Some years ago, we wished to live and experience life in a different country. But years passed, and that opportunity didn't' arrive and so we settled down in JB - the southern most city in Peninsula Malaysia. Recently, the traffic on the causeway was too much for Chris and the boys to bear and so we decided to take a small leap and move over to Singapore.
Having had three kids and 10 years of collected junk.. moving isn't easy at all. We have become so rooted and comfortable in our little Taman where both Chris and my parents live, where the boys used to attend pre-school and where I teach. Life was good. We had a live in maid, and our meals are being prepared for by the my dear Aunty Cies when she is around, our maid or the maid at my mom's. We had family to call for help whenever we needed that support. I had a car, bicycles, fishes and a small but beautiful front yard and garden. Oh... I miss all that so much. For the first two weeks we were here in Singapore, I keep asking myself why oh.. why did we moved?
Life was tough at first, I had to get use to no maid, no car, needed to learn everything from scratch with three kids tagging along with me and a lot of walking. I was physically drained... Thank God Aunty Cies came and stayed with us until I was on my feet.
Lot of things to get use to.
Though me and Chris both went to school in Singapore, the Singapore now and 15 years ago is very much different. The population has increased! crowd is crazy! For everything you need to queue and you need to pay...
Exchange rate from SG $ to RM is so high now that everything that I buy I feel a big heartache and kept thinking to myself.. "in JB it's only.... RM... and I can get three of what I pay here"... I felt so guilty paying so much for everything!
But that was 3 months back... I still do that sometimes but I am getting use to it. And surprisingly, somethings are actually cheaper even after the conversion.
Couple more stuff to get use to... :
Hanging clothes on the poles!!! One my biggest fear. I even had nightmare dropping the poles from the 12th floor! I still don't do it often, as I'm not tall and I have to tip toe to put the pole out. I only do it if I have towels to hang and it needed some sun. If not I just hang them in my study.
The school bus:
Trevor travels by the school bus. The bus aunty was my biggest nightmare! In Singapore everything is very punctual (almost), and I am not! (Not proud of it but time has always been my greatest weakness, I just cant keep track of my time... :( )
Anyway, the boys used to take school bus from JB to SG, and our beloved superman bus uncles and aunties are so friendly and patience. Boys sit in the porch and wait for the buses. If you are a bit late, they honk and wait for you. But here in Singapore school bus comes on the dot and leaves if you are not there! So everyday I run downstairs carrying Tyler in my arms and Trevor's super heavy bag and race to reach the place where the bus will pick him up. I have to do the same when picking him up from the bus stop. The first time I forgot the time and was late picking him up. The Aunty called and screamed at me!!! She warned me that if I forget again, they wont want to pick him up anymore! I am at her mercy because that's the only bus company that their school have. The second day I was late again.. by 1 min... And they left without Trevor.. :( Me and Trevor were devastated... who knew taking school bus was so difficult... and missing the bus is so depressing. Chris talked to his colleagues and its true.. they wont wait! Not because they dont want to but Singapore roads are mostly " NO PARKING, NO WAITING, NO STOPPING!!" so they cant stop & wait for you if you are not there... Even road systems and laws shapes the way people behave... Friendliness is a foreign word here...
Oh well...after that experience... I set alarm on my phone with 3 snoozes to make sure I get Trevor there on time for the bus to pick him up... The bus Aunty and I got off on the wrong foot. One day few weeks later, we were walking towards the bus stop and the bus came... didn't see us walking there, it didn't stop and just left.. when we called up, the bus driver screamed over the phone and refuse to turn back to fetch Trevor. I was pissed... called up the manager and complained that the bus didnt even stop. The manager called back to talk to me and the bus aunty also called to talk to me saying she would have turn back if it was up to her. The bus driver is a bit deaf.. so he keeps screaming at people and at her. She also has her limitations. I feel sorry for her too... after that, she and I were ok, and she finally smiles when picking or fetching Trevor.
Dont have a car, but I got a bicycle with a baby seat that I can ride and park anyway (almost) I like! A little bit of freedom and mobility for me. I'm happy. Public transport is convenient, just need to plan ahead - a challenge for me.
After 3 months... things are finally settling down. There're still ups and downs. Some days are great, other days are just so hard. But I'm getting there, we're getting there! I guess one thing I learnt is to accept my situation and my role now and try to have a bit of joy daily.
And another big thing I am doing now is COOKING! I never had to cook... I love it, but I take forever to prepare and clean up. & I am fortunate to have super great cooks like Aunty Cies and my mother in law around me. But now I have no choice. So I cook, and I'm learning to love it! Cleaning up is still a pain... but luckily Chris helps me out with that.
Oh ya! the boys are a great great help too. We use to have help.. lots of help however I always ask the kids to feed themselves, clean up, help around the house. So now the kids help me clean, mop, wash toilets, cook, wash dishes, hang up the laundry, keep the clothes, water the plants...etc..All the years of training them.. and letting the help out even though they made a mess had paid off. I am blessed.
|Sushi, I cooked, they assemble.|
|Trevor is great with Tyler, he showers him, wear his clothes, makes his milk, reads to him, plays with him.|
|They love scrubbing the toilet.|
|Hanging out the clothes.|