With yesterday (or today in the US) being Jakeb’s birthday, giving birth and new life is sort on my brain. Maybe it’s a stretch to you readers to connect the title with us living in Singapore but hang with me.
Today, March 19, 2010 , marks 9 months of the Stunz family 4 living in Singapore and just like a preganacy, it’s been a crazy ride with a few fun kicks and a few punches to the gut. You know, the ones that stop you dead in your tracks and take your breath away. Do I feel like we’ve finally given birth to a new life? Not really but I think we’re well on our way so I guess this “baby” is just going to come late. And hopefully with a lot less pain than a real birth. Goodness…
I’ve written before of the challenges of living overseas but I don’t think it really sinks in unless you’ve lived it personally. The thoughts, the experiences, the emotions… When you speak with another expat, you see in their eyes that they automatically “get it”. Others don’t. And that’s ok. There’s no reason why they should. We chose this life, or it chose us, not sure which way that went. But nevertheless, we’re here and living it and for the most part, we are happy about it.
On the homefront, we’ve come a long way “baby”! It’s taken us 9 months to find some places to shop and eat that are not so hard on our budget. We’ve met a lot of nice and interesting people. We’ve settled into our house making it more of a home. We’ve travelled to some cool places. We’ve worked through relationship issues. School issues. Life issues.
I remember what it was like 9 months ago when we first stepped on Singapore soil. Exciting, interesting, new, HOT. Even at 3am.
It’s still exciting, interesting, new and still HOT sprinkled with the weekly dose of homesickness, sidewalk frustrations, wishing we had this or that, and wondering where the heck did that go??? Just when you find something here in Singapore, don’t count on it being there the next time you got to find it. Things disappear in a day and leave you walking around in circles saying to yourself, “I know I’m not imaging that the Information Counter or Rotel or an entire MALL! was here before.”
The first Burger King near Wheelock Place that we ate at is gone.
Ion mall was a large pile of metal and a sea of migrant workers when we arrived. It is now completed with only the adjoining condo left to finish.
And the Informaton Counter at Paragon is no more…. found that out yesterday after telling a few friends to meet up there. Oops. We all got a good laugh out of that because they understood.
9 months of living in Singapore has been interesting. “Interesting” is a word I use multipe times in any given day. I say thing are “mostly good” alot too. I don’t ever say “can’t complain” because unfortunately, I often do complain. It’s getting better, though.
We rarely forget to turn on the water heater before showering now. However, sometimes a cold shower is definitely enjoyable in this heat.
We’ve learned that SMS’ing (texting) is often a much easier form of communication since we don’t speak good Singlish.
The backpack necessities are a fan, umbrella, EZ Link MRT/bus card, sweat rag, antiseptic hand wipes, tissues and phone.
We’ve learned that you can’t EVER leave the house without putting on your deoderant. No good…..
Most of the time we get the right light switch on the first try.
We haven’t blown up any electronics for months.
Fewer things shock us. Like guys wearing headbands or completely dressed in pink, elderly women belching, taking 1.5 hours to travel 4 miles to name a few.
The lady at the bank knows me now and welcomes me by name each week when I go for our cash budget. It’s funny… She asked me a few weeks ago if I was managing my husbands money well. I told her, of course! I didn’t tell her that my next stop was a pedicure and reflexology.
We’re pretty much used to driving/riding on the wrong side of the road.
We pay too much money for certain things that we said we would never pay that for. When you miss something, your budget standards change a bit.
Our favorite places are still Little India, Mustafa, Ambers, Hawker Centers anywhere, Din Tai Fung, Curry Garden, Komala Vilas, China Town, Ala Turka, Starbucks (with Ya Kun Kaya running a tight 2nd). Our new favorite places are Ben Foods, QB Foods, Pasir Panjang Wholesale Market. These three places have helped our grocery budget tremendously. We also love our church. I’m sure I’m forgetting something here.
Our favorite things are
The people, all of them. The people we know and the people we don’t know. It’s a fabulous place to people watch. Just don’t let them know your’e doing it.
The colors. Trees, flowers, bushes, etc. Everything is hyper colored in this tropical climate. They sky is often gray but when it’s blue and clear, the colors are amazing.
The food. We love the food way too much. We’re leaving for Texas TONIGHT!! and we’ve found ourselves wanting to eat certain things here before we leave because we’ll miss it. Funny, huh? We’re so ready for some good Mexican food and a big juicy hunk of American beef, though.
Taxi’s. Especially when the aircon is on when you get in and it doesn’t smell like farts or fish. (yes, i said farts) When you get in, you’re kinda stuck with whatever smell you get and it’s often not great but it’s always “interesting”. I actually did get into a taxi once when the driver must have pooted. It was bad. I can just imagine the conflict that was going on in his head. “Oh no! I just pooted but I’m not missing out on this fair.” Lucky for me I was only going a short distance.
So there you have it. 9 months in Singapore has been quite an adventure. We’ll probably never fully experience the joys of “childbirth” (for sure not the real kind!) here but we’ll continue to enjoy the ride that this new life has brought us. It’s seldom easy but it’s ”mostly good”.