Like I Never Left…

So fabulous being back in beautiful SG. It’s one of the few places where life just makes sense to me. Like Disney, and possibly Dubai.

I had a great first day by the hotel pool on Sunday – needed to get a tan before I could see anyone here or I’d have died of shameful pallor and pastiness. I still don’t get this Asian whitening thing. Then in the evening I decided to take a walk down Orchard Road to see what has changed in my absence. The most significant development is that there is now a salad and juice place in Tang’s, opposite Krispy Kreme. So now people can go for a doughnut, feel bad about their dietary choices, and have a quinoa bowl instead. Not being one to suffer the slings and arrows of personal guilt, I stuck with the doughnut. It’s fine because I was up at three this morning so I spent a couple hours at the gym. I thought that the six glasses of New Zealand’s finest would’ve been enough to make me sleep through the night, but jet lag is a capricious mistress.

I got to about 15k on the treadie when the lag did its wavey woaaaah thing, making me instantly unconscious, and next I knew, I was lying face down on the floor, following a minor collision with a cross trainer. I was so tired that I stayed there. What a lovely sleep I had! To anyone observing, it no doubt appeared that my unintentional fall was a deftly executed acrobatic transition between running and rest. As I slept I had a wonderful dream that I was back in my bedroom on Emerald Hill Road, after an awesome night out with my girlies; sleeping the morning away while the help packed the irritants off to school. When I heard, “Ma’am… Ma’am”, I thought sheesh, she still doesn’t know what day to send in Milly’s library book?!! How TF am I sposed to know??

Opening my eyes, I saw the hotel gym guy, looking all flustered.

“Ma’am, are you alive??”

“Thursday is library day, isn’t it?… Oh. Yes, I’m totes alive”, I said, “I was just napping. I always like a nap after a run.”

“But are you ok? I’m sorry, I don’t start til 6am, and I came in and saw you lying here, and I thought…”-

“It’s coolio, babester, I’m all good. I’ll do a few weights and abs and whatevs, and then I’ll shoot off.”

I didn’t really feel like any of that, but once I’d said it, what choice did I have, dear readers? None, that’s what. Hate having to do stuff just because my mouth says I’m going to, partic when I’m on holiday. Damn my integrity.

So after Tang’s, I thought I’d go for a roof terrace beverage. Happily ensconced at the Loof Bar on my own (girlies all on Valentine’s nights out apparently, these dull still married expat people), I was admiring the sky and thinking deep thoughts about active wear, when the very last person I wanted to see showed up: Mrs Doom and Gloom Expat Wifey. She was delighted to see me because she’s so awful at taking hints. I told her about me moving back to London and Don disappearing after his appalling behaviour, which she took as an invitation to recount her entire life since I saw her last June.

“You won’t believe this, EJ, but it turns out that my husband – soon to be ex-husband – is gay!! Can you believe that?..”

I totes could because I’d seen his sneaky airplane snogging, and as I’m a terrible liar, I looked away, pretending to have spotted a rare and fascinating bird hovering above Raffles Hotel.

“Unbelievable, right??! And you’ll never guess who he was having it off with…”

(His male PA perchance?)

“His PA! Who’s a guy!!”

(Right under your nose?)

“Right under my nose!! And guess who told me…”

(Uh maybe Flo, the most illustrious gossip on the island..?)

“Flo told me! What a good friend she is!! She said that everyone knew except me, and I didn’t believe her at first, but she was the only person brave enough and loyal enough to tell me the truth.”

“I’ve just got to go to the loo”, I said.

In the cubicle I practiced what I was going to say, with appropriate accompanying facial expressions, in order to indicate that I for one abso did not know, abso was v v taken aback (surprised face) and felt abso dreadful for what she had been through. Once I’d nailed it, I went back out.

“Well, babes, I for one abso did not know”, ectsetara, etc, and I must have successfully conveyed a sense of concern because she went on with the deets of her drama.

She told me that she is so much happier, without her hus, and for the first time she’s starting to enjoy being an expat. She even thanked me for my brilliant advice on expat divorce, and for my beauty and wellbeing guide (seems she hasn’t read any of my posts about her, phew). As she was talking, I found myself beginning to… like her! What now, now?? No longer a wifey, she was apparently not full of doom about being an expat anymore. Or gloom! She said she has made some new friends through the divorce support group, she got herself a job, she’s been working out, and she has stopped feeling guilty about assigning more of the childcare to her helper and her husband. Go her!!

“Wow, hon, that’s just amazing!”, I said, without having to practice because I really meant it, “You’re like a glowing exemplary to expat divorcees everywhere!! I’m so freakin’ happy for you!”

“Oh”, she blushed, “You’re always so sweet, EJ… But that’s not all! The best part is that a publisher read my blog about my experiences of living in Singapore, and they want to publish it!! As a book! Isn’t that awesome?!”

I looked up to find the imaginary bird again, but all I could see was my imaginary self about to jump off the Swissôtel.

“Oh golly, I seem to really need the loo again!”, I said.

Staring into the bathroom mirror, I tried some meditation techniques, focussing on my breathe, feeling the rise and fall, and visualising the ocean washing gently against the shore, calmly ebbing in and out. Rise and fall… Ebb and flow… Then I thought, “That f***ing smug c***, getting her blog published! Well my hus may have had his little dalliances, but A) At least he’s not gay, and 2) He came back to me, and I get to move to Bishop’s Avenue!! So there! So what if she’s here in the sun, with a live-in, having fun times, while I’m getting rained on in London, making packed lunches and wondering why there’s no home cooking in my house. So very what exactly?? She had clearly taken advantage of my empathic nature, and pushed me over the edge. To think I’d reached the point of actually liking her!! What a B. These expats are so damn self-satisfied. (Except the ones who are my friends, of course.)

Returning to the table with my composure intact, I said, “You know what, I’m really suffering the lag, so I think I should probably go…”

“Are you sure? I’m with the ladies over there for an anti-Valentine’s. The divorce support posse. You’d like them. In fact, you probably know most of them.”

She pointed round to a dark spot near the bar, and there I saw a bunch of my girlies – the ones who’d said they were out with their husbands tonight.

“Oh, that would’ve been soooo nice, but really I should take off. I’ve got this gig on Wednesday, and I need to practice. Yeah, I was into blogging, but now I’m more about the public speaking. I just think it’s a way cooler medium for sharing my life*. Wow though! It’s been a-maaazing to catch up with you. Congrats on uh things and stuff. I’ll see you soon…”

“Yes, see you soon! We’re coming to your gig actually, so see ya then! Can’t wait!!”, said non-D or G expat non-wifey. She kissed me goodbye and I noticed that she had finally absorbed the correct protocol for expat lady air-kissing, which she was always so shit at.

 

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The Loof Bar

 

 

* Didn’t mean it, dear readers. I only said it because the other thing my mouth had queued was, “I knew all about your gay husband”.

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The Donster Returns

Can just about see the v hot pilot in there.

Can just about see the v hot pilot in there.

Am rather behind on filling you in about my glamorous life, so offer vast apologies. Have been instead putting archive posts on my Facebook page, but I know it’s not the same. Soz, babeses.

My big news is that I’m off to Singapore today to see my girlies, turn my fake tan into a real tan, and do a stand-up tour of Asia. (Well, just in Singas.) Yes, babeses over there, I’ll be making an exclusive appearance in my active wear for one night only, at the Comedy Club Asia on Wednesday 17th Feb! So pop along, why don’t you!!

The other big news is as follows…

Having been ejected so inelegantly from my mother’s hearth, I returned to my well-appointed Highgate home to face two surprising surprises.

The first came as we piled through the door – me rushing to turn off the alarm, and the irritants tearing through the house.

I let them dash around whilst I peruved a month’s worth of post, some of which had red ink in caps, telling me that I was in arrears with my council tax, my utilities, and my eyebrow and bikini service. So weird because, although I sacked my accountant a while back to cut down on outgoings, I’ve done an accountancy course myself and I totes don’t get how all the money my father gave me last year is gone now.

So anyway, that night when I got back from my mother’s, I had all this terrible post and I thought surely I must’ve had my identity and bank details stolen. Surely the money hasn’t just disappeared!!

Then there was a ring at the door. It was late and I was in bed, but I looked at the front door camera monitor. There was Don.

“EJ, it’s me. Are you awake?”

I went downstairs to open the door and before me stood my husband, tanned and glowing, post-Hawaii.

“Why are you here, Don?”, I mustered, looking stunning in my unicorn onesie.

“I’m here because I want to say sorry… for everything I’ve put you through. I got lost. I was pulled away. I’m sorry.”

I was baffed by his words, and thought I was probably dreaming, so I decided to just look like I knew what was happening. Seems to work with dreams.

He went on: “So I met up with Ed a few months back – you remember Ed – and things have really taken off with his business. He asked if I’d go in with him… Here, London. And I thought about the kids – and you of course – and realised I want that back. You’d like a house by the Heath, you always said so, right? Well, with this job we can get a great place and put all of this silliness behind us.”

This silliness, I thought!! My hus running off to Hawaii with my teenage half-sister is silliness??!

Reminding myself it was just a dream, I said, “Oh sure, ok Don, so even though you were swinging all over Singapore with a lady who dumped you and then met an unfortunate soggy end in her condo pool – argh, the tragedy of it – and even though you disappeared last August with Angel the day we were going to Langkawi, and even though I’ve had to move back to England all on my own, with only the help of a global relocation firm, you think you can waltz in here, saying forgive and forget, just so that I can have a house near the Heath??”

“Well, yeah… How about Bishop’s Avenue?”

Oooo, I thought. Fair play. We all have to make compromises from time to time, am I right, dear readers? We all have to be grown up about stuff – for the sake of the children, if nada mas. When you become a parent, that’s the deal. That’s what we signed up for.

So that’s another reason I’m off to Sing: with Don back, he can look after the irritants. It’s a perfect opportunity for him to repair his tattered, battered, shattered relationship with them. They’ll have a wonderful time.

Right, I can hear my name being called on the tannoy, so I’d better be off. See you soon, Singas!!