Friday, March 23, 2012

Singapore

I arrived home from Singapore on Thursday night. The return flight was easy enough but the departure flight...good Lord. My boss picked me up Friday night at 9pm for our midnight flight to Singapore and we headed to the airport. We settled in, got something to eat at 1 of 2 places that was still open at 11pm and then stood at the gate waiting. The flight was delayed about 30 minutes but soon enough we were boarding. The air quality was so bad that when you looked out of the window, you couldn't even see the wings. So we sat...and we waited...and then it was 3am and people were royally peaved. At 4am the captain came on the intercom and told us that they wanted to let us off the plane but unfortunately every other plane had been delayed as well so there were 1000 people waiting to check back through customs and only 2 people were working those counters. Then it was 5 am and we were finally able to get off the plane. At this point all I wanted to do was to get off the plane and get back into bed with hubs. 1.5 hours later I was able to do that.
This is not my picture, but this is just t give you a visual of the air quality
Then it was Saturday, the air was still horrible and it was starting to get really cold outside. 9pm comes around again and my boss picks me up for round 2...when we arrive at the airport (in the middle of MARCH) it starts snowing. By the time we are boarding the bus that takes us to our plane at midnight, it is a full blown snow storm outside. Sitting...waiting...getting frustrated...and then we take off...4 hours later.
Singapore airport garden
After the biggest airport hassle I have ever been through was behind me, I arrived in Singapore on Sunday morning at around 10am. It was absolutely the best feeling to step off the plane where we had boarded in a snow storm and step into 85 degree weather with amazingly high humidity. I immediately felt at home. Everything was so green! Everyone was speaking English! The air was so clean!
Yes, this is in the Singapore airport
I actually did not end up staying at Marina Bay Sands (except for the last night), the hotel with the awesome pool, but instead stayed at the Pan Pacific. That was a blessing. MBS's pool is amazing, the rooms on the other hand...not so much. Luckily for me I got the best of both worlds with a copy of my boss's key I could go up to the pool but not have to stay in the musty room with no tub and Chinese cable TV shows. My room at the Pan Pacific on the other hand had a wonderful bed, a great tub, a glassed in shower and American TV shows.
So, Sunday I spent at the pool, Monday I spent at the office, then the pool, then the cocktail hour for the conference. Tuesday and Wednesday were conference and work dinners and then the pool and Thursday I returned home. All in all, I loved Singapore and I would move there in a second...except for the cost of living. That is enough information for a whole new post but let's just say that it is OUTRAGEOUS.
Area across from Marina Bay where we had dinner the lastnight

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Convention in Singapore

     Work trip #2 is right around the corner. This time I am going to Singapore for 6 days. Sadly, with not enough notice, I won't be able to bring hubs with me, but I plan to bring him back some gifts instead. Singapore is said to have the cleanest air in Asia and is from my memory most definitely one of the cleanest places on earth. I haven't been to Singapore since I was 14 or 15 years old, so I can't wait to go back.
     I am excited for all of those reasons plus the fact that I am staying here...

The Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino! The most amazing pool in Singapore overlooking the city! Yay! 


Friday, March 9, 2012

Should I Stay or Should I Go

1 day = Normal
2 days = Still pretty normal
3 days =Sadly yes, still normal
4 days = Starting to wear on me
5 days= Really?


...After 2 weeks of no sun and constant Unhealthy-Hazardous level air you feel like shit. No way to sugar coat it. You feel physically weak and mentally exhausted. At first you just ask yourself "Why do I live hear by choice again?" and then as you feel out the situation, you begin to ask your spouse. As a couple you are right on the edge of depressed and finding it harder and harder to get out of bed. Singapore is starting to sound really nice and New Zealand doesn't even seem real. On husbands day off this week he worked on his resume and is going to prefect it this weekend. My husband looked at me over dinner and told me he loved me too much not to try to at least look for jobs elsewhere. He says this because I am a weakling and I wear my emotions clearly on my face. After two weeks I felt worn out and mentally beaten down. Looks like our time in China will be more like 1.5 years and less like 3. 


And then you wake up to the sun on your face and all is right in the world. It starts to get warmer outside and you feel a little more able to handle what comes at you. I wouldn't say no if hubs decided we were moving tomorrow but I don't feel quite so desperate. The hard truth of it is that financially we are doing well here. Sending more and more back every month and that is before my substantial raise next month (yay!) so as much as neither one of us loves it here, it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to leave yet. We are constantly going back and forth though...stay or go...stay or go. 


I know there are other expats out there that go through the exact same feeling and it really takes it tole. 


I strategize where it would make the most since to move next and this is what I am face with:


Singapore: I could keep my job BUT the cost of living is ungodly so basically my salary would cover rent


New Zealand: Will and I would both be looking for new jobs BUT the cost of living is better and we could potentially put down roots there...buy a house, buy cars and have babies 


Anyway, add new health issues to that in the form of a massive hormone imbalance and this household needs some sun. Spring...please hurry.