Singapore Adventure

Monday, June 27, 2005

TV Or Not TV
by venitha

Shortly after our arrival in Singapore, Bill, a fellow HP expat, now on his way back to the states, offered us his tv. Sold! Now we just need to figure out how to get it. And where to put it until we get into our own apartment. Or so we thought.

The biggest obstacle turned out to be how to pay for it. When Jim hit up Juliet, our relocation manager at GMAC (even HP Singapore is in on the outsourcing act), for what sort of documentation we should provide to get reiumbursed for this transaction, we were icily informed that this was unacceptable. Only brand new items are eligible for the furnishing allowance.

Well, that decides it then! HP has provided us with an allowance, which we can use to buy certain items of furniture... and a tv. We've laughingly waffled between two options: teak furniture, which is all the rage here, rainforest be damned, and no tv OR two bean bag chairs and the biggest baddest flattest tv money can buy!

Tempting as it is to splash Juliet by cannonballing into a pool of television decadence, the reality is that you can count on one hand the number of times we've turned on the tv here. And most of those times were to watch DVDs, something we could do as easily, though with decidedly less splash, on our "widescreen" laptop.

This is partly because there's nothing on: a spin through the remote here revealed a disappointing difference from the hundred-channels-of-nothing available on cable in the US. Well, rugby is actually really cool, but still. WARNING! The following content may be deemed unsuitable for small children and curmudgeons, as it contains what could be construed as positive statements about Singapore's weather. WARNING! It's also because the evenings, when we might normally watch television, are so pleasant; after hours of taking refuge from the heat by remaining inside with an air conditioner, the cooler night air beckons, and a walk eases the tensions of the day.

The best argument against the tv, though, is the nudge that lacking such an easy escape from Singapore will give us. I don't want to be David Sedaris, whiling away my years in Paris watching movies back to back. I want to walk along the ocean, study Mandarin, take up tai chi, learn to make , see a , ride the ferry to , continue on my quest for an effective hair de-frizzing product... do a hundred things I could never do in Colorado. And write about them here.