Below I will be starting with the most recent to the older stories- only because the recent stories are fresh in my mind.
We experienced our first US Navy Ball here in Singapore this past Saturday night. The Ball is very well done and is held as a Birthday celebration of the Navy in the USA (242 years). With around 500 people or so in attendance, our school has been a long time supporter through donation, buying tickets, and attending. So lucky us- we got to attend. Les spent most of the afternoon getting ready- and suffice it to say – I did not. Les and all the ladies arrived to the ball and they were all stunning in their dresses and glamour. And us men- we are merely there to compliment them and escort them around. It was a great night hanging out with our staff and the sailors.
On the previous night- a funny story.
SO… we have a broken chair in our apartment and I have been trying to find a chair on Carousel (similar to Craigslist)- anyways- lucky me I found one not to far away. My problem was trying to figure out how to bring it home! I couldn’t tell if a taxi would permit me to bring it back. I made an inquiry from a colleague and he made a suggestion about a van service. The problem was this chair was only $75 and the van transport fee was $90 (before tax)! Anyways, I found out if I ordered a large Uber and if the chair can fit in the vehicle- I can transport it. So after I made my way by public bus ($1) and then used a rental bike (free) to where the chair was located on our side of town, I got the chair from a family that was selling everything because they were being relocated outside of Singapore. I then used my app to call the Uber XL.
As I am waiting outside the building (15 minutes) with my chair and stool- I decide to look at what type of vehicle I was looking for. I noted that I had a guy coming with an Audi A6! Whaaaat? This is not a very large vehicle! I suddenly realize I didn’t order an Uber XL but somehow ordered the Uber Premium Car service. This is like ordering the fancier expensive car service- this is not the large vehicle transport service. Yikes! Well not wanting to pay the cancellation fee- I continue with it- (because that is a waste of money- and in the end- the cancellation fee plus the other XL vehicle would come out to be about the same cost- and I didn’t want to wait forever for a new vehicle- Ha!)
I raced back up to the family that sold me the furniture and asked if we could start to dismantle the chair (it’s an Ikea chair- this is possible- of course if I dismantled in the first place I could have taken a cheap uber- but that is beside the point!) We get it dismantled in time and the Audi driver helps me get all of it in his Audi A6 sedan vehicle using all the spaces.
I can tell the driver is somewhat puzzled as he looks at his transport load. So he starts off with asking questions like, “So… is this a special chair?”… there is a long pregnant pause and then I reluctantly respond with- “no, no it is not”. He then pauses before he proceeds with the next series of questions, “Is this a chair with sentimental value, or perhaps is this a very expensive chair?” I realize what he is trying to do but I didn’t want to tell him I just made an Uber vehicle ordering mistake. I of course answered with quiet “no, nope” type answers.
Realizing I didn’t want to let him have a full answer, he changed the subject and as we were driving back to our place, he wanted to recommend some places to eat in Singapore. When I asked if this was a cheap place or expensive place – he responded with a very confident voice- “Oh this place is top dollar man- super expensive -you would love it!” I guess if I order a premium car to transport my premium chair- I would want to eat at premium restaurants.
HA! Anyways, it was a plush nice ride back to our place- and I have some great restaurants to tryout! 🙂 BTW: 3 km ride:$35. Live and learn.
We held a little bit of Canadiana in Singapore hosting a Thanksgiving at our apartment commons shared area on the Thanksgiving Monday. We had a number of Canadian, American, and Singaporean guests to share in the celebration that evening. Les and I jokingly decided we couldn’t afford to buy the available full $230 turkey (Ha Ha) – and we don’t even have an oven to cook a turkey too- so we decided to BBQ chicken with turkey seasonings (the same thing really).
The learning task of a first BBQing experience is something else- from buying the box of charcoal and trying to bike it home- to figuring out how exactly I can access and move hot coals in the provided bbq pit, still move the meat around, and deal with really hot temperatures over 3 hours! Yes suffice it to say it was a good circus learning experience.
The food was great and Les did such a good job planning the food with everyone involved. The highlight for me was when Les found some Japanese Pumpkin looking squash and cooked it and made these mini pumpkin pies- truly great and a wonderful familiar taste of Canadian Thanksgiving!
First First Lady Puan Noor Aishah’s place for Tea
In late September, some of our ICS staff was invited to the first First Lady’s home (Puan Noor Aishah) for tea (more like major dinner) and a chance to donate and place protective covers on books to donate to a local school. There was a card signing that was going to be presented to the newly elected President of Singapore. Although I expected a very large opulent home – she was living in a typical grandma home. She is 88 and she had so much energy to deal with the photographer and all the people who wanted photos and signing personalized book copies. Amazing! There is a funny story in here but I will save it for you in person if it ever comes up!
BIN TAN HOLIDAY
And finally, in mid September we had a “Fall Break” at school and we got a few days to holiday. We took a local ferry (90 min) and went over to an island in Indonesia (Bin Tan). It was so hot and beautiful- it really did feel like the first chance to breath since moving from Canada. It was a chance to recharge and relax. Oddly enough, while the beach looks great- it wasn’t quite that good.
While we entered the water we were feeling the stings in the water at random times- and then at times- not so random- more like crazy intense. If you guessed small little marble sized transparent jellyfish- you would be correct. I was floating in the warm sea water watching fish below when all of a sudden there were multiple and many stinging sensations all over my body – like many bee stings all over my back, arms and legs. It felt really awesome! NOT! The stinging sensations lasted about 15 minutes. Lesson learned, now we know why no one else was at the beach, at that point we stayed close to the pool. It was safer.
Thanks for reading to the end! Blessings to all of you.