit (60.6%) at home for safety. They reported ‘‘panic buying’’ for necessities during previous typhoon strikes (68.2%) and infectious disease outbreaks (46.0%). Only 9.1% considered themselves adequately prepared for disasters (9.1%). Conclusions: Although the families with young children in this study are prepared for disaster to some extent, their preparedness is still considered grossly inadequate and in need of public attention.

 

/source: http://sjp.sagepub.com/content/38/8/880.short

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My vote would be for the UK.

 

We've a wonderful cussedness and innate resilience, which means that however much the politicians and financiers may ride roughshod over us in the short term, the balance will be restored before long.

 

We don't do fanaticism (we tried it five and a half centuries ago, and then a hundred years later, and found that it didn't work). We've a centuries-old sense of irony, mistrust of authority and appreciation of eccentricity.

 

We've a wonderful history, culture, landscape and climate: all understated and hard-wired to our national psyche.

 

Our chief problem is that we envy, rather than admire, success; and just now we're rather hidebound by petty regulations and a tax system which diminishes incentives to work hard ... but there again that helps us not work too hard.

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Is it much different in (say) Malaysia?

*Except for the fact that it is less crowded.*

 

Any comments on this living arrangement : Green Beverly Hills ??

 

I take the point about being the same everywhere but I think it depends where you are on the development curve. Singapore has conspicuous wealth in the form of materialism and still wants more of it. Singaporeans have yet to adopt an approach that rejects material wealth as a way forward. They have no need to do so, yet.

 

I suspect the west will (have to) adopt this approach and think David Cameron is already making preparations for alternative measures of “contentedness” (what else can you do when you have failed to deliver). Settling for less will be an important component of the future, possibly more stark for those that have fallen further.

 

Malaysia is not my specialism, but from observation on visits they are clearly lower down the wealth curve. Aside from the space aspect I think there are also cultural manifestations which diversify away from the profit at all cost mentality, which is good.

 

The GBH development (no pun intended) looks nice for sure, but like all such arrangements, will still be a false haven. It will be impossible to avoid interaction with the potential chaos of the community outside the gate. The greater the disparity between the haven and its surroundings the less stable the situation.

 

One of my relatives has retired to Malaysia after a lifetime of banking in the east (in the days when bankers were solid, trustworthy and conservative I might add). He is not living in a bubble development but in a regular location in Penang and is a trusted member of the community, with many friends across all races. His friendships serve him better than an isolationist stance.

 

On the point of the post, better to teach your kids to survive and thrive within the chaos. Resilience will be a critical resource in future.

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Malaysia is not my specialism, but from observation on visits they are clearly lower down the wealth curve. Aside from the space aspect I think there are also cultural manifestations which diversify away from the profit at all cost mentality, which is good.

 

The GBH development (no pun intended) looks nice for sure, but like all such arrangements, will still be a false haven. It will be impossible to avoid interaction with the potential chaos of the community outside the gate. The greater the disparity between the haven and its surroundings the less stable the situation.

 

One of my relatives has retired to Malaysia after a lifetime of banking in the east (in the days when bankers were solid, trustworthy and conservative I might add). He is not living in a bubble development but in a regular location in Penang and is a trusted member of the community, with many friends across all races. His friendships serve him better than an isolationist stance.

 

On the point of the post, better to teach your kids to survive and thrive within the chaos. Resilience will be a critical resource in future.

When we down having a look, I visited the INIT University next door with the GF, and we met a nice admissions officer. I asked her if she had seen the property next door, and she had not. So I offered to take her over for a look, and our driver - who worked for the developer - was happy to do so. (In the back of my mind was the idea that we might have a chance to rent our presumed future flat to one of the INIT senior lecturers - if they could afford it.)

 

She was very impressed with the organic farm - small though it was - and wanted to bring her son to see it.

 

I can imagine a future where the development at GBH is integrated with the local community, and especially the several universities in the area.

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I can imagine a future where the development at GBH is integrated with the local community, and especially the several universities in the area.

 

It sounds like you have some faith in the concept. Will be interesting to see if you complete the deal.

 

For my part the 2 kids are being raised in a semi-rural part of the UK where the attitude indicated by PJohn P prevails. Hopefully negative social issues can be minimized as part of a community that is small enough to pull together. Seems to be working so far.

 

Summer holidays are spent in the provincial Philippines (the wife’s origin) to demonstrate coping mechanisms at play after about 30 years of financial crisis – no change for that country. Financial capital is lacking but social capital is in great supply.

 

And on the way they visit the Dad in the gulf, on a quick hit to secure the finances. The UAE very well demonstrates the futility of financial excess to anyone who can see beyond the shiny stuff.

 

Probably (hopefully) a “lifestyle” that won’t last for ever, but also a rounded education to keep them several steps ahead, teaching them that their choices extend beyond the immediate horizon.

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I lived in Singapore for three years with a young family and hence I feel qualified to speak about this.

 

Yes it is a superficially attractive country, however the oppressive nanny state there tends towards telling you what to do and exactly how to do it. Children are at the brunt of that conditioning. Consequently many are unable to think creatively and, once grown, are best suited for intellectual but largely unquestioning roles in life.

 

Additionally the hunger for betterment has largely disappeared in today's population. They have never known hard times, unlike their parents. Through constant PAP propaganda kids develop a highly consumerist mentality where status is determined by the 3 C , cash, cars condos. Locals are Kiasu (keen to get ahead) in these areas of life only. I think on this board we are trying to go beyond such a limited view of our existence.

 

Finally, it is now excessively crowded. The Chinese dominated government is desperately keen to ensure that the population balance is not excessively skewed towards the relatively rapidly growing Malay population (for reasons of national security). Hence they attempt to retain the existing racial balance by encouraging Chinese fertility (difficult as materialistic instincts mean that Chinese prefer big money over big family) and permitting migration of suitable (read non-muslim) nationalities.

 

Despite all these issues, Singapore tends to make safe and sensible decisions and does a wonderful PR job. However I would prefer my kids to see real life, warts and all, rather than taking part in some bizarre social experiment.

 

I think kids will ultimately get a lot out of the way we are going to have to live in the west. It will purge us of our lazy and wasteful ways, encourage self reliance and renew our ability to compete with the east. Kids will learn through the mistakes of the current generation. That will be far more valuable than being brought up in a cosseted bubble in a superficially wealthy enclave.

 

 

Yes, very valid comments about the nanny state. I heard an anecdote that they will threaten to deport you if your children are found truanting, or other similar. There is an illusion of freedom but behind it you are expected to act a certain way. Still no worse than many other place (eg Dubai) where misbehaviour that is commonplace in the UK will land you in big trouble out there.

 

Count out Vietnam. As a Vietnamese Brit having gone back to visit, it too is still largely controlled by the state. Beautiful country though and well worth visiting if you have not, but I imagine raising a family and running a business out there are very hard. Language will be a barrier too.

 

 

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It sounds like you have some faith in the concept. Will be interesting to see if you complete the deal.

 

For my part the 2 kids are being raised in a semi-rural part of the UK where the attitude indicated by PJohn P prevails. Hopefully negative social issues can be minimized as part of a community that is small enough to pull together. Seems to be working so far.

 

Summer holidays are spent in the provincial Philippines (the wife’s origin) to demonstrate coping mechanisms at play after about 30 years of financial crisis – no change for that country. Financial capital is lacking but social capital is in great supply.

Actually, we have decided not to go ahead, for various reasons.

But we hope it gets completed, and we can see how close the reality is to the great vision they had.

 

Hmm.

I think there are quite a number of GEI members with Filipino wives. Maybe we should have a Phillipines thread here

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My vote would be for the UK.

 

We've a wonderful cussedness and innate resilience, which means that however much the politicians and financiers may ride roughshod over us in the short term, the balance will be restored before long.

 

We don't do fanaticism (we tried it five and a half centuries ago, and then a hundred years later, and found that it didn't work). We've a centuries-old sense of irony, mistrust of authority and appreciation of eccentricity.

 

We've a wonderful history, culture, landscape and climate: all understated and hard-wired to our national psyche.

 

Our chief problem is that we envy, rather than admire, success; and just now we're rather hidebound by petty regulations and a tax system which diminishes incentives to work hard ... but there again that helps us not work too hard.

 

Sounds great.

 

Do you live in the countryside, inner city or the burbs?

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Actually, we have decided not to go ahead, for various reasons.

But we hope it gets completed, and we can see how close the reality is to the great vision they had.

 

Hmm.

I think there are quite a number of GEI members with Filipino wives. Maybe we should have a Phillipines thread here

 

Maybe, although lets spell it correctly (Philippines).

 

Same issues as Van's post, so probably not an ultimate haven. Just simply that the language barrier is less than elsewhere

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Purely because I am an Indian national, I am planning my move to India. 2 years from now. And that is a plan.

 

India may not be for the faint hearted. However, growing number of British Indians are already moving to India. If you search Radio 4 archive for last Friday, there is a 2 part documentary about this. There are many opportunities there however corruption is terrible. And that is what people find extremely frustrating.

 

I have a few patients who are UK nationals and their children are living and working in India. They like it. Funny that, many of these children had grandparents working in India about 80 years ago.

 

If you are an Englishman or An American, you wont have much problems adapting to life in India as most people speak English and English is a de jure national language. Intellectual property rights are terrible. The civic sense is appalling. There are certain communities who are extremely arrogant and very dubious. They will stop at no length to deceive people. Ofcourse such people are there everywhere in the world, but this group of people are very bad and they are treated with extreme suspicion by Indians. They usually come from the state of Gujarat and Rajasthan.

 

Public transport is terrible.

 

In general, Indians treat Western people with either respect or they fleece them. You have to be careful. I have found that in the west, people in general are honest. That cannot be said about India though.

 

One has to be careful about the healthcare as well. There are some very excellent doctors there, some locally trained, some trained overseas and now working in india. But there are numerous quacks and numerous sub standard doctors out there too. Many look at healthcare as a business and that is never a good recipe.

 

There are problems with electricity, water supply in many places. That does look that it could improve.

 

Corruption remains the biggest problem inspite of all the other terrible problems. Hopefully the new governance bill that is being introduced will make it very hard for corruption to go on.

 

Also the Gandhi family has screwed the country starting with the great Mahatma. The sooner the country get rid of the Gandhi family and in general family dominated politics, the better. Is there any hope? I think so. On my bad days, I do not think so.

 

If you want any more answers, PM me.

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Do you live in the countryside, inner city or the burbs?

A small country town: the best of all worlds, I think. At this time of year there's free fruit & veg by the barrow-load (quite literally), and the meat we buy comes from animals that we saw alive a few days earlier. The town's water supply comes from a spring on the hills above us, and our communal cider-press is being revived. We now have an annual arts festival, and our own community radio station.

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The UK is a great place to bring up children, well in my bit of Surrey anyway.

 

My sons go to an excellent school. It is a state school, very well funded with smart-boards in every classroom, great sports facilities, a huge range of extra-curricular clubs, buildings in excellent state of repair, fantastic library, motivated teachers. The children are held to a very high standard of behaviour.

 

They have access to good medical care. Despite all the deficiencies in the NHS and the often atrocious adult "care", the people who work in paediatrics are bright, cheerful and friendly, and their departments seem well funded.

 

They most amazing variety of food imaginable (although they are more excited about McDonalds than any other food, sadly).

 

There are almost no dangerous flora and fauna, benign weather, no seismic activity.

 

Close to family and family friends. Excellent free activity options, the local public pool, the local playgrounds (which are fantastic these days), the local leisure centre, museums (Natural history /Science museum is an amazing day out).

 

My children are mixed race and it doesn't seem to be an issue at all in the UK, but I suspect it might be in some other parts of the world.

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A small country town: the best of all worlds, I think. At this time of year there's free fruit & veg by the barrow-load (quite literally), and the meat we buy comes from animals that we saw alive a few days earlier. The town's water supply comes from a spring on the hills above us, and our communal cider-press is being revived. We now have an annual arts festival, and our own community radio station.

 

Thought it might be, what with the description of the UK you gave :D

 

It sounds idyllic PJP and the perfect place to bring up a little-un. Ah, one day.... (I can but dream).

 

I've driven through places that look similar to that you describe, but always wondered what do people do there to earn a living?

 

Also, the prices in these places must preclude them as an option for many, unless perhaps they were born there (still in the old family home) or are rich incomers?

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I've driven through places that look similar to that you describe, but always wondered what do people do there to earn a living? Also, the prices in these places must preclude them as an option for many, unless perhaps they were born there (still in the old family home) or are rich incomers?

 

Round here the jobs are agricultural and equestrian, a little light industry, or office work in Cheltenham, Gloucester etc (especially GCHQ); there's still a lot of work around.

 

House prices are relatively high, I grant you. I'm in tied accommodation myself, but I put most of my savings into gold when the house/gold ratio was near its peak, and can now afford a nice three or four bedroom retirement house which would have been beyond my dreams a few years ago. [Thank you, GEI!]

 

I should add that there is a lot of social, 'affordable' and council housing in town; and unlike in the pretty villages around us, most poorer people can still live here if they were born here.

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Thanks for all the great replies, definitely given me something to think about.

 

I do not disagree regarding the UK, but I am thinking about 10-20 years time, when children are older, what sort of future will they have? Kids are already having to live with their parents into their 30's as they cannot afford a house, is this going to get any better? Taxes are only going to increase sadly.

 

Any thoughts on Canada?

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Thanks for all the great replies, definitely given me something to think about.

 

I do not disagree regarding the UK, but I am thinking about 10-20 years time, when children are older, what sort of future will they have? Kids are already having to live with their parents into their 30's as they cannot afford a house, is this going to get any better? Taxes are only going to increase sadly.

 

Any thoughts on Canada?

 

Only visited a couple of times, but remember my first visit, walking through a subway in Ottawa (near the parliament) around midnight and seeing a gang of youths at the far end with hoodies etc.

 

I put my old town face on and got ready for abuse or worse, only to get closer and discover they were playing chess! :D

 

Thought then, what a great place, and throughout that trip and the next (Toronto, Montreal), I never could find anything to fault the place, except the bl**dy cold! B)

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Only visited a couple of times, but remember my first visit, walking through a subway in Ottawa (near the parliament) around midnight and seeing a gang of youths at the far end with hoodies etc.

 

I put my old town face on and got ready for abuse or worse, only to get closer and discover they were playing chess! :D

 

Thought then, what a great place, and throughout that trip and the next (Toronto, Montreal), I never could find anything to fault the place, except the bl**dy cold! B)

Hoodie Chess.

Yes, it's very popular in Canada in the winter. They have special tournaments

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Hoodie Chess.

Yes, it's very popular in Canada in the winter. They have special tournaments

 

lol.

 

Only problem with Canada is the weather. It is just too cold. I mean, would you want to live in Iceland, all things being equal? Or Sweden or Norway? If not, then I don't think Canada would suit either.

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lol.

 

Only problem with Canada is the weather. It is just too cold. I mean, would you want to live in Iceland, all things being equal? Or Sweden or Norway? If not, then I don't think Canada would suit either.

 

Whats it like in the Summer?

 

Actually talking of good weather, what do people think of Australia or New Zealand? Not been, but on paper: speak English, rich in resources, populace that wants to work (based on Putney bars), and plenty of room?

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Quite funny and surprising that a few are saying the UK, but I can relate to some of the comments.

 

Let's not pretend the UK doesn't have problems, and i'm not sure if I do wish to live here the rest of my life, but I do quite like the upbringing i've had here, in terms of the way my outlook on life has developed.

 

A LOT of aspects of the UK annoy me, but life here is more 'real' if that makes sense. The culture in this country is something else if your willing to find it, in terms of cutting edge music it really leads the world these days. Sure, theres an easier way of life out there, but I think we get a good grounding of the way of the world in this country.

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