Saturday, July 21, 2007


I seem to type ACK! a lot. It might be like reading a British novel for you. In them the main character seems to say "Er" a lot. I think it is the US version of "Um". Maybe everyone uses the word "ack". I'm not sure. Still, I seem to be suddenly stopped in my tracks over and over right now. Anyhow, I am having a minor conniption. I found a neat site that lists expat blogs. Naturly I click on Singapore and couldn't wait to see what "Singapore Adventure" had to say about being an expat.

Turns out they headed home last Februaby and the first line I read says "It's hard not to view the last two years as a horrible, colossal, nighmarish mistake." So, ACK!

I think it would be an understatement to say they did not like Singapore. Check out if you are interested.

A lot of expats in Singapore are quite the complainers. There must be something about Singapore -- I've heard artifical and materialistic mentioned -- that really irks some expats. At some point they stop seeing the sunny side of their time in a foreign culture. I know when it happened in Africa for me.

After nine months living in Cape Town, we had just spent almost three months living out of our backpacks traveling over southern and eastern Africa. We were in the midst of a two week stay in Zanzibar and I got really upset that asking for ketchup was such a huge ordeal. I knew the "resturant" had it, I just couldn't get this guy to understand what I wanted. "Freaking KETCHUP. It says it on the bottle", I remember thinking. Now that I think about it, maybe they know it as tomato sauce or something. Anyhow, I was curt to him, which really made me feel bad because we had just lived in South Africa and seen one too many white people speak dismissively to black people. I knew it was such a silly thing to get frustrated about considering bed bugs were attacking me all night and our accomadations were seriously sub-standard. Those things did not bother me in the least (you should have seen the incredible location -- I've experienced nothing like it since.) I also had not recovered from my horror at how the Massai people lived. Visiting them was the first time after a year in Africa that I was disgusted by how someone lived. Even the townships weren't as offensive.

So that was as we neared the end of our time and I think I was looking forward to being home. I pray I don't spend my entire time in Singapore disgusted at out different everything is. That blog has me scared, but hopefully it will remind me to keep an open mind and remember that we aren't in Texas anymore.


Anonymous Barbara said...

Hi Lela,

I had to laugh as I read this and will begin with an explanation and an apology. I've never had the world-wide experiences you have had. Until moving to Texas in 1992, I'd lived my whole life in 4 cities east of the Mississippi River - except for a trip to Cancun!

True confession with apologies...
We gleefully say "We're not in Texas anymore!!!" Make no mistake, we cherish friendships and people, love LakeShore, and I'm delighted to have learned to quilt while there. We were there for 10 years, but Texas was never home: from the terrain, to the heat, and so much more. We love being back east. It's home in every way.

Reading a bit further back in the ex-pat blog, the writer does list some very nice things, so hope you find them!!

I hope that you and your family loves more about Singapore than you miss about being home in Austin.

Huge hugs - Barbara

5:27 PM  

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