When you first get here everything is exciting and new. Slowly we get used to things, don’t get me wrong seeing the Deepavali lights in serangoon road is still special. But Singapore becomes home and dare I say it normal. Then every now and again some thing happens and you think I’m a long way from home, or what what I call a “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” moment.
For me one of those moments was on a bus just outside of Holland village. Bit of background first, if you have ever been in a bus in London in winter everybody huddles to the middle. This isn’t to keep warm but so as not to touch the windows that are mini waterfalls of condensation. So there I am huddling away from the misty windows, I reach out with a finger to find the windows dry??? It took a moment to twig that the condensation was on the outside.
For others it’s just the simple thing of walking outside and it’s warmer than inside. Or waking up when it’s dark feeling it must be winter but it’s actually storm clouds. Or running through warm rain! Then running into cold Aircon!
But sometimes it’s not being on the equator but the culture. A friend still can’t get over that she can’t order diet coke, it’s got to be coke lite. A personal favorite, is being able to walk through east coast park with teenagers having BBQs and there’s no drunkenness or violence.
Of cause for those of us who have had kids in Asia, the reverse happens when we go on vacation. Back in June we went to Australia, the first evening we were there our daughter asked to go outside. We were a but confused and so asked her why? She wanted to get out if the “Aircon” and warmup! Sorry but that’s just Oz winter my dear.
Another friend has to rugby tackle his kid to roll around in the grass or drag them into the mud as everything here is so clean.
Having kids here can also trigger omens like when a friends’ kid lost his front teeth. I said he’d not be able to eat an apple. She suddenly realised that he’d never eaten a whole apple and the helper always cuts then up. Imagine how our kids here would cope with a toffee apple?
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