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.

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Ebola Halloween Fundraiser! & Mrs Expat Singapore!!

I cannot apologise enough for leaving you hanging, dear reader(s?) (hello Mummy!! Lolol, that’s still funny, isn’t it??). Since Don got back I have been quite busy because him being here means there has to be a meal on the table most nights, rather than me going out for dinner with the gals, or grabbing a quick poached chicken breast at home. So, I have to put a ton of time and energy into scouring recipe books and websites to do the menu planning for the helper. Plus, if I’m in an Ottolenghi mood (love, love, LOVE Ottolenghi!), she often needs the ingredients explained to her (yawn), AND I need to tell her exactly which specialist shops in the various corners of the island to go to.

The other reason I’ve been so outlandishly busy is that I have been organising an Ebola fundraising Halloween party, in my capacity as Events Chair of the Singapore International Women and Trailing Spouses Association (SIWTSA). The response has been phenomenal, even with the ticket price at $600 per head. I think everyone is as excited as I am about the theme of Ghoulish and Ghastly Disease Victims. My idea : ). The Expaterati are positively a-spew with excitement on Twitter. Such a great idea of mine. It’s a wonderful way of raising awareness about a really terrible illness, even if it’s only Africans who can get it.

Anyway, because of all this, I haven’t had a second to myself. Until today, that is, when I went for my colour (though I am a natural redhead), and keratin treatment (an anti-frizz must in Singapore – just ask Vicks Beckham about the ravaging toll this climate takes on the coiffure). As I sat there for four hours, I allowed my mind to wander, and I found that it wandered to… Michelle’s husband. He has sent me another message in the interim: “BTW, please call me Will. That’s what my good friends call me. Michelle calls me Bill lol.”

I didn’t answer, but I thought it was quite a sweet message really. Will is a much sexier name than Bill!

Then I thought about Don, and how he doesn’t say sweet things to me, or listen to much I say. Like the fundraiser, for example. He has shown abso no interest when I’ve told him all my exciting and highly creative plans for the event. He just says, “Yes, dear”, and changes the subject. Plus he’s away for the actual party, so he isn’t even coming. He told me where he’s going, but I can’t recall.

I realised that I was feeling something I haven’t felt for years. Not since the days when I used to have a job. I realised that despite all the things I am busy with, I am feeling bored. Which is depressing, and I refuse to feel depressed (hmmmm, maybe it’s time to relocate to a different country). Not my modus operandi! Depression is for people who have no control over their lives, like that doom and gloom expat wifey I met the other day. People call it an illness, but come on! Ebola, now there’s a proper illness. You don’t see great parties, fund-raising for depressed people, now, do you?? No! Because they would be crap, miserable parties.

When I got home, I tried on the dress I’ll be wearing to the Melbourne Cup in a few weeks. It’s still a little tight around the waist, but there’s time. I looked in the mirror, admired my lovely hair, and had one of those powerful epiphany moments when I realised that I actually look fantastic. I do get a lot of male attention, but I’ve always chosen to ignore it. It’s only since “Will” (awwww) has turned up that I realise my confidence has taken a bashing from all these years of being Yes Deared by Don. I see now that I have been hiding my not insignificant light under a bushel.

And I know what I need to do about it. I need to take control.

Yes. So, I am going to enter the Mrs Expat Singapore pageant! In fact, I am going to win that thing!! Or at least come second. (Or third.)

I have a frock picked out from the Paragon already. Take a look at this tangerine triumph, dear reader!

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One last piece of news (I is on a roll today, innit??). I think the Gucci bag Don got me in Dubai is a fakee. Oh, Don : (

The Who-Has-Lived-in-More-Countries Competition

I feel really really really peeved today, following a conversation with one of those irritating expat wives who thinks she knows it all. These women get on my nerves. Let’s call her “Betty”. (I know she writes a blog too – about her fascinating travels, of course – so I wouldn’t want her to be identifiable.)

Anyway, so I was at a lunch with a few ladies, having a nice chat with Michelle (argh! should I tell her about what her husband did?! Awkward!!), and then this Betty pipes up and starts going on about their last country, and all the other ones she has lived in. She listed all the countries, and while other people were trying to talk about something else, she just kept at it. So annoying and immature! I’ve lived in more countries than you, Ms Betty Boo, so you can just stfu!!

Finally, someone else managed to get a word in, and the topic changed to expat/ third culture kids, and how fun it is for them to move around all the time. Then, Betty threw herself with full force back into the conversation, but this time tried to tell everyone how her kids are so much more third culture than everyone else’s!

My kids may be younger, but they’re just as TC as hers. I hope she leaves soon, and then she can add another country to her stupid list.

The only thing that is making me feel slightly better is that I noticed they’re opening a new Vietnamese restaurant in the Paragon. There’s really nothing like a good pho.