Layover Hell

In the land of expat wives, summer holidays mean one thing: travel home. So we pack up our enormous suitcases and our excited children, our stacks of passports and bags of crap we naively tell ourselves will entertain our children for 20 hours, and we flood Changi airport. And about 7 hours in, we learn this: No matter how much local travel one does, and no matter how prepared one might be, a trip halfway around the world, without the help of a spouse, shepherding children, can strain even the most intrepid of travellers.

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What Price Parental Sanity?

You know the way people say that it’s expensive having children?  Well, come to Singapore and we’ll make you feel better. Schools, activities, clothes, shoes, Cheerios – all of these will empty your pockets quicker than you can say “But s/he’s *so* worth it”.  The King and Queen of Kiddie Expense, however – in a land where activities vie with each other for The Crown of Eye-Bleeding Expense – are holiday camps.  Our kids are fabulous – OBVIOUSLY – but even they are not worth it…

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House Hunting (still)

House hunting in Singapore can be incredibly difficult, particularly if you’re looking for a “landed house,” rather than a condo. Often the “land” is actually just a strip of gravel, or a steep wooded ravine leading to God-knows-what-but-probably-a-snake-pit. And the sticker shock is so great, we wonder if carrying a portable defibrillator might be wise. There are, of course, fabulous houses in Singapore; there are lovingly restored Black & Whites, and stunning modern architecture, and humongous “bungalows,” where we imagine the beautiful people who live there spend their days reclining about on the verandah, gazing out at the sea in their backyard. However. Those houses are not for us. For us, it’s an endless parade of WTFery.

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Ruined Childhoods

Singapore is known for being safe,  but it’s not until you live here – with children – that you realise just how FABULOUSLY, RIDICULOUSLY safe it is.  It just never (ok, hardly ever) crosses our minds any more that our children – or ourselves – might be in danger from other people.  Snakes? Yes.  Deranged-looking garden monkeys?  Highly likely.  Those scary prehistoric monster lizards which prowl around under bushes?  Probably not (but that doesn’t mean we socialise with them). But human predators?  We no longer have to give it a thought.  It’s brilliant really. 

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Partings and Parties

Here in Expat-Land, it’s the time of year we all dread- The Season of Good-Byes.  So we have our Last Lunches and our Bon Voyage parties, we buy each other’s furniture and appliances, and we all walk around smiling bravely with a lump in our throat. Because saying good-bye simply sucks. Sometimes all you can do is party like it’s 1999…

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Welcome to Singapore

There are a variety of things most expats complain about when they first move to Singapore (or, for the duration of their entire stay here [ahem]), most especially:  the heat;  the humidity (particularly its effect on our once-glossy, now-frizzy, locks); the expense; car ownership; the occasional bouts of haze; and the culture of Kiasu.  But bad though these might be, they all pale into insignificance when you discover the holiday paradises on your doorstep. Especially if you’re *at* those holiday paradises, with a cold beer in your hand. 

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