Singapore Adventure

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Dear Diary
by venitha

I've enjoyed a vacation from blogging this past week, but I've been a faithful e-mail correspondent. I thought I'd post some excerpts so we remember our final Singaporean holiday season.

Dear Diary,

It's been raining non-stop for days, and I keep thinking "If only it were snow..." I like Singapore so much better when I think of it buried beneath a pristine blanket of white snow, myself tromping in enormous boots across deserted Thomson Rd to Cold Storage, where they finally have an excuse for everything being "out of stock".

Colorado's been getting dumped on like crazy, and Jim and I both so wish we were there, snowed in up at Winter Park, skiing by day, watching bowl games by night. Lots of friends and family have sent pictures of the recent snowstorms, and our Singaporean friends are completely agog. Many have never seen snow and have actually been complaining about how cold it's been here lately. The only real difference from usual, in my I-am-always-hot opinion, is that it's been overcast, so the sun isn't beating relentlessly down on you twelve hours a day. A welcome break, to be sure, but it's still wicked hot, even, astoundingly, when you're wet with the rain.

Our Christmas here was wonderful, though it got off to a slow start on Christmas Eve, when we made the mistake of going with a million other people to Orchard Road. Who could have predicted that Singaporeans in extremely large doses are much less fun than Singaporeans in small doses? The experience did not foster much goodwill toward men, though we did see snow (the canned variety), and we did manage to stick it out through the entire candlelight church service we attended. This in spite of many of the sing-along Christmas carols being unfamiliar (not only to us but also to most of the rest of the congregation) and in spite of much of the Christmas message (which, from what I gathered, was basically that despite all the incredible discounts and amazing sales everywhere, all over the island and in scads of nearby countries as well - I mean, have you been to Tang's? - Christmas is not only about shopping) being delivered in foreign languages (Mandarin, German, and Indonesian).

We recovered in style in time for an idyllic Christmas morning just the two of us, listening to Christmas music, doing a Santa Claus jigsaw puzzle, and exchanging goofy presents (a sushi rice mold for Jim and a nuk for me, er, hey!). We followed this with a fabulous Christmas lunch with our neighbors (he's a Brit, but there was no figgy pudding - not sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing), and we then spent the evening with our German friends Timo and Sonja, enjoying that oh-so-traditional Christmas supper (sushi), gorging ourselves on fine German chocolates, and basking in the lights of a Christmas tree lit with real candles: really beautiful.

Thursday we had Kiran's (Timo and Sonja's six-month-old son is our godson) baptism/christening here at our apartment. They were intending to do this next summer in Germany, but as that's no longer going to work for me and Jim, they thoughtfully opted to have it in Singapore while they had family in town over the holidays. Local churches were less than cooperative, so we just did our own thing here on our rooftop. It started to rain just as we finished; so in spite of deciding not to bother with water, God provided. The celebration also gave me and Jim the opportunity to make the feast that we normally have for Christmas eve: ham, Martha Stewart's macaraoni and cheese, and my favorite, ambrosia (pistachio pudding mix, cool whip, crushed pineapple, marshmallows, and walnuts). Mmmm.... Our German guests were really funny as they thought the ambrosia was truly horrible (I don't think they'd ever even seen pistachio pudding before), and tact is not exactly a German tradition.

Jim drove a car in Singapore for the first time ever on Friday, and he didn't crash! I was so proud! We test drove a Subaru Outback, mainly to ensure that Jim fits, even with the moonroof. (Headroom always seems to be an issue.) No, of course, we're not buying anything here, especially not at these prices: more than twice as much as in the US, and yes, that's after the currency conversion. We're merely trying to line up a car purchase in the US in advance of our return. We're committed to giving life with only one vehicle - a shocking concept in the US - a try. If there's one thing we're truly going to miss about Singapore, it's its fabulous public transportation.

We're currently busy prepping for tonight, our final party on the roof. The fireworks should be really great, so hopefully I can manage to stay awake until midnight. My morning sickness is over, thank God, but the exhaustion is hanging on like I can't believe; I'm really worthless these days without a long afternoon nap. At least I'll have plenty of sustenance: I'm making lots of my favorite appetitizers - rumaki! yum! - in spite of the grocery store's wicked attempts at sabotage. I can't believe how hard it was to find canned water chestnuts, especially since when growing up, this was the one food I could have identified as Asian. It was much easier to find water chestnuts in the shell, and it's a hard shell. Think walnut, not pistachio. I can't imagine cracking and peeling even a dozen of them. Mei, my wonderful neighbor, offered to have her live-in maid shell them for me, but, um, how weird is that?

Oh, and did I tell you it's a girl? I had a genetic scan (in-depth hour-long ultrasound) just over a week ago. Everything looks healthy, the feet are adorable, and the endlessly-chatty guy at the helm was 85% sure it's a girl. Jim's been calling her Zoe for about a month now, and I have a feeling it's going to stick, so hopefully the ultrasound guy was right. After the healthy baby news, my best Christmas present was courtesy of HP: a ticket back to Colorado on 31 January. Only one month to go! I can do it. I hope.

Happy New Year! I have a feeling 2007 is going to be a very good year.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas Present
by jima

As Venitha and I settled into a week of holiday hibernation, it occurred to me that with the recent craziness of life (our trip to Bali, many doctors' appointments, the any-day-now - really - completion of my latest project at work), we'd made no plans for Christmas itself. And while we've always been low-key about holiday decorations (no outdoor lights for this lazy person!), we've taken it to new extremes this year. Our Christmas decorations still remain packed in boxes in the closet, and while I snatch kisses whenever I get a chance, nary a twig of mistletoe adorns our doorways. December 23rd was the first day we played any Christmas music at all, Venitha digging a festive recording of her favorite, Sleigh Ride, from the depths of her computer.

I have numerous excuses for my "Bah, Humbug" attitude, the first being the really wretched Christmas music that our local supermarkets started playing in mid-October. Nothing strangles my goodwill toward my fellow man quite as quickly as a soft-rock cover of "Hark the Herald Angels" mocking me while one beloved Christmas dish after another is sabotaged by not-to-be-found or not-in-stock or not-quite-right ingredients.

Hostility toward the holidays, if not the desire to deliver a swift kick to the shin of one particular skinny Santa-suit-clad busker mangling "Jingle Bells" with a Western twang when it's 30°C, is typical among expats, the theory being that when all the wonderful and feel-good parts of the holidays, from my mom's chocolate cookies to singing Silent Night by candlelight on Christmas Eve, from my mother-in-law's box of goofy gifts to my nephew's blonde curls peeking out of his Santa hat, are stripped away, all that remains is the rampant materialism, and it's enough to leave even Santa less than jolly.

I doubt Santa would like this weather, either. It's certainly performed more than its share of sabotage to my spirits. Venitha and I both grew up and lived most of our lives in temperate climates, which means Christmas is at the very least cold, and at the very most, snowy. I miss bundling up for a walk around the block to admire the holiday lights. (Few of our neighbors are as lazy as I am.) I miss the the hard crunch of snow under my feet. I miss seeing my breath as I walk down to the mailbox to liberate scads of holiday cards and photos. And no matter how scantily many local women dress, steamy and rainy just doesn't equate to "ho ho ho" for me.

Mostly, though, we miss our family. Last year at this time we enjoyed a wonderful visit from my mother, my oldest brother, and his family of four, hands down the best Christmas present that either Venitha or I have ever received. This year it was just the two of us, one last Christmas before "just the two of us" turns into "just the three of us", and it was hard to ignore the bells clanging the good tidings of white Christmases future and to truly savor Christmas present.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Brush With Greatness
by venitha

One of the items not yet checked off my mental list of remaining accomplishments in Singapore: Spot Someone Famous. I'm not ashamed to admit that I honestly thought that in Singapore I might see a celebrity. Maybe even two. Not Britney Spears clad in no underwear, of course, but perhaps the Asian equivalent. Or Borat. Sooner or later everyone in Asia passes through Singapore, it's a small island, and it's not like I'm hanging out in the sticks. Well, not any more, anyway, since I'm no longer working in Yishun.

Sabotaging my brush-with-greatness plan is the fact that I am woefully unplugged to pop culture, especially its Asian channel. I might recognize Zoe Tay, but in the "All you people look alike" vein, probably not. I've never even seen an episode of Singapore Idol, lah. I comfort myself with the belief that I would definitely know ; the undoubted mob of security would be a sure tip-off.

So yesterday as I rode the escalator up from the City Hall MRT into Raffles City's blindingly pink Barbie Wonderland - does it bother no one else that not a single one of these dolls looks remotely Asian? - I was pleased but puzzled to have to do a double-take at someone riding down. Who was he? Was he famous? And why did I want to smack him? A Caucasian male, he seemed professional and condescending, the kind of guy who would wear pastel-colored business shirts and give you crushingly-firm handshakes, who would make you feel like an idiot by speaking slowly with exaggerated enunciation, saying things like, "And by condescend, I do mean talk down to."

Thankfully, I didn't have to fight my way down the up escalator after him, blazing a path of gift-wrapped destruction through the mobs of holiday shoppers, for it came to me in a flash that he was John, the stereotypical expat hire in Singapore, fawned over by management, detested by the local staff, over-paid, under-talented, and completely lacking in knowledge of Asian culture, from the local movie I Not Stupid. In short, my hero. A search on IMDB reveals him to be Harlow Russell, and the lamentably bad I Not Stupid is his only acting credit to date.

Not exactly what I had in mind, but a celebrity sighting nonetheless, and I'm glad to know that watching I Not Stupid was not the complete waste of time that I'd thought it to be. Trust me: see Singapore Dreaming instead; and if you know where any of its cast hangs out in their spare time, shoot me an e-mail.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Best Books of 2006
by venitha

This is a bit off the Singaporean theme, but I've read one too many Best Books of 2006 lists that included The Lay of the Land, and, hey, maybe you've still got some Christmas shopping to do. I suppose I could rant about the sad state of the literature written in and about Singapore, the lamentably poor selection and mind-boggling "organization" of the local libraries, and the cruelty of the Borders store on Orchard Road feeling so downhome American, yet never having the particular book I want in stock. It's enough to make you need a good book to escape it all. I suggest one of these, the best that I've read this year:
  • Marley and Me. Thanks, Karen, for the great recommendation! Funny, heart-warming, a must-read for every dog lover, this is one of those rare gems that I finish and hand directly to Jim. I must warn you, however, that the last 30 pages are not to be read on the MRT no matter how pretty your handkerchiefs are. Singapore is so densely populated that you see everything here; facial deformities alone run a stunning gamut. But Asians are stoic, and open displays of raw emotion are exceedingly rare: I am the only person I have ever seen cry in public.

  • The Things They Carried. This was actually on my Best Books of 2005 list (unpublished - sorry, lah), but I happily re-read it when it was chosen by my bookclub. Non-fiction (strike one) short stories (strike two) about the Vietnam War (strike three). It sounds awful, doesn't it? Yet this compelling book is a home run, and you watch it soar out of the ballpark with astonishment.

  • Thirteen Moons. Cold Mountain was no fluke: Charles Frazier tells a mesmerizing tale. Woven into one man's life story, Thirteen Moons is the tale of American Indians dispossessed of their homeland; it made me so very thankful that I get to return to my beloved mountains myself. I'm still trying to talk Jim into naming the baby Waverly after the main character's trusty horse.

  • A Suitable Boy. Indians from India this time. Over the past two years, I've read a great deal of fiction set in Asia. I covered no country more thoroughly than India, and this was the best of the lot. Vikram Seth displays amazing versatility - Can this possibly be the same man who wrote An Equal Music? - and reveals himself a playful poet in this epic tome. I loved every minute of it, found it very difficult to put down, and was disappointed, after over 1000 pages, to have it end.

  • Suite Francaise. Spend enough time in Asia, and you start to think WWII was all about Japan; even the loosening deathgrip of European colonial masters is a mere footnote. Then read this book and get an abrupt and captivating change of perspective as you're drawn back to France during the German occupation. The author's murder in is all the more devastating as it left this masterpiece unfinished.

It's not through lack of effort that there are no Singaporean titles on this list. I suspect I just read all the best stuff last year. Here's my Singapore reading list.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Harper's On Bali
by venitha

  • Number of nights we spent in Ubud, Bali: 5
  • Number of hour-long massages Jim got: 8
  • Least expensive massage: 40000 Indonesian Rupiah (USD ~4.25)
  • Most expensive massage: IDR 90000 (USD ~9.75)
  • Number of books I read: 6
  • Number of petal-strewn baths I took: 1
  • Number of times we said "I love this place" regarding our hotel, Alam Jiwa: countless
  • Number of fresh-squeezed(?) pineapple juices we consumed: countless
  • Number of Oh-My-God-delicious butterfish sushi we consumed: 12
  • Number of black rice puddings we consumed: 3
  • Ratings of jaffle [pictured; stuffed with banana, coconut, and palm sugar], pancake [pictured; topped with pineapple, coconut, and palm sugar; I'd have called it a crepe], and omelet in our Alam Jiwa breakfast preferences: Weird but in a good way, Jim's favorite, my favorite
  • Rank of roasted corn flavor Cheetos among the most disgusting snacks ever: very very high
  • Best meal: It's a toss-up between the divine sushi (above) or the incredibly tender bebek betutu (smoked duck, please order 24 hours in advance, hideously un-photogenic)
  • Number of squat toilets I had to pass on, pregnancy having caused significant regression in my squatting abilities: 2
  • Number of romantic star-lit swims we took: 3
  • Rank of among the best cultural performances Jim's ever attended (and I've dragged him to these all over SE Asia): 1 (though he did recently reminisce fondly about Simon's Cabaret, a transvestite extravaganza we enjoyed in Chiang Mai, Thailand)
  • Number of times Jim got to wear a sarong, required attire for many temples: 1
  • Favorite Indonesian word: Isnin, meaning Monday. In Malay, it's two syllables: ees-neen; in Indonesian, it's shortened to sneeen, a day straight out of Dr. Seuss. Forget that "rose by any other name" BS; a cool name and two massages make Monday a much more likeable day.
  • Rank of Bali among the most relaxing vacations we've ever taken: 1


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Rainbows And Kittens... Come To Me
by venitha

Having been reprimanded for my negative attitude - Can we talk about rainbows and kittens now? - I've been searching this week for a positive outlook. But nausea and exhaustion and ill-fitting knickers are significant hurdles on the path to Mary Sunshine, a role in which I am ill-cast under even the best of circumstances.

The most relentlessly-positive person I know recently informed me that the correct answer to the question of how my day was, particularly when it's asked by the wonderful husband on whose largesse I continue to live the lifestyle to which I have become accustomed, and particularly when that tall, dark, and handsome man is dressed in work clothes and is toting a computer so he can continue his workday late into the night from the comfort of home, is not a rant about the evils of United Healthcare, abhorrent as they may be. The proper response is instead
Faaaabulous! I didn't go to work! All day! In the morning? No work! In the afternoon? No work! It was absolutely fabulous!

Good coaching, Brian.

In spite of the fact that Jim would seriously suspect drug abuse or body snatchers or Eddie Bauer's having opened a store in Singapore if I suddenly exhibited such delirious enthusiasm, Brian has a point. I should appreciate this time of lazy unemployment. I think back to a December a lifetime ago, when, having arranged the miracle of three whole weeks off work over the holidays, I gushed to friends at a festive lab Christmas party that they surely wouldn't recognize me come the new year. I'd be transformed by the unquenchable happiness and sublime bliss that would descend, softly-falling snow coolly blanketing my newly-unhunched shoulders, during divine freedom from my domineering boss and my stressful job and my annoying co-workers - Oh! Of course I don't mean you!

So how is it that as my leave of absence from work creeps wearily toward its resolution, as I pack for six glorious days with my beloved in the paradise of Bali, as Jim quivers with the anticipation of eleven - eleven! - days free from work over the holidays, my attention is fixed on the calendar, anxiously awaiting bedtime when I can use a fat purple marker to cross off another far-too-slowly-passing day?

Perhaps I've merely succumbed to that dreaded disease, Singapore-itis: having been in this little country for far, far too long. It's been over 5 weeks since my last escape, a long weekend in Taipei in early November, and in my vast 18 months of experience, that's at least one week too many without the breath of fresh air and the renewed appreciative perspective provided by any other country.

So calls seductively, beckons with frothy shakes of papaya and pineapple, with hypnotic melodies of rintik and gamelan, with dreamless sleep beneath mosquito netting and the ... Come to me.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Some Abominably Crummy Things
by venitha

There are undoubtedly some good things about being pregnant in Singapore, and when I'm not busy feeling so abominably crummy, I might actually notice them. In the meantime, however, here are some abominably crummy things about being pregnant in Singapore:
  • This is so not a good place to be big. With its naturally-stick-thin native population, Singapore is a terrible place to be overweight, and I look far more overweight at this point than pregnant. In the interest of full disclosure, I admit that I did grow up in Wisconsin, where there is perhaps too much tolerance of living large, but I've also enjoyed the spandex climes of California and the fit-for-fun terrain of Colorado, and I've never lived anywhere that an overweight person, let alone a mere normal-sized Western woman with such apparently-undesirable body parts as hips, muscles, and internal organs, is treated so disrespectfully. And don't get me started on...

  • What the $#@%! am I going to wear?

  • Lack of bland. Now I love spicy just as much as, if not significantly more than, the next gal, but the thought of or beef rendang when I'm already nauseous is enough to push me over the edge. And after I've been such a good sport about the food here for the last 18 months (Okay, I admit I haven't been a good sport about the durian; now please excuse me while I go throw up), it's downright cruel that the plain and boring snacks that might settle my queasy stomach are hard to come by and are buried amidst all those bags of really unappetizing prawn crackers.

    Triscuits? Sure! Here's the rye version.

    Wheatables? We've got 'em: herb and onion flavor.

    Pretzels? Omigosh, Snyder's! Good grief! Jalapeno pretzels?

    Even the Saltines at my local Cold Storage are a mutant no-salt variety. Like people who buy MSG in bulk from grocery stores that devote more shelf space to soy sauce than to chocolate are worried about their sodium intake.

  • Oh, man, that smell! No way around it, Singapore is one rank place, and how did I live this long not knowing that pregnancy makes you more sensitive to odors? My days have become one long olfactory assault, from the sweaty guy here to repair the fountain (of course, I smell like fresh daisies myself) to the raw fish fumes of the wet market, from the Indian curries wafting from the open air restaurants to the prawn crackers I have to dig behind. Oh, man, that smell!

  • The fine for vomiting on the MRT. Actually, I have no idea. Hey! There you go: something good. Thank God.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Six Weeks And Four Days
by venitha

I had to add Master Soon's pedal conclusion to the mounting evidence: three positive pregnancy tests, including one performed at my doctor's office. But having been told for years that this was just plain, well, if not impossible, then highly highly improbable, I was holding out for visual evidence: an ultrasound scheduled for the following morning.

"Very early," Master Soon had elaborated knowingly in English, and I'd nodded sagely in response. That would jibe with when I'd started feeling like complete hell, a couple of weeks ago, shortly after we'd returned from Cambodia. Pregnancy certainly was preferable to some obscure Angkorian disease, which is what I'd been thinking before it occurred to me that, pun or no, it was not inconceivable that I was pregnant. Pregnancy was also vastly preferable to cervical cancer, which was my doctor's answer to my first post-positive-pregnancy-test question: What can fool this?

The strictly-business ultrasound technician would tell me nothing, would not even let me look at the screen. But when she turned on the audio, I heard a heartbeat, a heartbeat that definitely wasn't mine. Criminy, I thought, if the baby's an unknown life-form, it probably means Ricky wasn't from West Hartford either.* Giggles and tears merely moved Nurse Ratched to desert me, a sweaty popsicle propped on the alarmingly long vaginal ultrasound wand, while she checked with her supervisor that I'd been poked and prodded and printed sufficiently.

So hours later, when the phone finally rang just as the rush hour traffic started to build on the CTE, I was unsurprised to learn of the pregnancy, relieved to hear of its viability, and stunned to hear of its length.

"So that puts you at a few days past six weeks, with a due date of... let me check here..."

"I'm sorry, did you say six weeks? One two three four five six?"

"Yes, here, I've got it. Due date of 8 June. Six weeks, four days."

"Six weeks, four days."

"Six weeks, four days."

After the echo died away and I'd been reassured that yes, I could still go to Vietnam the next day - but absolutely no street food - I hung up, my rock and roll lifestyle of the past six weeks and four days slam-dancing in my mind.

On my computer, I clicked back through my calendar, back from our scheduled next day departure to Hanoi, back through our Cambodia trip and its - Oh, no! - malaria medication. I clicked past a severe bout of insomnia conquered by Ambien, through daily doses of xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxx and weekly xxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx. I clicked through six weeks and four days of running outside in Singapore's heat, not only dehydrating but also overheating, easily the equivalent of daily hour-long immersion in the hottest of hot tubs.

Click. Sushi. Ai yah! Does this mean no more hana maki?

Click. Hair coloring. Ai yah! Does this mean no more red?

Click. Alcohol. Ai yah! Does this mean no more Cafe Iguana margaritas?

Ai yah! Cafe Iguana margaritas! With horror, I thought of late August and the egregious alcohol abuse that kicked off the night of WOMAD. With relief, however, six weeks and four days of clicking came to a halt just clear of August and entire days clear of WOMAD. Days I spent alone in Singapore. Days Jim spent alone in Taipei. Days at the end of which we were reunited on September 1st.

My doctor, regular ultrasounds, and, strangely, brutal morning sickness have gone a long way toward making me feel better for being such a horrible mother.

* The following quote, written on a narrow slip of paper, is one of the few items that journeyed across the world from the door of our refrigerator in Colorado to the door of our freezer in Singapore. It received honorable mention in a contest of opening lines; alas, no, it is not mine.
Criminy, thought Francine as she left the birthing center, if the baby's an unknown life-form, it probably means Ricky wasn't really from West Hartford, either.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Ode To The Rubbish Chute
by venitha

"I'm going to miss the garbage chute," Jim announced from the kitchen one rainy Saturday afternoon.

"Oh, yeah. Me, too." I agreed wholeheartedly. "But the smell not so much." Toss your trash in quickly, then close the door tightly. And if you're pregnant and therefore annoyingly sensitive to horrible smells, shamelssly use that fact to get Jim to do the honors.

So last night, still abask in the glow of a real honest-to-goodness departure date, we were prepared with a consensus response to Ingo's question.

"What will you miss?"

"The rubbish chute." Jim and I nodded agreeably at each other, then at Ingo, a friend in town on business from Germany.

"The what?"

Okay, yeah, maybe there are a few other things as well.

The awesome public transportation. I love not owning a car, never having to drive.

The wonderful friends we've made. Oh, great, now I'm going to have to miss them.

Our amazing apartment. It's really fun to live in a place that makes guests gasp and pull out their cameras.

The incredible travel opportunities. I never thought I'd see the Taj Mahal and Angkor Wat, hike a volcano in Bali, say g'day in Australia, eat soup dumplings in China and spring rolls in Vietnam, let alone all in the same year.

And don't forget sushi, orchids, mangoes, Mustafa, cheap massage, and our always-smiling condo guard, Dawood. Not to mention lovely evenings like last night, made possible by living somewhere that's both a common business travel destination and a popular gateway to Asian vacation spots.

Still, it's hard for such a list not to degenerate into what we won't miss. The stifling heat and torturous humidity. Jim's stress-filled, travel-laden job. The dense population, with its accompanying rude behavior and total lack of personal space. The poorly-stocked grocery store. My endlessly frizzy hair. The inescapable noise. The unconquerable ants. The freezing air-con. The expensive alcohol.

And, oh, God, that smell.


Monday, December 04, 2006

by venitha

Jim's had a frantic several days at work, playing whack-a-mole inching toward release of the latest camera, negotiating an exit from his current job, and searching for sanctioned Ft Collins employment, all while battling a nasty cold.

We are aiming for a move date of Jan 31st.

He's sedately professional in the official e-mail to his group at work. When I query for the glorious details over , however, although he's miles away, I can see the ear-to-ear grin and the fists pumped triumphantly - Yes! - in the air.


I'm grinning ear-to-ear myself, and I look around our living room, fighting the urge to start packing. My eyes caress pictures of beloved family we'll soon get to see and land on two small desk calendars side-by-side: from our local community center, the twelfth in a year of months ripped savagely off in satisfaction, December 2006; and from Cold Storage, the gift of the year ahead, January 2007.


I kiss Jim good-bye and go in search of a marker that is big enough... red enough... fat enough... to mark off these remaining days.


Friday, December 01, 2006

Just The Facts, Ma'am Mom
by venitha

  • I love the staff at the International Medical Clinic.

    "Good morning. I'm a patient of Dr. Snodgrass, and I think I'm pregnant."

    "Is it his? Sorry! Sorry. None of my business. An appointment, then?"

  • is very scary.

    Master Soon palpated my left foot in his hand for less than a minute before speaking in Mandarin to my friend Mei beside me.


    "What? Mei? What did he say?"

    "He says congratulations. You're pregnant."

  • Something's gotta give.

    The baby's due date: June 8.
    The last day of our planned two-year stint in Singapore: June 8.