One year ago today I received this email…
I made it to Singapore safe-and-sound (though the flight from Hong
Kong sat on the tarmac a long time and didn’t have
in-flight-entertainment – enough to earn me a customer appreciation
gift that I need to pick). In bad news, I left a book on the plane and
one of my meds at home 😦
Other than that, the room is nice and things are OK, so it is time to sleep.
One year ago…..
I was reading and re-reading emails from expats in Singapore, trying to figure out every last thing that we’d need for the month in the service apartment before our things arrived. I was separating things into “pack it, store it at the in-laws, ship it, get rid of it” piles. I was trying to freecycle things as fast as I could. I was gifting things I knew I couldn’t use here because the ovens are too small, or the electrical current was all wrong. I was tossing old baby clothes into plastic tubs, and sorting out things that were too warm for our new home.
One year ago
I knew very few people in Singapore. The moms I’d met at a playgroup. I was freaking out if Ellie (and I) would make friends. If Ellie’s birthday (which I’d already bought all the stuff for, knowing that party supplies were not easy to get in Singapore…at least if you’re focused on a less common theme than Barney or Barbie or Disney Princess) would have any guests beyond Ravi and I.
One year ago
This all seemed so difficult and crazy. Finding an apartment. Finding a helper whom I’d feel comfortable entrusting my child. Learning my way around the city. Adjusting to the kind of weather Boston only gets a few weeks out of the year….all year round. Keeping close with my friends back home, and fearing they’d move on without us. Making a home.
One year ago
I had no idea how lucky I’d be.
Today was a very normal, simple day….but it also illustrates how groundless all my fears were. I woke up to an email from a friend on the East Coast, and we chatted for almost two hours. I grabbed a shower and lunch, and then Ellie and I went to her school, where she happily and enthusiastically participated (and I stole quick moments of conversation with the mixtures of moms, helpers and grandmas). After class we met up with my friend M and her son H, and hung out for a while. Then B and I took Elanor to the Children’s Garden in the Singapore Botanic Gardens. I’ll make dinner when Ravi texts me he’s heading home, and Ellie will gleefully tell him all about her day, and I’ll show him some photos I shot on the DSLR I rented (with a student discount, thanks to my photography class!). I left a few notes on my friend’s facebook pages (Singaporean and American), and exchanged an email with a friend in New Zealand. We’ll put E to bed with a book my NZ friend sent, and our new favorite bedtime book (“It’s time for sleep, my love”) that I found at Page One here in Singapore. Before we go to bed, I’ll drop my mom a note about our next Skype date, and I’ll probably get around to watching the most recent episode of The Amazing Race, which I downloaded from iTunes if I can’t convince Ravi to watch the next episode of Buffy on DVD.
It’s not perfect, but one year later…I have a life in Singapore.