Driving us nuts

Like most friends, we don’t always see eye to eye on everything. How to boil water for pasta, for example; or the contentious matter of whether a visit to the dentist should be precautionary or reactionary. And that one, great big festering boil in an otherwise flawless friendship complexion: are drivers in Asia unbelievably bad, or just the same as everywhere else? We guess it depends on where you’re looking at it from. (If, for example, you’re looking at it from your driver’s lap, then perhaps, yes…)

Car cool

Singapore seems to be the up-and-coming cool kid in Asia.  We’ve got homegrown microbrews, an emerging local music scene, and you can’t swing a cat without knocking over some hipster drinking a hand-crafted coffee and updating his lifestyle blog from behind upcycled shades. Not all of us have innate hipsterdom however, no matter how hard we try (and some would suggest – strongly – that we stop trying. And also that we stop swinging cats)…

Boiling Tensions 

One of the great things about life here on the Little Red Dot is the exposure to so many different cultures. As well as the various ethnicities you’ll find amongst Singaporeans, every expat you meet, by very definition, comes from somewhere else. Which makes every cultural difference a fabulous learning experience. Well, almost ‘every’… 

The Many Faces of Expattery

Contrary to popular option, being an expat doesn’t (necessarily) mean lounging about in a floaty kafkan, drinking gin and ordering the staff around… Many expats do really brilliant volunteer work, such as helping street children or stray animals, or even – in the case of *one* expat we know, heading off to Cambodia to build houses in remote villages.  Those of us at home grappling with Other Important Things, salute you.  (As much as floaty kafkans allow for saluting.)

Stuff only the tourists tell you… 

The great thing about having visitors – apart from the suitcases filled with chocolate  and the duty free and the early cocktails every day because it’s just good manners- is that we get up off our butts and explore Singapore. Like tourists. And every so often, just like tourists, we stumble across real gems- such as free guided tours. The sort of gems which you only know about if you’re… a tourist… 

Morsels of joy (and butter) 

It doesn’t take much to excite your average expat here.  Pizza Express (an English pizza chain) has FINALLY opened ?  YES!!  Tuscan kale on special?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME??   A shoe-shop where the staff actually measure your kids’ feet?  HALLELUJAH!  (And thank you, Ten Feet Tall). But nothing – *nothing* – gets some (ahem) expats as excited as the lure of pastry… (And caffeine.  But mainly pastry.)