Expat Agony Part One of Two

IMG_5005Forgive me, babeses, for I have sinned against blogging. It has been ten days since my last blog. I can only imagine the profound sense of vacancy and loss you have had to endure through my silence, and for that pain, I am truly sorry. When I tell you though, about the pains I have suffered over this time, and why I have been unable to share, I have no doubt that my torment will replace your own in your hearts and minds. I know how empathic you are.

In the past ten days I have experienced a series of increasingly difficult events, all of which have showered great boulders of loss upon my toned shoulders; loss which other, less toned shoulders might have found too desperately weighty to bear without breaking. Break, I have not, dear readers, nor intend I to do so therefore thusly. One would think that I had had more than my fair share of said shoulder boulders of late, but no. Cruel fate tests even the those who are as hot as I be.

And very hot I have managed to be this week, permanently adorned in my gigantic collection of Sea Folly bikinis and coordinating resort wear. I write to you now from the beautiful island of Langkawi, a paradise of radiant beaches and misty, lush forested hills. Thank goodness I had the foresight to choose this magical place again. I could not have made a better choice. Perhaps deep down in the wisdom of my psyche I knew that I would need a complete rest in the divine arms of the Four Seasons. (And the pesky macaques, but they’re the least of my trials.)

The first of my agonies was our goodbye party. Tanjong Beach Club for the day, then on to the rooftop at Potato Head. I decided to combine both events, so that I could wear an impressive multitude of outfits in the same 18-hour period, which is the hallmark of the genuinely stylish.

It was all just perfect, but by the end of the evening I was beginning to come to grips with the horrid truth that there will be no more days and nights like this. As each awesome Expaterati friend said goodbye and drifted away, I knew that I had to accept this was truly Goodbye. Every departure was more tragic than the last, and I really put my waterproof, bulletproof mascara to work.

By midnight I was down to my last few girlies, and had so fully accepted the sorry state of affairs that I realised I had no choice… I simply must come back in November for the fabulous ANZA Melbourne Cup 2015! It’ll be too sublimely exciting to miss, and I know that because I know who’s organising it, and lemme tell you: that chick knows how to throw a parté. So there on the rooftop, I got out my phone and booked the flights straight away, with the help of a lovely bar man who was able to see better than I could. It does get quite dark on that particular terrace at night.

The following day, there came the next searing loss. I had to say adieu to my beautiful purple soft-top Maserati. Hashtag mega sad face : (!!! I was feeling quite tired because after Potato Head, we remaining resilient few went to Brix for one last hurrah, to drink in the heady cocktail of great chunes, super-friendly Russian ladies, and desperate, horny men. Such an amazebobs time!! So very much amazebobs that I got home around 4AM. I think. I’m not totes sure because my Rolly disappeared from my wrist, and I was too exhausted and starving to fumble around the recesses of my LV clutch for the phone. I had a quick foie gras with wheat-free toast, and crashed out on the downstairs Louis Quatorze sofette.

The next thing I knew, my lips were being kissed in a most unusually licky way. It was different, but not unpleasant enough to shake me out of my slumber. Only when the licking became persistent and furry did I open my eyes to see Froo Froo’s gorgeous little face staring into my gorgeous face, and I noticed the quite disgustingly rank smell of her breathe. I dashed to the loo, thinking I might vom – albeit elegantly – but then didn’t. Instead, I splashed my face with water to immediately restore its youthful glow, and wiped off the traces of encrusted foie gras that had somehow made their way onto my personage.

I was heading to bed when I passed the 206 year-old grandfather clock in the east wing (one of Don’s many hideous family heirlooms), and saw that it was just before 9 o’clock. Argh!! It flooded back to me that the car was being collected at 10AM and I absolutely positively had to take her for one last spin down Orchard Road. I didn’t have time to change, but the leopard print mini dress from the night before looked damn fine, and totally gelled with the Beyoncé, Katy Perry, et al playlist I had planned for the excursion. I drive better when I’m a little hungover anyway and it’s even more #awesomefunness (I’d never drive drunk though, so don’t be all up in my face, haters, you get me?!).

I did the Last Drive with my approx 12 auditory disciples (they would be if they knew me, right?!), and as I was turning into Emerald Hill Road, Alicia Keys’ Girl On Fire came on. I don’t really know what happened, but all of a sudden the exhilaration turned to grief – knowing that these were the final moments I’d have with my beloved Mazzer. I pushed my foot down on the accelerator, swerving around the jutting pavements (sheesh, those traffic calming measures on EHR really make it difficult to drive fast!!), narrowly missing a lamppost, a silver Bentley, and a whole entire shophouse. As I careered onwards, I sang out, “Nobody knows that she’s a lonely girl, and it’s a lonely world, but she gon’ let it burn, baby, burn, baby”, at the top of my voice.

Then, through a glaze of tears, I saw my helper on the side of the road looking like she’d just discovered she was going to be deported, and I felt a dull thud against one of the front wheels. The help let out a blood-curdling scream, which alarmed me so much that I stopped the car.

“Froo Froo!!!”, she shrieked, “Nooooooo, Froo Froooooo!!”

Somewhat shaken, I opened the car door to exit, most unfortunately falling face-first onto the cobbles which is v much not my modus operandi. (I know how to get in and out of all variety of cars that matter – even in movement-restricting outfits – due to personal experience, but also thanks to an intense period of training I undertook in my late teens.) It was the shock of the situation that threw me. Quite literally. Again, I must have known that what had happened was a dreadfully dreadful thing. My intuition is incrediblé.

And so it was, dear readers, that my sweet Froo Froo left this world, and left me. She left me at this very difficult time, when I needed her the most in fact, and clearly there is only one person who bears responsibility: the helper.

As she, the help, was wailing, I crawled my way to the rear of the car, and there I saw what I already feared to be true. Horrifically, I scraped my fresh be-flip-flopped pedi on the ground to the point of ruination, but worse than that… my Froo Froo. It was unbearable. Excruciating. How could any loving omnipotent deity allow this to happen to me?! Take Don, take Clara, take me (yeah, no, maybe not me), take the irritants, take the help! But not little innocent Froo Froo!! She never did any harm to anyone.

It felt so wrong, and it still does now, days later, as I watch the ocean waves pound the shore and work on my pre-London tan. I almost wish that I hadn’t put myself through telling the tale because my chi is getting thrown back to that moment of The Thud.

Dios gracias, I have a three-hour treatment booked in. The buggy will be here any minute to take me to the spa. Hard times…

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How Shocking Is This?!

Well something dreadfully shocking has happened today. What a summer of shocks this is turning out to be!! Even more shocking than my Shocking Expat Unfoldments, Part One, Two, and Three, and they were pretty damn shocking.

I was in the midst of taking all the pricey stuff I was going to sell off the classifieds (now that I don’t need the cash, hurrah!!) when Flo messaged me, saying, “OMG, have you heard????”

Now Flo, much as I love her (despite our difficult conversation last week), is a major goss, so I assumed she was going to tell me about the latest Expaterati marital eff-up.

I responded: “Do you mean about that neighbour of mine who caught her husband in bed with another neighbour of mine? It’s an Emerald Hill Road expat epidemic of epic proportions argh!!”

Then she sent me a link. To this…

FAKE NEWS STORY

Isn’t that shockingly shocking, dear readers?! And her such an accomplished swimmer, too. Oh dearie dearie me.

I must fly as I’ve got a hair appointment. Chlorine is just so dreadful for my locks. That’s why we have salt water in our rooftop pool, but I suppose in a condo they can’t choose the chemical components of their pool water. Life is harsh and brutal like that sometimes, even on this hallowed glittering isle of never-ending sunshine.


Please note: This is a work of fiction and any resemblance to reality is entirely coincidental. See About Page for further disclaimer.

The One Where I Confront the Lowlife Ho

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Today was the day of my glorious confrontation with the fanny-face who stole my husband.

I had it all planned out to the last destructive detail. I would find her, loudly tell her that I know all the sordid deets in the company of anyone present at her condo pool, and then show her on my laptop how I was going to ruin her life. Given that the assembled crowd would no doubt support me, they would most certainly volunteer to restrain her as I pressed “Public” to make the Liz-shaming website go live, and then proclaimed her adultery on every expat wives’ FB group on the island. I would be sure to get plenty of photos of her well-deserved distress, and also some selfies of her and moi, with very different expressions on our faces. Mine gleeful and triumphant. Hers, not so much. Possibly some belfies too, though because of my background in criminal law, I would stop short at actual assault. Only if the opportunity presented itself.

Thanks to my friendship with the helpful gentleman concierge at Liz’s condo, he texted me to confirm that she was indeed where she would normally be at 11 o’clock on a Thursday morning, sunning her vile self by the pool. I arrived at precisely 11.13 and the lovely chap showed me to a parking spot, before pointing me in the direction of the pool. Hers is one of those resort-like condos, with several large pools feeding into each other, flowing to a dramatic waterfall at the farthest end, and culminating in a secluded spa pool.

I sauntered surreptitiously across the pool area dotted with sun beds, many of which were occupied by the General Expaterati. Having located my target, I walked slowly and calmly towards her. My distinctive flaming locks hidden under a black balaclava, I was like a panther in the wild, preparing to take down my unsuspecting prey. I was only halfway to her when I realised that perhaps a balaclava in Singapore was not the most discreet choice because, as I reached inside my bag for the laptop, a woman shouted, “OMG, she’s got a gun!!”

People screamed. Everyone – and I mean everyone – turned to look at me. Fearing for my own life in that moment, I decided to cut my losses, jettison the element of surprise and proceed, as best I could, according to plan.

“Argh! LOL!!,” I said, projecting my voice throughout the condo and taking off the ill thought-out balaclava, “No, it’s cool! It’s not a gun. Just a laptop. And it’s only me under here… Little ole me!…”

Some looked back at their phones and iPads, but others continued to stare (I did look hot).

“I’m just… ummmmm… I’m just surprising a friend… for her birthday. Who doesn’t love birthday surprises?!”, I went on for good measure, then held my index finger up to my lips, “So please, babeses… Shhhhhhhhhhhh! Don’t want to ruin the surprise now, do we?”

It was too late though. Liz had seen me and began gathering her things to leave. In true Terminator fashion, I sprinted towards her then, with inhuman speed and fluid robotic movements. With the buildings behind me, she had nowhere to go for sanctuary. She dropped her stuff and made a dash for the pool, diving in and swimming away. Sheesh that woman can swim! I didn’t know quite what to do. I had to confront her with the laptop about my person, but how could I risk getting my beloved MacBook Air wet?! I lost quite a bit of time obtaining a dry sack from the on-lookers (I may have said that I was with the FBI and I needed to commandeer a dry sack… I don’t recall), but once I had, I waded into the pool fully dressed, and doggie-paddled (swimming not my thing – plays havoc with the hairdo so have never bothered with it) after the adulterous abscondee.

For several minutes there ensued a water chase of Hollywood proportions. I had garnered some support among the crowd (ah yes, I remember now that I did say I was with the FBI), so they helped me by preventing her from getting out of the pool when she reached one end. She then swan on, back the other way, and I pursued her. It was shallower near the waterfall side so I could run, my arms a-flail and my complex brain wishing I had paid more attention to my mother when she went on about aqua aerobics. Liz got to the waterfall. In a vicious and calculated move, she dived through it to the spa pool beyond. She must’ve known that I wouldn’t forsake my hair! Damn her, that wily ho!!

So there we were. Her, stuck in a walled jacuzzi and me, facing her through the waterfall.

“Listen, EJ!”, she shouted above the tumbling water, “I know why you’re here. But I haven’t seen Don for weeks. He’s been away, hasn’t he? He’s not answering my mails. So whatever you want to say, let’s just get out of the pool, tell these people you’re not with the FBI, have a chat, and then we can both go home, ok?”

What now, now??? I didn’t believe her, but I was very worried about the spray from the waterfall onto my hair and quite exhausted from my amphibian exertions.

“Alright”, I said, “Alright then. But one foul move and I’ll… I’ll…”

I couldn’t think of what to threaten, so I gave her my most evil stare and doggie-paddled back to the sun beds.

Once there I announced to the crowd, “People. The Bureau thanks you for your cooperation today. You will be rewarded in heaven, if not before. I now need to ask that you go about your business, and pay no heed to further developments.”

Mostly, people did as I asked. I should think about working for the FBI for real. I’m obviously pretty good at it.

Liz started speaking.

“Honestly, I swear to you, it’s over. The last time I saw him was July 7th. And that’s when he freaked out on me. He said it was all getting too serious, too much… Not to me it wasn’t, it was just one of those things. Why would I want anything serious with someone else’s husband? I’ve already got that with my own. Sorry, but I’m just trying to be honest…”

“Oh”, I said, “You’ve already got that! So you take my husband and do all that grotesque swinging business, but you’ve already got it!!”

“Well yes, exactly! I’ve already got all the serious stuff, so for Don to start thinking what we had was serious… No no nooooo! I didn’t know what he was talking about at first. He told me he couldn’t ‘go there again’. He said he’d been in touch with an old friend who knows him better than anyone else and she had made him realise that he was just repeating the past… trying to get back what he’d had with her, but now he knows that’s not possible. He seemed really shaken up. Not his usual self. Then he left, and I haven’t heard from him since.”

As you can imagine, dear readers, I was #baffed. I couldn’t see why this cornered woman would lie to me so late in the game, but how could I believe anything that came out of her mouth? Super annoying because it really messed with my plans.

“EJ”, she continued, “I know you don’t trust me. And I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t trust me either. But I promise you I’m telling the truth. And it’s probably not my place to say this, but he really does love you. He must’ve realised, as our relationship got out of control for him, that what he has with you is far more important… More meaningful… And I guess he doesn’t want to lose that. Truly, what happened between Don and I – it wasn’t about you. Just another journey, you know? We all have our journeys. We can only go where they take us.”

I thought about opening the laptop and revealing my plans for her social demise that I’ve worked v hard on, but I felt so confused that I froze.

“If you tell Don that I have been here today, I will make your life a LIVING HELL“, I hissed, convincingly hiding my confusion and turning to go.

“Oh EJ”, she called out and I swung around to see that she was sneering at me, “There is one other possibility of course. I could be wrong that he loves you. Maybe it’s just that he’s met someone else.”

With that, I made my way back to the car park. Somewhat bedraggled, but still exceedingly glamorous.

 

 

 

 

Birthday shout-out to my P-Dubs Expaterati Girlie whose actual birthday it actually is!! See you at the Ed Festie 2016! I could do with some laughter right about now…

Woo Hooooo I’m Rolling In It!!!

I was up to my eyelashes this morning planning our last-minute goodbye party for this weekend, when the phone rang. It’s actually the pre-goodbye party because I want to have another one at the Tanjong Beach Club the weekend after, but this pre-goodbye goodbye is at our house beautiful abode. The packers arrive next Monday, so it’s the last opportunity for an awesome blow-out on our glamorous roof terrace. I’m not really feelin’ it right now – my chi is not so much in a partying space – but once I’ve ruined Liz’s life (scheduled for tomorrow) I should be hot to trot.

Anyhoo, so my phone rang and it was my father’s lawyer. Haven’t heard from her in a good long while. She gave me the best news everrrr actually. Apparently before my father went proppa loopy, he decided to leave the bulk of his sizeable assets to myself and my sister, while he is still alive. That was what he’d always said he wuzgunna do, but being such a wuzgunna guy, I didn’t think it would actually happen… So how AMAZEBOBS izzat?!! Woohoo, huh babeses!!! I can totes keep that Burberry tote!!

I’m in such a great mood now that I’m going shopping. Maybe a champagne lunch with my girlies later. Nothing much happening at home anyway. Don is being all weird and doing tons of “fun stuff” with the irritants. They’ve all gone to Legoland in Malaysia. He didn’t even take the help! Yesterday it was Universal Studios for the gazillionth time (god how I loathe that place). He’s also buying them gifts left right and centre. Some seriously high-ticket items! He got Milly these Tiffany ear-rings: 18k rose gold with diamonds. What now, now?? (And excuse me, but where’s my gift?!)

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He went equally OTT for Max and got him an iWatch, but not just that! He even bothered to choose him a strap. It’s insania! This level of attention to detail is completely unlike him when it comes to the children. Work, yes. Irritants, noooooooo. I can only assume that he has lost his mind. Liz must have finally sucked all the sanity out of him. Care muchly, do I?? No, not a whole wad muchly.

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The Hellish Hells of Relocation

I am desperately sorry for neglecting you, dear readers. It has been suuuuuuuch a busy time. I’ve had to do so many dull things related to the move, not least finishing the insurance inventory for the shipment. Counting clothes (and, on a separate not, what happened to the Counting Crows?) takes an increbibé long time! Apparently, I own 325 pairs of shorts, and for the sake of precision I wanted to sub-categorise each type of garment, so I didn’t just put “Shorts x 325”. No. I sub-categorised into Hot Pants, Elegant Shorts, Resort Wear Shorts, Boho Glamour Shorts, Long-Ish Shorts, Short-Ish Shorts (excluding hot pants), and Tiny Shorts (also at the exclusion of any of the afore-mentioned categories).

I did this with all my other clothes, accessories, and shoes too. I have hardly slept for days. And at the same time, I’ve had a whole ton of other stuff to do. I’ve needed to liaise with the dreaded relocation agency re booking into serviced accommodation next week; AND I’ve been finalising our last-minute Asia trips before we return to miserable weather. So next month we’re going to Langkawi – staying at the Four, of course – and then to a fabulous birthday party in Phuket. It’s for one of my Expaterati Girlies who I haven’t seen for yonks, and it promises to be quite fabulous, as she herself is beyond fabulous. It’s a shame that the irritants are coming (not to mention Don), but the help will have moved on by then. We lose her in a couple of weeks. There’s another thing that’s been v stressful: constantly speaking to her potential new employers and having to be all Nice. The first few times, I told them about my suspicions that she has some sort of online business which involves her wearing racy undergarments, but then I realised that was just causing me to have to speak to more annoying people, so I stopped.

Angel’s flight back home to Oz is all booked, thanks to moi. Why can’t a sixteen (almost seventeen!) year-old woman book her own flight? Since when did human beings take so long to grow up?? Ridic. I mean, I out-sourced it to my remote assistant in the Philippines, but that still involved sending an email.

I’ve also been doing some high-value shoppage, as a means of obtaining cash. Handbags and such. I acquired a divine one last week from the Burbster. The point of my endeavour is to buy things and then sell them on in order to build up my cash reserves, but the Burb one in particular, I’m not sure I can bear to part with… Perhaps I’ll keep it. Surely just one can’t hurt.

I’ve been Skyping with Mummy lately because I will need her help with the irritants if we are definitely returning to the UK. Yes, I’ve had to be the grown-up there and swallow my pride about her terrible treatment of me last Christmas. Honestly, how much can one person take?! Even a person as highly resourceful and resilient as me. At least Froo Froo dog is taking all this in her stride. She seems to be oblivious to what’s going on. She’s happier than she has ever been, in fact. How dreadfully sad that her life is about to be utterly changed without her having any control or say in the matter, but I suppose it’s a saving grace that she is blissfully unaware. Oh, to be a dog!

Speaking of dogs, before I get back to my busy tedium I will share with you that I have scheduled my confrontation with Liz for the end of this week. I can hardly contain my excitement. You will love it, dear readers, and I promise not to spare you any of the gruesome details.

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How could I part with this beauty, babeses??

Rest & Relaxation from Revenge & Relocation

The world was my oyster, not so long ago...

The world was my oyster, not so long ago…

Last night I went to find some respite from the incrediblé stresses of revenge and relocation. Some R & R from R & R, har-dee-har. Lots of my Expaterati girlies were there, except the ones who’ve abandoned ship for the summer. It was Ladies’ Night at the Oyster Bar, Collyer Quay, with an ocean of free-flowing bubbly. A word to the wise though: if you want to eat like a expat wife as well as drink like an expat wife, bring your own greens to this joint. It totes ticks the high-protein box, but for vegetables to compensate for the drink-age, I suggest you BYO. Or order rocket (for the love of god, make sure they put the dressing on the side!).

Super fun times were had by all, and everyone, particularly yours truly, looked serioso hot. It’s impressive that I can maintain such high levels of hotness, despite the trying circumstances under which I currently labour.

I had hoped Liz might be there so that I could put laxatives in her drink, but no such luck. Instead I decided to just have an awesome time, and not let bitter thoughts enter my beautiful complex brain.

As the hours wore on though, I was chatting to Flo, and I found myself thinking about what’s happening in my life. The fatigue of a long day must’ve loosened my tongue because I told her about Don’s affair and how shocked I was to discover the emails between him and Clara.

“I just can’t believe it, Flo!”, I sobbed, my emotions getting the better of me, “How could he do this to me? And with that woman? What’s she got that I haven’t??”

I expected Flo, as one of my closest expat BFFs, to offer some support. I was sorely mistaken.

“Don’t be so naive, Eeeej! Everyone’s at it!! Come on, even you! I do read your blog sometimes you know, and I recall a not entirely innocent thang you had going with Michelle’s husband last year… Then there’s Seth of course, with his ridiculous hair! What’s that about?? You’ve decided to go back to the same yoga class as him, I notice…”

“What?! Seth is just a friend. A very nice man who has very nice hair, I’ll have you know. The photo just doesn’t do it justice… Anyway… What do you mean, everyone’s at it?! No they aren’t!”

“Oh please! Look around!!”, she said, pointing at women in the assembled crowd, “See her over there? At it. And see her? At it. And then there’s her, of course. At it, but it’s pretty obvious from that outfit. And her. And her. And her.”

“No, Flo, no, Flo, NO! I don’t believe you.”

“Believe it, sweets. We have our own Facebook group. You won’t be able to find it because it’s secret, but I’ll add you if you want.”

WE?? You mean you too?!”

Flo seemed exasperated.

“EJ. How long have you been an expat for? Yet you act like you’re fresh off the boat! Of course me too. You’ve met him tons of times. My personal trainer. I got lucky there. Not gay and not married, so none of those annoying complications. A rare combination on these shores.”

There was a crashing sound from a distant table, glasses shattering. Young bankers, no doubt. So absorbed with swiping right on Tinder that they’ve lost all other hand-eye coordination.

I looked out towards the bay. Such an orderly view of exciting bright lights.

Revenge Phase Three: Don (Need your help with this…)

Since my twofold betrayal, I have come to realise that I have few truly trusted confidantes other than you, dear readers. Because you are so precious to me, and I value your opinions, I would like your input for Revenge Phase Three: Don.

I have therefore thusly come up with a list of possible ways in which to proceed. Do feel free to add your own ideas. I need a few more, but I’m so busy with all this revenge and relocation business that it’s hard to focus on anything properly. At least tonight I’m taking some time out to hang with my girlies. Oyster Bar Ladies’ Night, yeehaaaaaa!! Hope to see some of you there, babeses!

 

Revenge Phase Two: Liz

Babeses. With cases of marital betrayal, like the one in which I am currently embroiled, it is patently clear that the underlying cause is the Other Woman. Men, as we know, are simple creatures. Easily led. Easily hunted down, and captured by these determined sluts. They can’t help themselves. It’s as if one whiff of slut juice, and they’re hooked, like toothless crackheads desperately seeking out their next disgusting fix.

The fact with these women is that it is them are the problem. Women, as the fairer sex, are supposed to be better than this. Knowing that men are ultimately vulnerable beings – as they know particularly well in some countries where women conceal their overly-tempting attributes such as elbows – we women have a duty to protect men from their own stupidity. Yet these Other Women, so selfish and so foolish, forget their duties as females. In doing so, what they fail to realise is that the quicker their juices have ensnared the fool, all the more quickly will he find another pestilent goblet from whence to sup.

For the next part of my revenge campaign, I am focussing most intensely upon Liz. This is mainly her fault, after all, not Don’s. The attack will be two-pronged, as follows.

 

Online:
I have set up a site providing detailed information about her, including photos (all of which I took from social media, and her LinkedIn profile), and about her exploits with my husband. I am also using the photos from Don’s iCloud that I found in February, but I will do some blurring as I do not wish to taint any innocent eyes which may accidentally fall upon the site due to my excellent SEO skills. I have taken a teensy bit of artistic license with the written content, and used my amazebobs Photoshop skills to further enhance her awfulness.

The site is all ready to go. All I need to do, at a time of my choosing, is change the visibility settings from private to public, and watch the hits roll in.

I will initiate a hashtag on Twitter and Instagram (maybe Pinterest too), to further spread the word. Name suggestions for this hashtag are currently being considered, should you wish to contribute your ideas, dear readers, such as #pestilentfannyLiz, and so on. Please submit your contributions via the comments on this page. ThanQ.

In addition to this project, I will post the following message and a nice clear photo of Liz on all the expat wives’ FB groups in Singapore, instantly accessing many thousands of women – some of whom are in possession of great vitriole, in need of an object.

This woman, Elizabeth Genoir, is an adulteress. I know this because she is screwing my husband, and has very probably screwed yours too. Expat wives of Singapore, I urge you to do your worst.

I will include a link to the Liz-shaming site. Thereby thusly, I shall whip up an army of enraged piranhas who will chew her to pieces within a matter of hours.

 

At her abode:
I have had words with the concierge at her condo (cash may have changed hands, but I can neither confirm nor deny this). He has assured me that he feels my pain, is very much empathically aligned with my wronged position, and will do everything he can to make her home life as miserable as possible. Things will mysteriously begin going wrong for her, transforming her into a haggard shadow of her former self.

The helpful gentleman is also tracking her movements, so that he can let me know at what times I am most likely to find her. This is because part B of Phase Two is confronting her at the condo, during a moment when there are as many people around as possible to witness her disgrace. I’m thinking by the pool perhaps. I will then tell her about my upcoming online activities, in preparation for the launch.

 

So they were all business trips, huh Don?

So they were all business trips, huh Don?

 


 

So that’s Phase Two. Do tell me if my plans aren’t brutal enough. I do have rather a lot on my plate at the mo. As if taking revenge wasn’t sufficiently burdensome, I am also having to deal with the minutiae of the upcoming relocation. At least it’s forcing me to look through our stuff and sell anything of value. Max didn’t need such an expensive bike anyway, and I’ve said it was stolen though that’s impossibly unbelievable in Singapore. Don believed me, but only because he wan’t really listening – he’s even more preoccupied than ever right now.

My step-sister Angel is also preparing for departure, to go back to her mother in Australia. Chantelle appears to have sorted herself out, with the help of a bizarre-sounding cult, and accepted that my father doesn’t give a sh** about her and never did, even before the dementia kicked in. The irritants will miss Angel, but it doesn’t matter because children are so resilient and forgetful. I won’t’ miss the waif at all. She was so unforgivably rude to me at Max’s birthday party. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

No news from Clara yet as to the ruination of her beloved career. I’m in no hurry though. As I have previously said, revenge is a dish best served cold.

 

 

Revenge Phase One: Clara

Apart from all the bad stuff (of which I can’t even think of offhand right now, so it can’t be that bad), the Internet is by far the bestest thing to have happened to humanity everrrrrr. One of the things I totes <3 about it is how easy it is to find people. Isn’t it great? People put everything online! We just throw ourselves up there, which is a wonderful illustration of mankind’s generosity of spirit. What’s awesome as well is that, if someone has a really distinctive name, it’s even easier to find them, without needing to know anything about their life.

Take, for example, the name Chilly Mallone. That’s a very unusual name, right? Right, babeses. It’s the sort of name that one can remember, over the rolling waves of years. I have remembered that name.

One Friday evening in June, about 12 years ago, I hooked up with Clara for drinks after work. We met in the City because that was the most convenient for me and Clara knows how I feel about taking the tube for more than a few stops, especially in the summer when it’s sweltering down there (why can’t the tube be more like Singapore’s MRT? Can it be so very difficult to just scrap the whole thing and start again??), and quite extraordinarily odiferous. She arrived uncharacteristically late and flustered, so I was already on my third wine. Not sure what I was doing… These days I’d be ploughing through the Facebook newsfeed, but then… Who knows?! Sudoku maybe? Wtf did we do with our time back then??

She plonked a bundle of files onto the table just as I was lifting my glass, and therefore thusly a collision was caused wherein my drink toppled over, and wine poured hither and thither. In an effort to save her bundle from wetness, she clumsily grabbed the files, sending pages cascading onto the floor. She didn’t apologise for spilling my drink, nor did she thank me for helping her to pick up her stuff. Looking back, I should have seen her true nature then. The trouble is my own caring, positive qualities – always preferring to see the good in others. As I gave her what I had collected from the floor, I happened to see a page of case notes, with the header “Chilly Mallone, Age 7”.

“Golly”, I said, “What an unusual name! Is that one of your patients?”

“Emma-Jane, please just give me that. You know I don’t disclose information about my work”, came Clara’s reply. She has always been so very precious about Her Work.

“Yeah sure cool, chillax babe. I know you don’t. All’s I was saying is that Chilly Mallone is like a pretty funny name. But you must see some pretty funny kids, I guess, at that clinic. I don’t know why you never tell me anything. I might be able to help with some ideas. I’m awesome at keeping secrets.”

“Funny? Funny?! Is that what you think?! There is absolutely nothing funny about children with emotional and behavioural difficulties caused by horrendously traumatic experiences that you can’t even begin to imagine.”

I must’ve looked very hurt indeed by this insult to my powers of imagination because Clara softened, saying, “Look, it’s been a long, stressful week, and I’m sorry to have kept you waiting. There was a bit of an emergency. But I’m here now, so let’s just have a chat… talk about something other than work. How are your wedding plans coming along? Did you get the venue you wanted?”

I had managed to book the fabulous exclusive venue that very day, for 13 months’ time, and as she was clearly so interested, we spent the rest of the evening talking about my wedding, my dress, the eight bridesmaids’ dresses, the honeymoon, and of course, my hen night. Clara was agog. Which, with hindsight, was a bit strange. Why would she have spent hours listening to me when I was preparing to marry the man she had so recently given up? Bizarro. It’s completely confounding that anyone would dedicate that much time listening to another person – even a person as fascinating as me – with no gain whatsoever to themselves.

So last week, while I was getting over the terrible shock of Email Gate, that evening in the City came back to me, bringing with it the name Chilly Mallone. It resounded in my beautiful brain, over and over, as if my subconsciosity was trying to send me a message. Then I realised what it was telling me. I hopped online to Google Chilly, and voila, there he was. Very easy for someone as resourceful as me. I contacted him to present him with a proposal. Offering him a large sum of money (I have started selling my valuables and am doing rather well), I suggested that he make allegations about Clara and a number of “inappropriate acts” with him when he was her patient. Chilly was a little reluctant at first (a little chilly in fact, mega-LOLs), so I offered him a larger sum and that resolved his ambivalence in my favour.

Now it’s just a matter of time before Clara gets suspended pending investigation. Where kids are involved, the UK authorities are normally pretty swift, and a witch hunt against a child psychotherapist is a cause that captures the proles’ hearts and minds, no doubt, even one with Clara’s untainted reputation. Moreso, in fact!

So that’s done. Next to Liz. I spent most of the weekend pondering Phase Two. I think I am nearly there.

Medea. There's a chick who knew what to do about betrayal.

Medea. There’s a chick who knew what to do about betrayal.

Expat Divorces Suck Too

broken-heart002
Having decided what to do about Clara (deets to follow, but suffice it to say for now that I’m going to take away the one thing she cares about: her work), I feel much calmer. My chi is returning to a more balanced state.

Don got back yesterday evening, so I decided to have an early night, thereby thusly avoiding the necessity of seeing him. I slept deeply, for the first time since this hell emerged on Sunday.

Awaking clear-headed today, I set about finding myself some support. The wise women of the Real Singapore Expat Wives FB group pointed me in the direction of a network for trailing spouses going through this awful awfulness, and so this morning I attended a meeting offering practical and emotional guidance. OMG there are a lot of us!! The room was full. I thought it was just my torment concluding that expat marriages suck, but it turns out that I am spot on.

The facilitator was very nice. She’s a therapist – but not a patronising hypocritical Clara-type therapist, I hasten to add – who has been in Singapore for yonks. She went through a messy expat divorce herself, so she (unlike Clara!) really knows her onions.

“Welcome, ladies… and gentlemen. Good to see you again and I see some new faces. I’m sorry to see you in a way, because it means you’re embarking on what’s likely to be a difficult journey… But I’m also glad that you made it here today, that you’ve reached out. So I’ll do my best to share with you what I’ve learned from my own difficult journey, and we are all here to support one another.Part of what makes this so hard at the beginning, I think, is the shock, and the torturing self-questioning, “How did this happen? How did I get here?”… We are rarely objective about intimate relationships, including marriage, so if things unravel, there can be a deep sense of shock and denial.Even in a good enough marriage, there may be days when we look at other people’s relationships, seeing theirs as better, and ours as lacking something by comparison. But the breakdowns and adultery that have brought us all together today can happen to anyone. We can’t control the people we love. And the point is, in a loving adult relationship, we don’t want to. We certainly don’t want to have to feel that we need to.”

She said that there’s a mounting body of evidence* to show that expat life plays havoc with existing marital problems and also creates new ones because of the strains put on the relationship.

She talked about an article in the WSJ Expat blog, quoting it to say how some people approach the decision to move abroad when their marriage is facing problems: “To have a totally new experience in a totally different culture – maybe this will turn us around and change the situation.”

Then when it goes wrong, also from that article, “If you live abroad and your relationship breaks apart, you lose much more than just the partner. It’s everything – because you went that far for him.”

How truesome!! We all agreed with that, and my heart totes went out to the other women (and the two guys, but less so). I thought my life was a mess, but some of these women are going through even worse stuff. Husbands telling them to leave the country even though it’s their home; or preventing them from leaving and imposing that everything, including what happens with the kids, is going to be on his terms; or that they won’t support the wife despite her having been out of the job market for years raising the children, and not being able to get a work permit here. Argh, the list goes on and on.

My head was spinning by the end of the session. It was a welcome relief when the facilitator told us her own story of how she made it through her divorce. She mentioned a writer called Martha Beck, and read out a section from a piece on recovering from heartbreak. I’m not really there yet, I guess, because I’m still figuring it all out. Like I said, I know what to do about Clara, but next on my list is Liz, the woman who has stolen my husband. Then, of course, there’s Don himself. That’s the hardest part.

Plus at the same time, I have to get my head around what I want to do. And what I actually can do. Hmmmmmm. Maybe that’s the hardest part.

Resources For Expat Trailing Spouses Facing Marital Breakdown

Groups:

Counsellors and Psychotherapists:

Legal Advice: 

Recommended Reading: 

Kennedy Chamorro, A. 2013, Own Your Financial Freedom: Money, Women, Marriage and DivorceMarshall Cavendish International (Asia) Pte Ltd, Singapore.


* Yvonne McNulty, associate faculty member at SIM University in Singapore, (2015) “Till stress do us part: the causes and consequences of expatriate divorce”, Journal of Global Mobility, Vol. 3 Iss: 2, pp.106 – 136
Found at: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1108/JGM-06-2014-0023

From the abstract: “Findings demonstrate that expatriate marriages end in divorce for two main reasons: first, a core issue in the marriage that exists before going abroad (e.g. alcoholism, mental health problems) and which continues while abroad; and second, when one or both spouses is negatively influenced by an expatriate culture to such an extent that a form of “group think” results in polarizing behavior that is counter to how they might behave “back home” (e.g. infidelity, sexual misconduct). The consequences of divorce for expatriates are immense and include bankruptcy, destitution, homelessness, depression, psychophysiological illness, alienation from children, and suicide.”

A Dish Best Served Cold

I woke up this morning feeling somewhat the worse for wear. To be precise, I woke up first at 3AM on a sun lounger on the roof terrace, clutching a bottle of Click and feeling like death; but once I re-awoke in bed a few hours later, I was merely the worse for wear. I think it’s the haze. Environmental pollutants do tend to affect my highly sensitive internal ecosystem. Most probably because of my elevated empathy quotient.

The stress I have been under these past few days seems to be taking its toll. I haven’t even been able to have a pedi – you should see my poor neglected toenails. I am having to wear Chanel espadrilles every day (sometimes last season’s for the sake of variation which is downright humiliating), despite the searing heat, to hide the woeful mayhem that lies beneath.

Because I can’t wear flip flops, and it takes that much more time and effort to put on actual shoes, I was a bit too late to see Max and Mills off on the bus to summer camp today. I therefore thusly deemed it a foregone conclusion to stay in bed, though I did make it to the window, opening the lovely Peranakan shutters almost in time to wave them off. They wouldn’t have noticed anyway, but at least I know that I did all I could to be an excellent mother under the present arduous circumstances.

I felt so down at the mouth and frownful (argh, must pull myself sufficiently together to book a Botox sesh ASAP) that I had to cancel Eva. I just couldn’t handle being yelled at in that trans-pan-Atlantic-continental-European accent she has. Some people love that sort of thing (I’m aware of that from a Japanese film studies course I once did), but for me right now, not so much. Thank Dios she let me off with just a text, and didn’t phone me back to shout motivational quotes at me like, “Do zumzing today zat your future zelf vill zank you for!”

I closed the shutters and tried to go back to sleep, in the hope that I might dream of the lovely flaming crown I encountered yesterday at yoga. Instead, my wakeful tormented mind offered up thread upon thread of emails between Don and Clara (my cousin who he apparently almost married!! Wtf?!), and Don and Liz (the lowdown husband-stealing C word he’s apparently leaving me for), each one more disgusting and daemonic than the last.

Around midday I gave up on sleep perchance to dream, babeses, and went downstairs for a lemon water and a green smoothie. Whilst perfecting the latter with a shot of something or other (which is fine because all the good stuff far outweighs the bad stuff cancer-wise, and that’s totes scientificated because I read about it on the Internet and why would anyone lie on the Internet?), I had the help run a bath, liberally tossing in essential oils of lavender, bergamot and lemongrass. Sending her back to her quarters, I sank my hot self into the fragrant bath, working hard to ignore the hell of my toenails which emerged all too often into view, and drank the green smoothie.

The next thing I knew, my phone was making that Skype ringtone sound. So distinctive, that tone! Well done them for making it so darn unique!! These tech companies are truly awesome. Fumbling for the phone, I observed that I was now in bed, wearing some of my most prized Agent Provocateur. I clicked to accept the call, and realised that the departing image my consciousness was replacing with reality was of Seth; his afro gleaming and his smile beaming.

Seth

Seth

“Hullo?”, I said, as elegantly as I could muster.

“EJ hi, it’s me, Clara.”

Upon hearing her voice, I felt organic kale, spinach, strawberries, red dragon fruit, chia seeds and other stuff rising up from my stomach, as if I was about to spew forth the bile of my rage. I paused though, thinking about Eva’s annoying quote.

“Oh hi, Clara babes, how nice to hear from you. What’s up? To what, precisely, do I owe the pleasure??”

(If I can’t mince my words now, when, dear readers, can I?!)

“How are you, love?”, came the vile traitor’s reply. Little does she know that her head will soon be metaphorically speared on a spike at the Tower, as far as I’m concerned.

“I’m great, sweets. You know, just doing my thang. Hanging with my girlies, racing around Singas in my soft-top. Brunching. Lunching. Shopping. Working out. Looking hot. And I’ve written another amazebobs rap to follow on from the first one. Expat rap is seriously scaleable, I’m told.”

“That’s good, love, I’m glad you’re doing fine”, the traitorous C replied. (When did she start calling me “love”?? Oh right, just now, silly moi.)

On she went: “I’ve been thinking that it might be helpful for you to consider how things will be if you’re coming back to England. There’s a very good chance of that, right? So I’m wondering how you can start the transition process now, for your sake, but also for the kids. I loved your post on having a rehab for expats, and actually I think you might need a bit of a rehabilitative intervention when… I mean if… you do come back.”

“Yes lah, honey, you’re SO right. As you always are, izn’t it??”

Clara of course didn’t appreciate my fabulous Singlish, but you know what: F her.

“If you mean schools and stuff, lah, it’s all gravy”, I said.

“My remote assistant in the Philippines has sorted that sh** out. Asian Tigers and the company relo peeps will fix everything else, so it’ll just happen like clockwork. Oh but wait… Hmmmm… Maybe you’re talking about my emotional transition. Yeah, I bet that’s what you mean. You just luuuuuurv talking about that stuff!”

“Yes, Emma-Jane”, replied the C, “That is what I’m talking about. You seem to be quite settled in Singapore, and I feel anxious about your readjustment when, I mean if, you come home. So I want to help, if I can. It may be a difficult time for you and the children. But I’m here for you. I want you to know that.”

“Yes, hon, it probably will be a difficult time”, I humoured her further, “Which is why I’m sooooo happy to know that you’ve got my back. Where would I be without you, huh?! Look, sweets, I gotta go. Stuff to do, peeps to see…”

“Of course, love, I’ll let you go. I know things must be hard for you right now, but this too will pass. You’re a strong person. You’ll find a way through this, whatever happens.”

Yeah, hashtag whatevs to you too, cousin Clara. Always pretending to give a crap when, behind it all, you’ve betrayed me as much as Don has. More, perhaps.

So you can cry me a river, you sad effing nut job pathetic excuse for a cousin.

Since the call, I haven’t had time to start looking for a lawyer. I’ve been way too busy thinking about what to do to Clara.

IMG_4533

No more Mister Nice Guy

Expat Marriages Suck, Part Three

or Phoenix From The Flame

In my confusion, this evening I at least managed to drag myself to yoga, the class that Seth goes to. (I think it might fit in with my schedule after all.) Whilst doing the Warrior Pose, I started thinking about all the horror and my arms began to shake and sink towards the floor. But then I felt strength, like a bolt of lightening, rising up from my feet, up through my shapely legs, and hips, and into my arms, until my whole body was glowing from the inside out. Vikram looked briefly alarmed, and asked if I was ok. Seth noticed too, of course, giving me a tiny gentle nod.

When the rest of the class moved on to the next pose, I said to Vikram that I’d like to stay in Warrior a while longer. By this point, the glow had risen to my head as well, and there it was: I found my missing thinking cap. And it was no meagre, flimsy thing. It was a crown of shimmering flames, calcinating my pain into ashes of realisation.

I knew then that I have to find a lawyer. I will ask the wise ladies on the Real Singapore Expat Wives Facebook group, and the Flying Solo group. The problem is the money as it’s not easy for me to get large sums under the radar from our joint account, but my crown offered immediate reassurance, telling me to sell whatever I can. That dampened my mood a little. It’ll be horrendous to say goodbye to my handbags and watches. Needs must, though. Needs must.

I got home tonight and am having some Veuve Click on the roof terrace. I’m fighting off the desire to Whatsapp Clara, but fight, I must. Given her obvious nefarious intent and shameful betrayal of my trust, she would of course tell Don that I know. I can’t let that happen before I have a plan in place. I refuse to give her the satisfaction of being an accessory to my assassination.

 
 

You are my cloak against the elements, dear babeses

You are my cloak against the elements, dear babeses

Expat Marriages Suck, Part Two

Frida would totes feel my pain

Frida would totes feel my pain

Since the nightmarish revelations of the weekend, that my husband is planning to leave me and the children for another woman, and that he and my ex-trusted cousin were an item back in the day, I am finding it difficult to proceed as per usuo with my glamorous life. Despite my amazing resilience and general upbeat attitude, I am feeling profoundly at a loss.

I have had numerous offerings of support and advice from you, dear readers, for which I am eternally grateful. One common thread seems to be that I should take Don to the cleaners and, rest assured, once I’ve got my thinking cap properly installed, I will do precisely that. He won’t know what’s hit him. Said thinking cap though seems not to be currently in my hat cupboard, or if it is, it’s hidden behind a bunch of other stuff where I can’t find it (damn the help! Surely it’s her job, not mine, to keep my storage systems arranged in an orderly fashion).

At least while I am looking for it, I have the element of surprise firmly on my side. As long as Don doesn’t know that I know, I have the upper hand. He left for HK on business yesterday morning (oh really? Are all these trips really business??), so it’s not that difficult to keep my thoughts from him.

The harder part is not contacting Clara to ask her wtf she has been playing at all these years – pretending to be such a supportive, holier-than-thou cousin. And her a psychotherapist!! Ha! So much for all her spewings on transparency and trust in relationships. Bloody hypocrite.

I shall endeavour to keep you updated with events as they unfold. Thank goodness for you, babeses, and thank goodness for WordPress and all things blogging.

Expat Marriages Suck

As is my wont, I had a pretty fabulous weekend. On Friday night we went with our Expaterati gang, boyses and girlses, to Potato Head to catch some awesome reggae grooves on their roof terrace. Afterwards the more staminatic among us, moi included of course (but not Don and a few others), dashed to Zouk for further party-age.

Saturday, I had a lovely long chillax at home, followed by a massage and some detox reflexology. Then Eva kicked my butt into shape before my hair appointment, and later I hit the town again, starting at the Tippling Club for a gorgeous meal with my girlies. (Don had work to do, so he stayed at home.)

Yesterday we had a repeat of an average Sunday avo hanging with my Expaterati crew at the Tanjong Beach Club. I returned home early evening, tired but happy, to find Don staring into his laptop, his face lit up by the glow of the screen in the dark living room. He didn’t see me.

Just as I was heading to the kitchen to make a green smoothie with vodka, there was a blood-curdling scream from the top of the house, and I watched Don running upstairs in nothing short of panic. “Max”, I thought, “But Don’s on it.”

Meandering past Don’s laptop, I happened to see Clara’s name on the screen in the form of an email. You will be shocked, dear readers, by what else I saw. Using my quick wits, I forwarded the email thread to myself, deleting the forward from Don’s sent box (I think).

So here is said thread, if you can bear to read it. I’ve switched the screenshots round for clarity, starting with Don’s mail. Sorry the text is a bit small – you may need to click on the images to get the full horror of it.

Don email

And this was Clara’s reply…

Clara email

 


 

After such a divine weekend, as I’m sure you will sympathise, this was not at all the Sunday evening I had hoped for. I didn’t mention anything to Don. I don’t know what to do. And as for that beep Clara, my cousin and trusted confidante all these years… She introduced Don and I, but both failed to mention that he was sloppy seconds.

Oh, and Max is fine. Just a little charred. Not even first degree burns really, despite what they said at Mount Elizabeth Hospital.

 

Happiest day of my life?! #whatevs & it's not like I've let myself go since then! But see how I am repaid for my hotness...

Happiest day of my life?! #whatevs
& it’s not like I’ve let myself go since then! But see how I am repaid for my hotness…


 

Boring Well-Off Wifeys Who Do Charity Work

I don't need to be no Mother Teresa to justify my existence

I don’t need to be no Mother Teresa to justify my existence

Annoyingly, the landlord wants us out of our fabulous Emerald Hill Road shophouse by the end of July because apparently saying we’re not sure if we’re staying doesn’t cut it. What now, now?? Is chivalry and general politesse truly so dead? I mean, the guy must own half of the island so like, what’s the big deal…?

The implicationses of this are that we’ve been forced to accept viewings of the property. I abso hate having strangers – even Expaterati strangers – traipsing around my inner sanctum, delving into my most personal nooks and crannies, and checking out my vast collection of shoes and such. Can’t bear it. And some of them want to come before midday! Imagine!! It’s very stressful for me, as you will no doubt sympathise, dear readers, and it interferes quite intensely with my roof terrace relaxation and meditation.

I got the time of a visit wrong yesterday morning and was faced with an horrific rush to stash the Veuve empties behind the ornamental pool towel cupboard, pour the remainder of a glass into my fabulous bourganvillia bush (utterly wasteful and I loathe waste when so many people in this world have so little – even if my bush is the finest on the street), and shimmy into some elegant resort wear. I’ve only my sharp wits and perceptiveness to thank for my rapid response. Otherwise I can’t think how embarrassing it would’ve been for the potential tenants, particularly the wife, to stumble upon me in all my hotness.

Anyhoo, today we had another couple round and on this occasion, I knew exactly when they were due to arrive. I’m almost certain that the reason I got it wrong yesterday was because of those pesky relocation people not telling me. Don says it was my mistake, but he says that about so many things that it can’t possibly be truesome.

They seemed nice at first – loud American wife (loud in that lovely way that only Septics can truly carry off) and beige Belgian hus. They really liked the house and she asked me lots of questions about the neighbourhood and living in Singas. Little did she know how privileged she was to be picking the complex brains of an expert expat and celebrité blogger. Some people don’t know they’re born, honestly. As a kind soul though, I was happy to give her the benefit of my wisdom. I even gave her a cup of tea. Apparently they drink Earl Grey now, these Americans… Funny that, after all the hoo-ha they made about our tea.

Then she started to get all personal and up in my face! Gently at first, so I didn’t even notice. She said, “Soooo, Mrs Austen-Jones, God I love your name!! It’s so British! So cute!!! Kinda royal, and classic! But so loooong. Is it ok if I call you Emma?”

“Errr well it’s Emma-Jane really, so I’d prefer EJ… You know, like your OJ or your PBJ and stuff…”

“Sure Emma, sure. I hear you. EJ it is!”, she said, and I thought gosh I really love Americans.

“So Emma”, she continued, “You’ve been here for a few years now. What’ve you been up to? I mean, I know you’re a mom, which wonderful – I’m a mom too – and I understand from your husband that you used to be a lawyer. Me too! Funny, huh?? And I’m thinking about what I’m going to do with myself here if I’m not practicing, so I’d love to know how you’ve spent your time.”

“OMG, you’re a lawyer too! It’s like totes contagious among corporate expat spouses… law and accounting. Bizarro!! Ummmm, well what I’ve been mainly doing is taking some time out to explore, and you know, get to know the real me, who I am as an awesome person.”

[At that point, I did a moving rendition of the song, I’ve been to paradiiiiiiiise, but I’ve never been to meeeeee. It was a beautiful moment.]

The woman, Kelly, appeared alarmingly unmoved, and asked, “So what have you actually been doing?”

“Well, as a life-long yogi and dedicated meditator, that has taken much of my attention. Plus I go to the gym a lot, and I work out with my personal trainer. And I think it’s important to look one’s best in flip flops, so regular pedis are essential. Very time-consuming. And it’s totes vital as an expat wife to have a strong social network, so I meet up with my Expaterati girlies as much as poss… And I write a blog… Maybe as a newcomer you haven’t heard of it… You should check it out. Diary of an Expat Somebody. It’s all about sharing my glamorous life and the profound insights I have with the universe and beyond.”

“Oh, ok”, she said, and this is where it got nasty, “So you don’t have a job, you’re out all the time exercising or partying” –

I had to cut her off, “No babes, I’m at home sometimes, being a really great wife and mum or having me time so that I can become a better wife and mum.”

[This mom sh** has to stop. But it won’t!!! It’ll only get worse! It’s being adopted everywhere I look. Even the Aussies ffs. What would the Bard have thought about the systematic slaughter of our language?!]

“Sure, Emma, I get what you’re telling yourself, but we’re moving here from India, where I had the chance to be involved in some incredible charity initiatives. We really did some amazing work, so vital. Now ok, maybe here there’s less need, but I’m sure there are plenty of volunteering opportunities. Don’t you think you could’ve used your time here a little more… constructively?”

Enough was starting to become very much enough. This complete stranger was sitting in my kitchen, interrogating me about how I live my life! Rood. She didn’t even know what a generous, giving, hugely-empathic person I am. Hold my tongue, I no longer could.

“Well, Kelly, it’s really super-nice that you did all that helpy stuff. Super dooper nice, and you obviously find yourself to be a more important person because of it so it’s just marvellous that a few orphans or whatevs gave you the pleasure of being holier than thou. Now, what did you say your husband does for a living again? Oh yes, he’s a banker – yes, aren’t they all? So effectively, babes, as the wife of an evil capitalist, sustained by a system that exploits and robs the less fortunate, all you’ve been with your do-gooding is your husband’s conscience. It happens all over the world, spoilt rich wives consoling themselves with a supporting role, pretending that fannying about in soup kitchens will compensate for the social crimes to which they themselves are accessories!”

I was on a roll! Words were pouring out of my mouth in a stream so amazebobsly smooth and coherent that I even surprised myself!! I suspect I may be a gifted orator. And I seem to know a whole bunch of stuff I didn’t even know I knew! I’m a gorgeous mystery.

She tried to interrupt, but I was havin’ none of it.

“And an accessory is precisely what you are in this life – just another gaudy bauble – so don’t you forget that. Don’t go thinking that your tiny contribution to poor people has any more value that a tacky piece of costume jewellery. Your husband’s, and therefore thusly your, contribution to everything bad in the world faaaaaar outweighs the feeble attempts you’ve made to give back. It’s a drop in the ocean. All you’ve really been doing is making yourself feel good about YOU. And that, my girl, is a shameful and narcissistic thing to do.”

I paused, and then added, “So there!”, to further emphasise the power of my oration.

Kelly looked blank, and asked, “And what does your husband do exactly?”

“He’s a banker. Of course. But that’s on him. Unlike you, I am my own person. I don’t need to be his conscience. So that’s why I don’t do charity work. I’m no hypocrite. And anyway, actually I have done a bit of volunteering in my capacity of Events Chair with the Singapore International Women and Trailing Spouses Association. We raised a ton of cash for Ebola last year thanks to moi. But I did that as a favour to a friend who positively begged me for my skills, not because I needed to feel good about myself.”

The beige evil capitalist then entered the kitchen with the letting agent.

“I think we should go now, Stephane”, said Kelly, “This woman is insane. I could never live in a house where she has lived.”

Good. Now GET OUT, I thought.

Flying Long-Haul With Irritants, ie. Children

Picasso's Guernica aka What it's like to fly with children

Picasso’s Guernica aka what it’s like to fly with children

It’s that time of year again when a bunch of the Expaterati are pootling off, hitherly and thitherly, on glamorous holidays or paying the piper back home. For many of us fab folk, this brings up the inevitable question of whether perhaps the children are now old enough to fly unaccompanied, or even stay behind for the summer with the help. The latter creates its own ramificatory problemations (because the people at home want to see the kids and the kids want to see the people at home), but all options suddenly become viable when faced with the hideous reality of flying for ten+ hours with our irritants.

Under these potentially traumatic circumstances, we could be forgiven for looking back longingly at our younger, child-free days, when flying was basically an airborne bar/ cinema (though even then some of us complained about how exhausting long-haul flights were), after which we would arrive at our gorgeous destination, and do exactly whatever TF we pleased. No whining, no incessant chatter. Just lovely lovely niceness. Mmmmmmmmmm.

So as much as I am loathe, dear readers, to pull you from that reverie, I am afraid that I have a duty to tell you:

THOSE DAYS ARE OVAAAAH.

Soz.

(Unless they aren’t for you, in which case whatevs and all, because oh kids are so cool and great, and stuff.)

Having been quite harsh with my insistence upon reinforcing realitification (cousin Clara the psychologist says true friends discourage self-delusion in one another, and I consider my readers to be nothing less than true friends), I can at the very least hereby thusly provide you with my tried and tested expert advice on the best ways to approach these dreadful issues.

Option 1: Fly Separately

a) Unaccompanied minors are still able to fly, as they were in the Glory Days of expat history. I believe there are now more restrictions, but cannot advise further as I do not work for an airline (I’d be awesome at that though). So you just get a different flight and meet them somewhere at the other end, or send a driver to pick them up from the airport.

b) Have your spouse fly with them. This is an excellent route, provided your spouse has no qualms about it, and will not use it in future as a source of poisonous resentment. Before pursuing this approach, I strongly suggest that you read my post on expat marital bliss and how to achieve it.

c) Have your helper do it. This is way better than 1.b) as you will be able to travel with your spouse, thereby strengthening the marital bondage, free of irritants, and you will not have to endure the hell at all. I do not personally know the practical ins and outs of this. I am not an immigration service. They have a very clear websites and you should look at them yourself.

Option 2: Sit Separately

Kids in Econ, you in Business or preferably First because it’s further away and therefore so worth the extra moolah. Sitting separately can be achieved by:

a) Bringing the help. Again, it’s not my place to advise on this or any other legal matters. I’m so over all that law stuff.

b) As once happened to moi, an airline which shall remain unnamed took Don aside during check-in and offered him, but not his family, an up-grade. Do not dismiss this offer. After an hour in the air, no jobsworth steward will dispute switching seats between spouses for touch-tag childcare. If they do, I have it on good authority that a few notes changing hands will remedy the situation (but this is, I stress, entirely hearsay).

c) Bite the bullet, buy one seat in the highest class you can afford, and apply the parental turn-taking strategy as per above.

Option 3: Fly and Sit Together, argh!!!

This is the most horrific option, but for many, the most difficult to avoid. If you want to arrive at your destination with your sanity intact and without the burden of a criminal record, I will now give you – entirely free of charge – the means to do so. You’re welcome, babeses.

a) Phene… phen… something, I’m not sure what it’s called, but it’s an anti-allergy med that causes drowsiness in some children. I reiterate some because it can also have the opposite effect (as it does on Max and the Millster : ( hashtag bummer), and so must be tested in advance. Clara says we should never ever medicate our children to meet our own needs, nor to placate our anxieties or guilt as parents (and that American psychiatrists and drug companies are doing a number on young people today by over-prescribing bla bla yada yada… Clara should really chill out and have more fun, away from her job; she should totes become an expat and realise that there’s more to life than facing grim reality all the damn time). But Clara hasn’t been on a plane – five hours in, eight to go – with two wired irritants, and a hangover. So she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

b) As close as possible to the time of your flight (and overnights are best), take the kids to a crazy-making place like Universal Studios. Put them on every ride they’re tall enough to go on, regardless of protestation. Multiple times, if nec. Give them ice cream and highly-coloured frozen beverages. When they say they’re all funned out, keep sending them on the rides. Then go catch your flight. Once up in the air, feed them carbs and watch them fade. At most, it’ll be four nightmarish hours before you can switch to me time, for a few Veuve Clicks, and a couple movies that you’ve been meaning to see for ages.

c) The draining path of actually engaging with the irritants and “journeying with them”. Oh yawn. I got the text below from Doom and Gloom Expat Wifey’s blog (sheesh EVERY f***er has a blog these days!), and I can’t find the link right now, but it’s really not my job to promote other bloggers, right babeses??

So here are her recommendations. I can’t recall the name of her blog. Expat something-ish, I guess. Ok, I’ve sort of stolen it, but no one is going to enforce copyright law for blogs anyways. Ridic.

I have done many long-haul flights with our children from when they were tiny babies until now that they’re four and eight. Most of those flights, I’ve done alone because my husband is so busy with his work. I am definitely not an expert, but I’ve found things that worked for me, so I want to share them and hopefully hear from other people how they handle flying with kids. It’s hard, right? There’s no one single answer.

[Sheesh again, it’s so nauseating that she does that blogger thing of pretending to be all sweet and sharey, when actually she just wants to go viral with a popular topic, and get a publishing deal. Vom!!]

The easiest time to travel was the early months. My babies just slept and ate throughout flights, and I know it’s a bit scary for new parents, but honestly, while they’re infants, it’s fine. Hold them as much as they need, and feed them on take-off and landing if they’re awake. If they’re really upset and you feel ok about administering a painkiller, that might be the best thing to do because their ears could be hurting.

Once they can walk and are within the toddler bracket, it’s much tougher for parents. Take them for walks in the aisle and remember that, although some passengers might prefer not to be disturbed, many love young children and will welcome the opportunity of engagement that your toddler is seeking.

For the toddler years, the key to success is preparation and breaking the time down into manageable, repeatable sections, so that you feel in control. It’s about being fully aware of your own time-frame and the children’s routines, so that you can minimise their excitement of being in a different environment.

For kids that age, one important component is to bring with you a “Magic Bag of Fun”. I like to think of this as a little like a Christmas stocking, full of fun, interesting objects they haven’t seen before. Gradually offer items from this magic bag throughout the flight – interspersed with aisle walks – and eventually the toddler will shift from exploration to relaxation, and then to sleep.

Once your kids are around the age of three or four, they’ll begin to enjoy the flight experience of watching TV and see that as a treat, in addition to time on devices, should you choose to offer that.

From there on out, it’s plain sailing, or plain flying tee hee. As they get older, they are able to stay in their seats and entertain themselves. My kids are still young, but what I hear from parents of teenagers is that it’s not about the flight anymore (that part is easy), but what it represents, be it a happy or a sad departure. I can’t speak to that, personally.

That’s what’s worked for me. Happy flying, and above all, enjoy!!

So that’s her advice and it sounds pretty reasonable (albeit incrediblé dull), if there is truly no alternative to flying with your offspring. Based on my personal expertise, I would summatively conclude that parents encountering the troublesome trouble of travelling with their irritants employ any means necessary to ease their immense burden.

I hope that I have provided effective solutions, and in exchange for my outstanding assistance, it is surely no biggie to request your ongoing support with my campaign to get a second helper by clicking here. Come on, I gave you all that for nuthin!!

Jobs R Sexy & I Should Get One

I have, not for the first time of late, been considerating getting myself a job. I’m thinking of going into advertising, given my amazobobs inspirations and boundless creativity, plus the fact that I love love love Madmen. Awful the way women were treated back then, but awesome how much better everything is now (except the whole getting-paid-less-than-a-man-for-the-same-job thingie, argh can that really be truesome??).

Having reflected upon finding a job for a while, yesterday the idea solidified in my mind for two reasons. Firstly, I bought this incredible old skool Parker pen in hot pink (haven’t even seen a Parker for like two decades). People with jobs use pens, am I right?? So if I got some employment I could interchange all my Mont Blancs with said pink pen, to show how eclectic and interesting I am. Without a job, I’m not sure I’ll ever use the glorious Parker, and that would be a shameful waste of $20.

And B), I know quite a few hot Expaterati ladies who have jobs (like my v hot friend at ANZA and my super hot lawyer girlie), and getting one myself would make me all the hotter. Being a SAHM, even one who doesn’t SAH much, just isn’t sexy. Yes, I make it look like it is, but I’m an anomanomoly, as you are aware, dear readers.

Alora, with these points in mind, I went to a fabulous party for the launch of the Asia Content Marketing Association last night and had the best time everrrr. Met some super nice babes from across the industry, who were smart and funny and totes reinforced my conviction that jobs are sexy. Turns out these advertising folk are a blast! I was pretty much hired on the spot at least four times. Thankfully though, no one begged me to start straight away because I was going nowhere this morning!! It wasn’t so much the sixteen glasses of wine (and actually my memory can sometimes play tricks on me – think it was probably only three), as the current alignment of the planets. I needed a day to just be… To elevate my chi by watching season three of Orange is the New Black in the roof terrace pool. Can’t write anymore because I have to get back to said just being. Sorry, babeses!! I’m not a machine, you know.

LOVE IT!!

LOVE IT!!

How Much You Spend On Your Kid’s Birthday Equals How Much You Love Them. End Of.

I’ve been feeling quite Maxed out (LOLs, pun totes intended!) after the weekend, which is hencely why I couldn’t get around to writing until now. Yes, my little Max turned the big Zero Seven, and the birthday yacht party organised by moi (and two remote assistants in the Philippines) went down like a house on fire aboard the Titanic, amped up on Veuve Click and Spotify, without the tragic sinking business. As I said before, I knew I had to push the boat out to match Milly’s fabulous yee-haw at the casino in Sentosa last year. And push that boat out, I soooooo did! Go, me!!!

I hired a mahusiv glamorous yacht and invited a few of Max’s little friendses (well, only the ones whose parents I know like to parté), as well as all my Expaterati girlies and our general gang. The catering was a hush-hush high-end arrangement, by one of the awesomest restaurants in Sing (can’t say which because they don’t want to dilute their brand by doing private events, and only did mine as a personal favour because I’m so hot). I flew in a Taiwanese DJ to rock the dance floor and, at Max’s request, had a Transformer costume theme. Because I was doing the donkey work, it seemed only fair that I amend the theme a teensy bit to Bikini Transformer costumes. Lord knows I heart a bikini party!!

So the result, as anyone who was there will testify, was nothing short of

EPIC.

It got to 3AM, and all the kids had fallen asleep on their iPads (which just goes to show that children can exercise self-regulation with Minecraft, contrary to recent flawed findings), but us grown-ups, we were just getting started! I was in Katy Perry heaven, doing my shockingly impressive Transformer moves all over that floating dance floor. Oh yeah, bring da beat back!! It’s amazing how much a little bit of practice can do. I only spent between six and 20 hours last week watching Transformer YouTubes, and yet my physical embodiment was alarmingly on the money. It was like I actually was an actual Transformer, dancing my vehicular behind off on a yacht. I know, incrediblé, isn’t it? My talents do seem to be limitless, but you know that already, of course, dear readers. My gratitude for your appreciation is almost as boundless as my talents.

There were two sliiiiiiightly sticky moments that marred my enjoyment of Max’s party. One was when Angel, our teenage house guest (my step-sister), approached me while I was rolling out my hottest Optimus Prime grooves and said, “Um, EJ, your C-string bikini is getting pulled sideways by your Transformer truck bit, and part of your um, vajazzling is kind of hanging out and it’s… sort of… dangling…”

I was quite annoyed by her abrupt interruption of my dancing, but it occurred to me how hard it must be for her; just a young girl, thrown so recently into a new environment, away from her mother (who can’t cope, hencely me selflessly taking her in), and everything she’s familiar with.

Then I thought, naaaaaaaaw.

So I told her, “Babes, eat some food ffs so that your brain can function properly, grow tf actually up, and get some life experience before you start lecturing adults on how they look. Because yooooo, honey, do not have a cloooooooooo!”

And that made her go away.

The other irksome thing (not that the interactification with Angel was irksome – I just told it like it is, I proclaimed my truth) was Liz. I noticed that, yet again, she was sniffing around after Don. Whenever she went to the bar, there he was. Whenever she went to the loo, there he was. Whenever she went up on the romantic fore-deck, there he was. She was constantly seeking him out, like a plague of husband-devouring locusts. Vile-scented locusts, at that, as you will know if you have read all my posts.

As a practitioner of gratitude and a dedicated yogi, it was not impossible for me to rise above this woman’s persistent, assaultative, uninvited attentions towards my husband, but I did have to take time out from dancing to do some chanting in a private place. Thusly I will forever resent her for taking me away from my only son’s seventh birthday in order to cleanse myself of her disgusting heinous intent. This will no doubt surface in her own chi and, relying on the universe to sort her out, I gave myself up to continuing to have an amazebobs night. Haha, I bet she didn’t! She didn’t even come in costume. So un-classy!

Image credit: http://makinbacon.hubpages.com/hub/transformersmoviecharacters

Image credit: http://makinbacon.hubpages.com/hub/transformersmoviecharacters

Are Adults Really Grown Up?

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Annoyingly, yesterday I had a gazillion things to do, but couldn’t do them because of the irritants. It was their last day of school, so I had to go to their respective parties. Not really kosher to wriggle out on this occasion given the actual final finality if we’re leaving. Plus, I’d offered to bring a few kiddie canapé selections, and I had to give the teachers their gifts. That meant that a large part of the previous day was also eaten up by the same cause. Had to collect said canapés, before popping into Tiffany’s to pick up the engraved bracelets, times four including classroom assistants, argh spent a fortune, but had no choice given our financial stature. Anything else would’ve been frankly embarrassing.

Milly’s was in the morning, and I took the help with me so that she could ferry Mills home again. I was as least able to join my girlies for the tail-end of a champagne brunch.

Then Max’s was in the afternoon. Everything was coolio until the end when Max was saying bye to his friendses. The strangest thing happened. Some sort of out of body experience, I suspect. I was watching him chatting away to the other kids, hugging goodbye and being all sad and stuff, and suddenly it was as if I was whooshed up into the air, hovering over the half-eaten canapés, the piles of empty cake bowls, and the assembled group of little people. Instead of seeing Max and his cohorts, I saw myself as a six year-old girl, and the faces of my childhood buddies, just as they were when I last saw them, so many years ago.

Hovering over to the window, I looked out at the other side of the school and saw the older kids, the teenagers, also all saying goodbye. And again, there was me and my teenage gang. The word “goodbye” started to echo more and more loudly in my beautiful mysterious brain, until I thought, “OMG, EJ babes, you’re like totes losing it!! Keep it together, hot stuff!!!”

And with that, I de-hovered, landing elegantly on the cushions in the reading corner. I noticed that my face was wet with tears, so I made a dash for the loo to make sure my mascara was holding up. Once there, I looked at myself in the mirror (mascara all fine, phewee!) and the weirdness resumed. My face was as it was when I was six. I blinked a couple times, and suddenly the person staring back at me was me at sixteen. Then twenty-six, then six again, and then as I am now. I had the strangest thought: that I’m older, but only in years. I realised that essentially, I am the same as I’ve always been. I don’t feel much older than when I was six, or sixteen, or twenty-six. It’s only the world that tells me I am. Like that moment when people stop calling you Miss and start calling you Madam. (I decided to stay TF away from France for that v reason, incidentally. One year it was Madamoiselle, and the next, it was Madame. Of course that only happened recently as I look so awesome for my age, due to my excellent beauty and wellbeing regime, and my genius anti-ageing techniques.)

Sheesh, I thought to myself, what was in that Vietnamese food I had last night?! The mushrooms did seem a tad off-key…

Anyhoo so I managed to get a grip, partly because I am incredibly resilient, and partly thanks to the mini bottle of Veuve Click I happened to have about my person. I just love those tiny bottles – so dinky!!

I flounced merrily back to the classroom, delighted the teaching staff with their gifts, eventually dragged Max away from the crying morass, and sashayed to the car. With the top down on the Mazzer, I cranked up the Jessie J to let everyone on the CTE know that “it’s not about the price tag, just wanna make the world dance, it’s not about the ba-bling ba-bling”, etc. I <3 that song!!! It’s one of my personal anthems. 

Later I took some time to hang with my thoughts on the roof terrace. What happened at school brought to mind a conversation Seth and I had right before I stopped going to the same yoga classes as him. I guess maybe I forgot to mention that to you, dear readers. It wasn’t a big deal or anything. Just that I needed to change my schedule.

The last time he and I spoke, I was talking about our relocation and that it’s kinda sad and stuff. As always, he totes got where I was coming from. Not sure exactly how it came about (probly another one of these freaky out of body experiences! Argh!!), but I got a bit emo, and said, “The thing is, with this moving stuff and all… I don’t think I can do it. Not again. It’s too much, too hard. It’s too… grown-up! And I know I should be a grown-up, but I really don’t feel like I am. I’m supposed to help the children get through it. How can I do that if I’m still a child myself??”

Hearing the words that were coming out of my fabulous full lips, I felt kinda ridic for a sec, but Seth didn’t seem to think I was ridic. That was nice. It was right then that I realised I had to change my yoga schedule and not go to the same classes as him. Those times just weren’t working for me.

Then last night I headed to Club Street with my Expaterati ladeeees. Still in a reflective mood, I gazed around, taking in the scenes I may soon be leaving. It was the usual crowd: young puffed-up male bankers out-numbering a cluster of equally young female counterparts. There were also the FMAWG* (I’ve noticed lately that some aren’t fat, and some aren’t white, but they’re all middle-aged, which for men is 40-65 apparently) with their petite Asian girlies (though I’ve also noticed that they’re not all petite or Asian). Now I’ve always tended to think of these chappies as utter scum, but I had a flashback to my earlier out of body experiences, and the thought occurred to me that maybe there are good reasons why they do what they do. Maybe they feel like they’re still twenty-six, and in that case, it makes sense that they’d have a young girlie looking back at them; rather than the middle-aged woman who’s been looking at them for decades, reminding them like a mirror of their crows feet each time they see hers.

So with my amazebobs empathic capabilities, I found that I forgave all those FMAWG and daft old Donald Trump and silly mentalist Hugh Hefner. I realised the elegant logic behind their behaviour, and it has already had major repercussions on my chi. I have felt a new peace with the world since last night, and I see now that we are all only as old as we feel.

Of course, I’m not excusing these dudes’ shenanigans. I am merely saying that there are explanifications and that I have heretofore thusly figured them out with my powerful mind. I am sharing them with you, dear readers, for your edication and edification. You’re welcome.

“Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.”
George Orwell

Mir, als ich klein var

Mir, als ich klein var

* Fat Middle-Aged White Guys

 

Rehab For Expats To De-Pat

Ever one to be full of fabulous entrepreneurial ideas, I have been pondering one lately which I believe has great untapped potential. The thought came over me yesterday as I contemplated the resounding success of my post on the 20 thingses I will miss about Xījiãpō.

My complex, mysterious brain threw forth the idea that there should be rehab places for the Expaterati, to assist in the transformation from expat to normal person, via means of extreme re-immersion. (Clara says re-patting, like any major change, is “an opportunity for transformation”, and I suppose she could be right. Still sucks though.) The rehabs would have the geographical locations of small, dull villages in whichever country the expat is returning to. Being from the UK, I will use this as my example for illustratory purposification.

So the rehab would be in a village far away from London, to make it as difficult as possiblé for the ex-expat to access excitement, diversity and vibrancy during the therapeutic process. They would be installed in fairly average accommodation (fully staffed, of course – let’s not push people completely over the edge!), and required to undertake mundane, but purposeful activities throughout the day. These could include volunteering at the post office (which would be super useful because I don’t think the Royal Mail have paid staff anymore), working at the village shop, doing dog-walking for local residents, or other more specific employment related to individuals’ skill-sets.

If the ex-expat has children, there will be absolutely no school bus, and therefore thusly a significant proportion of waking hours will be dedicated to ferrying said children around and sitting in traffic. Car stereos will be locked to the most tedious local radio stations, and phones or other devices will not be permitted in vehicles.

There will also be a strict requirement for community participication, including, but not limited to, organising events such as church fêtes, disseminating information on woefully boring local issues, and providing foreign language tuition for village residents, in the event that any languages were picked up during expathood. Community involvement notwithstanding, the insular nature of the locals and their strong indecipherable accents will mean that at no point will the ex-expat feel a sense of belonging to the community, and will therefore thusly experience alienation, rejection, and an inability to build relationships with anyone in said community. It may sound harsh, but this would be a particularly important aspect of the treatment, adopting, as it does, the evidence-based technique known as swamping, wherein the patient is exposed to the very thing they dread. No pain no gain, babeses!

There will also be a series of mindfulness-based DBT courses, all of which must be completed in sequence before the ex-expat is assessed as ready to leave the rehab. These will focus on issues like:

  • Being a small and insignificant fish in a large rancid pond
  • Surviving without a tan, or even a healthy glow
  • Not constantly referring to the awesome places where one has lived, and how much better they are
  • Concealing one’s light behind a bushel (in my case, the bushel is going to have to be mahusiv)
  • Getting used to the drudgery of long days, particularly if re-patting from Singas, where the days dash by
  • Only meeting new people occasionally, and accepting that they might not realise how profoundly fascinating you are

Depending on the specific presentification of the patient, there may be restrictions on behaviour or permissible activities. For example, it may be necessary to disallow alcohol consumption, the smoking of cigars, dining out, or the playing of social sports. Any activity which sustained or brought meaning/ structure/ pleasure to the ex-expats life whilst abroad will need to be eliminated for the duration of rehabilititation.

The final essential component is group and individual therapy. Clara always says that Drama and Movement Therapy is the best way to “bypass the ego and explore the deeper unconscious aspects of the self and the soul”, so that’s a must for inclusion in the treatment. Individual therapy with highly trained analysts – preferably Jungian – would need to happen up to five times a week, depending on how expatty the ex-expat is. The most expatty patients will be assigned therapists of the very highest calibre, who will take absolutely none of their sh**. Because a huge pile of that, there will inevitably be.

So I am hereby sharing my brilliant idea with the world, and I think you’ll find that it will soon be a huge success on Kickstarter. Investors, feel free to get in touch, though I will need to retain 51%. I am wondering about the name now… Perhaps The Hard Times Clinic. So heart Charlie Dickens. He should’ve kept his sentences shorter though.


Image credit: http://internationaltimes.it/

Image credit: http://internationaltimes.it/

Nearly four yrs since we lost you. If only you had gone to rehab, Ames babes. Then we’d still have lovely you. I was at a Four Seasons in Bali when I heard the news. Cried my heart out into that infinity pool.