Yesterday was May 14th, the six year anniversary of our relocation to Singapore. SIX YEARS. Which is double the amount of time we signed up for, but I think we always knew that we’d be gone from Australia for a while.
It’s been wonderful. And hard. And sweaty. And tiring.
But after six years my one big feeling towards Singapore is ‘normal’.
This is our normal life. And I think that’s something that a lot of people don’t quite understand. Our life now very much resembles our life back in Australia, just with added sweat. It’s not a holiday. It’s proper life. We don’t spend the weekends exploring like we did in the early days. We spend them thinking about doing stuff but end up sticking to our tried and trusted routine of not doing much at all.
After six years even the lure of the swimming pool in our condo has worn off. I’m not actually sure when the last time my kids went for a swim in it. Six years ago they were in the pool every day, but when you can swim every day you rarely do. Or at least that’s the way it is in our house.
Our week days also follow a normal routine, with the kids heading to school and Himself heading to work. My days are spent mainly at home, taking care of the home front (by choice, we have never had a maid/helper), working and studying. I’m possibly close to the least social expat on the island so I’m pretty happy in my own space.
Singapore has tested me in ways I never, ever expected. Those early days were rough. Really rough. I never wanted to head home but there were many days where Singapore just didn’t make sense and everything was just tooooo hard. I always knew, though, if I held on tight I’d make it to the other side of culture shock.
Most things in Singapore make sense now, or if they don’t then I accept them. I have very, very few moments when the country doesn’t make an ounce of sense. Even the smell of durian doesn’t faze me too much now. I’m not going to eat it but I can co-exist being in the same space without retching! I have even passionately argued in favour of the ‘chope’ (tables in hawker centres can be reserved by placing an item like tissues on it) as it’s so quintessentially Singaporean. I’m very fond of can/can not instead of yes/no, but am working my way up to lah.
Singapore also gave me the amazing opportunity to have a book published and to return to study. Both of which I would have scoffed at had you told me six years ago! Every branch of the library here has my book in stock, as well as gracing the shelves at Kinokuniya and Popular, which blows my mind. My local Melbourne library also has it!
(Hashtag hashtags don’t belong in blog posts)
Six years down the track and I’ve learned so much from our time in Singapore, for which I will be eternally grateful.
Thank you, Singapore!