Life In A Foreign Land

It has been 2 months since we left our home in Singapore and I am glad that life has more or less setttled into a routine
In about 2 weeks’ time the boys will start school and they will be going to the same school
And I think it’s gonna be fun

The transition was tougher than I expected
The most stressful part has to be looking for a house and then a school, which I can trust that will teach and not just let my kids play all day
Then there were the little hiccups along the way
And I survived, though I think all this stress has taken a toll on me

For the record, I was trapped in my own house on the second day of moving in
The husband was at work and the power supply for the house was cut off
Apparently we took ownership of the house faster than the utility account

There was no water, no electricity and I couldn’t get my garage door to open when I needed to go fetch the kids from their summer program
Fortunately, the mattress guy came and the African American who was more than doubled my size held up the garage door with sheer muscle strength while I backed out the car
He saved my day but that didn’t spare us from having to shower in icy cold water for the next 3 days

Then there was the part on driving on the different side of the road
It didn’t come naturally and I went on the wrong side of the road a few times and I am still keeping my fingers crossed each time I drive
I had to drive 15 miles with the kids on the 3rd day we arrived

Racing down the interstate highway at 70 miles per hour in a rental car wasn’t really what a stay-at-home-mom does

Trucks of all makes and siizes made tiny me feel even punier
And I couldn’t say enough good things about those geeks who came up with Google Map
It gave hope to hopeless navigator like me and arguably made map reading an obselete skill

Then 2 weeks into our transition, I was told that my Singapore driving license would become invalid after a year
Didn’t matter if I had an expired lesson driving license from the country
I had to retake everything, theory and practical, no less

And you thought that the 20 years of driving experience would have helped me
but the truth was, that also included 20 years of bad driving habits, those that would unnerve a tester

So after having to wait 4 hours for a 10 minutes theory test I wasn’t in my best mood
To make things worst, I was told to go back on another day for my practical test

I realised that not all counties are made equal even for a first world country and it made me appreciate the efficiency we have back home
Insistence and string pulling worked
I got my way, they granted me the practical test

So after 7 hours of gruelling wait and having to argue with the tester the way to check for traffic,  I walked out of the shabby office with a tiny sheet of paper that certified me, Legal To Drive

Then to add drama, 3 weeks ago, while trying to decide what dress to wear for a dinner function, I realized that one of our luggage was missing (It was one with all my jewelery and my favourite watch)

We went onto a frantic search around the house to no avail
Then my husband remotely remembered how he had carefully tucked the small luggage in the corner of our cramped up hotel room
That was more than a month ago !
My heart almost stopped

We called the hotel and was put on hold
It was like judgement day

Finally after what seemed like forever, the lady spoke
What came through was like the most beautiful thing I have ever heard

They found our luggage !
I couldn’t believe it !

I don’t think my heart could take any more of these
The last 2 month was nothing short of eventful
but somehow I feel that the adventure is far from over

But isn’t that’s what life is all about
About not knowing and having to change
About making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next

So come what may
Just bring’em on, Life !




  1. Sandra says:

    How exciting…. Haha… I hear u on all the highs and frights, and when the kids get settled in school, it really would get easier. Thankfully we got my older boy in school after two weeks so it made life a little easier for us. Haha… Jiayou, and I look forward to reading more on your adventures!!!

  2. Juliet says:

    Hey, you’re doin’ great!! Hang on there, gal !!
    BTW : I travel frequently between the US and Sing too and have to switch between left and right hand drive. Years ago, I got this tip from a colleague which has stood me in good stead till today : THE ROAD CENTER DIVIDER IS ALWAYS ON THE SAME SIDE AS THE DRIVER. So always look for the road centre divider and use this rule to decide which direction to go.

    • malmal says:

      hey Juliet yes ! that’s the exact rule I used…cos I have problem with my left and right … I get confused ! so having the road center divider as a guide works perfectly for me !

  3. pc says:

    You argued with the tester? That’s cool!

    Truly eventful. Love how you ‘concluded’ your sharing, yes, life is somehow about making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next


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