We have been in Singapore for 18 months!! WOW! I would like to say that time flies when you’re having fun but the time really hasn’t flown and we haven’t always had fun. But the last 18 months, I can honestly say, have been mostly good.
SO much has changed over the last 18 months. It seems like living here took a sharp turn to “easiER street” after the one year mark and now at 18 months we’re actually enjoying our life here almost always. Thinking about anniversaries always makes me reminisce so I did a bit of that and read over our blog. The first link below is a post I wrote before we moved. It’s on our old blog. The second link is one I wrote 2 months after we moved here.
Pre move to Singapore – What I’ll Miss
2 months in Singapore – Singapore FAQ’s
I still miss ALL of those things and we almost always know what “that smell” is now. What a life we have been given. I’m so grateful. Even the hard stuff has been good for us. We have learned. We have expanded our eyes and our hearts to see past the all-American ways and see more of God’s ways. We have been changed to the very core of who we are and that is not a bad thing.
So on this 18 month anniversary, here is an update of where we find ourselves in this Singapore adventure. Just a few bullet points to log where we are at this point. Someone mentioned something recently about 5 years from now. I have NO idea where we’ll be in 5 years. If you would have told me we’d be in Singapore 5 years ago I would have asked you, “where’s that?”.
*I never leave home without my big purse or backpack containing an umbrella, EZlink card, paper towel (aka sweat rag).
*We eat with chopsticks more than we eat with a fork. We hardly ever use a knife. Spoon/fork or chopsticks. I even have red/white/blue chopstics just to keep some USA in the mix.
*I still cringe at the lizard chirping sound. Man, that’s an awful sound. We don’t find many in our house anymore but they still scurry through every now and then. And then they find the sticky trap. (insert sinister laugh) – I know this will make the lizard lovers sad. I’m sorry but it’s my post. Lizards are not cute.
*After a really long search and some trial and error, I actually like getting a hair cut and my nails done here and don’t feel the need to wait until I get back to Texas.
*We use mostly dr’s and dentists here. The medical system in Singapore is top-notch. It’s easier, more efficient here. With a full schedule on a home trip, we don’t need to add in all the appointments anymore.
*Tommy worries about us less. In the beginning, it was very hard on him to see us hurting, homesick, lonely, frustrated, etc. He felt like maybe we’d made a mistake and he didn’t lead his family down the right path. Of course, it was no mistake and we all knew that but he still worried. But now he worries less. Much less.
*Our shopping list for Texas is much shorter as we’ve either found items here that we normally bring back or we like other things here better. I’m sure I’ll have a Singapore shopping list one day when we return here for visits.
*Probably our favorite thing about living here is leaving here. We REALLY enjoy all of the places we’re getting to travel to. To be in another country, another culture, a new adventure in a matter of hours is amazing! You can’t even get across Texas in a matter of hours.
*We understand the language. No, not Mandarin. Well, some of that but I’m referring to Singlish. We don’t understand all of it but we can sit on a bus or visit with a taxi driver and pretty much get what they’re saying. We talk Singlish sometimes also can, lah. (I probably butchered that but I have faith that my Singaporean friends will correct me.)
*Our aircon service guy now loves Chips and Salsa and has my recipe.
*Walking to the grocery store is really no big deal at all. We don’t even think twice about it.
*We still mostly cook American foods at home. It’s comfort food and we still like it. I have learned to cook a few unAmerican dishes that we love but cooking our comfort foods at home is more of what we do. We eat out about 2-3 times per week. It’s often cheaper to eat out than to cook at home. We have our favorite spots now where we like to go and they don’t include the American restaurants. That post is coming later.
*I take more taxi’s. The bus system is great and at the beginning I felt like we needed to do this but I don’t anymore. Spoiled? Ok. But my time is valuable and I really don’t like to sit for 20 minutes waiting for a bus to take me 2 miles down the road. If I’m not in a hurry, I take the bus. There’s always adventure to be found in Singapore’s public transportation. If I don’t want to sweat or am on a time crunch, I take a taxi.
*Our perspective on how expensive things are has changed. We still think everything imported is expensive but we are now ok with paying $6 for a bag of tortilla chips, $10-20 for bacon or $10 for flavored coffee cream. Certain things we pass up because it just doesn’t make sense to pay the price but there are things that we pay dearly for, like Dr. Pepper when we can find it. $15-$20 SGD for a 12 pack. Yikes!!
*Elastic in clothes does not last very long. Most of my tops have sweaty arm pit stains. Gross… We hardly ever, almost never, rewear a clothing item a second time. The sweating and washing our clothes so often is very hard on them. This is why we bring 30 pairs of underwear back, each!, with us when we take trips home. Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration, but only slight.
*I can walk up or down all 50 of our stairs without opening my eyes. I don’t do that often, btw.
*On our trips home, we still need to buy American deodorant, makeup and some clothing and food items. Although we could be completely ok without buying anything in the US, it’s just cheaper to do so and we like what we like.
*I almost never try get in the car on the wrong side.
*We usually know right where to go when we need something and it usually works out. A friend who is new to Singapore jokes about how she is “now on plan Q”. We hardly ever have to go past plan D or E.
*We are all much more adventurous and have noticed that some “risks” are just not a big deal anymore at all.
*Friendships have been made. And good ones too. When we didn’t think that would be possible in the beginning.
*We have all learned how to adapt to new situations and cultures.
*We laugh more than we cry now.
*But we still cry some.
*We still VERY much look forward to going home to Texas. Which is what we’re about to do tonight! Yipee!!!
We miss “home”. I think we’re getting to the point, though, where we’re not real sure what “home” even is. Texas will always be our heart home but we’re finding that our home can really be anywhere. You would not have heard me say this 18 months or even 12 months ago.
It’ll be interesting to see how we feel after we’ve been here for 18 more months.