Our Mahusiv Shipment

I have discovered an interesting and disturbing phenomenonema in re the situation of possibly leaving: people treat one as if one has an incurable and highly contagious illness.

I popped into Burberry For Kids to get more socks for the irritants today – how’s it possible for feet to grow so quickly?? – and found myself chatting away to the shop staff. It was only when I got a text from Eva my personal trainer saying, “where tf are you, EJ?”, that I realised I’d been in the shop for over an hour. I had been so engaged in our conversation (discussing my glamorous life, possibly moving, early childhood experiences, Jungian vs Freudian theory, and Burberry’s summer colours) that time had run away from me. So I dashed off to meet the slave-driver, and during my dash, I wondered how I had entered into such deep chats with a stranger. Now of course, my glamorous life and my complex brain are fascinating to everyone, but I don’t normally plunder the depths with shop assistants. Not even in exclusive shops. If I did, my daily shoppage excursions would leave little time for anything else!

Having embarked on the workout, it was during my 87th lunge that the realisation hit me. It took me so much by surprise that I dropped the kettle bell, only narrowly missing my toes. Thank goodness it missed because I had a pedi yesterday. The universe is truly wise and benevolent.

What hit me was this: I am lonely today. And I have been for some time now, I think, because my Expaterati girlies have hardly been in touch at all of late. No wonder I was spilling my guts out in Burberry’s! I needed to talk to someone. Poor moi : (

Therein thusly lies the notion of leaving being like an illness. Once people know that you’re probably definitely maybe relocating, they want nothing more to do with you. They prefer to invest their friendship dollars elsewhere. Until recently, I have been an expat monarch of all I survey in this intimate kingdom of Singapore. I have daintily trod the terrace of Sky on 57, looking out across the city, knowing that I am a part of this place and it is a part of me.

Now though, it’s as if I have wandered inadvertently to the other side of said terrace, my face turned towards the sea with its village of boxy floating palaces… The container ships – one of which will soon, in all likelihood, carry the contents of our beautiful Emerald Hill Road shophouse away from these gleaming shores, gradually dissolving my past into the azure layers of two oceans and seven seas.

SONY DSC

(As you can imagine, dear readers, we have a truly gigantic shipment, commensurate with our station. It seems a callous and capricious thing that loneliness can befall anyone, regardless of the size of their shipment. Hashtag baffed.)

Advertisements

Expat Baby in a Tutu LOL

On Saturday, between my workout and my night out, we went to our friends’/ neighbours’ house for their baby’s first birthday party. Well I say “neighbours”, but they don’t actually live on Emerald Hill Road. They live in one of the shophouses on Saunders Road, which are for people who didn’t manage to get a place on Emerald Hill. We’re still friends with them though. The couple are both fund managers, so it’s ok. They’re quite nice, plus they’re well connected. When we got to the bday party, Flo told me that Michael Fassbender is the baby’s god father. Pretty cool, babeses!!

Just to clarify for those not so in-the-know, Emerald Hill Road where I live, is a beautiful quiet historic street off Orchard Road (which is Oxford Street/ Madison Ave equiv). EHR has amazing Chinese shophouses on both sides of the road, and lots of fab old trees and birds and stuff. V serene and atmospheric. It used to be a nutmeg farm, which makes it all the more awesome. Saunders Road runs parallel to EHR, and the backs of the Saunders shophouses share an alleyway with the EHR houses. Unlike EHR though, where our view opposite, through a mist of tropical foliage, is more beautiful shophouses, the houses on Saunders look onto… condos. Argh! Sucks to be them!!

We rocked up appropriately late, parked Max in a corner with Minecraft, and sent Mills upstairs to the playroom where the helpers and irritants were. The place was awash with Veuve Click (my kinda party – albeit on Saunders), so I got stuck in. Rude not to. Luke and Joanne, the hosts, had pulled out all the stops for their little baby princess. They had the band from Brix performing in the courtyard pool (!), and they’d flown in Mickey and Minnie Mouses from Hong Kong Disney. Obvioso they were compensating for not living on EHR.

Despite the unfortunate location, their house is gorgeous. I went out of my way to tell Luke and Jo just how gorgeous because I didn’t want them to feel uncomfortable or inferior about not living on Emerald Hill. I was complimenting them therefore thusly, to let them know that it’s no big deal and I don’t mind being friendses with them. I wished I hadn’t been so fervently complimentary though because, when Jo launched into a detailed descriptions of the renovations, it all got a bit dull-ski. She was like, “Yes, it’s so wonderful how the architect… he’s the landlord’s father, did you know that? And the landlord owns Tang’s, you knew that, right?… Well it’s wonderful how he maximised light and air flow, while putting back the original Peranakan features. So many of these houses are dark and overly-reno’d, and we were incredibly lucky to get this one.”

Because I had so authentically feigned interest, Jo then marched me around the house, pointing out the bloody lightness, airy-ness, and Peranakan-ness. Ok so yes, our house is dark, yes there are no original tiles or ornamental ceramic details or whatevs, yes we have the A/Cs running constantly, but hellooo! It’s ON EMERALD HILL ROAD!! So I had to say, “Oh babes, you are so lucky to have found this house! But what a shame it’s not on Emerald Hill! I’m really sorry (did sad face). I’m guessing it was a money thing, right sweets? I totes understand. Nothing to be ashamed of!!”

I backed up these kind words with my best Kate Middleton smile (knowing that Kate was in labour at that v moment, so I was smiling for the both of us, doubting that poor ole Kate was feeling particularly smiley right about then).

“Ha!”, Jo said, “You are too funny! A money thing!! Love it! Have you considered doing stand-up? Your dead-pan is so convincing!”

#confused #baffed

Thankfully, she kept talking.

“I saw a lot of places on both streets, and this one just jumped out at me. Love at first sight. Plus, on Saunders we don’t get so many tourists poking their noses through the gates and taking photos. That’s gotta be annoying, isn’t it?”

[Um, no. It’s AWESOME that people want to see into my house and find out about my glamorous lifestyle, and take pix, and love me because they love my house.]

“OHMYGOD yes, babes!”, I replied. “It is like soooooo annoying. I’m constantly pushing tourists out of the way just to get to my front door! I have to tell them, Guys, I’m just a regular lady trying to go about my bizniz, and peacefully coexist with you people, so will you pull-eeeeze make some space and let me get inside my house to my regular life of chilling by the pool on my roof terrace?? So so SO annoying!! But then they want selfies with me, and ask if I’m a natural redhead, and I’m like YES, boring!! Honestly, some days I think argh, why didn’t we just settle for a place on Saunders?! It gets embarrassing, you know??”

Jo laughed. And laughed. And laughed. And said again that I should do stand-up. What now, now??

When the baby came down in her birthday outfit for the cake, speeches and singing thing, I started laughing. The baby was wearing a pink tutu!! Have these people not heard of parentally-assigned gender stereotyping?! Lol, and they’re supposed to be such smarty-pantses!! Haha, it just made me laugh. Surely it had to be a joke. Hence my laugh-age…

Until I noticed that no one else was laughing and Flo dug me in the ribs, saying, “Fassbender at nine o’clock”. I glanced down at my hot Rolly to see that it was only 5.50pm, so I shot Flo a piercing look conveying, “Wtf are you talking about, it’s only 5.50, and that baby looks ridic, and my glass is empty so ffs if you see a waitress send her my way, and gosh I hope Kate is doing ok and has a girl…”

Flo totes Got It, as she always does. Within seconds, the staff were pouring me a re-fill. Praise be to the Flo-ster. Then this unbelievably hot guy starts making a speech about “my god daughter” and how fabulous she looks in her tutu. Next was the cake thing.

Just as the baby was about to singe her face, blowing out the candle, someone shouted, “It’s a girrrrrrrrrl!!!!”

So everyone got out their phones, and my goodness, how delighted we all were that Kate had had a girl!! What a great day for Brits everywhere. It was basically the best news everrrr.

Which meant that the bday princess somewhat had her moment ruined, but what do you expect when you live on Saunders? I’m sorry, that’s just how it is.

Luke and Jo tried their hardest to bring the party back to the baby in the tutu, while I realised that I’d only prepped myself for a sweet little neighborhood gathering, and hadn’t known I’d be in the presence of a celebrity hawttie. So I dashed upstairs, took a quick shower, re-did my face with Jo’s make-up, and sifted through her wardrobe for something sexier. I selected a fabulous Donna Karan outfit, and although Jo is a size up on me, it fit perfectly. I looked divine.

When I went back downstairs, Jo said, “Wow, you brought other clothes with you?! Haha!!! I love that, you’re hilarious! OMG, I have that exact same outfit! Donna Karan, right?”

Ya, whatevs babes.

I elegantly sashayed my way over to the hot guy (who had to be Michael) and introduced myself, “Hi! I don’t think we’ve met. I’m Emma-Jane, but call me EJ. I live on the better street. You should totes pop by some time, while you’re here. And I’m going out tonight to a great club with my girlies. Why don’t you come along?!”

He looked v impressed by my hotness, and I could tell that he was a tad overwhelmed when he said, “Hey, great to meet you! … Sorry but I just need to go over there, um away from you. God father duties, you know how it is, so ok, g’bye!”

It was a beautiful encounter, and it made me realise that, as much as he wanted to stay and chat with me, he had to make the ultimate celebrité sacrifice. He really had no choice but to attend to his duties. What an amazing, giving, self-sacrificing man he is.

All in all, it was a great party, and just because Michael couldn’t come out afterwards, it was still a terrific afternoon on Saunders Road. Well done our neighbours for making the best of their difficult circumstances.

 

Emerald Hill Road

Emerald Hill Road

 
 

Saunders Road

Saunders Road

What Happens When You Accidentally Search “Looking for some fun” on Craigslist

craigslist-logo.gif

Due to the Froofster’s incontinence, I have had to get rid of the upstairs chestnut Chesterfield. So, after my 1:1 Pilates session this morning, I went onto Craigslist to look for a replacement sofa. Have to tighten the belt a tad because we’re having a Four Seasons xmas. Wrap-around childcare for two weeks ain’t cheap, you know?! Also, Milly’s birthday is on the horizon and these parties cost a small fortune.

Instead of inputting “looking for a sofa” on the Craigslist search, autocorrect changed my search terms to “looking for some fun”. Argh!! Dear readers, you would not believe the stuff that came up.

Wife’s away tonight, anyone wanna play?

Couples, plus single women, 18-45), party this Saturday. Msg for deets.

Swingers! In Singapore?! And this is from within the Expaterati! Mega-shock, babeses!!

The weirdest thing was this one:

The hottest party on the Singapore expat swinging scene. Join Liz and Don for their notorious monthly warm wild time. Unmarried couples (not married to each other) and single women only please.

What a coincidence that there’s a filthy couple here with those names! I must tell Don. He’ll totes die of embarrassment when he hears about what his namesake is getting up to. ROFL!

In other news, Chantelle my “step-mother” (ugh) Whatsapped me to say my father turned up. For a minute I had no clue what she was on about! Ha, I had totes forgotten that late night call.

Chantelle told me that the police brought him home around lunchtime on Sunday. Apparently, he said he had gone out to meet his school friend from Guildford. A bit weird because he hasn’t been anywhere near Guildford in probably 30 years. The last time he was there was for an old boys thing, as far as I know. He is up to his little tricks again, no doubto. Bloody stupid alibi, if you ask me. He must be losing his lothario touch.

One of the things that is so awkz and challenging about being an expat is the distance from one’s family. It is extremo annoyando to get these calls and messages from the folks back home, when clearly we’re not interested. Why oh why must they insist on interrupting our fun lives when we are thousands of miles away?? Hello! Why do you think we moved thousands of miles away in the first place?!

On a happier note, the bougainvillea is really looking fabulous today. Such a shame that it’s not visible from the street. I truly have the finest bush on Emerald Hill Road. Well done me! : ) xx

Our Unusual Orange House

IMG_3060

It seems that I am over my stress-induced writer’s block, brought on by Michelle’s husband and his feet. I am very much in the mood to write today, and I would like to tell you about where I live. (Please, stalkers: no, just NO, ok?)

So, I think I have already mentioned that we live in a house, or a “landed property”, as they call them here. We weren’t sure where to live when we came on our look-see (I love that Yankee expression!), and at first I was looking at condos as well as houses around Central and East Coast Singapore.

Then I happened to stumble upon a beautiful street called Emerald Hill Road… Wowee!! I’d read about it on Trip Advisor, and saw that it’s an amazing street of Chinese shophouses (which is a photographic specialty of mine, and these houses regularly feature in my many artistic endeavours), a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Orchard Road. For Londoners, Orchard Road is the equivalent of Oxford Street. Emerald Hill is quiet and historic, so I suppose it’s v like a Soho side-street.

When I told Don that I wanted to live on Emerald Hill, he had no clue what I was talking about. The fact is that working expat husbands really don’t know or care anything about where they are in the world. It is just about where’s work, where’s the airport, and where’s bed. I know this for a fact.

Now, I can be a bit of a push-over on some issues, but I was so insistent on the matter of Emerald Hill (I threatened to go home with the children, but leave the dog with him – he hates Froof the dog; but I was bluffing, of course, dear reader) that he agreed to put it to the mobility team, who put it to the relocation agency, who put it to the realtors; or estate agents in proper English.

Unfortunately, we were told that the houses on Emerald Hill were “beyond our package” by several thousand dollars, so although I was disappointed, that didn’t stop me chanting. As a seasoned chanter, I know that it bears fruit.

I chanted for five days, and on the sixth, I had a call from the mobility people saying that the relocation people had said that the realtor had found a property actually ON Emerald Hill which was within our package price range!! Hurrah!!!

So that’s where we live : )

It’s a house called La Taverna, which has been quirkily altered to contrast with all the other Chinese shophouses on the street, in that it’s painted a textured orange, with different un-Chinesey tiling.

One of the conditions of the lease is that we never open the front shutters (it’s dark, but that’s a small price to pay to live on this iconic street), and we have to keep a low profile. No parties, no deliveries, rarely open the front door. I don’t know why.

We’ve put Max and Milly in the back bedrooms because it can get quite loud out the front, with the bars opposite. Our bedroom is on the bar side, but to my mind, the noise just makes it more like living in Soho (for free, while paying off the mortgage back home hahaha!! I <3 being an expat); and Don is delighted because one of those bars has a members-only cigar room, so he pops across when he wants to read The Economist in peace with a Siglo VI Cohiba. He has met some fascinating chaps over there apparently.

Not that I would worry, but what I like about exclusive cigar bars is that there are rarely any vile nasty gold-digging, husband-stealing b****s there. It’s mostly men, talking about what they’ve read in The Economist or watched on Bloomberg/ CNN whilst on the treadmill.

They’re not the type to bother with all this Tinder stuff etc lolol. Don?? Hahaha! I know more about Tinder than he does! Bless him and his Ralph Lauren socks.

IMG_2349