Whirlwind Expat Weekend of Hotness and Roof Terrace Yoga

What a whirlwind weekend, babeses! [Apart from yesterday when I needed to get some rest. I’d paid the help to help on her day off because Don left early for NY, and I deserved a day off myself after all the hard graft of fun-ness. So I focussed on recovering my strength for the week ahead.]

The Fashion Week party on Friday night was awesome. Apparently last year Audi sponsored the whole dang thing, but this year it was left to individual brands to come forward so I think it’s awesome that H&M, out of the goodness of their Scandinavian hearts, donated their main shop on Orchard Road to the great cause. The ground floor was transformed into a nightclub, with DJs and a dance floor and a bar. On the other floors there was all kinds of fun stuff to do, so me and my girlies totes rocked the joint. I went with my friends from Oh My Beagle Couture who make gorgeous dokinis and other glam clothing items for trendy doggies. I’m their best customer! There is no dog trendier than my little Froo Froo (well, maybe that dog I did my amazebobs expat stylee rap about, but her momma was too rude, so the hound loses a bajillion trendy points for that).

The highlight of the evening was this celeb dude from Taiwan spinning the decks. The crowd went crazy. They loved the guy! What I loved about him was that he was mainly playing tracks from the Spotify Fun Workout playlist, so of course I knew all the songs from the hours I spend elegantly pounding the treadmill, and could really get my moves activated in full techno-colour glory.

 
 

I also met a lady who reckoned that her hair was naturally red and mine wasn’t. What now, now?? The photos are on my Facebook page, so I’ll let you decide, dear readers.

On Saturday Don and I took the irritants to the Botanical Gardens, the aquarium, the Science Museum, and Universal Studios. Don wanted to pack in as many good dad treats as poss before escaping to the U.S. I had to leave early for my salon appointment in prep for the ANZA Singapore Orchid Ball (it’s really unfair that men just have to shower, shave and chuck on a suit! No wonder there’s all this gender inequality in the world), so I only really made it to the first part of the day. I had to go when we got to the jelly fish. Which was fine because I find jelly fish truly sick-making. Particularly the ones that look like they’re pooping bits of their tentacles all over each other. Ugh. Humans would never do stuff like that.

Don and I met back at home, and went together to the ball, though we didn’t see much of each other once we were there. We’re just both so busy with our own thing, and I believe it’s important for spouses not to be constantly in each other’s pockets. Liz was hanging around like a bad whorey smell – the smell that Lycra gets in Singapore, yes you know what I’m saying. In fact, whenever I saw Don she was there, but I’m totes cool with it because there’s nothing going on, and I am a strong, powerful, independent woman.

The ball was super doops, really well put together, and everyone looked mega hot. I just love it when people make an effort, so it was v much My Scene. Then this guy sidled up to me, and I thought, “Argh, I know you from somewhere, but like, where??!!” That happens to me all the time, and I’m never sure if I actually know someone or if I dreamt them or they look like someone else or someone on TV or what. And remembering names… Ferget it!! With the number of people I meet every day (like most expats do), I can’t realistically be expected to match faces and names. It was a bit embarassing though because he evidently knew my name, saying, “Hi EJ, great to see you!”

“Oh!”, I said, “Yes, hi… you… great to see you too! How… what… where…?”, I trailed off.

“Seth. Yoga. Tuesday evenings? Every week for the past year..?”, he said with a grin.

“Of course! Yes, I know, Seth hi, how the hell-ski are you?!”, I replied, regaining my perfect composure. He probably hardly noticed that I was scrabbling around inside to figure out htf I knew him. In hindsight, I should maybe have joined the dots a little more speedily because he has quite a memorable look. Like me, is the proud owner of a fabulous hairdo.

Pretty cool hair, huh??!

Pretty cool hair, huh??!

He grabbed us a fresh bottle of bubbles, and we got along mega-well. We have a ton of stuff in common, including the unique hair, and it was so nice chatting. We’re both great listeners, and we’re both really interesting and smart and cool and stylish. Turns out that he’s an uber expat too, so he likes doing what I like doing. He’s an expert in Expaterati issues. We spent a long time discussing travel, green juicing, meditation, yoga (of course!!), gorgeous restaurants and hotels around the globe, and hilarious things on Tumblr; and then I told him about what’s going on with our maybe repatting. He was totes sympathetic, and I realised how nice it was to be talking to someone who just got me. It was like we’d known each other for years. Maybe in a past life??

Then his wife came over. She gave me a Look (?!), and told Seth that she was ready to go home. So we said bye, and I went off to dance with my girlies. My moves were smoking of course, but at the same time my heart wasn’t really in it. I tried to get into my usual party vibe and it just didn’t work. I felt kind of… empty. Flo noticed so she got me another glass of champagne. That didn’t work either : (

I decided that I must be in a temporary inexplicable funk and that I should leave before I tarnished my party babe reputation. Don didn’t want to go, so I got a cab on my own. Once I was home, I regained some of my resilient lustre via the medium of yoga. I took my mat up to the roof terrace and yogi’d it out under the Singapore stars (difficult to stay upright in the tree pose, but I managed it by holding on to the champagne fridge). I really really dig yoga. It’s so good for my chi. I’m looking forward to the class on Tuesday as I do v much want to advance my practice.

 

 

Advertisements

Another Smart Move, Singapore!

I didn’t get much out of Liz on Friday night, but what she did say is that maybe I should learn more about history and politics and stuff, particularly about Singapore. While she, Don and Will (what’s up with him, readers?? Gimme a bone, here!) were bantering, they were going on about some story in the Economist this week. To get involved in the banter, and not just be the silly ignorant wife – because that is so not me – I made a hilario (but totes true) jokee that I never find the time to read the Economist because I have to stay abreast of the goings-on on the Singapore Expat Wives Facebook group, the REAL Singapore Expat Wives Facebook group, the Nice Singapore Expat Wives Facebook group, and seven other groups. That’s a lot of reading! Super time-consuming, but it has to be done or you become a big expat nobody. You fall out of the Expaterati, and once you’re out, it’s mega-tough to bob back up again.

So, I thought it was totes sweet of Liz to show her concern for my intellect and my career as a writer by saying that I might benefit from broadening my reading horizons. She would be a good mentor, I feel. She must be somewhat into her 40’s, so she’s old enough for a mentoring situation to arise. I should get her to come out with me for a ladies’ night one Wednesday, and further seek her counsel. Maybe the one at the W in Sentosa. That’s meant to be aweso-funski.

She asked me how much I really know about Singapore, and I said quite a lot because I spend most of my time on Orchard Road. I am thus therefore well up on the ins and outs. I know all of the malls like the back of my hand. If a new shop is about to open, I am among the first to know. Which makes me v much In the Know. But you know that already, dear readers : ) XOX

Then she started talking about an interesting piece of local history, which I thought was another v smart move by Singapore. Apparently, there was this thing that happened here called NEWater. Singapore used to rely on Malaysia for its supply of clean water. But those naughty Malaysians went power-mad, and upped the price of the water. So, Singas did something super clever. They decided to grow their own water, and by the late 90’s, early noughties, they had made fabulous desalination and stuff plants, and now they have the cleanest water in the world. Amaze-bobs, right?

The coolest thing though is that now they sell their NEWater to Malaysia!! Haha, coolio or what?? Luv it! Go, Xīnjiāpō!!!

So, I thought yeah, that is an interesting story, Liz babes. And I totes want to hear more about Singapore. I could become like a renowned local expat political historian or something, if I have time. I’ll defo see what other bits and pieces I can find out from Liz over a few glasses of Veuve Clicky at the W.

After she told that story, emasculated Zachy-boy pipes up (he’s the trailing spouse in his marriage – what now, now?!), and starts talking about his Big Theory. I spose that, as the stay-at-home spouse, who obviously doesn’t spend much (any??) of his time at the gym, he has plenty of opportunities to come up with big theories. Ha! I’ve said “grow a pair” before, but I’ll say it again for good measure.

So, Zach obviously has a chip on his shoulder about Facebook. He used to work for them or whatevs, pre-emasculation. He went on about this guy, Jaron Lanier, who is some techy bore. Yawnicus, Zach honeee.

Then he said that he has a theory about Facebook and privacy, which he thinks is metaphorically similar to Singapore’s NEWater. Zach reckons (get this, LOL) that FB, and thusly all of the apps it owns, has a plan to slowly, but surely reduce its users’ privacy. And that because we all totes luv FB – which we totes do!! <3 it greatly, babeses, right? HELLS TO THE YES! – we’ll just agree to a creeping loss of privacy, handing over our data, and photos of our hols and kids. Well, um ya! Duh, Zach, how else am I going to show my 1,328 Facebook friends how much fun I’m having, and what a great parent I am? I’m not going to email each and every one of them, now am I?? That would take forevs, and anyway, we all know that email isn’t secure.

His Big Theory is that once we’re all thoroughly hooked on FB (which I so am not, and could come off it at any moment if I so desired which I totes do not for the afore-mentioned reasonings), they will introduce premium features we have to pay for, to buy our privacy back.

So, he reckons that, like Malaysia buying water off Singas, we will have to buy back the rights to our own privacy. Not just that, he thinks that in the not too distant future, only the wealthy will have any privacy at all because they (we, LOLs, mega-mahusiv-sorries to expats who aren’t on packages, cashing in from properties back home, violin time!) are the only ones who will be able to afford it.

Then he showed his true Commie colours, and waffled away about “the disease of inequality”, saying that less well-off people are just going to accept that they have, and therefore deserve, no privacy. “It’ll become a default response”, according to Mr Grow a Pair.

I’m sorry, but what a load of old bleeping bleep!! Zach, sweets, get a job!! Women are clearly more suited to the trailing spouse role, and it is obviously melting his mind into a paranoid puddle of delusion.

Ugh, it was all abso exhausting! I’m still so tired today. After writing this, I’d love to go back to bed, but it’s Sunday, Bloody Sunday. Helper’s Day off. I know now how U2 must have felt.

I was up with Max at crazy o’clock last night because he had a nightmare about all the villagers he had ever killed in Minecraft coming to get him. Cousin Clara, the Tavistock psychologist has advised me that, in those late-night situations, I should listen to Max’s concerns, try not to blame or belittle him for his fears, and stay with him until he is settled. She is clueless though about the kind of stresses and strains I am under, particularly the situation with Will, so I was defo in the right when I told Max to stop being so stupid and bloody well go back to sleep.

THEN – and you will sympathise no doubt, dear readers – I had just managed to block out the sound of Max crying and go back to sleep, and my phone rang!! What now, now!? Seriously, what fresh hell is this again?

It was that woman, Chantelle, my father’s ridic new child bride! She sounded frantic, saying that he had “disappeared”, and that, although it had happened before, he had always turned up.

“I’m so sorry, Emma-Jane, I didn’t know who else to call”, she said, “I really don’t know what to do. He has been gone for hours.”

Hmmmm, I thought, a taste of your own disgusto medicine at last. Not wanting her nastiness to affect my chi, I attempted to sound as give-a-crap as possible, while mainly wanting to go back to sleep. I suggested she phone the Noosa police chappies and see what they have to say about a missing person. Knowing what he did to Mummy, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he is off somewhere “golfing” with some other chickadee. And that would show you, Missy Chantilly. What comes around goes around, sweets.

So, I was up twice in the night, once with Max, and once with my “step mother” (ugh), and frankly, I am <3′ing this whole expat thing a little less this morning. 

I’ll take Milly to Petit Bateau at the Paragon, to get her some sweet dresses. Shopping is an evidence-based cure for all ills. Plus it would look good for me to spend some time with her, and get some nice mother-daughter selfies for FB. Not least because of all this business with kicking Froo Froo dog. Poor Froosfster. I do feel for her, despite the peeing on the chestnut Chesterfield. She didn’t choose to relocate.

Weekends Are the Mega-ly Worst Part of the Week

The weekend is abso the v worst time of the week for an expat wife. The awfulness kicks off first thing in the morning, when you have to get up megaly-early, or it looks like you’ve been having lie-ins all week. Saturday is bad, but with the helper’s day off, Sunday is soul-destroying.

A big part of the problem is having to spend too much time with the children. Well, Max tends to keep himself to himself, but I mean Milly really. The most annoying thing about Milly is that, for a three-year old she is extremely self-centred. She probably gets this from Don, but I suspect that there is also a link with the breastfeeding. Until she went on to solids, Milly was exclusively breastfed, and since then the only milk she has is still lady milk. Not from me, of course, but from the help. That was on my list of requirements when we hired her:

1. Must not eat spam
2. Must not be too hot
3. Must currently be lactating

It was a horrible shame, but I had to stop breastfeeding after five weeks because I just wasn’t seeing Milly often enough for her to rely on me for food (and pumping is too disgusting to persevere with unless you have a really great party to go to).

Max, au contraire, was only ever breastfed by yours truly (we didn’t have full-time help in the UK), and he has really turned out far nicer than Milly. Whereas she takes after Don, Max is totes more like me in most respects, beyond his passion for Minecraft. I feel certain that there is an interesting piece of research to be done there, to determine whether excessive breastfeeding – or the wrong type of milk?? – can turn a child into a nasty little dog-torturing turd. I think I should pursue it, as part of my future studies in child psychology.

Another problem with weekends is that the husbands just swan around, from golf to tennis to the cigar bar, and the wives have to take up the slack around them. They never want to come to social/ whole family engagements that either they or their assistant didn’t arrange. They don’t trudge the kids birthday party circuit, year in, year out. Yet, all of a sudden they’ll come up with the brilliant idea of taking the children to Universal Studios or something (UGH), and hey presto, they’ve won the best parent award.

Then it gets to the evenings, and we either have to go out or, worse, stay in. Nightmare. You hear all this self-pitying “flying solo” tripe from the single expat mothers (and I think you’ll find it should be flying solA, girls, didn’t you pay attention when you holidayed in Spain?), but frankly babeses, what you’ve got right there is a breeze.

Helper’s Day Off and Husband Away!

It is Sunday night. I am abso exhausted, and my hair looks more shocking than anyone who knows me would think possible. I have spent the whole day with my children.

Every Sunday, helpers in Singapore have the day off. It has been enshrined in law since January 2013, before which it was one day a month. They were loathe to enforce the requirement because of how much it would inconvenience people who have help. Interesting article about it here.

Now, I do know that you can ask them to work anyway, and either give them a day off in lieu, or pay them. Our helper asked me if I needed her this Sunday (given Don’s absence), but she only did that to humiliate me, so I thought, “No way! I’ll give them a great day! I’ll show you!”

As soon as Max bounded into my bedroom at 6 o’clock this morning, I began to regret my decision. A little. (I was out last night with the ladies, so I felt a bit jaded, and could have done with the usual lie-in.) The regret, however, served only to strengthen my resolve!

I reflected on that fascinating paradox as I dozed off, having told Max that he was free to play Minecraft until Milly woke up. Milly’s a sleeper! Like Don and I have always said about children, “A sleeper’s a keeper!” Mega LOLs : D

Both of them complained that breakfast was not how the helper makes it. The pancakes were too soggy, and the chocolate milk wasn’t the right temperature. (Even my green smoothie was disappointing. I didn’t want to bother with juicing the hard veg, as well as using the blender, because I didn’t want to have to clean the damn juicer myself. The blender is one thing, but life’s too short to clean a juicer!!)

It was raining, so the traffic was hell, and I was late dropping them off at their respective golf and ballet classes.

After that, I took them to the Botanical Gardens for lunch at Food For Thought, and a run around. Who should we see, of course, but the helper! Happy as Larry, and having a lovely time, eating deep-fried MSG-laced food with her friends. The children dashed over to her, and honestly, you’d have thought that I’m no fun at all, the way they hung around, wanting to stay with her. Ingrates. Especially after I’d gone out of my way to spend the day with them.

Next, I took them to see a Pixar film at the suites, and although Max was engrossed, Milly was so comfortable in her reclined chair and duvet that she kept falling asleep. I spent most of the film trying to keep her awake by prodding her, plying her with sugar-free sweets, and pulling her hair. I didn’t want to be up all night with her!

We had dinner at Marché in the basement of Somerset, so that the ingrates could play while I uploaded photos of today’s fun activities to Facebook (I made sure the pancakes didn’t look soggy by covering them in berries, and did some heavy editing). Because of my claustrophobia, I find that place quite difficult, but I was willing to risk potential trauma for Max and Milly’s enjoyment. That’s sacrifice for you.

Milly spoiled it for everyone though (maybe she isn’t a keeper after all) by repeatedly kicking a Japanese boy, and then, without my knowing, she snuck some rösti off my plate (hangover food haha) into her pocket, and smeared it in the boy’s face!! Oh Lordy. I don’t know where she is getting this behaviour from : ( First Froo Froo dog, now this!

I wasn’t ready to leave because I still had a few more pics I wanted to post, but when the rösti incident occurred, I really had no choice as a responsible parent other than to grab Milly, and tell her that she had utterly ruined the whole weekend for everyone ever.

Luckily, I speak Japanese, so I was able to apologise profusely to the boy’s mother in my most gracious, culturally appropriate dulcet tones.  I did want to say that she should tell the boy to grow a pair, but I’m not one to make a scene.

Bedtime was the usual murderous drama. I don’t even want to dredge it up by writing about it, it was so stressful.

Once Max and the Millster were both finally asleep, I started to process the deleterious effect that today has had on my psyche. I decided to meditate, but that didn’t help. So, I did some chanting, and that didn’t help either.

Then I opened a bottle of NZ sauv blanc, and began writing the above. That helped. Expressing myself freely through the written word does seem to be both my great talent and my great saviour. I think Virginia Woolf said something quite similar. Great minds, and all that!!

But then, dear reader, my refreshed serenity was suddenly dashed against harsh jagged rocks… I got a text from Michelle’s husband: “Hey, you. We should get together some time”.

Argh!! What a creep! He must know Don’s away. I’ve no idea how to respond. Shame he’s so nice. Actually, the more I’ve thought about it, Michelle must be a difficult person to live with. Maybe he’s lonely in his marriage. That’s still no excuse though. Right, dear reader?