We had family visit us a couple of weeks ago, so the Missies got to have their grandparents do grandparent-y things with them. That’s one of the big things that expat kids miss out on. Those everyday interactions with family that most kids take for granted. They watched the Big Missy play touch rugby in the baking sun and the Little Missy play basketball in a stuffy school hall. Card games were shared and Monopoly was also played. This was particularly exciting for the Missies as Monopoly is, as far as I’m concerned, a game to be avoided at all costs and rarely played.
Before the Big Missies sport my dad was standing out the front of Giant supermarket and was bewildered to see a man wheel out a full trolley of groceries that he’d just purchased. Realising he’d forgotten to buy something he pushed the trolley into the corner and went back into the supermarket.
My dad relayed the story to us incredulously.
Our family of four looked at my dad puzzled. I said ‘and?’ wondering what the big deal was.
‘But isn’t he worried it’ll get stolen?’
And that highlighted the change in our attitudes since being in Singapore. We take safety for granted. The chance of the man’s groceries being stolen is minimal. Sure, it could happen but it’s unlikely.
I’d absolutely do this myself in Singapore, but there’s no way I’d do it in Australia. Somewhere during the past five years I’ve developed two different sets of behaviours.
One for Singapore and another for everywhere else.
I don’t even know when this happened as it wasn’t a conscious decision. I can’t say for certain but I suspect it’s quite a common thing for expats.