We have been busy and my brain is full of things I’d like to write about so I’m just going to ramble a bit.
We’ve looked at some promising houses/condos/townhouses and will be returning today for a 2nd viewing on a couple for Tommy to see as he wasn’t with me on the hunt yesterday. I’ll show some pics soon once we narrow the search. The two we are looking at are ones we would be quite comfortable in and have plenty of room for you to come and visit.
Tommy and I went out on our own last night. I did manage to order pizza for the kids online. Didn’t have to talk to anyone! They ate it but said the cheese was weird. I tried to order McDonald’s online yesterday for delivery for lunch but it was a 75 minute wait so we ventured out and found our way there and also bought some yummy pastries and breads to bring back. Tommy and I ate at an incredible dumpling restaurant last night, Din Tai Fung. We’ll definitely be going back to that one. There was an army of guys dressed in all white with white face masks enclosed in a glass room making the dumplings by hand. It was cool! I have a picture on my cell phone but I have no idea how to get it off yet.
We got our cell phones (hand phones in Singapore) on Sunday. Mine is pretty and white and much more technologically advanced than I need, I’m sure. I have alot to figure out. Tommy’s is the same as mine, Nokia E73 in black, and he seems to have figured his out better than me. Jakeb got a cool one too and really wishes texting was free to Texas. Anna is happy that she got one (minimum calling plan just for emergencies). Hers is pink and all cutie pie ish! Everyone texts (called SMS in Singapore) here. We even got a text from the Citibank guy who opened our Singapore bank account to find out some information he needed. Everyone has phones here and they are on them constantly.
When we take the MRT (subway) and walk to Orchard Rd. there’s a guy that is always in the walkway singing American songs badly. He’s blind and plays a dinky keyboard and has a tamborine on each foot that he uses for percussion. I wish I could take a picture but it seems disrespectful so I haven’t. In the subway walkways there are also people shoving flyers at you. A first we ignored them like everyone else but the kids think it’s fun now to see how many they can collect and who gets the most.
The smells here are often overwhelming. Some are good, some are bad. Smells of different foods, body odor (not ours, of course) and such. It’s manageable, though.
7 Elevens are everywhere and buying an ice cream there yesterday after our 2 hour lunch excursion was a wonderful treat. I also bought 4 Kit Kat candy bars. They were 4/S$5.90 which is a little over $1US each. Not bad.
Doing laundry is interesting here in our temporary apartment. Jennifer bought me some laundry soap and I bought one box of Bounce dryer sheets and cut them in half to use cause they are so darn expensive. Plus the washer and dryer in our apartment are tiny! About 1/4 of a load that we are used to washing/drying can fit. AND it takes about 1 hour to wash that tiny load and about 3-10 hours to dry. It takes a long time to dry anyway, probably about an hour or two if I stayed with it, but the moisture from the garments goes into a water reservoir that you have to dump before it will continue. So if I don’t pay attention to it, it takes a while. One of the houses we are most interested in has a full sized washer and dryer AND a dishwasher which most do not have so that was a big selling point for us.
If we leave shoes out in our apartment, the cleaning ladies come and put them all in the shoe closet. They apparently don’t like shoes to be out. They also don’t seem to understand why we like to have extra towels and toilet paper. Oh well. I’ll keep asking. We’re trying to conserve but some of us are taking 2 showers a day. The others just go swimming and think that’s their bath.
The weather is very much like we are used to in South Texas. Hot and humid only without bugs! I can handle that. It’s just that we are not in it constantly there as we are here. In Texas, you get out of one air conditioned place and go directly into another. Here you get out of your air conditioned place (home) and you might not get a/c for a while.
I thought I fried my Chi straightener yesterday. I bought it before we came over after hearing that they are very expensive here but after thinking that we fried it yesterday due to the way we have to plug it in, I’m not sure it was worth it. It works still but it cuts off at whim. I’m not using it much anyway cause there’s just not much point in fixing my hair.
We are finding that most everything we need is here. We just have to be willing to pay more right now until we are able to search out the cheaper places to shop.
I have found that I save random questions to ask people we come across that speak English well. Especially after being hung up on by the pizza lady whom I couldn’t understand. Like “What does FOC mean?” It stands for Free of Charge. Apparently acronyms are used frequently here. And, “What is Chocolate Jelly? And why would I want it in my frappucino?”. It’s apparently some type of chocolate pudding that is a new addition here and can be added to your Starbucks drink.
Starbucks coffees are much stronger here. No need to order an extra shot as we are used to in the US. I got a really good Dark Mocha Frappucino last night! Without chocolate jelly.
Everyone is happier when they have a full tummy. Until we find our way around or have a place of our own, getting a meal is quite an ordeal. We’ve been caught a couple of times without a plan and without food and we’ve been a little cranky.
Having someone here who is a couple weeks ahead of us and has forged her way through is a huge blessing! Thanks, Jennifer!!
We are enjoying our time here so far. There have been some difficult moments but all in all, we are doing well. By the time you come visit, we’ll know our way around and can take you to all the hot, I mean, cool spots!