April 18th, 2017

We got it! We got the condo we put an offer in on. No, we didn’t buy it, we are lowly renters – wink wink. This place is like being on permanent vacation. A staycation of sorts. It has 7 different pools, multiple outdoor exercise equipment stations (Chantal & Philip), a karaoke cafe (mom and Emily), a coffee cafe (Mike), nail spa and hair salon (Riley), 2 tennis courts (Zelma and Yeap), 1 basketball court, a running track (Derek and Helen) & an RV racing track. Oh and we must remember the bamboo maze which is where Chloe stated she wanted to live.

Take notice family, we seriously took you ALL into consideration when choosing a place to call HOME. So come visit well BEFORE we move from here!!!!

We viewed 10 units in the complex in multiple building blocks and decided this unit was for us. Maybe it was the 9 month old baby that sealed the deal (1 time she was slumbering peacefully, the other time she was full of smiles), or the friendly nature of the parents who made the place feel so welcome. It felt like walking into OUR home as soon as the front door parted for our entry.

The view isn’t like the one on the 29th floor, but how could a view on the lowly 15th floor be as good. We will still see the sun kiss the day goodbye and the moon welcome the starry night sky. We will sit on our balcony and enjoy noodles with a myriad of side options and maybe a glass of wine on occasion. This is how I see it all enfolding.

Reality…our night will likely look more like this.

Nicholas stop throwing food on the floor if you don’t like it. Put it on your plate.

Chloe, keep your butt in your chair and stop trying to have fighting games with your pasta.

Phew, dinner over!

Kidlets will run around to burn off engery, but in the house instead of in the bamboo maze where maybe I could loose them for even 10 minutes of peace?!

Back to the bedtime routine….

Nicholas, stop peeing in the bathtub and trying to eat the bubbles. Oh wait, is he taking a poo??? Shit!!!!! (seriously, this DOES happen!)

Chloe, you need to wash your hair or I’ll have to chop it off! It looks like all the birds from the jungle up north have taken up residence in YOUR hair! Seriously!

Phew, bathtime over!

Kids will get pj’s on and of course this will be very easy.

Nicholas, get your naked butt back here! You need a nappy/diaper on before you pee on the floor – seems to be a recurring theme with him, pee. Maybe we need therapy? ??

Chloe, No, I don’t know where you most wintery pj’s are. We live on the equator wear shorts! And No, it isn’t cold in here! Sesh, seriously, who’s kid is she anyway, she’s crazy!

Phew, pj’s on and no mess on the floor and winter Roots pj’s still in the drawer (note to self, pack them in the back of the drawer and bring only to Canada! Or New Zealand).

Read book quietly and calmly

Nicholas to stop eating the pages, this isn’t desert!

Chloe all babies eat books, your brother is still learning all the same lessons you had to learn hence why half the age appropriate books for him are missing pages..

Phew, book(s) done

Time for bed now my beautiful babies.

Oh I love my babies so much when they are snuggled into bed, ready for me to sing them to lala land. Let sleep cover their eyes and peaceful dreams of everything sweet occupy their minds.

Slowly, quietly, creep out the door. Ssshhh! I said quiet!!!!!

Now for adult time, wine, relax, some good conversation. All sounds so civilized.

Just nee to sit on couch for a quiet moment before indulging in our exotic dinner and $100 Singapore bottle of wine (which is likely imported from Australia somewhere).

ZZZZzzzzzzzzz….WHAT WAS THAT!!!!

Eyes jolt open….was I just sleeping? The pool of drool in the corner of my mouth tells me it was definitely sleep and the snoring was definitely what just woke me….? So how was my adult time tonight? Great, I did nothing! Why? Right, I’m a parent and the evening was exhausting! But I loved it. How do I know I’m not tricking myself with delusional talk? Because I’m not drunk, they’ve only been asleep an hour and I’m already talking and laughing about them and their crazy antics. Don’t deny it, you do it too

Sat 15th April

So up till today I thought the most challenging element of moving overseas was; where to buy groceries, how to decipher one brand from another, how to save money on anything & everything, where to live, which school.

What I have come to realize is most challenging is navigating a new medical system. Your heart plummets when you see your baby not feeling well and knowing you need a Doctor. But you don’t know where to find the Doctor, which Doctor is “good” and even how to go about booking an appointment. Now forget the fact that today is a Saturday, that has only added another layer of complexity to the situation.

What I have discovered is that Doctors here only work till 1pm on Sat in newer clinics – which apparently is the case where we live. I’m not sure if there is a walk-in type Centre in Singapore – I don’t know yet anyway.

As a parent you may take to Google to find the answers but of course you are faced with an abundance of irrelevant info and you need to wade through the sites to find something, anyone, who can help.

It feels very overwhelming and downright scary because this is YOUR child. You want to get it “right’ because health is all we have in life to live. An unwell child is heartbreaking enough then add this unknown, I can finally say I’ve found what “Culture Shock” is to me! No more worrying about finding my beloved toothpaste brand (which is Crest by the way), or favourite coffee to satisfy my heart….a healthy child is all I need.

Those other things still hold an element of cultural unknown, but they are surmountable. They will hang on a low rung of the ladder from here on in.

I posted a couple pics to FB and feel like such a fraud. As if I am deceiving the public into thinking all this is easy, fun, exciting. And well there are moments of each of those. The reality however is, this is HARD! It is SO challenging and in ways I never imagined. Like the heat, the humidity! Walking down a sidewalk with a pram. Isn’t everywhere pram friendly? First world problems eh!

Each day I wake with a new attitude towards the day. May depend on how much sleep I’ve had or what day of the week it is, or how many more days till the weekend when I don’t have to do the day on my own. My mind bounces like a yo-yo, up-down, sideways, constantly, making my brain hurt. One minute I am revelling in the fact that we made it out the door with Randal to walk him to the train station and have breakfast. The next I am wiping my brow to stop sweat from dripping into my ears and eyes thinking, “seriously, can I really survive this?” “How much sweat can one person produce” and “could I survive off my sweat in case of a drought?” (how does one collect sweat while walking anyway?) The answer to all is YES. I can survive and I will.

In all seriousness though, a drought? haha! This place has torrential downpour almost daily! Today it rained so hard I could barely see the building next to us. And if you could see how close that building is you’d be astounded. The laundry that hung complacently on the balcony drying rack was almost lost to the wind and rain that came in all ways & threatened to throw it overboard! Now that is some rain.

When we packed house and left Vancouver, we were young (early 30’s IS young!), energized and threw caution to the wind to let our hearts take us where we wanted. As you may recall from an earlier post, we yearned for that ugly red brick building lurching on the edge of the cliff in Manly. We got that. It took work and perseverance, but we made it happen.

We left Vancouver with a 100 liter duffel bag and backpack each. This time we added about 10 times that, oh and don’t forget the 2 little tyrants! I mean people. Things are not as simplistic as last time.

We were not delusional believing this would be easy. In fact we have been braced for catastrophic devastation pre departure and probably hourly even now. We pictured having to tear Chloe (who is 4.5 yrs old), away from our apartment, Tiggy (our beloved car), her friends, from everything she has ever known, with tears coursing down her sweet round cheeks. In reality, she has done quite well. She’s been here a week only and already knows how to use chopsticks! I mean REAL not for children chopsticks. She never even practised, she just did it! Crazy smart kid (gotta tell Annette!).

Us on the other hand I think is fair to say we miss everything 132 Bower Street represents to us. I can only speak for myself here, but I do find it difficult to see photos of Manly beach flashing across my screen as I troll through Facebook. My heart feels confused; pride mingled with sadness to know that Manly was once my home too. Alongside fascination, hesitation and bewilderment that funky half-missing skyscrapers dot my worldly view for the moment. The complexities of all this can be overwhelming.

So, as I said, every day is a different bag of emotions. Every hour can be different. A journey is like that though I suppose. Challenge our deepest rituals and comforts and see what new colours we can add to the rainbow of our life. It is my long held belief that every emotion, every life experience good &/or bad, deserves it’s place in your life and heart. I remind myself of this often (with the help from a good friend) and try to appreciate the emotions for what they are; a moment in my life. This too shall pass and I will miss these days of newness and confusion. I will likely long for it again as I long for the mountains in BC and the sound of waves in Manly. Until then, this is my reality and I shall enjoy.
Please enjoy with me

On a jet plane....to SINGAPORE

I’m sitting on the airplane, with a sleeping baby on me while eating the best sourdough bread ever, when it hits me; the excitement. I’m finally excited to peruse the streets of Singapore and find out what wonderful tales we will weave of this adventure.

He’s gently snoring, she’s busy shoving an ice cream cookie in her face and my other half is enjoying the finesse of business class. I’m content; happy even, and excited.

Well that moment last, a MOMENT. Nicholas promptly woke. Chloe started to complain, but notably she quickly fell asleep curled up in her oversized chair, and R sat watching his movie completely oblivious to the impending ticking time bomb I had on my lap.

Overall the flight was good. My first experience of business class will make it difficult to return to the normalcy of airline travel; back in the sardine pack. No leg room and no menu choice. How did I survive before?

We cleared customs and collected our 12 pieces of luggage (that’s not including the 7 pieces of carry-on & the pram we had). The whole process was so civilized and efficient that I thoroughly enjoyed my least favourite element of air travel. R’s Uncle collected us in a taxi van and brought us to our Airbnb. What a nice guy. I’m certain he couldn’t appreciate beforehand just how much luggage we were traveling with, despite the warning.  Not sure anyone could be prepared for what we brought.

I wish we had taken a photo as it really was ridiculous. Maybe when we finally move from the Airbnb to our new place I can recapture the silliness of it.  I did capture a portion of the items that came with us while I was packing.

Packing to move

It’s morning, I’m not impressed to be awake at whatever hour it is. Chloe and I shared a bed with her stuffies, and they probably had the best sleep out of us all. Between fighting for my place in the bed and Chloe stealing the covers of warmth, I had a sore throat and stuffy head. My eyes revolted at the waking process and my brain starting screaming, “get out of here! This isn’t what I bargained for!” The feeling of nostalgia rose deep in my heart and I wanted to be waking up in our bed with the sound of waves crashing around me. The reality that this is our new chapter really sank in. And when I woke I really wasn’t certain I appreciated what I was getting myself into by moving.

Alas here we are. In Singapore.

View View to the right from our Airbnb condo

Stay tuned for more of this story. Please join me on the journey