Is the grass always greener on the other side of the causeway?
Given our close proximity to Johor Bahru (JB), it is not surprising to find Singaporeans living across the border.
Apart from having to wake up extra early for school or work and enduring the peak hour congestion, Youth.SG talked to some youths who are living, or have lived in JB long enough, to find out what life is like in JB.
Here are five things every Singaporean living in JB will definitely understand.
1. MACS is a godsend
SYAUKAT DINING AT A POPULAR CHICKEN CHOP CAFÉ IN JB.
If you are living in JB, you will need this magical sticker that is the Malaysia Automated Clearance System (MACS). With the MACS sticker, which is pasted in his passport, marine technician Md Syaukat, 21, takes an average of five minutes to pass the Malaysian clearance.
At just RM30 (S$9.89) per year, apply for MACS if you are going to stay in JB in the long term. Forget about the lines, just worry about the congestion.
2. The secret between red, yellow and blue cabs
THE CONGESTION AT THE CAUSEWAY ALWAYS DRAINS FALLIQ, EVEN WHEN HE IS NOT DRIVING.
Whenever student Muhammad Falliq, 20, hails a cab in JB, he often encounters taxi drivers haggling for the taxi fare, depending on where he is going.
THE TAXI QUEUES OUTSIDE JB SENTRAL.
If this happens to you in JB, do not your waste time. Just look for another cab that is willing to use the meter. Also, always take the red and yellow cabs, instead of the blue ones, because they are cheaper!
3. Fear of becoming the party pooper
DINAH OUT AND ABOUT IN THE DAY IN SINGAPORE.
When it comes to meeting her friends in Singapore, Dinah Qistina, 19, secretly hopes that they will make plans earlier in the day. After all, the Republic Polytechnic student always has to worry about catching the last bus to JB.
It is upsetting for her to leave early during a night out with friends. Sometimes, she ends up missing interesting events that has happened when she left.
Coordinate with your friends, so that you can go back to JB on time. Also, keep track of the last buses and trains, so that you know when the best times to go home are.
4. Learning to spend money wisely
NAZRI GREW UP IN JB FOR MOST OF HIS LIFE.
Sound engineer Nazri Jalil, 23, has been living in JB with a family of nine since he was 7. Nazri confessed that every time he sees the price of a product or food in Singapore, he immediately converts the price to Malaysian ringgit, before considering if it is cheaper to buy it in Singapore or JB.
Save your purchases for later, especially if you can get them at a lower price in JB. Also, it is nice to know that you can get almost anything in JB for approximately a third of the price in Singapore.
5. Answering nature's call
SYAFIE HAS BEEN RIDING TO AND FRO JB EVERY DAY FOR ALMOST FIVE YEARS.
Having indigestion during the traffic congestion is probably the last thing student Syafie Mohd Hanapiah, 21, needs. Toilets in the customs are not always clean and well-maintained. Furthermore, rushing to get through clearance will make you look suspicious in the eyes of the immigration officers!
It might be difficult to wake up even earlier to handle your business, but Syafiee shared that it will be worth it. He also recommended avoiding spicy food and Milo for breakfast.