This is my 500th post at Expat Bostonians.
I began the blog on March 8th, 2010; 2 years, 2 months and 9 or 10 days (depending on how you count the time difference) ago. A blog seemed like the logical way to keep our friends back home apprised of what life here in the Lion City was like. Before I moved here, the only things I knew (or thought I knew) about Singapore was that some American kid had gotten caned here when I was in high school, and that chewing gum was illegal here.
In honor of my 500th post, I thought I’d share some of my favorite posts in chronological order.
2010–Lots of factual posts (what does the money here look like), not a ton of introspection. I think I was so busy taking in Singapore that I couldn’t really process it.
Our look see visit to Singapore — This is a favorite post because it’s my baseline. It contains my first photos and impressions of Singapore. This is a post I look back at to see how far I’ve come.
Awkward–My first post about hiring a helper.
4th of July, Singaporean Style–Our first big American holiday spent in Singapore, and a favorite memory to this day. I’ve loved the American 4th of July event both years we’ve been here, and I’m looking forward to our third in a few months.
Palawan Beach–Our first visit there, and contains some of my favorite photos.
Thailand, Part 2–Describes one of the coolest things I’ve done in Southeast Asia-the Siam Safari in Phuket. A 6 hour adventure that tried to balance eco-tourism with preserving culture, and the struggles that come with it. I’m a nerd, so learning on vacation=YAY. Also-BABY ELEPHANTS! Extremely long entry, but one of my all time favorites
Christmas out and about in Singapore–I was totally thrown by stores being open and seeing Christmas treated as just another state sanctioned holiday.
2011-I got to know more people and began to really participate in the blogging community here. I started writing posts that tried to get to the why instead of the what. WHY were things the way they were instead of a book report.
Happy (sort of ) New Years–I live tweeted the NYE special with Kirsten and this post shares some of the highlights. Sort of New Years because it was 2011 in Singapore but still 2010 in Boston.
Skin Whitening…it’s a “thing” here–One of the first posts discussing my discomfort with the way whiteness is idealized here.
Having a Maid…the bad and the ugly–Singapore practically expects you to have a maid, but few people talk about the negatives. This post explored the negatives both from the culture clash perspective and the issues within Singapore itself (the racism and abuses).
What do I do when the power goes out and other questions I forgot to ask–just when you think you’ve figured out expat life, something happens to totally upend your sense of comfort.
Hong Kong-Goldfish Market and Street Markets–On our child-free vacation in Hong Kong, Ravi and I visited the Goldfish Market in Hong Kong and it was another really memorable vacation moment.
Bad Expat (Part 1-ur doin it rong)–In which I explain all the ways I suck at being an expat.
Seth Rogen talks about Singapore–and SG isn’t happy–this was the first time I felt like I could explain and understand both sides of a US/SG critique and conflict of humor.
Things you don’t see/hear in Singapore–After a trip home, I began to realize there are some things I never see or hear in Singapore
Maids, Cultural Expectations and the Importance of Modeling (expat to expat advice)–A post that really talks about the cultural issues (small and big) that come with having a maid.
Pink Dot 2011–I was so proud to be at Pink Dot (an celebration of all love, particularly LGBT love and the only pro-gay event in Singapore) last year, when Google stepped up as the first ever corporate sponsor.
A negative experience at a doctor’s office and maybe some news–It feels strange to put such an angry post on my “favorites/top” list. However, I think it is well written and it clearly articulates an issue I’ve had repeatedly with older male doctors in Singapore-being condescended to/spoken to as if I were my 3 year old. As an expat, you have to constantly negotiate cultural issues, and, in general, it is best to learn to bend and to be flexible. However, it is also okay to have lines that you can not, under any circumstance, cross. This experience was one of them.
Our second 4th of July in Singapore-Our second, and equally memorable 4th of July in Singapore
My tale of laptop woe grows–I take my laptop to a certified apple repair center, tragic hilarity ensues
Comparing Singaporean and American Pregnancy Guides–After having a baby in the US, I wanted to read a local pregnancy guide to figure out how the approach locally was different.
My first name is not Crystalann–I like the post more because of the really interesting conversation it inspired in the comments section about names and culture.
Validation-The post I wrote after my first fiction short story acceptance
Santa Cruz Boardwalk-A wonderful day with Ellie on vacation. Ravi was sick, and I was pregnant, so it was one of our last big adventures just her and I before the baby arrived. I also love the pictures.
Why I didn’t want to be in the US on 9/11-On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I was in the US and I was reminded of many of the things I don’t like about being an American, and why we have such a bad reputation abroad.
Prenatal care in the US vs Singapore–Shh, don’t tell anyone, but I might like Singaporean prenatal care better.
Rhiannon Arcadia-I got to announce and post a picture of my newly born 2nd child. Of course it’s a favorite.
An American Halloween in Singapore–We go trick or treating!
Happy Birthday Elanor–her 3rd birthday post
Slutwalk Singapore 2011–I took the girls to slutwalk because I want to raise them to be strong independent feminists.
Oh Christmas Tree—We had a great Christmas Tree, until the cats went on the offensive
Disconnect-Firing B was not a highlight of my blog, but it was one of the most significant events, and for that reason, I need to include it.
Irresistible-The book with my short story in it was published (the short story is under a pen name, but if you read the book, you’ll be able to figure it out, trust me)
That does not mean what you think it means–English vs English FAIL
Lessons learned from my negative maid experience–I take ownership of my mistakes in the whole B debacle
What I love about Singapore that has nothing to do with my children–I had to really think about this as all my reflexive answers have to do with my kids.
Where are you from–I share a story about Ravi and wonder aloud how my 3rd culture kids are going to react to their home culture…or if they’ll even consider it their home culture
Stuff I wish I hadn’t brought to Singapore–Things that I’ve found around the house that have me wondering just what I was thinking when I brought them to Singapore
Elanor and the ACA–why health care matters–Elanor’s story (warning–possible triggers as it does graphically describe what happened to Ellie at a week of age, including how close she came to death, and includes a photo from intensive care)
When I was six–What life was like for me in small town MA as a kid in the 80’s
My misconceptions about Expat Life–Boy did I have it wrong on some things.
Ways that living in Singapore have changed me—the shallow edition
Wild Life Sydney Zoo at Darling Harbour–the highlight of our trip to Australia
My bank is trying to Punk Me-another absurd/hilarious tale of customer service hell