Sneaky Snogging on Airplane?!

Holiday snaps of Vagi Wraps

Holiday snaps of Vagi Wraps

Well, babeses, I’m writing to you from the airport because, although I was having the best holiday everrrrrr, like I always do, it was also pretty crap. The encounter I had on the first day with my least favourite member of the Singapore Expaterati got me off to a bad start, and then the children were driving me over the edge, without our helper with us. Furthermore, spending so much time with the little irritants was in direct contravention of Item Six of my New Year’s resolutions.

Then yesterday Don said something about having lots of work to catch up with, so I thought, right! You get back to work, and I’ll get back to my proper holiday. Yayay!! Can’t wait to be home, rollerblading down Orchard Road, after a few glasses of Veuve Click, with the wind cascading through my fabulous flaming locks! Singas, look out! Momma’s comin’ home : )!!! До Свидания, Boragrad!


It’s a bit later and we’re on the plane back. I love using the internet on flights, just because I can. Plus, I wanted to let you know ASAP about the shocking revelation that has just revealed itself to mine eyes. You’re not going to believe this, but I SWEARS it’s truesome.

So. Doom and Gloom Expat Wifey’s husband, Fred, and his (male!!) PA are on our flight, but they haven’t spotted me as I’m quite inconspicuous when I want to be, and we’re sitting a few rows behind them (no, not in Economy!). Right after take off, they ordered champagne, clinked glasses, had a quick glance around to make sure no one was watching (haha!!), and then… They snogged! OMG!! As if swinging among the Expaterati wasn’t shocking enough! Now we have this married expat chap having a flingthing with his blokie assistant!! What else is going on in our very midst? I dread to think, dear readers, I really do.

It’s no wonder though because that wife of his is a mega-drag and if I was a gay guy, Mr PA would well be on my wuddya?-hells-to-the-ya list!!

I’d better go because it’s only a short flight and I need to watch at least one film, as well as find something from the inflight shopping mag to buy that I don’t already have. Tricky!

Ooooh, tuna wasabi yum yum!

Ooooh, tuna wasabi yum yum!

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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.

Wait-a-minute! Not All Expats are A-Holes!!

This weekend, while I have been quite caught up in my feminist mission (which may or may not have been a dream – argh!), a dreadful thing has befallen the Singapore Expaterati.

A v nasty person stole screenshots from a closed Facebook group of expat wives here, in order to stir up anti-foreigner feeling among the local population. Chaps, this is totes not on!!

I’m not going to go into the original post, suffice it to say that it concerned a woman in labour waiting in a taxi queue, with no one allowing her to queue-jump. At no point did anyone check the passports of those in the queue to determine whether or not they were Singaporean, but an unfortunate inference came about that they were.

So what ensued was a discussion of how selfish or otherwise all Singaporeans are. The majority of the comments totes did not condemn our hosts, and many said the woman ought to have called an ambulance.

What the v nasty person did though, was take screenshots of the most extremo comments, the ones that said Singaporeans are racists. They then posed as an expat, “Sarah Jones” (lolol, who really has a name like that? you might as well claim to be Jane Austen or Bridget Jones! so ridic!!), and posted the shots on a site that is popular with a certain demographic of Singaporeans.

Now.

Ok.

I am all about freedom of expression (hence my feminist mission), but this seems to me a breach of trust and of privacy. Even in a group with over 10,000 members, surely there is a level of agreed sanctitification!! Am I right?? I mean, if something can leak from a group like that, does that mean the Internet has no safe space for people to speak their minds?

Well, if that’s the case then I want no part in this Internet thing anymore!! It’s just mui sinistré, mi amigos. Except for my blog, Facebook, and my meagre Twitter presence, mainly so that I can open a communication channel with V Becks. And Pinterest (I love that!). And StumbleUpon (so many funny things about cats and babies haha!!). And The Old Reader (which I don’t really get, but it’s for people on the cutting edge and that’s so mega-moi). Everything else though, I am done with you, Internet!

So what I want to say here is that although some expats are totes mega a-holes, the majority really are not. Most of us just love living here, muddling along with everyone in an environment of acceptance, and we’re serioso not trying to exploit the economy or pull a fast one. Serio, Singaporeo babeses!!

I even have a proper real Singaporean friend who agrees with me!

I told Clara about the Facebook furore, and she said that it’s “a common phenomenon for outsiders to club together and criticise the host country so as to feel a sense of bonding and belonging”. She said it happens in every expat community the world over, but in mature communities like Singapore and Hong Kong, “the process and the backlash tend to be more venomous”. She said it was to do with the British Empire and stuff about colonisation.

Hmmmmm. Well, Clara, I would agree with you, but for the fact that you have abso no idea what you’re talking about. I for one never criticise my host country and I totes <3 Singapore. The people are great, the shopping is great, the weather is great, there are loads of great restaurants, and David Beckham has bought a house on Sentosa. So it must be great! Mwa-mwa luv ya Xīnjiāpō!! Xx

Smart Move, Singapore!

In the same way that the early Americans built their towns and cities on a sensible grid system to counter the problems inherent in the more naturally evolved infrastructure of old England, Singapore has created an extremely wise solution to avoid the ills which arose from cheap labour in the Americas: do not allow these people to breed.

This interesting fact was explained to me by a taxi driver yesterday. I went to a fabulous spa on Sentosa for a facial, massage, mud wrap, and reflexology – really lovely! I like to have cheaper, more local treatments on Orchard Road at least once a week, but as Don is away, I deserved a spesh treat. I’ve been getting really quite stressed since he left (yesterday morning), what with the ongoing worry about Max’s Minecraft obsession (over which I have abso zero control, and now he has started watching YouTube clips about it, which probably signals the inevitable terminus of his six-year childhood); and Milly’s dysfunctional relationship with Froo Froo dog.

I’m v concerned about Froo Froo too because she has taken a turn for the worse, and seems to be muttering to herself in dark corners of the house. At this rate, the poor thing will need psychological support that I am simply not equipped to deliver. That’ll be expensive here, no doubt : ( Maybe I can find a Skype dog psychologist.

Sometimes I wish we lived in the States. Things like dog therapy are much cheaper there. Moving for the dog’s sanity, though, would probably not hold much sway with Don. He didn’t even want to bring the Froofster. When it came to the crunch, I had to say (bluffing, of course) that it was me and the dog, or neither of us. He did think about it for quite a while, looking back.

Anyway, so I spent the cab journey to Sentosa catching up on the news on Facebook. I like to keep abreast of the goings-on on the Singapore Expat Wives’ group. It’s very much you-snooze-you-lose with that group because there are so many interesting posts constantly emerging.

On the return journey though, I was all zen and relaxed, so I settled back into the seat, and listened to the driver’s sweet chitchat. So, that was when he told me about this clever way of discouraging the lower working people from breeding.

He explained that, as the vast majority of domestic workers (female, of course) are Filipinas, the imported manual laborers and such males are deliberately not from the Philippines. Genius!

Instead, they are Bangladeshi or Chinese, and because they often don’t speak English, and certainly not Tagalog, fraternising simply does not occur; thus no little baby working people are born on Singaporean soil. Pretty clever, eh? That, plus the required six-monthly pregnancy tests for domestics, pretty much sews up the problem : ) It covers all bases, as those hilariously metaphorical yanks would say.

By the time I got to Dempsey to meet my new friend Liz for lunch (Liz knows Deb, whom I know from our last country, from the country they were in before that; I think it was Zambia, or Namibia or somewhere; def one of the African “ia”s), I felt v curious and inspired by the circumstances of the lower workers in Singapore. I am considering writing a book, if I can find the time, either about Filipina domestics, or perhaps a collection of taxi driver tales. Both would be so fascinating, I can’t decide! (I still haven’t decided about my pool towel and club dilemnas! Argh!!)

Thankfully, I have at least made up my mind about which Gucci bag to have flown in to Dubai airport. Quel relief!

I think Liz, particularly as a newcomer, was v interested in my potential sociological studies because she kept nodding, smiling, and saying, “Ah, yes” and “Oh really?”. In her previous (pre-expat wife) life, she was an editor on a highbrow British paper, so she knows a good story when she sees one. Lay off my ideas, Liz!! LOLs.

EJ’s Musings: Fascinating Details About Singapore/ Singaporeans

So I’ve heard that in Singapore you can get arrested or fined for being spotted walking around starkers in your own home. If that’s true, why have I not been brought to justice?? : D Why is no one noticing?? Is all the money I’m spending on private pilates sessions going to waste?!

Seriously, if that’s the case, I might as well switch to a group class. Much cheaper.

But on a totes diff subject…..

Singaporeans are just so sweet and lovely. A second ago I was crossing Orchard, checking my stats on the phone (thanks, Mummy, for telling your aqua aerobics group about my bloggie wog xx), and I accidentally trod on this guy’s heel. So of course, because I’m here as a guest, and I’m an ambassador for all Caucasians and expat wives, I went out of my way to mega-apologise. The guy turns round, smiles, and says, “Hey, that’s ok”. So nice. In England you could get stabbed for treading on someone’s foot, especially in the North.