Archives for posts with tag: weather; lifestyle

waterpotplant

It’s rainy season. With bells on. It is marginally, fractionally, just a smidge cooler though after a blustery shower which makes wandering around a little less hot and bothersome. In fact, I actually felt a bit chilly the other day. Saying that though, today is a scorcher!

Now, Minx is saying that she isn’t getting a feel of Singapore from the photos I am sending home. I should point out that we lived out here as a family 40 years ago and the Singapore my mother loves so much is gone. Maybe that is why I spend so much time looking for ‘old’ Singapore, perhaps it is some early childhood memory I’m trying to find.

This photo perfectly sums up the change. Gentrification is everywhere. I don’t mind that, I just wish it always didn’t all look the same. I wonder if these neighbours speak. I doubt it somewhow.

old and new

Shopping malls are another part of Singapore life – the largest one I have ever been to in my life is called Vivo City at Harbourfront. It is absolutely enormous. It’s the kind of place that I go to thinking ‘Let’s go to Vivo City, all the shops are in one place, brilliant idea’. Then you get there and realise that the shop you want is 5 escalators and about 2km away from the entrance. Bleugh. The last time we went there Dom was going up an escalator in a daydream and looked at the brushes at the side of the step bit. You know the ones I mean – the bristles that stop any rubbish getting stuck in the sides. Dom thought ‘I wonder if that feels nice if you brush your foot against the bristles’. Of course the pharmacist is MILES away from where you are as your foot gets sliced and bleeds everywhere…. Millie rightly said ‘You won’t do that again, will you daddy!’

Away from the malls though, if you look down side streets you can still see old shophouses open for business. How long they will survive? Who knows. I love them. On a hot (or rainy day) you can walk under the archways keeping cool in the shade.

hardware store

greengrocers

I also want to find the painters that, when refurbishing yet another row of shophouses into posh residences, didn’t paint over this. So grateful.

lucky book store

lucky book store close up

In my quest for space, we took the kids around Macritchie Resevoir. I wonder how much of this has been recently man-made or if it has been preserved as part of Singapore heritage? The following are some pics from there. Hard to believe this is in the middle of Singapore. I am going to point out though that it took a great deal of patience (which I deeply lack) to take pictures without hordes of people in it. The walkers, families, trail runners and meanderers make this a less restful place than it looks…

view from tree top walk

monkey

macritchie resevoir

Singapore now. Singapore then.

gossiping rabbits
I love this photo that I took at the Singapore Art Garden. They are definitely female, and definitely at the school gates don’t you think? Ah, the school run. The school run takes no prisoners the world over it seems; groups of women with invisible cauldrons.

I’m expected to make friends at the school gate. Oh, how I hate this. I can never help myself saying something flippant or (accidentally) really inappropriate. In my head I tell myself I have wonderful friends – they just happen to be 16000 miles away. Not the best role model for the kids. Shall we say I could probably try harder?

Making friends doesn’t get easier with age, fact. At our wedding my dad made a lovely speech about how sitting at each table was a friend from each part of my life and that a gift I had inherited from my mother was making lifelong friends.

So I gave myself a virtual slap and decided to unclench.

I found myself smiling politely listening to two women having a verbal spar about who had the best life summer holiday, when I caught a look in the eye of another mother that spoke volumes. All it took was a ‘new too?’ Five minutes later we had dissected with clinical precision that:

The weather here is dodgy (we are both English, the weather is our default conversation of choice)

What we thought of the school (early days)

How we will avoid being press-ganged for the PTA (an instant bond)

Numbers exchanged, coffee arranged.

I’m a gossiping rabbit.

rain

I’m a very polite guest here in Singapore but it is one of those days and as Jane Austen once (kind of) said ‘if you have nothing useful to say, restrict your remarks towards the weather’.

It’s hot and overcast here with thunderstorms in the afternoons. Every day.

It’s true, I find the weather here very challenging.

When I was an English teacher in Japan, about a million years ago, we had to teach the kids these dreadful songs. One was cheerily called ‘The Weather Song’. It wasn’t tricky. One group had to sing ‘How’s the weather?’ and the other group would reply ‘It’s sunny/rainy/cloudy’ – delete as appropriate.

One day, a group of six year olds all sang ‘How’s the weather?’ ‘It’s unchi’ came the reply. I let them sing it over and over (killing time, I wasn’t a good teacher) thinking that it probably meant ‘happy’ or ‘fun’ until the door slid open and my office manager kindly pointed out they were singing:

‘How’s the weather? It’s s-h-i-t.
‘How’s the weather? It’s shiiit
How’s the weather? It’s shiiit, it’s so shiiit today.

This week (and last week), the weather in Singapore is definitely unchi.

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