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Old 11-13-2007, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
2,435 posts, read 3,660,491 times
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My son's fiance will soon be heading to Saipan for a one-year (expandable to two years at her choice) appointment as a clerk to a Federal Judge. He may follow her depending on the short term outcome of his job search here stateside.

I have found the typical tourism propaganda web sites, as well as one from a person who strongly disliked their time in the CNMI. Assuming the truth lies somewhere in between, which of these two polarized opinions is closer to the truth?

Thanks.
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:46 AM
 
Location: Cherry Hill, New Jersey
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Had a cousin by marriage that spent a considerable amount of time there. I will try to find more info.
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Old 11-25-2007, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Camberville
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I generally hold a pretty negative view on Saipan. Last year I launched a local campaign to bring to light the unfair work conditions and blatant human rights violations continuing under the banner of "Made in America". As presumably middle class professionals, your future daughter in law and son won't really have to deal with this problem.

Supposedly they are changing the labor laws there, but I'm not sure as to if it has happened yet or not.
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:07 AM
 
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I remember reading that Saipan was in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most temperate climate in the world. So, they'll only need clothes for one season - always warm.

Don't know much beyond that and what has already been mentioned about the labor situation. You might want to check out the website for the local newspaper at saipantribune.com

Best of luck to them and please post updates as to their experience there.
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Old 11-28-2007, 04:32 PM
 
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If you son's fiance likes going to the Beach,Year-Round Warm Weather,Tropical Scenery, and a Very Laid Back Lifestyle,then she'll enjoy her time in Saipan.

Saipan has modern conveniences,english is widely spoken and the culture there is a blend of American,Native Chamorro,Hispanic and Asian.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MI-Roger View Post
My son's fiance will soon be heading to Saipan for a one-year (expandable to two years at her choice) appointment as a clerk to a Federal Judge. He may follow her depending on the short term outcome of his job search here stateside.

I have found the typical tourism propaganda web sites, as well as one from a person who strongly disliked their time in the CNMI. Assuming the truth lies somewhere in between, which of these two polarized opinions is closer to the truth?

Thanks.
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Old 12-16-2007, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
2,435 posts, read 3,660,491 times
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Default Some info we have learned regarding Saipan.....

My son's fiance flew to Saipan last Saturday for her one-year Law Clerk job. He will be joining her in February after he gets Sworn In as a New York Attorney. Items of interest we have learned so far:
  1. Mainland US cell phones are prohibitably expensive, plan on $2 per minute! Her solution was to buy a local pre-paid cell phone and add minutes as she goes. This will ensure she never accidentally makes a single $200 phone call!
  2. Her phone calls back to the mainland are made during her local cell company's free time (after 9pm Saipan time) with use of a calling card which makes the call about $0.20 per minute, maybe less. The calling card was purchased on the mainland (I believe) but had to be converted to Yen for use on Saipan.
  3. The official currency is the US Dollar.
  4. Mail is only delivered via use of Post Office boxes on Saipan. Apparently streets and roads are either not named, or are not numbered as on the mainland, to allow delivery directly to the residences. There is an unreasonably long wait time to acquire a mail box. She has been quoted a one-year wait time by locals and a 5-year wait time by the Post Office. Because of this wait, businesses and people hoard PO Boxes for possible future use or assignment.
  5. Luckily the local Judge she is clerking for has a fully furnished apartment in his home's lower level which she is renting, and at least one "extra" Post Office box. The local postal clerks are already being jerks about her using this box number so she may need all mail addressed to her "In Care Of" the judge.
  6. Anything being shipped out of Saipan to the mainland needs a Customs Declaration. She discovered this when sending two books to her mother. It makes perfect sense, but is something we never think about here.
  7. Groceries are probably less expensive if you can read Japanese or Korean. Many food-stuffs on the local grocery store shelves are labeled in these two languages but no pictures of the contents are on the label, only cartoon characters.
  8. Liquid orange juice, US brand soda pop, and beer are very expensive. Local foods are much more reasonably priced, similar to what we pay here.
  9. Public transportation is nearly non-existant. She has already purchased a used car for travel on the small island.
I will continue to add to, or correct, this list as we learn more.
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Old 01-01-2008, 08:31 PM
 
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Default Has she been to Guam yet?

Just curious...

She's been on Saipan only a little over a month, but I think she'll find out soon that Guam is the big "metropolis" in that part of the world--the Micronesia version of the big city, New York style. LOL
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Old 01-09-2008, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
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Default Update #2.....

  1. A box shipped from Michigan to Saipan using Priority Mail requires 6 days to arrive.
  2. A Customs Declaration form must be completed for all packages mailed to Saipan. These forms are available at your local Post Office.
  3. Packages mailed out of the US are automatically insured, BUT this DOES NOT apply to mail bound for Saipan! Since Saipan is a US Protectorate the mail is not "technically" leaving the country and the sender must purchase insurance if they desire coverage.
  4. Their telephone scheme of using a pre-paid cell phone in Saipan, telephone calling cards, and either standard land lines or stateside cell phones during the daily free hours only, works great! My son and his fiance talk for 2 hours or more each day (don't get me started on this.....) yet his cell phone bill and our land line bill see no additional charges. My son told me his $30 calling card he purchased for this scheme lasted a full month before being depleted.
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
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Default Update #3.....

My son is leaving for Saipan tomorrow to join his fiancee. He has a high probability of securing a one-year appointment as a Judicial Clerk or as a clerk with the Attorney General, but not quite a guarantee. We are keeping our fingers crossed for his employment there.

He bought a one-way ticket from the mainland to Saipan after verifying he could enter the Commonwealth without possessing a return ticket out. He "borrowed" enough frequent flier miles from my account to secure an upgrade to Business Class which equals what we consider to be First Class travel.

This premium seat allows him an additional suitcase at no added cost. He shipped two boxes of heavier personal items last week for a total cost (including full replacement value insurance) of $75. These items would have required an additional suitcase over and above his Business Class allowance, which would have cost him an extra $135. So, pre-shipping via priority mail is cheaper.
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Old 03-23-2008, 01:34 AM
 
Location: Ridgway/Saint Marys, PS
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I hope your son and his fiancee have an enjoyable time in Saipan and gain much from the expierience there.
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