We have it incredibly easy here in Singapore, that everyone you meet speaks english. It takes out a potentially MASSIVE transition piece that we could have had, moving internationally. It’s been wonderful to not have that barrier here, but english does come in various forms of understandability, and it takes a certain deftness of hearing to understand some natives at times.
That being said…the kiddos and I were climbing into a taxi this afternoon, and although the driver’s english was a little choppy, we could understand each other reasonably. He smiled about how “cute my baby was” and I thanked him. He was blasting Ace of Base in the car, and I jovially commented on how the current song came out when I was 12 years old. He suddenly started giggling like a little girl…a kind of laugh like I had just shared a joke about farts (Max has a similar laugh). I was confused for a split second about what could have been THAT funny about what I just said, when he said (more or less), “I suppose it’s better to have kids when you’re young.” I was instantly horrified to realize that what he heard was that REMY came out when I was 12 years old.
Once I cleared up the misunderstanding that had just occurred, we shared a belly laugh that people across cultures get to do so rarely in life. Oh man, life is good.
[in hindsight, I know this story makes zero sense. Quick math would make me 13 years old. I know I look good, but come on… jk 🙂
Our outing this afternoon was to Gardens by the Bay. It’s sort of like a giant nature reserve right downtown by marina bay. I don’t know how to fully explain it, because even though it’s my third time there, I’ve only barely begun to explore it. It’s huge, and beautiful, and quirky, and artistic, and there are these giant man-made trees called “Supertrees” that are anywhere between 80 and 160 feet tall, that mimic the functions of real trees. They collect solar energy to power their awesome light displays at night (which I have yet to see), and collect rainwater for use in some of the fountains in the garden….crazy technology.
There are these two giant domes called the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest which I also have yet to go inside, but from the outside they look like colossal, glass, upside-down seashells stuffed with rainforests and waterfalls.
Like, Dr. Seuss might have invented this place…it’s so fun to just be there. And it’s free to just be there.
So, off we went, because I heard that tucked away somewhere in the gardens is a really great children’s splash park. We arrived, wound our way thru the gardens, and emerged into a glorious spray park with Disney music filling the air. There was a perfect baby play area & an awesome older kid play area side by side, a cafe parallel to all of this excitement, and chairs for all the parents in the shade. “Part of Your World” and so many other songs from my childhood had me smiling like a doofus…it was wonderful.
You know, here’s my snapchat story for the day…enjoy:
There’s so much to explore on this island. Our three month anniversary of arriving here came and went this past week…and while I’ve done as much as I’ve been able with one or two kids in tow, my list of places I want to see grows longer still! We’ve been so lucky to be meeting and getting to know cool new people from all over the world, and our weekends fill up quickly.
A week & a half ago was labor day. Haha, as if I wasn’t already disoriented about what month it is, now I feel like it’s September. I’ve met two ladies in our condo who are also pretty new to Singapore, one from the UK and one from Denmark, and we’ve had some playdates, and then we got the idea to reserve one of the bbq spots around the pool and have a good, old-fashioned Labor Day bbq. All our families came together, and the kids ran around drinking capri suns and sneakily eating an entire huge bag of doritos, and then doing cannonballs into the pool. The parents took turns watching the babies around the playground right there, and I took the liberty of playing Michael Jackson music in the background…it was really awesome, and good for my soul to be doing something so NORMAL with other great people.
That same weekend we finally made good on our promise to take out our patron saint of a housing agent, Larry & his wife Ann, for dinner. They took us to a perankan restaurant (a sort of Malaysian cuisine) and tried entirely new dishes that I feel give us a certain amount of bragging rights. I present you with curried fish head:
Don’t freak out. We didnt eat any teeth or eyes…and it was really delicious! Truth be told, I was more nervous about eating the okra than anything else.
We’ve been out to dinner twice since with two other families that we’ve gotten to know…and they are all really fantastic people. Every one of them. I feel so lucky to be getting to know some really amazing people while eating yummy food from all around the world.
A few weeks ago I took the boys to the zoo (which is awesome, but will probably require its own post another time), and Max made buddies with a little guy there. His mom was watching their cute interaction, and made her way over to introduce herself. She’s such a nice person, has lived here her whole life, and was eager to help a new momma in a foreign world. She took my number, and actually invited us to her son’s birthday party a couple of weeks later! Max & I showed up to this crazy indoor water park, and she introduced me to a bunch of her friends…I was pretty blown away about how they just welcomed us into the fold and made us feel welcome. Such a cute family 🙂
Go on and blow out someone else’s birthday candles, Max:
Random shot of our fruit man (although jon has been unhappy with the quality of his fruit lately. Drama! I’m nothing if not loyal, so I’ll keep giving Yeo my business when I can), and our housekeeper Cindy, who is actually the one who insisted on this selfie. She’s obsessed with Remy…I thought she was leaning in to give him a kiss on the cheek once, but she instead put her nose on his head and took a big sniff. I guess that’s a very Asian thing to do, smelling babies. I had heard that once a long time ago, but was still amusedly startled by the gesture.
Other local delicacies. Mmmm that artistic smear of processed cheese on top:
I’m going to wrap this up. There’s infinitely more stories I could share (I know you’re so sick of hearing this, and no one probably cares, but I do share the day-to-day stories on my snapchat. Blogging feels a little daunting to me, as writers block usually deflects me to binge on netflix at night instead of typing. So, hop on over to that app and search for “punchykara” for more behind the scenes footage)
But I will leave you with this. Max has been quite the artist lately, drawing all sorts of things that he sees here and there. A couple days ago, he was drawing from memory the sign we see on many taxis, telling in pictures all the things that are prohibited in taxis. Pay special note to his drawing on the lower right-hand side of the page…As he innocently explained it to me, “There’s no smoking, no TNT, no durians (stinkiest fruit on earth), and no wrestling.”
and the real picture from the taxi:
Just not ready to have that conversation with him yet…