We have a very exciting few months coming up. My mum and dad (aka faja) are coming to visit in August. Key and I are both heading back home for a few really quick days in September to meet a very special little man and in October, Key’s family are coming as well. I have big plans for where I will take our visitors and I’m not going to lie, a lot of them involve food. They all know me well enough to know that though :)
So for today, I’m setting some Singapore homework for mum and faja who will be our first visitors.
Go and sit in a sauna fully clothed. Now attempt to go about your daily duties. While in the sauna, try not to stare at the local Singaporean that is wearing a jumper in there. Once you are dripping in sweat and super hot, get out of the sauna into an air conditioned room. Now you are ready for the never ceasing humidity and the goose bump inducing outdoor to indoor hot to cold switch. But seriously, if you bring a jumper to Singapore, you will only wear it on the all underground and super air conditioned yellow train line or in a cinema if you want to see a movie. I’m sure both locals and tourists can never understand why both of those places are air conditioned to Arctic levels.
This is what happens in my kitchen when I go out and turn the air con off.
Go to a supermarket and pay $20 for a punnet of strawberries. Now buy a delicious and fully satisfying (although carb heavy and possibly containing MSG) dinner meal for $4.
Get in a cab in Bonner and ask the driver to take you to Tharwa. Have a friendly conversation with the taxi uncle and then pay $30 for the privilege. Graciously accept that if the fare was actually $30.30 the cabbie won’t dream of taking that 30c but make sure it works both ways – if it was worth $30.70 happily give the guy $31. You’ve now basically travelled across the width of the drivable part of the island and paid probably a third of what you would in Canberra. Accept that listening to either bad 90’s music or a 100% Mandarin speaking radio station is actually part of the fun :)
This one is especially for you faja – order a stupid expensive beer in an outdoor bar and accept that even though it’s lovely and cold in a frozen glass on arrival, it will be warm in about 5 minutes and the condensation dripping off your glass will go all over the table and probably your pants.
Get used to green everywhere…everywhere.
Start weaning yourself off good coffee. It’s just so hard to find here. Instead, start filtering your instant coffee through what is essentially a sock or order one in a hawker centre in a code that I can never remember when I need it. Kopi c…Kopi oh? If in doubt, order kopi. It’s sweet, but it does taste really good…it isn’t any skim latte though.
Find a large crowd of people and walk headfirst into them. Get used to that feeling of having a lot of people around you at all times. Mum, the good news is that you will at least be able to see over most of the other heads in the crowd.
Camera phone picture
Understand that these lines at the train stations don’t mean a lot. When you are getting off, people will generally also be trying to get on and even if you are at the front of the line while you patiently wait for others to alight the train, the locals behind you will use that as an excuse to get on ahead of you. You know what? I don’t even care, I love the train more than I ever thought I would.
See this thing? We aren’t going on it. No one goes on it. In fact, so few people go on it, they just went into receivership…awkward.
Start training your stomach to ingest large amounts of delicious food while your silly daughter takes photos of everything. Be prepared for that same silly daughter to start every sentence with ‘on the blog…’
Finally, be prepared for a fully grown woman with humidity affected, frizzy blonde hair to come running at you at the airport. Can’t wait to see you mum and dad xx