Thursday, January 10, 2008

Back to “Normal”

It took a surprising amount of time to get back in the swing of things in Singapore after three weeks in the US. True, we lived in Singapore for only ten months before going on home leave, but could it really have taken only three weeks for us to forget everything?

I nearly got lost on the way to pick Joey up from work - though switching back to the right side of the car was no problem. And, horror of horrors, we had trouble remembering the ECP exit for our favorite Thai place! Plus, we found our palates had in fact changed during our somewhat blander food forays in the US; that Thai food had more kick than we’d remembered. Of course, they might have added extra spice to celebrate our return. They were so happy to see us - and you haven’t seen happiness until you’ve seen a Thai person smile - I think they might have feared their best customers had moved.

Still, things are back to normal now.

We know, because when Joey was carrying a newly purchased kitchen gadget through the mall, a nice man walked up and asked him in Chinese, with no preamble at all, “How much did you pay for that?” And when Joey told him, he tut-tutted sympathetically and said that wasn’t cheap.

We know, because we scheduled the nefarious landscapers for today, a rare sunny day at the end of rainy season, and of course they didn’t bother to show up.

We know, because my “social calendar” out East is filling up again with birthday lunches and people who threaten to drop by for tea without warning, just to say hello; apparently I was much missed by the local ladies, a fact which continues to surprise me. (And here I thought they only loved me for my bowling skills...)

We know, because we’re back to the family phone call time-zone crunch, all our quality time packed in between 9 and 10 a.m. and 9 and 10 p.m. so no one has to be awake too late or too early.

And the main reason we know things are back to normal: We’re finally, finally updating the blog.


jima said...

Welcome back! I, for one, am glad to see you posting again!


Alex said...

Hi! I randomly happened to pop by your blog via "expat-blog".

I am a Singaporean living in UK and I found it quite interesting to read how it works the other way around (Culture-shock!).

Have fun!

Alex's World! -

Cheryl said...

You know, because we are so happy to have you back again!

Thanks for the chope story, the "how much was that?" story, and the all-around damn fine writing.

Andrew said...

The social calendar sounds wonderful. It's unfortunate that people don't drop by more in (Caucasian Northern suburbian) American culture.