- We finally got wifi this month, after a month of frustrating bureaucracy, and it’s been really nice to feel somewhat connected again and be able to work. I’ve got to admit it’s also nice to be able to watch a movie without finding it in advance and downloading it too (I know, spoiled millennial here!). Netflix here has most cartoons dubbed in Chinese too so occasionally we let JQ watch one for 5-10 minutes in the hopes that he’ll pick up on some Chinese. Easy bilingualism, right? I wouldn’t necessarily learn Chinese in five minutes three times a week, but kids’ brains are supposed to be porous so I’m sure he’ll get it in no time.
- Of course, it should help that JQ has started getting babysat for three hours a day, five days a week, while I teach. We’ve asked his babysitter to speak Chinese around him so he’ll pick up on it–but it’s still a little early to tell whether it’s working yet as his go-to word is still “Maamaa” in various forms. He seems to be enjoying it (as in, not screaming the entire time), though he has been a little more clingy when he’s at home. Hopefully it won’t take him too long to adjust.
- It’s been interesting living in a basically bilingual country. Kids on the playground switch between English and Chinese without thinking; they study both in school and probably hear both at home. It does lead to some rather thick accents (it’s really hard to figure out what people are saying!), and their English is definitely colored by Chinese-isms (like using “lah” at the end of every sentence). It also makes for some humorous moments, like when the Singaporean man at Bible study gravely started explaining the spirit of peas (he meant peace) and how it could only be explained by the love of the cross.
- I haven’t taken any pictures recently because we haven’t really gone anywhere in the last few weeks, but I still have some neat pictures of downtown Singapore that I haven’t shared here.
This is the piano that Lang Lang played on….maybe on a visit to Singapore? I’m a bit fuzzy on the details, but it got its own exhibit. Shiny, huh?
- I’m finally figuring out grocery shopping/cooking here and remembering how to cook without an oven. We got spoiled by having an oven in England! Now it’s back to stovetop and toaster oven cooking, although the previous residents of our flat left us their rice cooker, so I’ve been experimenting with one-pot meals to the tune of–chopping up ginger, garlic, and yellow ginger (turmeric), throwing in rice cooker with rice and water and any other vegetables I feel like, putting a fish on top, and cooking away. Jared loves it and it’s awfully easy, though rather uninspired. It also stains my fingers and cutting board a bright yellow so I look somewhat jaundiced on my left hand.
- We got our boxes yesterday! So nice to unpack all the things we packed up in England–just like sending a present to ourselves to open in six months. Now we have a couple pictures to put on our walls and more stuff to clutter up the house with, like books..and…well…more books. And we still have most of our books packed in boxes in the U.S. When we finally move back, I’m not sure I’ll even know how to deal with multiple (as in, ten or so) shelves full of books any more–I’m already envying my future self.
- Around where we live, there’s very few white people, so JQ’s hair and skin draw lots of looks and admiring comments. They’ve also prompted several old men to start conversations: “Where you from? You American?”
“Yes, we’re American,” I reply.
“What you think ’bout Trump? How could so many Americans vote for him?”
“Well, it was a hard election,” I say, evading the question. “Neither candidate was exactly great.”
“Well, I think Bill Clinton’s wife should have won. She’s much more experienced!”
And delivering this zinger, he walked away. Many Singaporeans feel compelled to state their opinions on American politics, and they all think I should have something to do with changing them. Sorry, but democracy doesn’t actually work that way.
Linking up with This Ain’t the Lyceum!