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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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?…)

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/

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.

 

Friend’s Husband Attempted to Play Footsie With Me – Is this normal behaviour??!!

Don is still in Dubai, and I’ve spent a lot of this week slightly freaking out about what happened last weekend. This is the first time I’ve felt calm enough to reflect on it, and I’ve been so upset that I haven’t been able to blog. I guess I just need to get it out, so that I can move on.

So, this is what happened…

Don and I went for dinner last Saturday with Michelle and her husband Bill, and another couple we know from our last country.

Michelle looked absolutely stunning for a woman of her age. I don’t know how she does it. She must be at least six and a half years older than me. A mutual friend Flo, who knew Michelle from their last country, confided in me that Michelle is on the Botox, but in a big way (much more than just the usual sprinkle that we all have). That must be it. I wonder if she has had collagen fillers too. And those boobs… Surely they’re not her own. Anyway, she looks fabulous, and how she manages to have flat, shiny hair in this climate is just beyond me.

So, we had an aperitif before going into the restaurant, and then a fair amount of wine with the starter. Bill was sitting opposite me, and when he brushed my foot with his the first time, I thought nothing of it. It was after the fifth time that I started to wonder, although his sparkly green eyes were firmly fixed on the proceedings, listening intently, and telling stories about his early years as a junior trader.

When the entrees arrived, he brushed my foot again, this time moving up my leg a little, and glanced at me with a bemused look. I met his gaze, but I was a little shocked, so I looked down at my food, and asked Don what he was having. What was this guy doing?? Is this normal behaviour? Surely not! I’m his wife’s friend, FGS. (Michelle doesn’t read blogs, so as long as no one in Singapore reads this, she’ll never know.)

Later on during the meal, Michelle was utterly trolleyed, and started loudly debating/ arguing about Bali with the other woman, Jenny. Jenny was of the opinion that Bali is so 2008, and that it’s much more cool to go off the beaten track to Yogyakarta or Laos; while Michelle said she feels attached to their regular haunts in Bali, and “what’s so wrong with going back to the same place?”

Most of the table, including Don, joined in with the discussion, but Bill tilted his head back, let out a sigh, and nudged his foot up my calf. He had taken his shoes off (!), and this time as he moved his foot up my leg, he stared right at me! I glared at him, putting as much resistance as possible into my facial expression, as if to say, “Hey, mister! That’s not ok!!”.

Yawning, he smiled and looked away. He put his arm around Michelle, who was now yelling at the top of her slurred voice about the profound serenity of Ubud.

So, this morning I’m sitting here with my kale, beet, banana, wheatgrass, and mangosteen smoothie, and my skinny double purple pod Nespresso, still wondering what on earth that was all about.

Bill may be a very charming and interesting man, with extremely lovely eyes, but he’s married to one of the most stunning women I have ever met. And he knows, of course, that I’m married! So what was he doing? Why would a man – especially a man with such a beautiful wife – come on to a married woman – especially one who is less beautiful (surely!) than his wife??

Bizarre and totes uncomfortable. I’ve heard about this kind of thing happening among the Expaterati, but I didn’t think it would happen to little ole moi.