Obviously I haven’t really been paying attention to my calendar except to count off the days until Friday’s flight back to the US…because today’s date meant nothing to me except that it was a school day for Elanor. If I’d been paying attention, I wouldn’t have babbled on about water earlier today.
But it’s far far more. April 19 was the day when Ravi, Elanor and I arrived in Changi just after midnight, disoriented as only 30 hours of travel can make you…and began to call Singapore home.
This past year has been easier and harder than I thought it would be. In some ways, Singapore truly lives up to its nickname of “Asia Light.” As my fellow expats have explained to me at length…I am extremely lucky to have so many American brands available to me in the grocery store, the restaurants I patronize, and some of the stores in which I shop. In other respects, there have been truly difficult moments in the past year that have made me (and Ravi, at times) question our decision to jump into life on the opposite side of the planet from home.
No one could be more surprised than I am at the genuine depth of my affection for Singapore one year later. It is home. Granted, not HOME (which will always be Boston)…but home. Much as I’m looking forward to my 3 weeks in the US, part of me is already planning for our return. I can tell you all the things I will miss. And while I will not hesitate to name those things that frustrate me about Singapore…I will also defend Singapore against naysayers (most of the time…when you ban a Lady Gaga song, I’m not standing up for you on that one).
A year ago I told myself that I could always go home. That if I hated it, we could leave. And that at most, I’d just have to suck it for 24 months.
Today I call it home, and comfortably see myself doing so for 3-5 years more.
This blog has become a very important part of my life. I’m so proud to have seen my readership grow from a dozen views a day to an average daily viewership of ten times that. I’ve made new friends, both expat and Singaporean. And I’ve grown as a writer…something I always wanted to do in the US, but never had the time to really commit to.
It’s not easy to blog five days a week, but I’m really proud of what I’ve built here. Perhaps the best comment I’ve gotten was from someone who is a regular reader, when my father in law asked me if I was going to turn it into a book some day. It’s the nicest compliment he’s ever given me.
Thanks for sharing the last year with us, and here’s to the years ahead.