The Move

Wednesday August 6

What a day.  We checked out of paradise.  We moved into hell.  Only kidding…but it’s been a really rough day.  Once you get away from the air conditioned world of the Fairmont, the heat becomes an issue again.  We got to our house at 8:30 in the morning and we were all wilting.  We walked over to Ben’s school for a 9:00 orientation and by the time we got to the school gates, both boys were close to tears from tiredness and heat (its a 10 minute walk!). 

Orientation was ok.  But, we were all so hot that it was hard to muster much enthusiasm.  Immediately following, I dashed out to the grocery (Cold Storage) to pick up necessities for our house.  I shopped fast b/c I needed to get lunch back home.  And, it was a struggle – when’s the last time anyone has ordered lunch meat by the Kilogram???  What’s up with the appalling smell of Durian fruit EVERYWHERE!  And, am I really expected to pay S$15 per gallon for Horizon milk???  I have got to find out what hormones might be in the local milk.  Anyway,  I was half way thru checking out when I noticed the store only takes Cash or “NET” cards.  Not ATM or credit.  I had S$60.  I was basically able to by the lunch meat and some bread.  I was in tears as I left the store (and WHO KNEW!  Cold Storage is the largest grocery chain here…why don’t they take ATM???? IKEA does!).  Anyway, I was so upset, I hit a post in the parking garage as I was trying to back out of my parking spot. 

After my fiasco at Cold Storage, we decided we better get to a local bank and open a local checking account.  We’ve been having all kinds of problems with our banking.  So, Dave looked up the closest Citibank.  We took off after lunch and wound up in a local market with only a Citibank ATM.  This excursion turned out to be fun tho because we got to learn about the local markets.  THIS is where people shop.  Food is more reasonably priced.  You buy everything from indivitual vendors.  It’s amazing to walk thru and see all the fish, chicken, eggs displayed out on ice (or not in the case of the eggs…).  We really enjoyed this.  Durian fruit is in season and is prominently displayed.  The smell is horrendous.  And, a pealed Durian looks like bad chicken.  I can’t imagine tasting this. 

Anyway, I was just out in our back yard, taking a break from Ikea construction.  My closest neighbors have their entire kitchen outdoors.  The only thing standing between me and their pantry is a clothes line.   After cooking a dinner tonight in my kitchen, I understand why. 

Currently, Dave is stuck in a parking garage.  The garages run on Cash Cards.  We had one but it ran out of money on Dave as he was trying to exit.  He’s desparately trying to refill the card right now.  I hope he comes home soon. 

The boys are sleeping.  Our air conditioning is blasting.  It’s almost 9:00 pm and it’s still like an oven out there.  I hope we can come up with something fun for them tomorrow.  They have spent a ridiculous amount of time standing around department stores, wet markets and hotels for the last week.  Just one week ago we were having Ben’s early 6th birthday surrounded by wonderful people.  Now, we have not a friend to play with.


11 thoughts on “Wednesday August 6”

  1. hang in there! You are going to be fine. Don’t knock the durian until you try it. Have you seen mangosteens yet?

    A nice cooling snack/drink is a young coconut. Drink the cool juice then scrape out the flesh. Yum. Cold cut fruit and fruit drinks are in every market stall you’ll be in.

    The botanical garden opens early and you can have breakfast there. Try roti pratha for breakfast. Then, drop into the orchid house which has stunning blooms and nice, cooling mists.

    Yes, wet markets are the way to go. Also, you can shop at Jason’s market which is under the Fairmont and takes ATM cards. They have bagels and reasonable dairy prices.

    I am so jealous and we are looking forward to visiting. Drink Tiger beer! You are going to be fine! Love you

  2. Oh, you are breaking my heart. I feel for you. A new place, new climate conditions and a new culture which is all so far from your comfort zone.

    Whether you end up loving it there or not, I have no doubt that you will look back months from now and if not laugh a little, at least realize that it gets easier.

    We are not able to drive over and give you a hug, but we are thinking of you guys. Thanks for blogging and letting us experience some of your adventure.

    Don’t forget, we are only a phone call away, if you need it. 15 hours is nothing!

  3. Hang in there Sue! I’m sure the first few days are the toughest. And the boys will make friends quickly when school starts. We are thinking of you!
    Sarah and Trevor

  4. Hey Sue~

    Sounds like one heck of an adventure! Thank you so much for posting all of this! Very interesting! Hang in there! I’m sure the first week or two or three will be a lot of culture shock, but in time you will adapt. You’re such a strong person, so i’m sure you’ll be fine! I look forward to reading more as time goes on! This is great! You’re great! 🙂 Keep us posted!

  5. HI Sue and Dave

    Sorry it’s been such a rough day. But it makes for an entertaining read on this end. I know you will look back and laugh in a few months. OH my gosh—$15.oo for milk. Crazy! Maybe those hormones aren’t so bad for you after all :).

    Aidan is enjoying 1st grade and wondered when Ben starts school. Hi to the boys.

    Tricia and clan

  6. Thanks so much for all the supportive comments. It’s really nice to read – really, really nice!

    Tricia, Ben starts K on Wednesday.

    And, I believe the temp here is 88 F (feels like 99) according to the Weather Channel. UGGG. I was better off not knowing 😉

  7. Wow and I thought milk had gotten expensive here! What seems like hell now will make for great stories and laughs later. Guaranteed. Once school starts you’ll meet so many families who’ve been through the same experiences and who are similarly anxious to make meaningful connections with others. I’m just amazed by how much you’ve already done in such a short period of time!!! I love reading your accounts of this new, strange place. Thanks for sharing it all!!!! xoxo Sue

  8. AAWWW! You can do it. Just TRY the dorian!!! 🙂 Sean ate a whole one while he was just there. Maybe you can beat him with 2!

    Hang in there, sweetie! We’re all rooting for you here! Still missing you gobs!

  9. Hey Sue,

    I was almost in tears when you were describing the Durian fruit – hysterical! Glad you are figuring out the scene there and quickly it seems. Very impressed on all the little outings you have already managed and it looks like the boys are having a lot of fun despite all the “chores” that need to be completed. I love this site too, really well done and feels like we are closer somehow seeing the video and reading about all of these new experiences. So thanks, is is helping all of us here too. 🙂

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