New Parenting Happenings For a (Chinese) New Year

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It’s Chinese NY and – although I totes can’t relate because we’ve already had a new year, so it just feels wrong – I have made an effort to get into the spirit of things. I’ve been to China Town to get lanterns, bought oranges for the neighbours, and had my nails arted-up with gorgeous tiny goat figures on them.

For the holiday, we’re off to Penang tomorrow, to stay in a spa hotelee (with kids’ club!) and to buy some awesome paintings and whatevs. I spent most of yesterday trying to pack, but didn’t really get much done because I had to go to Pilates, and get a wax, and do the nail-art. And I had a lunch with Anastacia, and a dinner with my gay BFF and his amazebobs fun-tastic crowd.

Late last night when I got home, I heard a loud thud from Milly’s bedroom. I went up to see what all the kerfuffle was about, and there was Mills, looking quite distraught. She was wearing a bikini (which, might I add, I did not buy for her), and lying in a pile of clothes, magazines, and handbags, next to her full-length mirror.

“What happened, Mills??”, I asked, in the most motherly tone I could muster at that time of the evening on a tummy full of Chinese food and Sauv Blanc.

“I fell over, Mummy. I was thinking about what to bring on holiday, and looking in the mirror to see how I could look thinner. So I was all bending and stuff, and trying to get a thigh gap. And then I fell over. And I couldn’t even get a thigh gap!”

Argh, what now, now? What does my little tub of Mills want with a thigh gap? How does she even know what that is??

A strange feeling of intense disquietude came over me, and I realised that it was something I almost never feel. It was sadness. (Ugh, hate that!) Then came another astounding revelation: I felt sad because Milly felt sad! Now we all know that I am hugely empathetic, having done a six-month counselling course, but feeling sad because my daughter felt sad?! That’s a new one on me. She cries all the time, and generally it’s just irritating.

“But what do you want a thigh gap for, darling? You’re so beautiful as it is”, I said, shocked to find that I had a tears in my eyes, and that I truly, for the first time ever, saw that my little girl is beautiful.

[OMG, but this parenting mellarky gets emotional!! Why was I not warned about this?]

Mills pulled out one of the magazines, and, pointing at page after page of photos, said, “No, Mummy. I’m not beautiful. They are. And they have thigh gaps”.

Next on my roller coaster of emotions, a different feeling crept up, though I’m not sure what it was. (Must ask Cousin Clara.)

“Milly”, I told her, “These pictures aren’t real! You know about photoshopping, right, because you learn it at daycare, ya? These pictures might as well be cartoons! They’re just Frozen without the nice songs”.

I helped her into her pyjamas, dried her tears (mine too!), and tucked her up in bed.

“You’re real, and you’re lovely just as you are, and every day you get lovelier and lovelier. Now you have a good sleep, and some sweet dreams, and tomorrow you will feel better. It’ll all be ok.”

Then I did something I’ve never done – golly, what a day of firsts! – I sat with her in bed, stroking her hair, and I sang little songs until she fell asleep.

I probably haven’t mentioned it, but I do have an awesome singing voice.

I went down to our ensuite to get ready for bed, and yet again, a ton of products fell off the slippery shelves, crashing onto the floor. Why does that always happen to me?

When I got into bed, Don was awake – due to the slippery shelves – and asked if something was wrong.

“No babes, everything’s fine. Sorry about the noise. I’ll phone the landlord in the morning about the shelves. It’ll all be ok.”

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Expat Friendses & Not So Much Friendses

I got back to Singapore today, with two cases full of fabulous London fashion, hot off the racks. Ok so I was somewhat stung on import tax, but as long as I don’t tell Don, it basically didn’t happen. Am I right, Ladeez? Yes, I am right.

It was lovely to see Max, Mills, and Don after my week away, but even lovelier to wave them off to their respective daytime occupations, and then slink elegantly back to bed. Jet lag can be such a killer. It could take me days to return to a normal sleeping routine – possibly even weeks! I have only my lucky stars to thank that I felt sufficiently together to rise in time for a high tea with my Expaterati girlies.

What I did not expect about said tea was that both Liz and Michelle were there. But you betrayed us and got a job, Michelle ma belle, so what the hell are you doing at a high tea?! You don’t even drink Veuve Click anymore, babes, due to the whole being a “recovering” alcoholic thing (can’t last). Very bizarro.

I found myself sitting opposite Liz, with Michelle to my right, and gorgeous (actual friend) Flo to my left. Liz would not stop talking about how clever she is, trying to discuss some bit of whatevs she’d read in the NYT. Something to do with women being made to feel bad about their bodies, so that people can make money out of fixing the source of badness. What now, now? I wasn’t aware that we feel bad about our bodies. What’s to feel bad about, as long as you dedicate every waking hour to looking super hot until you draw your last breathe?? Mystery to me.

Liz, though, totes agreed with the story, and went on and on, quoting verbatio: “Show me a body part, I’ll show you someone who’s making money by telling women that theirs looks wrong and they need to fix it”. Could she not just send us all the link and be done with it, rather than bore everyone ridic?? God, she thinks she’s all that. She annoyed me so much that I got my iPhone 6 out of the beautiful McQueen Heroine tote I that bought last week, and, cupping the phone discreetly, I showed Flo the photos I have of Liz and her enormous snatch. Hilariously, bless her, Flo gasped and tried (failed) to raise her eyebrows, but kept right on listening to Liz’s NYT monologue, as if nothing had happened.

Next Michelle piped up, having apparently also read the article. (Don’t these people have LIVES??) She said that even though she’s in the business of pubic beautification, i.e. vajazzling, her work is “very much a celebration of femininity… a centuries-old adornment practice by women, for women”, yada yada yada. I switched off at that point because it occurred to me that I’m over-due for a Brazilian.

“So although I agree that the media and the increasing need to up the stakes, as it were, in the face of images that were only recently considered to be pornographic becoming mainstream… I still believe that there is a difference between internalised misogyny and a woman’s own desire to celebrate her body”, continued Michelle.

Having put an alert in my phone to schedule a wax, I started listening to that last bit and thought, “Oh yeah, sweets, well you’re so bloody knowledgeable about internalised misogyny and all that, but how much exacto do you know about your husband?!”

It’s all very well getting the full digital subscription to global news publications to make yourself look like a smarty-hottie-pants, but if you don’t even know what’s going on under your nose job, then HELLOOOO!!! Can I drop you a bone here?!

So that’s when it came to me. A stroke of pure honeyed genius. Manuka, babeses. Sweet, sweet Manuka.

As I thought about how profoundly irritating both Liz and Michelle are in the depthses of their beingses, I realised that I hold important news items about both of them. News that is not available via subscription. I know that Liz is a psycho husband-stalker with an acute case of vagenitical cunticulitis, because I have photographic evidence. And I know that Michelle’s husband Will is a serial player, because last year I experienced first-hand an attempt by him to assault my marital dignity.

So while the women were playing Who’s the Cleverest?, I came up with a divine win-win plan. I <3 win-wins. I decided to message Will asap with a polite request to tail Liz at times of my choosing, in order to find out wtf she’s up to. If she is sending these naked photos to Don, she may well be doing the same with other husbands, whose wives are probably less emotionally robust than me. I am all about the giving and the rescuing, so I cannot – nay will not – stand idly by while this woman attempts to wreak her nasty havoc on otherwise blissful expat marriages.

As part of my polite request, I’ll tell Will that, should he fail to comply, I can happily forward to Michelle screenshots of his flirtatious communications with me*. I might also inform her that I saw him last year with a petite Asian girlie, whom I realise now was most definitely not his half-sister.

Good plan, babeses and dear readers? Yes, lah. Amazebobs plan : )

I’d better go now because I only have a tiny slot of me time between the high tea and my evening date with a brand new BFF I met on the flight. You won’t believe what happened!! I can scarcely believe it myself. On the flight back from London, I was sitting next to a Russian chick. Yes, of course, I had spotted her from a mile off when we were both at the Terminal Two branch of Gucci, but the totes crazy thing is that we got chatting on the pihengi (that’s the phonetic pronunciation of airplane in Korean, spelt like this: 비행기, and you’d be wise to learn some Korean, babeses, don’t ask why, just trust me! They’re taking over the world, these Koreans!!), and…

I LOVE this Rrrrra-shon girlie!!!

Who’d have thought that I could fall in friend luv with someone so #bogan #newmoney #marriedtoabillionaire #yellowjeans #bling?!! I know, right??! But when we got talking, we just had so much in common! To the extent of spooky!!

Just like moi, she lives a glamorous life in Singapore, on the same iconic street as me (where has she been hiding?!), her kids are the same age as mine, her husband smokes Siglo VI Cohibas at the same cigar bar as Don, and we are both life-long dedicated yogis with an intense fondness for the tree pose. AND her d.o.b. is the first of April 1976, too! Unbelievable spookinesco.

So I’m meeting up with her in an hour to test out our unlikely friendship. Her name is Anastasia Jovakova. I think it’s a great testimony to my cultural objectivity that I am opening my friendship doors to a blingy Rrrrrra-shon. Don’t you agree? That’s what’s so awesome about expats: we totes connect with people who we might otherwise have seen as trash. Go, us! Viva La Expaterati!!!

 

* From last November. Pretty flirtatious, wouldn’t you say?…

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“Expat Wife Looking For Affair Singapore” & Other Awesome Search Terms

Because I am highly technified (I’d call myself a geek, but everyone’s doing that these daisies, right babesies?), I take great interest in search engine optimisation. As part of my knowledge optimisation in search engine optimisation, I like to keep track of the search terms that bring delightful new readers into my online life, and I am going to give you an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse at my current collection.

(For those unfamiliar with WordPress – other website platforms are available – the following images are screenshots of the statistics function in the app. So where it says “Search Engine Terms”, those are the little groups of words that people type into Google or whatevs when they’re looking for stuff on the webby.)

 

1. What do you think… Should he be worried??

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2. There are a LOT of people out there Googling “footsie”

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 3. Ummm, why??

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4. Love this one. Must be REAL wives!! Not fakee wives.

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5. Surely not!

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6. Likeee : )

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7. Google this, babeses… 

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8. Expat women are NEVER bitches, and expats are NEVER selfish (note: another footsie search!)

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9. So sweet! This is presumably something to do with Valentine’s Day. Wonder what he came up with.

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10. And here it is!! Was this from an affairy wife, or from someone seeking an affairy wife?

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I’d like to dedicate this post to my oldest girlie friendeee for her bday – not oldest in person years, but oldest in friend years – who lives in the state of VA. She is in a permanent state of VA: Very Awesomeness. Luv ya, babes mwa mwa. Xx

What To Do When…

…there are compromising images of another Expaterati “Lady” on your husband’s iCloud. (I wanted to put that as the whole post title, but it was just too long – argh! – and I couldn’t get hold of my friend who writes punchy innuendo-laden headlines for a nasty UK newspaper.)

As you will note from last week’s shocking revelation, I found some rather disgusting photos of Liz on Don’s iCloud. There is no point in addressing the matter with Don, because it is clearly an error, but given that I am not one to rest wanly on my laurels, I have taken prompt action. This may well happen to you also, and I therefore wanted to give you the benefit of my expert knowledge on the subject, gained by bitter experience.

1.I kept one well ok, maybe a few, of the pictures of Liz. You never know when you might need that filthy stuff.

2. I had a photo shoot, so that I could get some beautiful tasteful photos, to show the world what a real woman should look like. I had to do a bit of a blur job myself because, unlike Liz, I don’t want my flesh all over the internet. Have you seen the internet lately?! Stuff can really get around.

3. I have jetted off to London to plunder the Spring collections of Alex McQueen RIP, Vic Beckham, et al. Singapore shopping is way fab, but for British designers, I would advise that you go directly to the scene of the crime. After a lovely, irritant-free flight during which I drank champagne and watched Gone Girl again, twice, (that film just mystifies me!! One day I’ll understand it, if I watch it enough times), I got to Heathrow before dawn, and headed straight to Mayfair, to hook up with some of my London Queens*. They’d all come from their early gym sessions, and ditched work for the morning, just to have breakfast with little ole moi. Love yous, babeses, XOX!!

Then off to the shops we went, and I got a few amazebobs pieces. Nailed it, and it was only Day One. I rock at shopping, I really do.

 

What a real woman should look like, babeses

What a real woman should look like, babeses

 

 

* I TOTES love that song, London Queen!! It’s just me all over. I’ve bought some tix to see Charli XCX in Singers in April, and I haven’t released details yet, but I’ll be inviting one lucky reader to join me and my Expaterati girlies on an awesome night out. Yup!! Watch this space!!!

 

 

 

 

Expat Marital Bliss & How To Achieve It

Marriage

As I have previously mentioned, marriage among the Expaterati is a notoriously tricky business.

My explanation for this phenomenonamo is that most expat men are a bit crap, but Cousin Clara the psychologist thinks it’s because, “for the nomadic couple, a tremendous strain is exerted upon the marital bond”. We were Skyping in the course of my research for this post, and she said that, “throughout the upheavals and transitions, the joys and the losses, the only other adult who remains a constant is the spouse. So it is that one person who is consistently present to mirror back aspects of the other’s self, while both individuals’ identities go through intense periods of flux… not dissimilar to the challenging transitional phases experienced during adolescence. As such, the relationship – or the third presence in the couple, as I like to look at it – has to hold the difficult process of two separate personalities simultaneously undergoing extreme environmental and emotional changes”.

Now I have no idea what she was on about, but I also read a bizarre story by a ditched expat wifey, and that basically supports my theory. That said, Clara is supposedly the one with all the professional qualifications and experience, so I am willing to humour her (although we all know that my more direct beingness in the Expaterati trenches, backed up by my six-month counselling training, is way more valuable). So it remains a matter of conjecture, why exactly it’s harder to stay married as an expat than as a not-expat, but the fact is that is just effing is. Trust me.

I am therefore going to impart my expert knowledge on how to achieve expat marital bliss, by addressing seven key issues.

1. The spouse travelling a lot
For many corporate roles, frequent travel and spousal absence is a given. The best way to deal with this, in pursuance of marital bliss, is to see it as a great gift from heaven. When your hub is away, ladies, this is an ideal opportunity to be that young woman you once were at university, but now you have tons of cash to really get out there (which I did at uni anyway, but not everyone did, I am told). Your life is your own once more, especially if you don’t work and you have full-time help. You can knit, if you so choose, or you can go out dancing all day and night with your crew. Whatever you want!

2. If you have a job too
Should you find the time to have a job, you fall into a special category, in that I’m afraid you will be required to work triple-hard at expat marital bliss. You will, of course, have two helpers (lucky you!! I want a second helper so badly!!), but you will also need an executive assistant to book date nights, buy gifts for your husband, order your new season lingerie from Agent Provocateur, and so on. Unfortunately not all EAs in the workplace are amenable to taking on personal chores. I would therefore suggest that you get yourself on oDesk – other online freelance platforms are available – and hire a remote assistant located in the Philippines or India. They’re an absolute steal!

Once you’ve got that covered, you will have more time to address the other, more important issues, such as items 5 and 7 below.

3. The spouse being at home
Far worse than the hus being away is when he comes home. During these trying times, the wife needs to adapt to having another child in the house. Some husbands expect to eat dinner with their wives and families when they’re in town, so it is best to find endurance strategies, rather than wallow in resentment. Wallowing will only cost you more in Botox, and will irreparably damage your chi. So my advice is that when he is home, exploit your daytime freedom as much as you can, and, should you be called upon for wifely duties, use the following mantra:

This is only for today. He will be gone again soon. 

Additional chanting, meditation, yoga, and wine are also very helpful to counter the stresses of spousal presence.

4. Going on holiday
Holidays can be a highly anxiety-provoking time for the expat wife, and therefore constitute a major obstacle in achieving marital bliss. My counsel to you is, if at all possible, take the helper with you. Borrow someone else’s too. Take as many helpers as you can.

Unfortunately, Don believes that “family holidays are for the family”, so I’m a little screwed on that front. If you share my horrific predicament, I have three words for you: kids’ club, and babysitting. Go there, babeses. Find hotels with lots of kiddie services. Child-friendly cruises are also an excellent option. If you don’t, you will be overwhelmed with 24/7 irritant-duty, and thusly, the “third presence in the couple”, ie the relationship, will inevitably go down the scheister. Not only will you have an awful holiday, but you may well be metaphorically signing your Decree Absolute.

No helper and no kids’ club? Wave b’bye to your marriage right now, or don’t go on hol. Unless you have no kids, in which case, go you! Have a fantastic trip!!

5. Looking hot
To subsist – nay, thrive – as a member of the Expaterati, it is important to maintain a high standard of self-care (you can check out my complete guide to expat wife beauty and wellbeing here), and this has a dramatic impact on marital bliss. As a wifey, other expat husbands need to be looking at you and thinking, “DAMN, she’s hot!”. If nothing else, you owe that to your husband. You took the vows, baby! So you have to put your a** where your mouth was. Do everything in your power to look as hot as humanely permissible. If you can dream it, you can be it, Ladies!! (I know, I should be a life coach. I just don’t have time! There is way too much pressure these days on women to do it all!)

6. Intimacy and stuff like that
There is an abundance of threat to the sexual relationship of expat couples. Most men have not been vaccinated against yellow fever, and when they encounter – day in, day out – these predatory petite Asian girlies telling them how handsome they are, they really start to believe their own press. As a wifey, there is very little that we can do to change the behaviour of these women, but what we can do is keep our husbands grounded, and withhold sex when necessary. They’ll thank us in the long-run. So remind your hus that he is not all that and a bag of chips. Let him know that you’re there for him despite his rapid physical decline, except when you’re out having fun, or busy reading all the posts on the Real Singapore Expat Wives FB group.

7. Follow your own bliss
As men frequently tell each other, “Happy wife, happy life”. I have heard various interpretations of this phrase, but the one I choose to adopt is that, as wifeys, our main priority is to be happy. We have made the ultimate sacrifice in travelling a bajillion miles away from our friends, families, and often our careers (albeit to awesome places with awesome weather and cheap staff!!), so we thereby earn a free pass to focus on Number One.

So, Ladies, see this time as a beautiful lull between youth and the menopause (and beyond, if there is a beyond), when you can fully self-actualise. Have nail art mani-pedis whenever the urge takes you. Stay on top of the fashion news, and shop accordingly. Do some delightful charity work with the needy. Or get a job. Some of my Expaterati girlies have got themselves jobs recently, and I’m starting to wonder if I should get one myself. I could buy an awesome Hermés briefcase.


There you have it, dear readers: my ground-breaking study on how to achieve expat marital bliss. Follow this advice, and I guarantee that you too will remain a happy, fulfilled expat Mrs for many years to come.

No need to thank me, babeses, but be a love and click one of the share buttons below. All my share counts reset to zero when I upgraded my site, so I’m in need of some bliss myself on that front. I know, right?! Poor moi! First world problems are totes still problems.

Shocking Expat Unfoldments, Part Three

As loyal readers will know from the Shocking Unfoldments Part One and Part Two, a triumvirate (credit for that word to a gorgeous expat reader friend in India – thanks, babes!) of crappiness occurred last week. In order to keep my chi in balance, I have needed to deal with each horror in my own good time. Had I faced them all at once, I dread to think how gravely I could have neglected my punishing beauty and wellness regime. Of course, this degree of self-deception is not part of my modus operandi, but needs mustses.

Self-deception aside, Part Three really isn’t that bad because it can’t possibly be truesome. There must be a perfectly reasonable explanation for the naked pics of Liz on Don’s iCloud. Given our state of perpetual marital bliss, I am certain that an error has hereby occurred (like that other error where I didn’t win the blog competition – what tf were they thinking to not choose moi??).

So I will thusly share with you the next shocking unfoldment.

Having explained at length to the help how to delete items from Max’s iPad – specifically Breaking Bad and all the other vids that synced from Don’s iCloud – I decided to take matters into my own hands. I did this in the name of parenting excellence (and also to get some nice selfies of Max and I doing his iPad homework together, to demonstrate that I don’t outsource everything to the help).

Whilst being an excellent, homework-doing parent with Max, I happened to accidentally click on iPhotos, and there before my astounded eyes was… Liz and her enormous fanny!!! And not in the American sense of the word! What fresh merry hell is this, I thought! Literally, her whole huge snatch, just out there!!

Being the calm, open, liberal person that I am, I dropped the iPad, let out a gasp and a shriek upon seeing Liz so intimately depicted, and ran from the room, arms flailing elegantly. Max clicked back to Minecraft, happily enough.

Once the irritant had left for school, I got hold of his iPad again, and this time had a good shufti at the synced photos. Dear readers, my horrification was unprecedented. I saw far more of Liz’s snatch than any living being ought to see. Based on the photographic evidence, I am concerned for her health. She is obviously suffering from vagenitical cunticulitis, in a bad way.

Haha!! Mega-LOLs!!! It just makes me laugh now! What is particularly hilario about all of this is that these pornographic photos clearly reveal that Liz is a deluded husband-stalker with some major issues.

Anyhoo. What I did was delete the offending material, emailing one to myself of course, should I need it when I next see Liz. I decided there was no point in addressing the issue with Don. No need to upset the apple cart, am I right, dear readers? Yes, I am.

Then I had my fabulous glamour photo shoot, to give Don the pics as a Valentine’s gift next week. The photos are, though I am not one too blow my own horn, totes AMAZEBOBS. Much more tasteful than Liz’s grotesque effigies. Take that, Liz!!

I had better dash off now because I need to do my daily 10,000 steps, and I’ve only clocked up 3,872 so far today. Can’t fall behind the other girlies in the Fitbit stats! These expat women are just so competitive!! It’s ok though because I wanted to have a good long walk in my fabulous new shoes. They look super-comfortable, don’t they?

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Hot Sexy Pics, Anyone?!

I am interrupting my Shocking Expat Unfoldments three-part series to tell you about something v smart I’m doing for my marriage this week, which you should definitely do too. Given the state of perpetual marital bliss in which I find myself, I have been preparing a ground-breaking piece, entitled Expat Marital Bliss and How to Achieve It, and today I would like to give you one sneak-preview piece of advice.

Marriage among the Expaterati, as even a half-baked expat will know, is a tricky business. Certainly here in Singers, you don’t have to be here long to hear first-hand tales of marital woe. There are a number of fascinating explanations for this, and I am thinking of doing some investigatory journalism on the subject, and then making it into weekly serialised podcasts. Contact me to take part in an interview on the subject of “Expat Marriages Gone Bad”.

In the meantime, I will offer you one key explanation, as follows: the majority of men who are expats are really not up to scratch. Yes, ladies, that probably doesn’t include your delightful hus, but you will note that I have documented a scientificated study of the eight types of expat husband, and therein lies ample evidence of the point I am hereby unequivocally demonstrating.

Putting this issue aside, I want to return to what I am doing this week in pursuance of wifely amazingness. I have booked an exclusive Valentine’s photo shoot with a renowned photographer here in Xīnjiāpō who makes women super look hot. I will be presenting Don with these awesome photos as a gift on the 14th of Feb over a few glasses of Veuve Click, and hey presto, marital bliss achieved. Nailed it for another year! That, girlies, is how it’s done. You’re welcome.

 

If you're lucky you might be able to book her on a different date too (not helper's day off LOL)

If you’re lucky you might be able to book her on a different date too (not helper’s day off LOL)

 

Shocking Expat Unfoldments, Part Two

As you will be painfully aware from Part One of my shocking unfoldments last week, there remain a further two shocking unfoldments of which I must divulge myself.

The upshot of the first is that my teenage step-sister Angel will be moving in with us in the near future. How exactly that came about, I do not totes understand, but Don is all for it. Between him and Angel’s unhinged mother, I am officially outnumbered : (

And so to item two: the toilet brushes debacle. I was not alone in thinking that it was the helper who had taken all of my designer water closet ware and sold them via the Real Singapore Expat Wives Classified Facebook group – was I, Momma’s View? No, I was not.

The helper did seem to be behaving particularly shiftily when I raised the issue with her, but I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. I’ve been listening to the Serial podcasts, and I felt I could do well to adopt the journalist presenter’s argh-I-just-dunno attitude; if only as good practice in the event that I go into investigatory journalism. I would be fab at that, given my legal background, and there must be a ton of stuff happening among the Expaterati that I could delve to the bottom of.

So during my presumption of helper innocence, and my consequent investigations re other possible suspects, I made myself get up unusually early last Friday, in order to gently probe the pool guy. He comes twice a week, but I rarely see him as his visit coincides with the irritants getting ready for school, which is a stress that I prefer to avoid.

My strategy of subtle probing with Mo, said pool guy, was to force him to drink three cups of tea in rapid succession, and then suggest he use the guest lav (the one where the single, much cheaper temporary replacement brush is now stationed). What I intended to do next was to nonchalantly apologise for the un-stylish toilet brush that he would no doubt have clocked, and closely observe his unconscious reactions. A tick, perhaps. A sudden flinch. Indirect eye contact. A powerful desire to change the subject, or just general defensiveness.

As I stood in the kitchen, waiting for Mo to emerge from the loo, I happened to notice that Milly (four-year-old daughter, not thus far under suspicion) was running out the door to catch her bus, in possession of a brand new baby Burberry’s handbag.

“Wait, Mills! STOP!!“, I called after her, and dragged her back out of the bus, our helper in my wake.

“What precisely is that, and where on this earth did you get it from?!”, I demanded in, like, quite a low-key way.

Milly looked nervously at me, then at the helper, and then at me. And then at the helper. And then at me.

“Auntie got it for me”, she said, pointing at the help.

Ah ha, I thought so!! It was her all along! So much for presumed helper innocence. It was only 7.56 in the morning, and already I had cracked the case. Take that, Serial!! (There’s a second season, and it’s not solved yet?? What now, now?!)

“Off you go then, lovely Mills”, I said, giving my little girl a huge motherly hug (that I got a nice pic of to put on FB to show how amazebobs I am at this mothering thing).

“Have a gorgeous day! Super handbag by the way, babes!”, I added for good measure, as the bus door closed.

WELL. As you can imagine, dear readers, I had to have some very strong words with the helper that morning.

Taking everything I know about police interviews, I asked the helper to sit opposite me at the kitchen table, and proceeded to simultaneously embody both good cop and bad cop, as follows.

“So. Milly says you got her the Burberry bag. But that can’t possibly be true, because with my eagle eye, I noticed that it’s not a fakee, so there’s no way you could afford it on the pittance we pay you*”, I said as good cop, continuing, “and anyway, I know that you are a very honest woman. You will, of course, tell me the truth. I have some cake here for you that I will give you just as soon as this matter is resolved”.

“Ma’am”, she stammered, guiltily, “I’m sorry… I am not the one who gave the bag to Milly… I…” –

At this point, I cut her off because I needed to switch to bad cop. I stood up to my full towering 5’10 height and said, “Ok, you just tell me where she got it from then because from where I’m sitting… standing… this isn’t looking so great for you! All I have to do is call the MOM, book a cab to Changi, and you’re outa here, babes! You know that, right?!”

With irritating predictability, she started to cry. Yes, dear readers, with only a single round of good cop bad cop enacted dichotomy, she was putty in my hands. Ugh. I wish people would stop crying at me.

“Ma’am, I’m so sorry, I didn’t get the bag for Miss Milly. She said you gave her money to buy! I only went with her to Paragon.”

My expert knowledge of body-language told me that the help was speaking the truth, but I wasn’t going to let her off that easily.

“Well, where did she get the money from then?!”, I demanded, harshly, but fairly I think, under the circumstances.

“I think… I don’t know, but I think… Maybe she sometime uses the Internet..? Sometime maybe on her iPad Mini, maybe at friend’s house..?”

In my agile mind, the pieces began to fall into place. I could literally feel the network connections sparking inside my awesome brain (thanks to the two-year neuroscience MSc I audited), and I knew immediately what I had to do.

I went onto the classifieds page where I had seen my loo brushes for sale – when I was too distraught to notice details, which is because of the shut-down that transpires in the amygdala in the event of extreme anxiety – and there on the screen was the name of the vendor: Milly Austen-Jones. O.M.Geee.

It’s a few days later now, and I have yet to raise the issue with the Millster (she’s an exorcist head-spinning nightmare when she’s upset), but I had such a super nice weekend on Nikoi Island with my girlies that maybe I won’t bother. So what if I nearly had the helper jailed or deported? My chi is in a fantastic place today, and Milly is loving her bag. I have to say that she has impeccable taste, and her entrepreneurial spirit is commendable . She not only created a Facebook profile, at four years of age, but she got herself onto a group too! That’s my giiiiirl!!

Maybe she’s not so irritating after all.

Part three of my expat unfoldments is somewhat less palatable. But the nice thing about it is that it can’t possibly be truesome.

Photo credit: www.bergdorfgoodman.com

Photo credit: www.bergdorfgoodman.com

 

* Not that we do pay her a pittance. We pay her twice the going rate. I’m not having any staff of mine going round the island saying they’re inadequately waged!

Shocking Expat Unfoldments, Part One

Three profoundly disturbing things have occurred this week:

1. My father, now in a home for peeps with dementia, has got himself intimately involved with another inmate, and apparently the two of them believe they have been happily married since 1968.

2. The loo brushes. I now know who the culprit is, and it’s not pretty.

3. I found some rather unpleasant material in the photos on Max’s iPad, which is synced with Don’s iCloud. There must be some mistake, though, because Don and I are the perfect example of expat marital bliss.


Paradise, lah

Paradise, lah

It has all been too much, so I’ve had to take myself off on a retreat to Nikoi Island, to meditate and drink Veuve with my girlies. They have all gone to bed now (well, they went somewhere, anyway), so I am allowing myself to percolate these horrendous issues, little by little. I am writing to you from a white sand beach, about my troubles in paradise.
Continue reading

Is the Helper Selling my Designer Toilet Brushes Online?

Photo: http://www.shopdecor.com/designer/selab-design/wc-royale.html

Photo: http://www.shopdecor.com/designer/selab-design/wc-royale.html

A majorly odd thing has happened in our beautiful exclusive home this week: the luxury toilet brushes that I ordered from Italy have disappeared.

I noticed our en-suite looked different on Monday morning, while I was lying in the bath, contemplating the lovely day I had ahead of me at Flo’s Australia Day lunch. Well, I didn’t exactly notice. I saw a space next to the loo, felt weird, and thought, “Hmmmmm, that’s not a very nice space… It’s like… just an empty space… with nothing going on there.”

That thought made my mood plummet like you wouldn’t believe, dear readers. Emptiness is all good and cool when I’m meditating, but otherwise, I don’t like it. I’m not having it, I tell you.

So I got out of the bath and tweeted about this strange empty space to Kim Kardy, Chris Lilley, Mindy Kaling, and a few others. Within seconds, my tweet had been favourited multiple times, and I’d had a ton of reassuring replies. That made me feel much better, and off I went to the salon for a blowout, totes forgetting the dreadful void.

After the amazebobs party with an awesome group of Expaterati girlies, I got home and, super silently but gracefully (Don was asleep), I went for a shower. Despite my super silent creeping aroundness, a bunch of stuff fell off the bathroom shelf (how, I do not know; that keeps happening to me late at night), making a bit of a crashing noise on the marble floor. Don burst through the door, asking me very rudely what the hell was going on, adding, “You do know it’s one o’clock in the morning, don’t you?? And you do know I have a flight to catch at five?!”

Such an effing drama queen.

I told him it’s way not my fault that we have such slippery shelving. That’s the landlord’s responsibility, not mine.

Don then proceeded to relieve himself in my presence – quite unsuitable, I feel, even after 12 years of marital bliss. When he was finished, instead of apologising for making a scene and having a pee right there in front of me, he pointed at the floor next to the loo and grunted, “Didn’t there used to be something there, in that empty space?”

“Whatevs, babes, go back to bed. How am I supposed to know?!”

Just by pointing it out, he single-handedly destroyed my chi and ruined my entire fabulous day that I had worked so hard to have. Ugh, marriage is such a difficult thing. Alain de Botton was absolutely right with all that guff he wrote about how marriage is basically promising to disappoint each other. “Big time”, I’d have added, had I been his editor. (Which I could’ve been, but I think he didn’t return my calls because he realised I’m so hot that I’d be a threat to his own marriage, should we work closely together.)

The empty space issue stressed me out so much that since then I’ve been making a gargantuan effort to ignore it, with the help of chanting, sexily doing the frog pose (yoga, babeses, if there’s anyone left in the world who doesn’t partake), and intensely studying every post on the Real Singapore Expat Wives’ Facebook group, as well as their fab Classifieds off-shoot. None of that helped : (. It made it worse, in fact, because today, on the Classifieds I saw…

My goddamn loo brushes!!!!!!!

All six of them!! You can imagine how distressed I felt at that point, as I ran screaming from bathroom to bathroom to bathroom to bathroom to bathroom to bathroom. I felt for sure I was losing it! How could this be?? All six!!

I immediately rang cousin Clara the psychologist (it must’ve been 4 AM in the UK, but she gets up early), and she calmed me down. She told me to try to put it in perspective, that they’re “only things”, and why didn’t I go for a really time-consuming nail art manicure, or something else that would get me out of the house and stop me looking at my phone.

Most of what she said made zero sense, but the manicure idea was a great one (which I could’ve come up with if I’d spent a gazillion years and a bajillion £s training to be a therapist). So I did that, and it totes mega helped!

Then I met up with my one friend who isn’t on Facebook – so bizarre – and I haven’t told her yet about the awful events because I don’t want to raise the spectre into the now. I’m typing this while I’m with her, but she doesn’t mind. She just chats away, bless her.

I’ll get to the bottom of this nightmare though, if it’s the last thing I ever do. I’ve texted the helper to tell her to buy a substitute brush in the meantime. Just the one, mind you. No point wasting money on non-designer household items.

(It couldn’t be the helper who’s behind all of this, could it?…)

Three Things I <3 About the City of Singapore

Hi Gorgeouses! Expat EJ here, comin’ atcha from sunny Singapore!!

For the Accor Hotels competition, I’m going to tell you my three favourite things about this city. My complete list has 143 things, but I’ll save the rest for when the Singapore Tourism Board contacts me. (STB babeses!! Why haven’t you called me yet?!)

I. Yī, Satu, One!

Even though it’s actually kinda located in Asia, Singapore is the perfect balance of a whole lotta East and a whole lotta West. There’s also a touch of other-worldiness in the mix… That’s why, atmospherically, it’s so good for my chi, and I totes love that about the place. You will too. In the unlikely event that you don’t believe me, here’s photographic evidence:

Singapore River Hong Bao 2014 Photo credit: Tatyana Kildisheva

Singapore River Hong Bao 2014
Awesome photo: Tatyana Kildisheva

 

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Chinatown Photo credit: Tatyana Kildisheva

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Chinatown
Awesome photo: Tatyana Kildisheva

 

Shophouses in Chinatown Photo credit: Tatyana Kildisheva

Shophouses in Chinatown
Awesome photo: Tatyana Kildisheva

 

Merlion Photo credit: Tatyana Kildisheva

Merlion
Awesome photo: Tatyana Kildisheva

 

Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay Photo credit: Tatyana Kildisheva

Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay
Awesome photo: Tatyana Kildisheva

 

II. Èr, Dua, Two!!

Number two on my love list of favourite things is the diversity, and I’m going to illustrate this point through the medium of stuff you can ingest.

You can breakfast on Orchard Road at Sacha & Sons, down a dosa in Little India for your elevenses, chomp chili crab at a hawker centre for lunch, take in the amazebobs views from Sky on 57 at Marina Bay Sands for an aperitif, and then go all out glorious at the Tippling Club for dinner.

In between the eats and drinks, you can check out the gazillion galleries, bust an ethnic chill in Haji Lane or Tiong Bahru, get your hike on at Macritchie Reservoir, catch some rays at the beach, shop your socks off pretty much anywhere, chat with lovely Singaporeans… OMG, the list is endless. If you still have time left after all that, drop by my place on the iconic Emerald Hill Road, and me and my Expaterati crew will take you for a city tour in my open top Maserati*.

 

III. Sān, Tiga, Three!!!

Lastly but no ways leastest, I <3 that it’s Singapore’s 50th birthday this year, so now is an awesome time to be here. The whole year is one mahusiv birthday party! Place years are like reverse dog years, which means that 50 is the equivalent of a gorgeous 22-year-old uber hawtie in dude years. 

That’s Singapore, babeses! The hot Lion City. Come get yourself a piece of the roooooooar!!

 
EJ x

Moi, babeses!

Moi, babeses!

 

*Terms and conditions apply. Contact me for deets.

Reasons for Being an Expat

So yer thinking

My booty’s so RETRO

Making the decision to become an expat was eezy breezy for me because I always knew that when I grew up I wanted to be an expat wife.

I have heard, though, that for many people considering joining the Expaterati, the decision can be a challenging one. Because I am all about giving generously and paying it forward and stuff, I wanted to share my expertise in this area, for anyone currently wrestling with the matter.

So here is a complete in-depth exploration of the awesome and non-awesome reasons for being an expat.

To save your marriage
As long as you go to a place where childcare and other staff are subsidised by your employer or just crazy cheap, you will find that you have a great deal of time to work on your marriage. This can take the form of spending more time together (to do unmentionable things like swinging or ballroom dancing), or less time together in order to simultaneously enhance your inherent mutual hotness via engagement with new activities. Either way, leaving your friends, family, and everyone who knows you can have a hugely beneficial impact on healing a flailing marriage, particularly if you have children. Ok, maybe not always the case in Singapore, where the number of expat divorces is frankly astounding, but I intuitively know that it is definitely a smart decision to become an expat if you’re having marital issues. I just know, ok?? Trust me.

Because you’ve been one forever anyway
If you are nomadic by nature, it’s sensible to remain a fully paid-up member of the Expaterati until you shuffle off this mortal coilio. The only caveat is that, if/ when you retire (although I’m not convinced that expats really get “old” – we just get more tanned and more interesting), you will reach a point when you can no longer physically board planes. When that day comes, you will be stuck. STUCK, I tell you! (The word alone strikes fear into the souls of all expats, like garlic to vampires.) Sorry to break it to you, but eventually the flitting must cease. The good news is that, because you have been everywhere and you know all there is to know (about taxes and healthcare in particular), you are in the fortunate position of being able to locate the best places in which to be STUCK. So, hallelujah, as a Forever Expat, you are totes on to a winner!!

To get a good education for your kids
If, unlike moi, you’re in the position where you can’t afford private schools at home or you have to pretend to be religious to get your kid into a decent school, becoming an expat can be a wise move, providing your package covers schooling. If it’s covered, that’s amazebobs, but if you’re not on a package and you can’t afford private schools, babeses, you’re kind of onto a loser with this reason.

To take your kids on trips to far-flung places that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise
Absolutely, but when you or they stop being expats, make sure they know not to go on and on about Mount Kilimanjaro and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon if they’re hoping to make any new friends. Also tell them that it’s best not to use the words “holiday” or “vacation” as verbs (and god forbid, the word “brunch”), should they ever find themselves in non-Expaterati company.

To be a big fish in a smaller pond
This is one of the best reasons everrrrr for becoming an expat, and one that many people espouse to advance their careers. At home you might be a nobody, but over here, you’re Somebody, baby! Go, you!!

To meet interesting and diverse people
If, where you come from, interesting people are thin on the ground, then this is a fabulous reason to leave. That said, interesting people only want to be friends with other interesting people, so you had better make damn sure that you up your game if you want to run with the cool Expaterati. Otherwise you will find yourself in the Dull Crowd, surrounded by all the boring peeps who, like you, left to get away from their boring peeps.

To run away from something or everything
This is where expathood really comes into its own. Like saving a marriage, if you had some bad stuff goin’ down back home – bad friends, bad habits, bad situations – moving thousands of miles away will just evaporate all of that, like it never even happened. So in my role as expert expat, I can categorically tell you that if you choose to up sticks and relocate far far away from your problems, those problems will be magically fixed. Like going to Dr Seuss’ Solla Sollew, “where they never have troubles, at least very few”.

So those are the awesome reasons. If you can think of any other ones, please let me know in the comments, or post on Expat EJ’s Awesome Facebook Page. Now to the non-awesome reason. From my vast, unrivaled knowledge, there is only one of these:

To learn a new language
If your first language is English, it is a scientifically proven fact that for 98.3% of your time as an expat, you will only hang out with English speakers. So you’re just as likely to learn a new language at home. Not doing it at home? Well then… BUT, if you are thinking about your kids learning new languages, expathood is totes the way ahead because, in Asia anyway, they will have Mandarin drilled into them from the moment they emerge from the womb. And that. Is. Awesome.

 


 

Well, I must fly because I’m off out tonight with my girlies, and I’m been running late all day. I had to spend an age explaining to the help how to delete videos from Max’s iPad. It’s synced with Don’s iCloud account, so I found Max watching Break Bad this morning before school. ARGH! We can’t have him aspiring to be a chemist. Not when he has to become a hedge fund manager.

When an Expat Wife Gets a Job

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a trailing spouse will do one of the following things: get a job, have an affair, or become an alcoholic.

Despite it being universally acknowledged, I can’t say beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is truesome of me or many of the Expaterati I know. In my case, as loyal readers will know, I am totes my own person, and tend to swim against the tide. One of the awesomest things about me is that I can’t be pigeonholed, unlike the vast majority of people. If you look up EJ in the DSM V, you won’t find anything. (Yet!! LOLs.)

My “friend” Michelle, on the other hand, is an excellent illustration of the point because she did the booze thing, and now that she has stopped, she’s doing the job thing. As I told you, she bored me to tears on Tuesday, talking about her recovery, and how great it is to work again after being a stay at home alcoholic mother.

What I did not know was the precise nature of said employment. But I know now!!

Flo and I brunched this morning at an amazaFAB new place called Sacha and Sons (so Manhattan! So cooool!!) at the Mandarin Gallery. Jewish food is just way the biz.

Flo wanted to hear all about my lunch with Michelle, and then she was like, “Hey, but did she tell you what her job actually is?!”

So I was like, “No!! OMG, totes tell me!”

Flo told me that Michelle had put up a post on the Singapore Expat Wives Facebook page about her new company, but because it was kind of an ad it got taken down within three minutes. Flo is mega on the case with all things FB and beyond, so she was one of the few people to see it, like it, share it, Google it, Pin it, and follow it on LinkedIn and Instagram.

So here’s the skinny… Michelle is the co-founding partner and marketing lead of Vajaz, the first vajazzling salon in Singapore.

WOAH!! New respect to you, lady!! (Though she can’t be so hot at marketing if I hadn’t heard of it.) Flo said they’re doing a roaring trade – more vaj through the door than the recently opened LuluLemon.

So I’m taking my hat off a tad to Michelle after all, even if she messed unforgivably with my chi. I should pop over to the salon some time, to get myself vajazzled. My only concern is that I spend quite a lot of time sunning myself pool-side at the many clubs on the island. Could I inadvertently blind someone if my bikini slipped sideways? I’m don’t think I’m insured for that sort of thing.

 

Photo credit: http://michellejoni.com/vajazzling/

Photo credit: http://michellejoni.com/vajazzling/

My Little Froo Froo Is On The Mend

0001-54821555Froo Froo dog, bless her, started her therapy regime yesterday. To help her manage Milly’s aggression towards her, the doggie therapist suggested assertiveness training followed by massage to help her relax.

She made immediate progress with her assertivenessity. The therapist used a CBT technique called “swamping”. She showed the Froofster a picture of Mills, waved her hairbrush under her nose to get the scent, and then started kicking her. At first Froof did her usual cowering, wetting herself thing, but then the assistant whispered something in the dog’s ear and rang a bell. Froo looked again at the photo, and this time, she started to growl!! Amazo! I’ve never heard her growl before. The therapist gave her a treat, kicked her again, and Froo growled even louder, baring her teeth. Then she got hold of the picture of Mills in her mouth, and tore it apart.

Next she had her massage and OMG, she loved it!!:

Job done! $2,000 well spent, if you ask me. This therapy lark is awesomeness.

Hey Expat Wife, Don’t You Mess With My Chi!

Today, after my placenta neck treatment, I had lunch with Michelle. Flo said last week that Michelle wanted to hook up with me, so I wasn’t too surprised when she sent me an iCal invite to meet at my local PS Café, at the Paragon. That’s pretty much roll-out-of-bed territory for me, given that I live five minutes’ walk away, and I’m always up for anything on their menu or amazebobs specials. I don’t care who I go there with. I just love going there.

I have to confess that I was a little nervous because I’ve had some weirdo-mundo flashbacks involving her husband, Will, and I see now that actually something did happen. I knew, though, that I am a master of affect-regulation, so I accepted the invitation, just to have an excuse to go to PS Paragon.

So I was totes relieved when Michelle stopped twizzling the straw in her lime mint soda and said, “EJ, the reason I wanted to see you today is that I want to say that… I’m sorry.”

(What now, now???)

She continued, hesitantly: “I’m in the twelve-step program now, and part of that is saying sorry to people… You probably don’t know this, but I used to talk behind your back. I said some awful things about you – that you’re stupid, ignorant, pretentious, a wannabe… And so I want to apologise to you. It was awful of me to have said those things, and I am truly sorry.”

Being the mahusively magnanimous person that I am, I totes forgave her, saying, “Hey no worries, babes, that’s utterly cool, no worries.”

(Pretentious?? Moi?! Where’d she get that crazy idea from?? The drink has obvioso addled her brain.)

She then proceeded to bore the bejingies out of me by talking about her recovery, and her new job. Apparently, after she dried out, she found herself some employment. So she blabbed and blabbed about her job, and how great it is to feel “useful and relevant in the workforce again” having spent so many years raising her children.

When she talked about her job, a little voice inside me said, “Hey, you used to have a job… You used to be independent…”

But then I noticed that I needed a gel pedi, and that the Givenchy 40% off sale was about to end, and that my Hyatt membership was for renewal. Stuff to do!! I don’t have time for a job, particularly as a stay-at-home mother. The helper wouldn’t be able to cope without me.

So I silenced the annoying little voice, sending it back to that corner of my brain full of things that aren’t true, and then reaised the real reason that Michelle had wanted to see me: she has always been jealous of me, and she thought that by getting a job, she could rub it in my face and thereby thusly have one up on me. Ha! I don’t think so, sweetie!!

We finished our lunch, and as we said goodbye, Michelle went all doe-eyed. She gave me a hug (I’m not a fan of hugging in hot climates, let’s just stick to air-kissing please), saying, “Honestly, EJ, I am so very sorry. If you ever need someone to talk to, give me a call and we’ll go for a tea. Just reach out. Any time.”

I concealed my utter bewilderment – why would I need someone to talk to?! I’m not the recovering alcoholic with a philandering husband! – and said goodbye as sweetly as possible, despite her pathetic, unnecessary compassion assault.

When I got down to Givenchy to try on the dress I’ve been admiring for ages (only $2,400 now, with the 40% off!), I reflected that Michelle had really done a number on my chi. Grrrrrrr. She staged this whole clean-up and get a job thing just to piss me off! I stood in front of the mirror in the dress. I looked stunning. Yes, I thought, maybe I will reach out to her for a cup of tea and a chat-ski. I could tell her all about the many times that her husband has come on to me. That would burst her bubble. She’ll go flying back to the booze. You messed with the wrong chick, honey.

0001-54810626

Ladies’ Night, Expat Stylee

Bar Canary

Bar Canary

Now that I have mega sold out by writing a piece that might have popular appeal, I’ll get back to something way more fascinating: my sexy life.

Since coming home from our hard work “holiday” in Boracay, I have been partying proper, in true expat wifey fashion. It has been a rockin’ week of brunches, lunches, and mahusiv nights out (I can’t tell you how totes elates I was to see our helper when we got back). I went out so much that I don’t even mind it’s Sunday today, and I’m on family duty again.

Anybody who’s somebody on this lovely island of Singapore knows that Wednesday night is Ladies’ Night. I like to offer my patronage to my fave venues (if I decide to forgo evening yoga), and last Wednesday me and my girlies full-on twerked the place apart at Bar Canary, Expaterati stylee.

We started at Jaan which is an amazebobs fine dining restaurant, awesomely described by a beautiful fellow blogger babe here, where the unagi eel is to die for. It’s a sensible plan to get some unagi circulating in the gut before imbibing large quantities of bubbly. Because of the medicinal nutrition course I did a while back, I know that eel releases enzymes in the body which work synchronicitously with the champagne grape so to metabolise fats and toxins in such a way that one emerges from the evening experience slimmer, more toned, and better integrated holistically the following day.

Bar Canary has – shock horror – almost doubled its charge for free-flowing Möet, but the good news is that it’s not just the usual hour and a half, it’s all night! The coolio thing about that is you don’t get the icky pub chucking out time feeling like in the UK, where everyone is trying to down as much as they possibly can within a limited time frame. Non-Expaterati peeps may be surprised to hear this, but I have witnessed even the classiest of ladies abso chugging the bubbles between 7.30 and 9PM on a ladies’ night, as if there weren’t 15,000 containers of the stuff just off Sentosa. Quite grotesque. I, of course, would nevva evva do that. Nevva evva evva?? No. Nevva evva evva.

At the bar there were an unusual number of young people, which threw me a little. We don’t generally see youngsters at these things. Turned out it was a wedding party. How sweet! It was their champagne reception, mega-LOLs. Even LOLier, because the chaps in their crew were probs paying the à la carte price hahaha!!

When Blurred Lines came on (I just <3 that song, and anyone who says it’s demeaning to women is ridic, or jealous of Emily’s boobsters, which I am not because mine are v similar to hers), we more experienced ladies showed the little girls what hot moves are truesomely about. Their wedding party guys were practically all over us. 

“Don’t touch what you can’t afford, boyzies!”, Flo shouted above the music, and totes cracked us up. The guys didn’t exactly “touch”, other than some obvioso on purpose bumping into us on the dance floor, but they were defo checking us out big time. The young groom was pretty much undressing me with his eyes.

I was glad I’d worn my zips-up-both-sides Versace little black leather dress with black patent 120 mm Louboutin heels because it’s an outfit that really fires the imagination. People think it’s just an effortless combination I throw together, but I am well aware of the awesome impact I make. For extra on-trendness, I wore long white satin gloves. No sweetses, I wasn’t doing an Amal! Whatevs, and all that human rights crap! I was doing Audrey in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, por supuesto. Amal couldn’t carry off a cigarette holder – no way, no how.

After our amazebobs dancing, the young ladies in the wedding party flocked to us, wanting to chat. They were embarrassingly trolleyed (these fillies just can’t hold their drink), and bombarded us with questions about our fabulous designer gear, our priceless jewelry, and our impressive marriages. They were all like, “Oh you’re so beautiful, you’re so gorgeous, you must be 34 tops!”, and we were all like, “Oh honeys, your so sweet!”

We went to the loo together at one point, and the girls started asking me, Flo, and Jen for advice about long-term relationships. They must have had a sense that we’re at the top of our game, and we generously gave them the secrets to expat marital bliss. (Should I write a post about that?)

Then Jen said the weirdest thing! She went all confidential, looking around like she was making sure no one was listening (except me, Flo, and the three wedding party girlies, including the bride, and the CCTV cameras), and said in a stage whisper, “Actually, ladies, I’m having some quite stressful relationship issues right now!”

The girls looked wide-eyed at Flo and I, and Flo said, “Really? But I thought your marriage was perfect! You and Rich always look so happy!”

“Oh! God, yeah, no, we have a great marriage!”, Jen replied, laughing, “No, that’s totally fine! The problem is …”

So we’re all looking at Jen, like wtf is she going to say next, when bride girlie (Bethany, I think her name was) opens her mouth and voms all over the floor, splashing my Loubouties!! Oh god, peeps, what fresh hell is this again now now?!!

We left Bethany in the care of her sistas (we’re mothers ferchrissake! We get enough bodily effluvia at home, than-Q v much!!), and went back to the bar.

Glamorously sitting ourselves back down (carefully arranging our legs to eliminate signs of cellulite), the waiter refilled our glasses, and then there was this totes awkz tumbleweed moment. Flo looked at me, I looked at Flo, and we both looked at Jen. Jen lit a cigarette, stood up, and took a belfie to put on Twitter.

Breaking the silence, Flo said, “Ok now EJ, there’s something I have to tell you. You know I’m not one to chitchat, but I ran into Michelle last week at Prada – OMG have you seen their Spring collection?! – and she said she wants to talk to you.”

I gulped and shuddered (because, as regular readers know, I have a teensy bit of history with Michelle’s hus, Will), but hid it with James Bond-like affect regulation and my pretty Kate Middleton smile. Flo is a bit of a major goss, so there was no way I was going to let anything slip.

“That’s so nice!”, I replied, “Because I haven’t seen her for the longest time!! She probably wants to ask me about the best green smoothies for detoxing – she stopped drinking, right? – or about Third Culture Kid stuff because she knows I did that counselling course, and one of my pages is about expat kids“.

Flo was just going to answer when Bethany and her gang plonked themselves down at our table, asking how we were “so well-preserved at your age”.

As you can imagine, dear readers, enough was effing well enough at that point, so I was like, “Woah babeses!! We’re just here, having a chat, bustin’ a chill, and frankly I think it’s totes time for you to jog on.”

Bethany looked like she had just heard her crappy IB score all over again, and one of her stupid harem said to Flo (she defo wasn’t talking to me), “You don’t look 34, you look 54, and you’re all pathetic wannabes who should be at home with your cheating husbands and your messed up kids!”

As I lifted my champagne flute and launched the contents at the girl’s face, I knew that I was doing the right thing. What kind of parenting have these young people had for them to behave like such utter B’s? Disgraceful.

God forbid my sweet little (ok so she is a bit porky) Milly turns out like that.

 

Eight Types of Expat Husband & Further Scientificated Subdivisions

One of the 839 blogs I follow is called Wine and Cheese Doodles, by an amazebobs babe called Dina Honour, and I, like everyone else, totes loved her post Nine Expats You’ll Meet Abroad. As a tribute to her for her birthday – which must be some time this year – (and no, I am so NOT going to say “in Honour of”), I decided to write a post on the types of expat husband roaming around out there.

As we all know, men aren’t consistent in their personalities like we ladies are. On the whole, they’re way more neurotic than us, which is why they’re always calling us neurotic (it’s a projection, babeses). So to accommodate the mahusiv chasm that exists between their inner and outer selves, I have created a highly scientificated systemisation of subdivision for each type: how they are “On Road”, as they say in certain parts of London (that means in public, peeps), versus how they are at home.

For extra depth, I’m adding another subsection of geographical metaphoricality: if he was a place, what place would he be? (I know, coolest idea of all time. Mine, por supuesto.)

Awesomely, I’ve already mentioned a bunch of guys I can use as examples, starting with my darling husband, Don.

Photo credit: http://funny-pictures.picphotos.net

Photo credit: http://funny-pictures.picphotos.net

Don the Extremely Successful Family Man 

(Who didn’t have to become an expat to be successful because we were quite well off already, thank you very much indeedy.)

On Road: Socially impeccable. Men want to be him, and women want to be with him. The ladies love him, but they know he has an amazebobs wife who they can’t possibly compete with. Ferget it, Ladeees!

At Home: Well, rarely. He’s just so busy. Understandable. When he is home, he’s the daddy of the goddamn decade though, if you know what I’m talking about. Always being the fun parent (just to piss me off), and bearing gifts for the children and the help.

If he was a place he’d be: Singapore, Manhattan, London. On rotation.

 

Will the Player

On Road: Charming initially, but then really boring and a bit nasty when you get to know him. He left his small town for the “big time” (big according to him) so long ago that he has no clue who he is and is sorely in need of a reality check. Despite being married, he seeks out other women to make himself feel like he isn’t just an irrelevant ageing piece of sh**, and tends to succumb to intense bouts of yellow fever. (And no, I’m totes not saying that because I’m angry or bitter. Nothing ever happened, so don’t even go there or you’re ridic.)

At Home: Kinda depends on who you ask. If you ask him, he’ll say he’s a great father and a long-suffering husband. Hmmmm. Ask his wife over a few glasses of wine, and she’ll tell you he’s a narcissistic, arrogant, aloof piece of what I already said. I haven’t seen her for a while though. I heard she has stopped drinking. Can’t last.

If he was a place he’d be: Las Vegas, or possibly Tijuana.

 

Matt the Outdoorsy, Everything is AWESOME Enthusiast

On Road: He’s super excited to be an expat, and is constantly going to hawker markets or to Malaysia, or Myanmar or whatevs. He only does all that stuff because he has a boring job, and he isn’t as successful as the other chaps in our Expaterati crew. If it wasn’t for his wife, Liz, adding a touch of glamour, he’d be a completes expat nobody.

At Home: I imagine Matt is a pussy cat at home. He’s so annoyingly enthusiastic that he mainly wants to go hiking at the weekends, and do all those trips to “real” Asia type places. He wouldn’t be seen dead in one of my divine Orchard Road malls, which explains why he dresses so badly.

If he was a place he’d be: Ummm, Luxembourg? In his head, Nepal.

 

Zach the Needs-to-Grow-a-Pair Trailing Spouse

On Road: Because of his combination of emasculation and techy-ness, men love him. He’s totes non-threatening, and he knows all kinds of fascinating (yawnicus!!) stuff about what’s happening in Silicone Valley. Women, other than me, think he’s SO cute and “suuuuuch an amazing dad” because he’s the stay-at-home spouse. He goes to PTA meetings and Baby Mozart BS. He gets a ton of kudos for what we ladies (by which I mean our helpers, of course, so it’s vicarious, but that still totes counts) do anyway, but really everyone knows he’s just whupped.

At Home: I don’t know them that well, but I have it on excellent authority from my friend Flo that Zach is a mega-diva behind closed doors. Apparently he properly throws his toys out of the pram at Sarah when they’re on their own. He obvioso knows deep down what a big loser he is.

If he was a place he’d be: Surrey, or San Fran in the rain.

 

My Father – Serial Expat and All-Round Wuzgunna Guy

On Road: Throughout his expatness, he was a lot like Don in that the men looked up to him, and the women were all over him. He has been everywhere, done everything, and is always up for a round of golf. Unlike Don, though, my father has a majorly roving eye. So I suppose he’s a bit of a Will too.

At Home: I’ve already gone into that. Even now that he’s retired, he acts like he’s lord of the bloody manor, living out some latter-day colonial fantasy.

If he was a place he’d be: Noosa, Kensington, Hong Kong, and Mumbai (all rolled into one).

 

Fred the Closet Gay But Otherwise BEST Husband EVERRRR

On Road: This chappie has an amazebobs social set, and is, on every level, the ideal husband on road and at home. He goes to tons of great parties, and knows the coolest people on the island, all thanks to his gentleman PA of whom he is extremely fond. I think I should add another item to my New Year’s Resolutions: to be-friend this dude so that I can run around with his crowd.

At Home: Considering what a moh-foh nightmare his wife is, she is blessed beyond reason to have landed such a great catch. Fred is super nice, super good-looking (in that eyelashey gay way), and super generous. He encourages her to buy designer handbags twice a season (!), and he books massages and spa treatments for her, on his own initiative. And he travels a lot! Yet the wife is still miserable!! Wtf, woman? What more could you want in a man?? Spoilt much?!

If he was a place he’d be: Florence, Brighton, Melbourne, and a juicy hot chunk of Bangkok.

 

OK, so now I’ve run out of guys I’ve mentioned before, but there are two more mega-important types of expat husband that I can’t leave out:

Mr I’m So Much Richer Than You (“I’m here for tax reasons”)

On Road: This guy is a major charm factory, similar to the player type. Women lurv him (another chap with no immunity to yellow fever). Men pretend to like him because he’s such a BSD (msg me if you don’t know what that is), but really they only want to beat him at squash to reassure themselves that money isn’t everything. LOL, yeah right.

At Home: His wife hates him because he chose money over what they left behind. (Ladies, stop with the hating! Nothing wrong with that!!) So he, too, is rarely home due the haters who live there, ie the wifey and their four embittered teenage kids.

If he was a place he’d be: Well, Singapore, I suppose… Or Monaco if he’s the real deal.

 

Mr WHOOP-WHOOP, I’M GOING TO MAKE PILES OF CASH!

On Road: This is the bloke who tops up his housing and car allowance with his own money (or even savings! ARGH!!) because he is labouring under the misapprehension that he is suddenly loaded. He is noticeably extravagant, and overly generous, which makes him a popular party guy. Quite annoying after a while though, because his underlying sense of inferiority causes him to compete over the teensiest things; way sillier than what we wives compete about.

At Home: He watches a lot of TV, particularly property shows (because he’s so chuffed about the idea of his negative equity house back home earning some rental income), and keeps himself and his family constantly entertained. This is because, if he allowed himself a single moment of reflection, he would realise that he is spending a shedload more money indulging his wealth fantasies than he is earning. Yes, that old chestnut! He also can’t let his wife think too much because then she’d be bashed in the face by the revelation that they’re going to be expats forever, whether they like it or not.

If he was a place he’d be: Any places from Disney movies, or Dubai. But really Detroit.


If you think there are any other types of expat hus then I can assure you that, based on my astute intuitive knowledge and perigrin-like observational skills, you are wrong. BUT because I am totes mega-ly open-minded, I welcome your (wrong) comments. For your sake, dear wifely readers, I am wishing you a combination of Don and Fred – without the gayness if you prefer.

On a final note, I can only apologise for not including a section on expat husbands in same sex marriages. I’m afraid that I haven’t met any married gay male couples among the Expaterati, and the only gay husbands I know personally are Elton and Dave. They don’t count as expats in my book, so it’s really a grey area for moi. If anyone knows about this stuff, babeses, please get in touch and write a guest post for me. You can even have a profit-share of the vast income I earn from my work as a celebrité blogger.

Expat Excuses, Excuses

Photo credit: Uncyclopedia

Ok so this week the person who helps me write this diary (just helps a little – tell no one!!) thought she had a serious illness, and what with that and with this sort of thing, she said she “lost her sense of humour”. Mega-unprofessional, if you ask me. What a looza, with a capital ell. Must get my people to find me a replacement ASAPossiblé. Contact me to apply.

Anyhoo, now it seems like she probably isn’t particularly dying after all, so hopefully she’ll get her act together soon for my next fabulous instalment, before you all ditch my amazebobs a**.

Luv ya
EJ x

The Who-Has-the-Most-Starbucks-Country-Mugs Competition

Since getting back from Boracay, I’ve had a bonkers busy week, what with the kids off school, and trying to find reasons not to spend time with them. The helper has taken them to a few things, so I should stop beating myself up about it. Us mummies! We can be so unkind to ourselves!!

Yesterday I went to meet up with some of the mums from Max’s class PTA, which I wouldn’t normally do (tons of emails to delete about all this parent involvement stuff argh!). It’s a new year though, so I’m all about opening my heart chakra to people I don’t really want to hang out with. It won’t last.

I was a little bit late because I got chatting with our pool guy about his incredibly tedious life. I think it’s important to maintain a positive rapport with the staff, as consistently demonstrated in my favourite TV show, Downton Abbey. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: it would really have suited me to live back then. Way more my scene.

The PTA meeting was at a Starbucks near the school, and serioso, what unfolded was worse than I could possibly have imagined. Apparently, everyone else reads the emails! When I arrived, I got only the slightest nod of an acknowledgment, and no thank you whatsoever for bothering to show up! They just kept on talking about the emails.

I felt like such an outcast!! In that moment, I took on the feelings that every politically marginalised and oppressed person must experience. I felt like Nelson Mandela. I felt like Aung San Suu Kyi.

I was still reeling from my oppression when a conversation started about who had the most Starbucks mugs from different countries.

Boracay mug

I have 28, which I thought was amazebobs, but some of the other ladies had so many more!! Argh! One woman had 115, but the winner by miles was the chick who had a mug from the Forbidden City. Wow, mega-mundo impressed!! She got that in like the five minutes before the po-lice shut it down. (Yes. The po-lice shut it down, I believe.)

I cannot stand competitive expat wives. It’s just embarrassing. I’m totes not jealous though. That’s not my modus operandi. I’m not a big douche, am I, dear readers? Nope.

So it was a complete accident when I stood up to do some spontaneous flash mob yoga, and my knee knocked Forbidden-City-Mug-Woman’s hot skinny latte into her not so skinny lap. Oooopsy! That’s my tree pose for you!! I always get a perfect angle on it, consequences be damned. I just can’t help myself.

Perfect Angle

I should probably be a yoga teacher, but the thing is that it would be a lot like Starbucks because I would put all the other teachers out of business. Because of my awesomeness. So I mustn’t go there. Don’t worry, lovely Singapore Yogis, I’ll leave you to it! I know how hard you’re trying : )

EJ’s Ultimate Expat Wife Beauty & Wellbeing Guide

This probably doesn’t happen to you, but I constantly get people stopping me in the street, saying, “EJ babes, you’re such a hot expat wife. How do you do it?”

And I’m like, “Well, how long do you have, sweets?”

Weirdly, they rarely have long enough, and when they do, I’m getting a bit tired of repeating myself. So I’ve had the most amazebobs idea to write a post with the deets and just refer peeps in this direction when they ask. Genius, right?? I know!

Alora, here are my head-to-toe beauty and holistic wellbeing tips for expat wives (ladies who aren’t members of the Expaterati are welcome to have a go at following, but I make no guarantees for those parties).

Top Hot Bits

How I am so Hot on Top

How I am so Hot on Top

As a natural redhead, I just need a little gentle colour-enhancement once every six weeks. At the same time, I have a keratin treatment to counter the tropical climate. Shinee and straightee, likeeee : )

Underneath my lovely hair is my brain, which I keep in balance through rigorous daily meditation and chanting, and staying up to date with all the news on the expat wives Facebook groups. Gotta keep those smarts in gear, or you’ll turn into the very worst kind of vegetable. A potato, or other starchy carb.

I have regular facials, some of the botulistic variety. You have to start young or you’ll never catch up.

I see my neck and décolletage girl once a month for neck yoga-lates, followed by acupuncture in the same region. She tops it all off with a divine Korean placenta product. It features a distinct odeur de kimchi, but the texture is like the finest Cornish clotted cream, and it really works. Those Koreans. They know a thing or two about placentas.

Main Body Area Hotness

For the main body area, I’ll need to tell you about my dietary intake and my exercise regime, some of which loyal readers will already be familiar with.

Diet
Lemon water upon rising.
Green smoothie for breakfast, following the strict 60/40 rule of greens to fruit. (If I get it wrong, I can be bilious for days afterwards, so be careful, FOR GOD’S SAKE, YOU MARK MY WORDS.)
Lean protein and steamed veg for lunch and dinner, with a smattering of wheat-free and starch-free carb. Abso no carbs after 5PM.
The only exceptions I make to my strict diet are at restaurants and parties, and during weekends.
Some alcohol consumption, but no more than the average expat wife.

Exercise
Private Pilates sessions three times a week.
Lots of treadie runs; and daily push-ups to keep the batwings at bay.
Yoga with awesome Vikram at the Hyatt, and this other place which is sh**, so that I can fully appreciate Vikram’s awesomeness.
Yoga-Zumba-lates once a week, just to mix it up a bit.
[I’m thinking of trying naked yoga, but I’m not going on my own, so if you’re up for it, let me know.]

Please note: I have had no surgery whatsoever – it’s all pure dedication to the cause. Take that, you petite Asian girlies, with your fake noses and boobses!

So that explains why I am so buff. Now back to my beauty tips…

I have regular IPL and waxing for my lady locks, in accordance with Don’s exacting specifications. Since discovering topical anaesthetic cream, it’s a breeze. That’s one of my all-time top tips! And apply liberally!!

Last, but not leastly, the obvious: gel mani-pedis whenever necessary, with seasonal nail art. Bunnies at Easter. Mini fascinators on each toe for the Melbourne Cup. That kind of thing. This, ladies, is because it’s the details that count, am I right? Every self-respecting expat wife knows that.

I will have to fill you in on my day-to-day at home beauty routine another time. I’m dashing off to meet Jenny for pan-seared foie gras, truffle fries with aïoli, and a few bubbles. I spent two hours on the treadie in preparation, so I am #goodtogo!

It is SO great to be back in Singapore. On hol, I got heartily sick of seeing badly-dressed Soviets (it’s still ok to call them that, lah, ya?), and North Asians covered up on the beach, in scorching heat, pretending to be whities. Come on, peeps! Just be Asian, wouldyaplease??

What mega gets to me is the relentless stream of selfies, and posed beachside shots! The narcissism, self-satisfaction, and complete lack of irony is quite simply coma-inducing. Totes, and I really mean that.


If you’re still reading, I need to make sure you know about the shocking thing that happened yesterday! I have only just come out of hiding – lured out by the thought of foie gras and bubbles. Less than that, and I would still be in there.