I took a long trip up and down Orchard Road today because cousin Clara the psychologist told me last night that I should. She told me to go alone, given that the Froofster distracts me with inspiration for rap lyrics. The irritants were on playdates and Don’s away, so alone wasn’t beyond the realm of contemplation.
Initially Clara’s words were to, “find a place in nature to just be, and to consider the notion of change from the perspective of plants and wildlife… the natural tendency towards growth and transition as time moves on, whether we choose to embrace the changes or not”.
I explained to Clara that places in nature such as the Botanical Gardens, as lovely as they are, ain’t no Hampstead Heath. Too hot by the time I get up and out, babeses. Macritchie also awesome, but also waaaayyy too hot, and it would take me at least 20 minutes to get there, which surpasses my usual 12 minute travel limit. Plus, as I told her, if we’re talking natural habitat, that’s Orchard Road for me. I know every nook and cranny – every side street, every shop, every bar, every restaurant, probably everybody, and every floor of every mall from Plaza Sing to the Palais Renaissance.
So she said, “Ok, Emma-Jane, take a walk down Orchard, if that’s your natural habitat. If you are leaving, it’s important that you begin to process the losses, whatever those might be. A good starting point is to reflect on what you are going to miss.”
Alora, this morning I started my day by reflectiating on what I might miss, and I made a mental list as I rollerbladed the length of Orchard Road – the sun streaming through my raspberry locks.
Here are the 20 things that I know already I will miss about Singapore:
1. Waking up in the morning to see an army of helpers cleaning the cars parked beneath my window. Such a reassuring sight.
2. Being asked if I have a passion card (worst chat-up line everrrrr – still don’t get it).
3. Amusingly and so coolly peppering my speech with lahs, cans and cannots. It’s so great being able to fit in with a little bit of lingo, and it’s v important to learn the local language as an expat.
4. Walking around looking awesomely hot at any hour of the day or night, and not being in fear of my life. I can walk from the bay to home at 3 AM dressed however I chose without the possibility of later being told by a cross-examining barrister that I was Asking For It.
5. My soft-top Maserati. It’s just not on to flaunt one’s wealth quite so openly in the UK unless one is a foreigner. A bit like that quaint tall poppy thing in Australia.
6. The help. I suppose we’ll have to get a couple of au pairs (but they refuse to wash cars, so we might need to get a driver too), or bite the bullet and shell out £80k per annum for the equivalent wrap-around assistance to which we are accustomed here.
7. Putting tons of clothes on to go inside rather than to go outside.
8. Constantly meeting bundles of like-minded Expaterati types – even if they ditch you when they know you’re off-ski. We’ll stay in touch though, right babeses?! Ya, see you in Bangkok, sweets, or London, or San Fran. Totes!! There’s no bye in goodbye anymore – it’s all just GOOD.
9. Being able to take selfies without feeling #awkz. Euro peeps just don’t get how awesome selfies are.
10. Cheap taxis with such friendly uncles.
11. Sweet Singaporeans who’ll apologise to you if you accidentally crash into them while crossing the road and simultaneously Whatsapping… as opposed to stabbing you, like they do in London.
12. Whatsapping whilst crossing roads (due to afore-mentioned risk of stabbage).
13. Languid evenings of cocktails and Veuve Click on roof terraces all year round.
14. Glamorous holidays sans long flights and jetlag with the irritants. Ok so Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines are all a bit of a blur to me now, but at least I can still name the countries and largely distinguish one hotel kids club from another. (There might’ve been another county, I forget.)
15. The tropical bird sounds at dawn and dusk. Think it’s just magpies in London now, with the occasional flock of parakeets south of the river, should one foolishly choose to venture in that direction. Not my scene, no matter how much I might miss Singaporean birdsong.
16. Geckos. Froo Froo will miss those more than I will, but I greatly prefer a gecko to its British counterpart, the slug.
17. The proximity and fabulous ease of Changi Airport. No further explanation required. Changi just rocks. We all know that.
18. Having a tan. All. The. Time. Hashtag sadface : (!!!!!
19. Countless amazebobs bars and restaurants within 10-20 minutes of anywhere on the island. In London it’s always, “See you in an hour…”
20. The expat wives’ social media groups. I’m probably going to have to start watching more TV again, or Dios help me, even get involved with the dramas of our extended families. Ugh. Just ugh. Kill me now.
So those are the 20 things I’ve come up with thus far thereinly. My fear is that there may be many more to compound my woes, should the nightmare of repatriation actually occur. I can only cling for now onto Voltaire’s conclusion that all is for the best in the best possible of worlds. I’m totes about that. Hashtag yeah baby. Everything will be alright.