What Should Be On Every Singapore Expat’s Christmas List

IMG_1331HAPPY FRIDAY!  (Who’s that guy, you ask? We’ll get to that . . .)

Once again, we bring you the Annual Textpat Wives Christmas List. We hope you love it as much as we loved “researching,” by which we mean drinking wine and online shopping and howling with laughter – and then remembering that we were supposed to be writing. Follow the links to confirm that we really couldn’t make this s*** up.

What Should Be On Every Singapore Expat’s Christmas List – 2018

  1. Don’t Sweat It Bra Liners.   Finally someone has an answer to the boob sweat.  
  2. Any Korean beauty product.  Because everyone needs more K-Beauty in their life, and nothing says “Deck the Halls” like rubbing snail slime and foreskin juice all over your face. What? You think we’re making this up? Ask Sandra Bullock why her face looks so dewy. Go on, google it. You. Will. Die.
  3. A bracelet flask. This one has a rhinestone lid on it so you KNOW it’s classy.  Because we all know Mommy really only wants three things on Christmas morning: a little bling, a little booze, and a nap.  
  4. A necklace fan.  Is it a fashionable accessory?  Absolutely not. But neither are the pit stains.  So get one and set it on HIGH. Just be careful you don’t get your tassel necklace wrapped up in there. (Can you imagine?!?!)
  5. Travel wine bottle protectors.  If you’re going back and forth on holidays and wrapping your wine bottles in dirty t-shirts in your suitcase, you’re just asking for trouble.  Class it up with some of these.
  6. An umbrella – which is also a sun umbrella, wind-proof, opens and closes with one hand, and is small enough to keep in your handbag but large enough when open to actually keep you – and a at least one child – somewhat dry.  And it has to be pretty, with flowers or a Monet print or something. And it can’t have that ridiculous wooden hook handle because you’re not clippity-clopping your way around Victorian London like Sherlock Holmes FFS. Let us know if you find one that fits the bill.
  7. A device that FINDS YOUR CAR!  We’ll admit, this particular product seems straight off the shelves at Stalkers R Us, but we still think it would have HUGE value for us.  Because though we may need the exercise, ain’t nobody got time to be wandering the bowels of Vivo looking for their car.
  8. A shoe deodorizer machine. Because your kids’ feet reek. (And by “your” we mean “our”), and those cute sneaker balls aren’t making a dent in that stank.  What we need is a magical machine that dries out your shoes and then disinfects them. Glorious.
  9. This little device, which allows you to pee in the squat toilet without having to actually squat – and without peeing on your own ankles. Suddenly your Singapore public toilet stall options are increased by 20%!  
  10. An Uncle wall decal. An interior decorator we know told us that any room is instantly transformed when you add candles and throw pillows, and we think she was totally right but we’re pretty sure she just forgot to mention Uncles.  (And also: Hey Amazon! “Old Man Wall Decal”?! That dude isn’t “old”. He’s like early forties. Some of us consider that pretty young as a matter of fact. But F you very much. And Merry Christmas.)

Those Last Days of Expat Summer


The final days of summer holidays can be tough. First you have to say goodbye to everyone for another year, and then you’ve got to empty the beach sand from your pockets, attempt to pack everything you brought PLUS everything you’ve bought all summer (spoiler alert: It’ll never fit), and steel yourself for the journey back to Singapore, which always feels LONG AF – several hours longer than it took at the start of the summer. And of course, you might also have some last-minute shopping to do. Luckily just a few odds and ends, right?





Ten Things You Never Did Until You Became a Singapore Expat


Ten Things You Never Did Until You Became a Singapore Expat:

1. Gather a gaggle of other women together and head off to a nearby country to volunteer for several days. (Of course we should be doing this wherever we live, but, you know…)

2. Dress up in costumes – in public – more than you ever did as a child. Why do we feel the need to do this? We’re not sure. Perhaps because we already stand out, so we might as well be wearing a tutu and bunny ears?

3. Go to a different country for a spa day. Because, when you think about it, that’s insane.

4. Drink endless Champagne on that same spa day. Because it turns out that the masseuses there don’t give a hoot about the need to flush toxins from your body post massage. Just keep chugging the bubbly, lady.

5. Feel very sorry for ourselves when our live-in maid/nanny/cook takes a few weeks off. “Two weeks of doing my own laundry? The HORROR.”

6. Go for afternoon tea. Unless of course you’re the Queen of England. (But here in Expat Land? We’re ALL queens! Pass the cucumber sandwiches!)

7. Drive to four different shops in four different locations on the island to complete your grocery shopping. And then do it again the next day.

8. In the same vein – take it upon yourself to post a PSA on Facebook alerting people to the availability of EDIBLE AVOCADOS at your local supermarket.

9. Keep an appointment diary for every member of your family. Yes, including your tiny pre-verbal children. Because people are starting to notice that your infant’s tennis serve sucks. And that Chopin is not going to just play itself.

10. Speaking of scheduling: Schedule an appointment with your parents/sibling/best friend to Facetime, so that you can yell at each other, “Can you see me?! Are we frozen?! Where did you go?! Hello?” Even it that’s all you say to each other, for 20 minutes, it still kinda feeds the soul.

Comfy Shoes In Singapore (or, Good Friends Remind Us What Really Matters In Life)




Warning: Contains photos of UGLY FEET. Just be glad that the current heat wave hadn’t hit yet when that photo was taken. Because believe us when we say that manky middle-aged hooves are NOTHING on manky *swollen* middle-aged hooves.)



A Rainy Public Holiday In Singapore

We don’t know about you all, but we’re still reeling from Tuesday.  The time a Public Holiday and an insane storm hit Singapore on the same day…

(The trauma of these things coinciding may not be obvious to those who aren’t expats here.  But trust us, the pain is real.  Expat sisters, back us up on this one.)





Durian in Singapore (and why not to run through alleys in the morning)

We all want to be the “cool expat.” The one who backwards parks in one smooth, beautiful arc. The one who prefers a kopi to a Starbucks. The one who doesn’t sound like a jackass when they throw in a “lah” once in a while.

But try as we might, it’s not always easy.





The Time An Expat In Singapore Took a Little Holiday. In Paris.

While most of us spent our holidays in the region, and a few ventured down to Oz or up to Japan or China, apparently *some* of us find this region has grown tiresome, and were therefore forced to travel to more distant locales for their holidays.  Like, say, PARIS. The rest of us – the ones who spent our holiday *not* wearing berets and instead just chasing feral kids and drinking warm cans of Tiger beer in our own backyards – might feel a teensy bit jealous of our jetsetting friends. But we’d do well to remember: all that Joie De Vivre Francais can come at a cost…


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You Know You Are Such An Expat When…

There are a few things which just SCREAM “expat in Singapore.”  Among them: Living in a house jam-packed with local artifacts (If there is a giant Buddha in your powder room, you are Such An Expat); depending on frequent packages from your home country for sustenance (If you regularly order large boxes of American toothpaste, or British biscuits, you are Such An Expat); starting every single conversation with, “So where are you off to for the next holiday (because only expats travel every damn holiday.  So if Bali versus Phuket is your go-to conversation starter, you are Such An Expat).

Look, there’s no shame in being Such An Expat, but sometimes we even sort of shock ourselves with just how S.A.E. we can be (and yes, we realize that writing a blog and facebook page about expat life is pretty much as S.A.E. as you can get).

What are other telltale signs that someone is S.A.E?  We know there are some good ones out there…





Milestones For The Singapore Expat

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.)