Singapore Adventure

Friday, February 10, 2006

by venitha

"Awwww," Sonja said with compassion, reaching across the table to caress my arm.

"What?" I asked, genuinely surprised to have evoked this response.

"You're still counting. The months."

Yes. Yes, I am. And yesterday made eight.

"I'm going to count up to twelve and then right back down," I said with certitude. Our plan is two years here and not a day more.

Alex, beside me, nods knowingly and in complete agreement. A fellow counter, I note, though she needs fewer fingers and, well, toes than I do. She's nearing six months in Singapore and is headed home for good in just two weeks. A lucky girl, in both my opinion and her own. She can't wait.

Sonja, on the other hand, loves it here. She even loves my nemesis, the weather. Although I wasn't looking for her sympathy and in fact view the eight-month milestone as quite a happy achievement, I greatly appreciate her compassion. I'm a lucky girl, too, to have a friend here that I can be honest with, a friend capable of sharing her love of Singapore with me without condemning me for not feeling the same way.


Nearly six months ago, Jim and I waited in our new apartment for the rain to let up and allow us to meet our new friends, Timo and Sonja, at nearby Novena Square. The phone rang, and Jim answered it, smiling at Timo's still-unfamiliar German accent.

"The sun has come out, and we bought some strudel!"

"All is right with the world," Jim laughed. "It's a recipe for happiness."

If only it were that simple. The real recipe for happiness, I'm coming to believe, is friends, and we're very thankful to be making some wonderful ones here.