29-Sep-2013

And one year flies by




And just like that a year has whizzed by. Things that used to amuse me, startle me, puzzle me and get me grinning like a kid have all been taken in my stride. 

The other day, my secretary asked me something and I casually said ‘No, la’

That is how Singaporean I am becoming. I can even say sentences like ‘canna do Saturday? 
Can do next week?’

I have become a pro at taking the MRT, displaying that subtle aggression needed in jumping into the train car without actually touching or pushing anyone. I used to scornfully glare from behind my book at the commuters whose eyes used to be glued to their IPhones. The other day I got into the metro with my eyes glued to my IPhone and a man next to me squeezed his Naom Chomsky to make some space for me.

Newbie.

Though I did turn just a wee bit red at having crossed over to the other side.

I have lunch at the hawker’s centre. I love the wide variety of food at affordable prices. I still haven’t gotten around to carrying little packets of tissues to reserve a place for myself at the crowded tables at the hawkers’ centres. It just seems so school girly.

I have realised that school girly is quite in. A lot of the admin staff does school girly when it comes to office wear. Even if they are fifty years old and the varicose veins are popping out.

Equally there are the elegant women gliding about in their Jimmy Choos and lugging their Prada bags. I honestly had never seen anyone wear Jimmy Choo to office in real life before. It is rather cool and makes me feel like I am living in a Hollywood movie.But it is still very much a shorts city.

I have started living in shorts. It is an amazing comfortable piece of clothing. Having lived in humid cities all my life, I can’t believe I discovered it so late in life (But then try wearing shorts in Chennai. Ha ha. It is bad enough you attract eyeballs with mere dresses)
Shorts means not taking the easy way out when it comes to hairy legs. A cheap Indian parlour has been located to do the needful. I have exchanged notes with other expat friends and found that apparently every country has a cheap Indian parlour.

I have not bought a designer bag. Yet. Given my propensity to leave my handbag lying on the floor, it seems like a terrible waste of money. Though I may succumb.

Like the IPhone instead of a book

I have discovered the National Library building and been happily borrowing books. They are a damn sight better than the lending libraries I had to depend on in Mumbai, which primarily stored Mills and Boons (ugh)

I have also fallen in love with the sports facilities in my Condo and in the community centre nearby. What joy is it to get some exercise while playing a game of badminton or by swimming. Infact I have started exercising a bit more given the easy access to facilities. Which compensates a wee bit for all the food I gorge at the hawker centres.

Most of all though, I love the nursing rooms in some of the malls. I considered shacking up in the one in Takshmimaya. It was just so much better than sitting in my armchair at home with Bobo.

I am still not completely enamoured by the weather. I am out and out a coastal-city-with-humid-weather girl. But even I find the daily downpour a bit bothersome. The one week when there was no sign of rain, my colleague explained that it was because it was summer.

Huh.

Long ago when I had visited the city for the first time, I never thought I would live here. The newspapers seemed insipid, the city is a bit on the tiny side, there is no really architectural or other wonder to speak of.

Yet, I have realised that as long as the nuts and bolts are ok, then you just settle into a city. In this phase of life, with my time tightly squeezed between work and motherhood, I am happy with what’s on offer.

So far, so good. 

04-Sep-2013

Travelling with a Baby - Part 3


The return trip had been booked for Saturday night to give us a day to recover on Sunday. This was just as well since the holiday had turned out to be so tiring that I was rather looking forward to my ten-hour days at work and the once-a-night wakeup routine. It seemed more relaxing!  

On the way back, we decided to play it safe. Bobo slept off at his usual time as per routine. Then with the sound levels of a bunch of robbers stealing into a house in the middle of the night, we left for the airport and successfully reached the gate. Unfortunately a last minute redirection to a new gate, accessible by only one elevator meant a long wait, jostling unruly crowds and finally an awake Bobo.

Our struggles with Bobo’s sleep may make it seem like we are rank amateurs and don’t have a clue about Bobo’s routine or how to put him to sleep.

This is partly true. We don’t spend quite enough time during the daytime to be comfortable with putting him to sleep.

Besides, Bobo’s routine is sort of stable but not entirely so. And when you are travelling across time zones, it gets messed up even more. Bobo also goes to sleep following a routine that looks like we are trying to violently kill him off. It involves covering him with a thin muslin blanket and producing our own ‘white noise’ by saying ‘Ooooo’ loudly and continuously as he registers his protest at being forced to sleep by wailing loudly. This is clearly not an action that can be reproduced in public. So we were forced to use untested methods throughout the trip with mixed success.

This time though, D had had enough. Once inside security, he went right ahead doing our conventional ‘yelling like a banshee’ method. I sat and squirmed a few seats away, acutely conscious. Except it turned out no one batted an eyelid and could not care less.

Bobo fell asleep.

Once in the plane, we took no chances with the bassinet. Instead I held him and both of us slept quite ok.

When we landed, it was bright and early and morning.

We took a cab home where I deposited Bobo into the eager hands of my Helper and then finally slept like a baby.