After 2 years and 23 days – not that I was counting – my family and I moved back to Singapore from San Francisco. In that time I don’t think I met anyone who didn’t love San Francisco when they visited or had spent some time working there
“Oh s**t! I didn’t buy a present for [child’s name redacted to protect the innocent]’s birthday party this afternoon.” 10.21am in our SoMa apartment, sometime in the recent past.
When I left Singapore I mourned the loss of my doctor. I mean, she is alive and well but I don’t get to see her anymore, so maybe it’s the relationship I am mourning. It had taken me a while to find her and I felt a replacement was going to be hard to secure.
I had both my daughters in Singapore, a country that has been called “Disneyland with the death penalty,” among other things. It’s the “Disneyland” bit I want to focus on. Originally meant as a pejorative reference to a country that can seem like a bubble, to me the term implies a place that is self contained, unique and most importantly, safe and fun for kids.
Alcohol consumption is taken very seriously in the US. More seriously it seems than drug taking (if the pungent aroma of weed on many streets in San Francisco is to be taken as evidence) and this is a very strange concept for an Irish person to grasp. I knew before coming here that there was…
Time for a quick quiz. Based on the following how old do you think I am:
It’s the little differences that make living here strange. Sometimes it’s only the words we use to describe common occurrences that creates the difference.
When we first moved to San Francisco I found ordering at restaurants slightly stressful. It was often related to whom I could actually order from, not the person who saw us to our table, not the person bringing the drinks, not the person clearing the table.
Singapore is a bit behind the US regarding recycling. People there don’t tend to sort out their rubbish in the same way as in America or even in the UK and Ireland.
There are some aspects of life in America that you can mentally prepare yourselves for, armed with years of Hollywood stereotypes.
Having made the transition to the US from Asia, it’s hard not to focus on the obvious differences, including national pastimes. Shopping is Singapore’s national free-time activity and having engaged in shopping here and there, one major differences stands out: the interaction between the shopper and the sales assistants.
I am Irish, and my blog is about my experiences living in different cities around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and now San Francisco. This is my first post.