Thursday, January 24, 2013

The good, the bad, the sad (and often weird) things

1. It is so safe that it borders on ridiculous. I can go for a movie on my own at 9 pm and walk back home past midnight, about 15 minutes away and I'm no longer even aware of it. It lets me sleep with less worry and give the kid some breathing space when we are out instead of being ├╝ber clingy mum. (Good)

2. No one says 'that is / is not possible. Just 'can' or 'cannot'. Almost as if the heat has sapped the need for longer sentences or proper phrasing out of them. It's colloquial singlish we are adjusting our ears to. I find myself talking in this strange clipped tongue to taxi drivers / the cleaner/ security guards/ shop assistants. (Weird) And my son no longer sighs and says 'oh dear'. (Sad)

3. The MRT and bus system is super efficient and clean. All countries that have an underground train system please take lessons. It has plastic wipeable seats instead of the rat poo and vomit stained cloth seats that London had. No one eats or drinks on the tube - just plain sensible as an idea (and also the law I think). It's airconditioned. And you can make phone calls and use the internet all the way down there. (Good)

4. The medical system is still a bit of an unknown for me. As previous posts indicate we have made multiple trips to a & e, had an overnight hospital stay and had to see an orthopaedic doctor and a dermatologist in the 4 months since we got here. The tropical bugs and humid air have a whole host of new bugs that we are reacting to. And each time it's a couple of hundred dollars and more at the private doctors we visit. We have easier access to private doctors (i.e. no referral from a GP first) but they have no sense of time so the first appointment of 8am is given to 4 people and then 8.30 to another 4 and no one takes the allotted 7 minutes so at any given point of time there is over an hours delay. I have found this at every (4) doctors I have been to see. There is also a tendency to over medicate. It's making me appreciate the 'heal thyself (unless dying)' philosophy that the NHS has and that I cribbed about for so long. I haven't figured this out yet so I'm being generous in my marking (Average to bad)

5. The weather is still divine. In fact this is the winter season so there are frequent storms and leaping over grilled storm drain inside out condo is our favourite pastime. I'm used to the sun so have stopped saying stupid things like 'let's go outside, it's sunny at last'. I have lost my obsession with watching the weather on the news (sad). I'm never prepared for showers as I still haven't given in and bought an umbrella and the the only real pain is impossibility of getting a taxi when it does rain (very bad). Also all our shoes need a bit of regular TLC to avoid the mould (bad). And we have plenty of shoes we no longer wear as it is just too hot for closed shoes. I am officially a flip flop creature. (Very good)

Next 5 in a few days.


  1. Over-medication- yes, your rating is generous! We've stopped going to the GP for this reason. In fact if anyone has the sniffles, I could confidently prescribe the 5-6 different medicines you're bound to find yourselves with (and even colour-code them!), except you wouldn't be able to buy them OTC.

    I chuckled at the mention of winter season! (Sorry, couldn't help it!) This time last year, it seemed as though the year had skipped straight to May. It was unbelievably hot. Looks like you brought the weather fairy with you :-)

    I hope you're going to talk about the acronyms in the next 5!

    P.S: Your son says Oh dear?! How adorable!

  2. I am in Singapore after 5 years and am finding it so strange(it's different from when I was growing up)
    And it was -3F when I eft NH and am dying in the heat here. :)

    And as a reply to your previous post, we moved around so much and I think it's going to be impossible to move now. Child no 1 is starting high school this fall and I think after almost 12 years of every 2-3 year move, we are goingto buy a house in The village and stay out.

  3. formershoefiend1:22 PM

    Flip flop girl! remember those to die for boots you had custom made on King's road? are they languishing in the cupboard? sob sob.