An efficient first week

As of yesterday afternoon I got confirmation that the agent was taking our “Letter of Intent” to the landlord (who turned out to be a landlady…oops) to be signed.  It’s done.

We will be living at a condo complex called The Aston, which isn’t a long walk to Orchard Road (which is where the two conveinent MRT stops are, as well as Elanor’s gymnastics school).  There’s also a mall called Great World City within a five minute walk, where there is a Cold Storage grocery story–I’ve been there and it’s not a bad store, although it won’t be where we’ll go for everything.

We also have hired our helper, who I’ll call B for her privacy.  I had interviewed her on the phone before we arrived, and we’d really clicked.  I got to meet her in person on Wednesday and the connection was even better in person.  I also loved how she interacted with Elanor.  We’ve hired her, but she’ll be boarding with the owner of the agency until we move into the real apartment-there’s nowhere for her to have privacy here at our service apartment.

I also managed to meet up with and have a playdate with one of the American moms I’d met on our last trip here.  I’d like her back in the US as well, but I was pathetically grateful to get an email invite over to her house on Friday for a playdate as E and I were just sitting around and I was starting to feel a little sorry for myself.  It was awesome to go over to someone’s house and see the same kiddie snacks of cheerios and cheetos.  E shared a dinner of hot dogs and mac and cheese with P’s son, who is about 6 months older than her.  For my part, it was great to get advice on where to get the cheapest Cheerios, and who she uses for a pediatrician.

I’m definitely not great at reaching out to strangers-I worry that I’m being a pest or that I might be clingy (especially a danger here where I know less than 5 people)…BUT the only reason we had a great first week is because I did last time.  Our realtor and the maid agency I used were recommended to me by a mom I met last time; a mom, I might add, I never would have met if I hadn’t reached out to P through the American Women’s Association.

Without those recommendations I’d be lost in a sea of realtors, maid agencies and red tape.  I certainly wouldn’t be in a position to focus on things like making lists for what we’ll need for the new apartment, working on getting my own bank atm card (only Ravi’s name is on the account right now), and lining up a pediatrician visit for Elanor in the next few weeks.

In some ways it’s all really mundane…but then again I came home from my playdate to find a gecko crawling on the wall in the apartment.   I named him Geico and welcome his bug eating ways.  Or a trip to IKEA’s restaurant requiring us to share a table because DAMN it’s popular.  Or that chicken nuggets everywhere here are exactly like McDonald’s nuggests.  Or that it’s easier to find chili sauce than ketchup.  Or that it’s 6pm on Sunday and we can head out to shop for 3-4 more hours because Sunday is no different from any other day.

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