If you are looking for a quirky depiction of an adventurous ride on a toboggan down slippery slopes lined with prickly pines, then I am sorry to have disappointed you. But if you see things from the point of view of a woman who has been married for slightly over one and half years and has already shifted three times to three different countries in the course of that period, maybe you will understand why all of this feels like tobogganing to me.
For people who know me on Facebook, this will be no news; if they’ve noticed my location change and umpteen status updates about the move, that is. But for the rest few, yes, we have moved. Again. While it was eight months in Vietnam, we managed about nine in Malaysia, and now we are finally in Singapore. Hopefully for good, if the countless arguments and endless discussions are anything to go by.
I’ll spare you the gory details of teary goodbyes and watching my entire household being packed in impersonal brown boxes, because that is stuff for another post. This post is all about the new and the now. Which is this surprisingly cute place I found, all by myself, on the very first day of house hunting in Singapore. Funny story about that day, actually. I was juggling two agents in a small window of two hours and almost had a panic attack when one of them started yelling at me on the phone because I was taking too long with the other agent. I decided there and then NOT to like any of the units the mean agent would show me. And just because fate had to go all “Ha ha, that’s what you think!” on me, I ended up falling in love with the very first place he showed me. It was everything I’d wanted, minus, of course, the king sized bath tub with a Jacuzzi and a huge balcony with intricate railings that overlooked the sea and the living room that stretched on for miles, but well, a woman can be reasonable. A working water fountain thingy in the living room and a kitchen big enough for me to dance about and an Asian low bed on a raised wooden platform in the bedroom works just about the same.
We shifted to the apartment a week later, and our stuff arrived from Kuala Lumpur the same day. What followed was a grueling weekend that involved trips to a department store or a hardware store and coming back and setting everything up and remembering we’d missed out something and then making a trip again; rinse and repeat until it was Sunday evening and all of our bags were unpacked and the house looked ready to live in, and we looked as though we were about to drop dead. I remember this one time when both of us were laden with all kinds of bulky stuff, and we had to walk to our apartment, and we found a bench that looked really tempting. We sat down, enjoyed the breeze for a little while, got up and walked for another couple of minutes and found a bench to sit on again. And we both marveled at how we’d always underestimated roadside benches all over.
In earnest, even though I wasn’t quite keen on having to move out of Kuala Lumpur, I am very slowly warming up to Singapore. Don’t expect me to start singing paeans anytime soon though. The apartment’s nice and convenient; just five minutes’ drive away from my sister’s place and a walking distance to all the amenities, including buses and trains. I haven’t ventured out much, but I did get a year long membership of a nearby community library which has plush cushioned couches and power sockets for laptop adapters and is basically a bookworm writer’s wet dream come true. Our home got finally wifi-ed up yesterday (which partly explains why I am posting this today) and things look optimistic. Singapore has treated me nicely so far, and I guess I am trying to be nice to it in return.
The last two months have been an emotional roller coaster ride. Having to leave a home that I loved very much, and friends who have become an inseparable part of my life was excruciating; and yet knowing that here I am five minutes away from family was comforting. Exploring the nearby area and taking long walks all around to figure out where we’d be getting our weekly groceries from was fun, and setting up a home all by ourselves at a place we know we aren’t leaving in nine months’ time was super romantic, sweaty clothes and aching backs aside.
So here’s to Singapore. Let’s see if we can become friends after all.