Today’s Friday List: Singapore Expat Milestones
Moving to a new country always comes with challenges, but there are also those moments – rare at first – where you stop and think, Holy S*** Look At Me! These are the moments that make you feel a little more at ease, a little less like a hot mess, and a little more able to laugh at yourself when you are a total disaster (like, for example, when you’re once again mocked for the size of your feet, or your quick shopping trip drives you to tears, or you nearly die of fear during a 12 minute jog. (If you missed any of those moments, pour yourself some wine, hop over to www.Textpatwives.com, and scroll on through. If you’re looking for low points, there are some real gems in there.) There are lots of moments like that, of course. But once in a while, you hit an expat milestone. Tonight, we say “Cheers” to those moments. Here are a few…
1. The first time you remember your IC number by heart. That’s probably on day 3, which will have been the 875th time you’ve been asked for it.
2. The first time you merge into Newton Circus without crying / flinching / swearing you’ll never go this way again.
3. The first time a server or store clerk recognizes you as a Regular. (Note – this one might take several years.)
4. The first time a tourist asks YOU for directions. That means that, at least on the outside, you actually don’t look lost anymore.
5. The first time you use the squat toilet because you just cannot be bothered to wait behind all the tourists waiting for the other one.
6. The first time you have an actual opinion when the Taxi Uncle asks you “AYE or PIE?”
7. Hell – the first time you know what the Taxi Uncle is actually talking about when he asks you “AYE or PIE?”
8. The first time you Backwards Park in one try.
9. The first time you use your PAssion Card. “Passion Card?” “Why yes, I now know what you are asking me every single time I make a purchase of any kind, and indeed I do have a PAssion Card!”
10. The first time you leave the grocery store without calculating the cost in your Home Currency.
10. And the biggie (so important in fact that we tacked on an extra number 10): The first time you refer to Singapore as “Home”. (We can almost guarantee that that will be when you’re knee-deep in laundry and whining kids on day 8 of your summer “holiday” back in your home country; suddenly the balmy evenings, calm house and competent helper will spell H-O-M-E to you.)