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.
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.
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.