I’m still here and present. The last month has been another crazy one; in a span of just two weeks, I got to know of two friends from separate social circles who lost their loved ones; one of them is a very young lady in her early 30s who passed away of cancer. We also got news that another family friend’s teenage daughter was diagnosed with a pretty malignant form of brain tumor/cancer.
News like that recalibrate my sense of reality and life, and makes me question what my purpose is on this earth, if there is one. I wonder about God’s plan, and His sovereignty. I’m tempted to ask a series of “why”s. It makes me wonder, too, if all the pain that life could potentially bring or eventually brings, can be masked by the joys we do experience. As a mom, I have asked the question multiple times, of what my child’s future would behold.
So bear with me while I am still mourning with my friends. I encourage you to read “A grief observed” by C.S. Lewis, who in his book raised some hard, philosophical questions about his faith in the time of grief over the death of his wife. I’m only a quarter way through but have found it really enlightening.
We woke up to some light snow on the city that was enough to accumulate on the ground (unlike the one we had a few days ago that was awesome but too warm for snow to collect). To most people, this is nothing, but to someone who grew up in a tropical country and went to overseas colleges and grad school in warmer climates like Australia and Southern California, this is pretty special!!
I quickly nursed Benji and immediately after that, the three of us took a short walk up the down the block to soak in the winter atmosphere in our neighborhood before it disappeared (and it did, about 2 hours later).
Wonder what other surprises February 29th will bring…
The longer I stay away from Singapore, the more I yearn to be back there. No matter where I live and how comfortable I am, I know I will never feel as connected to any other place than Singapore. Every time I land at the Singapore Changi Airport and feel the humidity envelope me, hear the broken English spoken, see the orderly streets, skyscrapers, tall buildings, big malls, and city lights, I get goose bumps for I know I’m home. Home to a place where I’m safe, where I grew up in, where my family and friends are, where familiarity reeks in every corner. I know that I can put down all barriers and just be. I know people get me and I get them.
I miss you, my Singapore, the one place I know I can truly call home. Anytime.
Happy National Day. May God continue to bless this little city-state-country.
For unconfirmed reasons I can’t quite share here at the moment, we decided to (yet again) hold off on getting a dog. It was a real shame because we were both so stoked about the possibility of a new addition to our family. We kept thinking of different permutations that would allow us to have a dog AND do whatever we plan…but they all involve lots of money; something we cannot afford at the moment. Sigh. But it was fun this past week, dreaming of a puppy, going to see pups, visiting dog websites…It will happen one day. Just not right now.
So here’s what we’ve both been busy doing the last 48 hours…
Looking at ads for dogs…we were so close to going to see a beautiful little chihuahua n mini foxy pup this evening but alas! she was given away to a fam with kids.(sad face.)
So the hunt continues….
So after a month of complaining about being bored and having nothing to do, God answered my whines and sent the huge US shipment to us the same day we officially moved in to the apartment. He also brought me to work at a telemarketing company for two half days a week (to earn some shopping money) pretty much after the shipment arrived. Our home internet was also up and running the same day everything happened.
Which means…I will not be bored for quite a while. Hurray!
Here are photos of a corner of the place taken before and after the shipment arrived.
Here’s the lovely view of the city from our place:
Ah. I’m off to work this morning but will be back later to keep unpacking the boxes and boxes of clothes and random stuff we brought from the US (stuff including – shampoo, conditioner, female toiletries, printing paper, scratch paper, etc…).
In the last 10 days in Melbourne, we have done the following:
- Set up bank accounts;
- Gotten Australian SIM cards;
- Scoped the city for Korean markets (there must be at least 20 new Korean markets/eateries/internet cafes that have sprung up in the last 6 years);
- Visited the local grocery store to make sure we can get Mexican food supplies (and, PHEW, we can);
- Visited the Queen Victoria Market (more about that later);
- Hung out with my cousin and her family;
- Hung out with my only friend in Melbourne, Yingyi;
- Turned my Speech Pathology Australia portfolio (FINALLY!!);
- Visited a church on Sunday (St Jude’s, the church I used to attend when I was studying here);
- And last, but not least, inspected almost 8 apartments for rent and have applied for 1.
Of course, Bryan has probably achieved more than me, since he has actually started working. However, he only starts teaching mid-October. I can’t wait to hear about his teaching experiences and how his class is probably half filled with Asian students of which half of them probably come from Singapore or Malaysia.
I have also been watching a ton of television. Catching up on American TV game/competition shows (thank God they have some of it here) such as So you think you can dance? and Wipeout (I can’t believe I missed out on such great television programs), and caught an episode of NCIS (written and co-produced by Bryan’s buddy, Jesse Stern) which was amazing and definitely a show I would put on my TiVo when we get it. I also caught Australian Idol, Australian Deal or No Deal, Taken Out, an Australian dating show, and Rush, a Melbournian television cop drama which was totally watchable. I can’t wait to get cable tv AND TiVo.
It’s funny how I was not really enamoured of Melbourne when I was studying here, but I think the city is starting to grow on me. People here have been much friendlier than I had remembered, and there are actually many activities in this town! Perhaps it’s because spring is here that we have probably something to attend or see almost every other weekend from now till October. Up and coming events:
- Mooncake festival this weekend
- Craft market shopping (will probably only start hitting these markets after I get a job…ugh!)
- Tulip festival in a couple weeks
- Singapore day first week of October (Chicken rice!!!! Roti Prata!!!)
And, my auntie Christine’s visit in 2 weeks, as well as weekend trips to explore different ethnic enclaves like BoxHill (Chinese/Korean) and Caulfield (Jewish).
Of course, I wish businesses here opened till later but it is slowly but surely catching on. I remember my local Safeway shutting its doors at 9pm and now it’s open till midnight. The day it opens for business 24/7, like Ralphs or Vons, will be glorious. Dare to dream.