Monday, January 30, 2012


I had no idea the 2nd one was a video. Sorry. And I'm not quitting my day job, to become a photographer. With these damn wrists, I keep pushing the wrong buttons on my iPhone camera. It's so small is my excuse!

pictures worth 1000 words?

So now I got the photos here, I have NO idea what I ended up doing to get them here!  These are New Year's Eve. The Korean restaurant filming the"feast", a street in Chinatown strung with lanterns, a buddhist temple in the background of the Chinatown festivities, and more lanterns (because they were everywhere!)
I am being really good to my wrist so this will be short. (That's what I said last time!)
Chiang Mai is about 1,000 k's (I think) north of here (it's a three hour flight). The weather there last week was highs of mid 70's, low of mid 60's, full sun, and no humidity. I was looking forward to getting out my one sweater I brought for cool evenings, and enjoying relief from this heat here. HA! I just checked the 10 day forecast in Chiang Mai and they are expecting 92, 93, 94. WHAT?  I don't know what that is celsius, but I know it is hot. And they say thunder storms!! What??
The heat here is very heavy. The weather on the computer shows thunder storms every day and high of 31, low of 27. I would say most days are around 29. Above is damn hot, below is not bad. IF there is a breeze. With no breeze it is hot, damn hot. It doesn't really cool down in the evening. No clothes seem to make you cooler. Most of my summer stuff is for at the cottage. Where it is rarely this hot. So I will be bringing back lots of clothes that I will not be wearing here. When I see the muslim women in their black long robes, heads covered, I shudder. Dress is very causal here. I have not worn jewelry yet. It is too hot. And too dressy. I even have taken off my left hand ring. It gets too hot under the ring! But when going down town, I try to remember to throw a scarf in my purse. Because some AC is so cold. At church, they must have it set to 20. All the women pull out shawls to wrap themselves and their children for the service. I just think the expense of that! Yikes!
The Singaporeans speak "singlesh". It is english with a very heavy accent. And very fast, repeated at least twice, at full volume. I say "I'm sorry, I didn't get that" and they say it again, twice, fast, and at full volume. A lot I miss.
The rapid transit is marvelous. You buy a plastic card, put money on it, and tap it on a screen when you get on and when you get off. The bus, the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit= trains), our little shuttle bus. It is so slick. The trains are all wifi. You can text, they are so smooth. They are silent. In the station you can not hear them coming, you only see the headlight. Then they stop, you wait at a door, the doors of the train open, the doors in the station open and you get in. But it is very orderly, people wait at the side for those exiting the train, and then get on. We could do so much better in TO. TTC, the better way. HA! At every door there is a seat for pregnant women, handicapped and elderly. They always get up for me. Yikes! But I don't mind. The ride to downtown is about half an hour, so I am happy to sit for the ride.
My white hair really stands out here. All the Chinese women colour their hair unless they are really really old. I don't think the Indian women go gray, or not many. and not much. So I really do stand out. I went to a street market to take something back to get repaired. I was there 4 weeks ago. I was having this little booth guy make fobs for access to our front door, from the plastic card the management gave us. I had him make me 2 red for us, and 2 green for Rod and Nancy for their building. Well, when I came up to him, I said he had made these red fobs, but they didn't work any more. He said "I made you 4, 2 green". I had even forgotten I had done the green ones as well. I asked how he would remember. I was amazed. I guess my white hair does stand out. I have to say as I walked way, I checked to see if people were staring at me. I don't think so. But either that guy gets NO business, or he has an amazing memory. Or I really stand out!
Better sign off and ice my wrist.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

when it works it really works

I will be judicious about my post because I write this with a wrist brace on. (thank you Mary) I probably shouldn't be typing at all, but I want to have the contact.
Norm, our dear friend told us about a friend of his, Fabrice, who is an at-home Dad here in the building and he has a little business of delivering wine to the door. So last week I emailed him, and within half an hour had 12 bottles delivered to the apt. Wines from where we were last year in Provence! The deal is a convenience not a cost saving. But you have to try these things, right? Anyway, in chatting, he said he had a friend up one over one 24-06 (we are 23-05) from Winnipeg. A chiropractor. So I got his email. This would be a week ago, before  New Year, and everything shut down for 5 days here. But up and running today, and I was at his office this morning. An extensive consultation, and he sent me for X-rays. I went across town and in to this office filled with people. I thought the rest of the day would be spent there waiting. Well I was out of there in half an hour, with my X-rays, to take back to chiro, Casey, and will have a second consultation, with the X-rays, tomorrow at 11, and a treatment. Pretty good eh? Then a second treatment Saturday. When it works it really works.
To add to everything we are dealing with, I thought I was getting allergies. Lungs hurt, coughing, exhausted, but Casey says it is probably the flu. There are two going around this Spring (?), one intestinal, one respiratory. I am hoping it is allergies, and my stuff I have brought with me to treat that (nasal rinse, nasal spray, etc), will do it in. Otherwise he said this bug lasts 6 TO 8 WEEKS!!!! I sure hope I don't give it to Tim! Or haven't already. He is in his "refrigerator", a bedroom he closes off and runs the AC to keep it cool, to keep him awake. Hard to study in humid heat. Hard to study. Exam tomorrow. Wish him luck.
I was going to learn to add photos to my post. I am going to. But I haven't yet. They need to be jpeg, and I don't know yet how to make my iPhotos ipeg. I wanted to send photos of New Year's.
Nancy and I went down to Chinatown mid afternoon. Not too crowded, but not to be fussy, it was just like Chinatown. Except these added booths out front of the stores, with hawkers selling the tackiest, as only the Chinese can do, red lanterns, red dragons, flowers, pussy willows, some dyed bright green and red, stuffed animals, balloon animals. Lots of stuff. It was hot. We were getting tired so we opted for a cool drink. In an air-conditioned restaurant. Ended up in a Korean Restaurant for a diet coke. They were filming a spot for New Year's Eve banquet meal (I guess). Then more wandering, and past a reflexology place, and we thought a treatment might allow us to last longer in to the evening. So sat and had a treatment. What a difference to the other place I have gone. I didn't feel it was sanitary. My feet on the same towel as everybody before me. A minimal wipe of the feet with a hot towel. And then I got this suomi  wrestler, with a toothless grin sit down in front of me. "Oh no" I said. He worked on me, and I mean worked on me, didn't really check in with me if it hurt too much, I would have to sort of kick to get his attention to lighten up. He was busy talking and laughing with his colleagues. Didn't have the same energy and good feeling after. The next morning I woke up with all these red patches over my shins. From him pressing so hard with not enough cream (nivea!)
At any rate we continued to wander, the crowds getting thicker, tried for 2 Chinese restaurants for supper, and ended up at a VietNamese restaurant. So in Chinatown, New Year's Eve and we go Korean and VietNamese! We were waiting for a concert to start but an hour and a quarter after it was billed to start, we gave up. The crowds to get in to the MRT were so thick coming out, we were glad we were leaving. And then the skies opened up, and there was such a down pour. I wonder if their fire works were okay. We were really glad we left. So much for New Year's Eve! In bed by 10 p.m.
Giving my wrists a break. Signing off.

Friday, January 20, 2012

my first foray

I just made reservations for my first trip. I am going to Chiang Mai Feb 3-8. My cousin Sue Maclachlan, has a son Andrew living in Chiang Mai. He teaches at the International School just north of the city. He lives there with his wife Mary and daughter Maeve. And my friend from Toronto (Wellspring), Ann Grant is visiting her son David, who lives in Chiang Mai with his wife and children. He edits the expat newspaper, I believe. So I am going to fly Friday night Feb 3rd arriving late, to be picked up by Andrew, thank you very much, spend the weekend with the Mac's and head in to downtown Chiang Mai to a hotel, to see Ann for Monday/Tuesday. I will fly back Wednesday. I am very excited, to see them , but more, because it was a big deal to make it happen. To book online from here is a maze. And when you think you are done, and give them your visa, you then have to make a form, with yet another password, because it is an international transaction, my visa being based in another country.
Because I am working with my "apple orchard", and so much is new, needing new passwords, which of course I can not remember, I cringe when I am asked for another password. I have a notebook here, and one whole page is passwords for all the new apple stuff, new banking stuff, now visa stuff. Tim and I   have 4 new phone numbers to remember HA, 8 digits long each of them. Oh my, I am being stretched.
Speaking of which, I headed off to a yoga studio, to inquire about classes, and purchase a yoga mat. I used my trusty iPhone with google map, to find my way there. Is that ever neat. Looks like a good studio, a 15 minute walk away, but no mats. "after New year" Everything is after new Year. The whole of Singapore, and I think, China, stops for New Year. It is HUGE. And in the taxi I will follow an app that is "where are you"and it shows you where you are going. So I may soon get an idea of where I am and where I am going. Being surrounded by expressways, I really have no idea where I am, am going, or have been.
My arms are better.The massage therapist mentioned carpal tunnel syndrome, and certainly from google it looks like what I have. So I am icing my wrists, taking ibuprofen and it is getting better. Of course, I am being very judicious about using the computer, too. So this will be short.
I went to a nursery and bought plants for our balcony. Bougainvillia (fuchsia), 2 palms and a cordyline (red), and they are gorgeous. My next apple project is to learn how to add photos to my blog. I want to show you my balcony. It does look great.
BUT, a thunder storm went through this afternoon and I thought all the furniture and plants were going to fly off the balcony. What a wind! What rain. And a clap of thunder right overhead that made me jump. It was almost scary. Particularly on the balcony at floor 23. I think I want to tie down the plants. One of the chairs went sailing across the deck. I wonder if they ever do fly off? 23 floors.
By the way, if you look up Singapore weather, it says thunder storms and 31' every day. I'm sure somewhere out in the ocean there is a thunderstorm every day but not here in the city. This was my first. I slept through (I slept through, HA) a doozey, the other night, so this was my first. It was amazing.
I am being nice to my wrists, so off I go.
Next entry will be Year of the Dragon. Happy New Year, again!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

oh these damn sunny days

OMG the weather has changed. The sun has been shining for days. Lovely, you say. Not so I say. That means greasy sun cream, fumbling with sun glasses, but most, the temperature is in the 30's. And the breeze has gone. So it is stinking hot. I heard today that this is the beginning of the warm weather. Crickies, it is January. I know we are close to the equator, but the thought of it getting hotter over the next SEVEN months. Of course the humidity remains very high. It is like Southern Ontario last summer. But that was for a few weeks. Yikes. I might have to close up the apartment and put on the AC.
I see that our balcony is in sun on a sunny day. Overcast days we can be out any time. Sunny days we will pick and chose when it is shade.
I am sitting here waiting for the black out vinyls to be installed. Tim is over at Rod's studying. I listen to a classical station here. I don't often listen to the radio at home, but it is company here. Few real classics and a lot of light classics, the "schlock" I used to grind out for "pops" concerts. There's a reason it is not "classic". But it is company.
I was going to try to put together some IKEA stuff, but gave up in frustration. My hands and fingers just don't work. I keep complaining about my broken down body. I don't want to whinge. Well actually I would like to, so here goes. It seems the day the house closed in Toronto, my body said "okay NOW STOP". My shoulders and back went in to a complete spasm. In Vernon, I was a mess. No skiing, in excruciating pain over Christmas. It was truly awful. After all the holidays I got to a physio 3 times, and a RMT 3 times. A little headway was made, but then 22 hours of flying, carrying suitcases (way too many) and then setting up here, shopping, cleaning (a very dirty apartment). I have tried to be good, not do too much, and  rest, but it is all driving me crazy. I was assured in BC that it is not frozen shoulder, or fibromyalgia, but what ever it is is taking it's time leaving. At this point the legs, and back are better, but my hand and  wrists ache. It feels like broken bones. Not joints per say. It is a mystery. But enough already.
The upside is I am doing TCM. Our expenses are high, and there is no pay check for a while, so I hate spending the money, but I have to. The reflexology is wonderful. Well sort of. It kills. A traditional Chinese "hospital". Open to the street, big lazy boy chairs lined up, with a remote to have it recline. I have a 20 minute soak and 40 minute session for S$35 (C$25?) They bring a half wooden barrel, lined with a plastic bag filled with warm water. You soak for 20 minutes. Then the person comes to find every bone in the bottom of your feet, and press against it until you wince, and they smile and say "sorry so sorry"with a smile on their face. I thought I had padding on the bottom of my feet, but there seems to be none as they work. But I do feel better after they stop hurting me. It is neat to be in a very traditional place, and I have always loved TCM at home. So it is an experience that is pleasure/pain.
Chinese New Year is this weekend. The year of the dragon. It is huge here. Big family time. Extended family travels from afar, to celebrate together once a year. (Like the Americans) Stores will close for 2-5 days. Am trying to stock up on a bit of food, although the hawkers at our complex will stay open. Their food is fabulous, but the amount of oil in every dish, I do not want to know. But it will keep us going over this weekend. We really must get down to Chinatown this weekend. The stores are crazy busy, the taxis hard to find (to wait 1/2 hour for a cab these days seems to be it). Cabbies are not working, but home getting ready for the big weekend. Not sure what we will do to celebrate.
I have met a young woman here. When I had a pedicure I chatted with the woman next to me. A gorgeous, I thought Indian, woman from Bangladesh. Maybe 25-30. She is with Standard Charter Bank, a big Asian bank. She came on a business trip, fell in love with Singapore, and wrangled a transfer here. She has been here a month, is in our complex, and we exchanged tel #. She is dying to meet pilots. (Pilots are a big deal here). She has hardly anything in her apartment. A bed, A single futon as a chair, a table with 2 chairs, and nothing in her kitchen. She gets her coffee downstairs, eats every meal out. She doesn't know how to cook. In Bangladesh, they have a maid who does all the cooking, and her mother has said she will learn when she has to. Her parents will come in Feb and stock her kitchen, and furnish her place. I do not think like this when I think of Bangladesh. It will be interesting to get to know her. Farzana.
I get emails from you that are reading this blog. Thank you. I sit here, talking to you, and wonder if you are listening. Thank you for letting me know you are out there. It is really good to know.
I am having trouble grieving Mom. There is nothing of hers around (I have some of her winter clothes- they are not here!), everything is so unfamiliar, no one to talk with about her. It is very difficult.  Not sure how to work this one through. I think of her, and am glad she knew we were coming. I imagine someone reading these blogs to her.
Well the curtains are up. I am going to go for a swim!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

sunday morning

I sit on our balcony on my sofa (heh heh) watching the sun rise. I am looking at Rod and Nancy's building (no lights on yet, hope Rod is sleeping in!) over the expressways covered in a canopy of green trees to the beach and parkland that stretches along the coast for k's, from downtown on the south (30 k's right/south) to Changi Airport (10 k's east/left). There is a huge "T" wharf, a skate board park, a man made water boarding area (pulled around by an overhead track), rental sailboats, windsurfers,  kayaks, food hawker courts and miles of beach. Then the water out from the beach is filled with ships waiting for a berth in Singapore harbour. There are probably 60-70 ships that we can see from here, anchored out there. The shoreline in the background (on a clear day) is Indonesia.  Certainly will explore, but until I get to feel better everything hurts, walking, sitting. Yuk.
I went for a reflexology appt the other day. Our complex has a shuttle service to the MRT, a grocery store "Fair Price", and a mall Parkway Parade. Coming out of Fair Price, I saw a TCM clinic, offering reflexology. I went to explore and had a 20 minute soak and 1 hour treatment (S$38). This tiny seemingly 12 year old Chinese girl found every bone in my feet. It is nothing like what I have had before. I have had them work on pressure points, but this. Yikes. I am of the thinking that if it hurts it must be good for you. This must have been fabulous for me. I could not believe the pain, but honestly, I felt my pain leave my shoulder and wrist. I walked out of there feeling myself. It was wonderful.  Until, of course, I went grocery shopping! I will make that a part of my shopping jaunt. They also do shoulder massage, full body massage, and ear candling. I have never had candling, it just seems new age, but if it is TCM, may be worth trying. All this TCM has been around for so long, there must be something to it.
Last night I booked a massage for Tim and me. He has had such a week, I thought he would like a relaxing massage. I am trying to have some work done on this broken down old body every few days. So we went to the salon in our complex. They have a room with two tables, and it was nice to be together. But these girls. I heard Tim wincing and groaning, and I was wincing and groaning. But it must have been wonderful. My girl, Lili, at the end, held my hand to do the range of motion thing, and pressed back on my wrist where it does not go these days. I tell you I saw white lights and thought I was on the ceiling. Such pain. And she felt terrible, but it was the wrong thing to be doing on this wrist. Needless to say , it is killing me this morning still. Ouch
Went to IKEA yesterday. Very ambitious of me on the Saturday before Chinese New Year. But I headed out early and was there for the opening at ten. By MRT. The MRT is wonderful. The cars all seem new and are spotlessly clean, air conditioned and wired. Passengers are quiet and polite. It is easy to manoeuvre, stations well marked, efficient, but mostly QUIET. There are no brakes screeching (think TTC) no swaying as the tracks change direction (think TTC), no clicking over tracks (TTC). I have heard one click, one, so far , a train crossing tracks.
To get to IKEA you can cab it, (S$8) or MRT to a free shuttle bus (takes an hour) to a business park, we have decided, like in Brampton. Have I ever been to a business park in Brampton? but you know. Way out. The shuttle bus goes to a monster furniture store, a monster grocery store, a monster electronics store, and IKEA. The Singaporeans come out to IKEA to eat. They love the meatballs and boiled potatoes! At opening, there was a huge lineup for the restaurant. But I was there for furniture and in 25 minutes was on my way out, with all ordered that I wanted. Now it will take 2 weeks to be delivered. But got 2 armchairs, a dresser, bed tables, bed tables for the guest rooms, mattress covers. Most of the things are the same here in Singapore IKEA as at home. None of this "while in Rome" for me here. There is so much cheap Chinese stuff in other stores. At least with IKEA I know the quality I am getting, and I really only want 2 years out of it. But I save all receipts because maybe we can sell our things when we head home. They say Sinaporeans are shoppers and I believe it. Granted it is Chinese New Year. But at the monster store mall, there were easily 50 trucks waiting to unload at the stores. Reminiscent of the ships out in the ocean off our apartment. Waiting to unload.
This is an island after all. I don't think there is much industry here. So everything comes in by ship, air or land. We watch Airbus 380's, they are so huge , come in every 3 minutes all day long and all night long. We are on the flight path for Changi Airport. We watch them come from far a way, a speck of light, come across to our right, make an abrupt right turn for them, left fro us, across the water we look out at, and land 30 k's to our left. every 3 minutes night and day.
The sun is up. You all head out for your Saturday night, I start my day Sunday. Have a hard time getting my head around that.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

a quiet moment, finally

I sit in my living room on the 23rd floor of a 25 year old high rise apartment building. It is large. 2200 sq ft. 4 bedrooms (one must be a maid's- it is pretty awful). The apartment itself is old, old bathrooms, ancient kitchen, very tired in places. But the apartment is light, bright, breezy and has a  huge balcony, 20 feet deep, in a funny shape, wide at the sliding doors, pinches in after about 8' to a "bridge" of 6X6, and then to an end area, wide area about 12' wide and 8' deep. I await our outdoor furniture. I am excited. Black "wicker" with white canvas pillows; two love seats and a coffee table/seat, and a table and 4 chairs. One group out at the end, the other closer to the sliding doors. If like at Norm's we will live out there. There is a lovely breeze most of the time, and I see, at 3p.m. the end "bulge" is in some sun. I look forward to getting some huge tree/plants to stick out there. I have seen bougenvelia (sp?), orange trees, all those plants we have back home as house plants, and of course palm. There is a nursery near by and when the furniture is in I will head over there. At Norm's we never sat at his table inside so I may make the dining area a yoga space and forget a dining table and chairs. We will see.
It seems most days are overcast. Which is fine by me. No blinding hot sun, no suncream, no sunglasses. It often rains a bit in the mid day, but things dry quickly. I don't get it,  the humidity is so high, but things do dry. I am doing a laundry, and do not have a dryer. I will put the clothes on a laundry tree in the 4th bedroom and most things will be dry in a day. I could put them out on the balcony and they would dry very quickly (hours) but I prefer to not look at laundry.
We leave the windows open, we have windows facing all 4 ways. It makes for a little more stuff blowing around, but I love the sea breeze. It is about 27' and a breeze. Pretty easy to take. At night, we close up our bedroom, put the AC on, I sleep under a very light eiderdown, and Tim is happy with the AC. I have ordered blackout curtains to be installed next week for Tim. We have two 8' windows, east and south, so when he starts doing overnights and coming home in the a.m. to sleep we will need the blackout room. That was amazing. I googled "blackout curtains singapore" and in 1/2 an hour a guy was here measuring. When it works, it really works.
I still have my pain. It seems to be more at night the muscles tighten and in the morning I am a mess, then it loosens up over the day (a bit). I had a massage yesterday. I go downstairs, in our complex here, I can see the place from my balcony, and S$60 ($45?) I got a 90 minute fabulous massage. They are very knowledgeable, and man do they have fingers of steel.
Tim (and Rod) are at school. Long days- 9 to 6, every day, with an exam Friday morning, and classes aft and evening after! Then the weekend off to study more. Of course they know how to fly, but it is important that in the cockpit, they all have the same philosophy, talk the same talk,  and do things the same way. For Tim, he will have to forget the AC way, and make new Tiger habits. It is hard work for these guys, but when they get on the line, and are flying to new and exciting destinations, in all new weather conditions, they will be happy. And privileges for me, you ask. That happens after 6 months. Not sure what they are. But flying here is pretty inexpensive, so I'm not took worried.
I have planned to go to Chiang Mai as my first foray. A friend from Toronto is going to be visiting her son there, and I have a nephew (cousin's son actually) who is there with his family, teaching at the International school. But I feel my first priority is to make a nest for Tim. Get this place working smoothly for him.
And with IKEA back ordered that might be a bit yet.
I went to IKEA today but could only get so much- these damn arms. Kitchen stuff, ironing board, closet storage, stuff. Awaiting 2 LR chairs. And have to get a dresser and bed tables for us. It will happen.
I miss so much,a my friends and family from home. I have set up Skype and that sure helps. I am planning to Skype my book club tomorrow. 9am Fri will be 8 pm in TO, and I hope to say hello to all there. Hope it works. I can not believe Skype. I have had 1/2 hour conversations and it is FREE. Yahoo.
Well, off  now to READ. I am almost finished the book I was reading when I came. The Piano Man's Daughter, Timothy Findlay. Wonderful. Haven't seen any book stores yet. Will get my iPad going with e-reader books.  My kids laughed at all the "apple" I bought. I think they think it is wasted on me. Alex said I had an apple orchard. But my e-reader will be very important to me with just a few pages of my book left. And then I will read the National Geographic cover on twins. And get my outdoor furniture!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

This is still the journey

We stayed in our own place last night!!!!! IKEA arrived with our beds and mattresses yesterday afternoon. We have queens for two guest rooms set up. ahem ahem.
Our friends Rod and Nancy arrived and they are staying with us until they get beds for their apt. They are in a building across the way. We look at their balcony and will be able to send semaphore to meet down at the pool!
We now have wireless in our place! Yippee! I feel connected. AND so far my computer is just fine. AND I am learning my iPad. Next iPhone. Off this aft to get a sim card. AND get a mop and pail. I have booked a cleaning lady who will start next Wednesday.
This afternoon I am off to manpower to get fingerprinted for my dependant's pass. Then a few days for it to process. Things are moving along. Slowly.
The stories of sitting by the pool and travelling off to Bali will be forth coming (Apparently you do groupon coupons for trips, see when you have 4 days off and do a groupon for 2 nights,/3 days to Bali). Learned this at a party Saturday night. A Tiger New Years party for those who were flying over the holidays. It's interesting, seems Tiger is a real "family" because people are from every where; Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Barbados, South Africa, so being away from family, the work culture becomes family. Kind of like ski buddies at Silver Star. So there are lots of parties. The women who have been here a while are wonderfully helpful about connecting- i.e. traveling, yoga, shopping, whatever.
I seem to be in such a hurry always when I go to do a post. Things will settle out soon and I will have more time.
But I am sitting in my living room, wirelessly posting this, a breeze blowing through the apartment. The day is overcast, around 27', and life is getting better. I should say less stressful. We are getting there. This is still the journey!

Friday, January 6, 2012

I thought the journey was the destination

Well the journey is over. It was a slug. We are here but oh my. Any of you who have lived in Asia know what I mean. We will forget this part when it is over and have moved in to the system. BUT!!! The processes to be followed  are breath taking. We spent 5 hours at Tiger. Sat around, awaiting the form to the application for T. for an employment pass, and J the dependants pass. She had to have my marriage certificate. For 30 years I have never needed my marriage certificate, but in going through packing up papers at home, I stuck it in to bring. Why? But thank goodness I did. She had to photocopy it 6 times! After 5 hours all we had were the application forms to then we go to Manpower to get our forms. Tim went to get his, was fingerprinted and goes back Wed to get his pass. I go Monday to get fingerprinted. We got bank accounts but it took hours, forms, and giving them S$10,000 we don't have access to our money for at first they said 3 weeks !!!! and got it down to 3 days. So hopefully today we will have an account and access to the money using the cards they have given us. OY
And yet in getting cable/internet/telephone, ran upstairs to buy a tv at 4, asked when they could deliver, they said 5. At 4:30 they were at our place and had to wait 1/2/hour till we got home to let it in.
Our agent took us around one afternoon, taking us to computer hospital for my mac, then to Starhub for internet. He gave us 4 hours of his time, $20 in parking expenses. Amazing. My mac has been sick, bought a new keyboard. Gmail it being cantankerous and does not keep my passwords, but seem to be on okay now. I feel so isolated with out my computer connected.
Have to go to an expat auction with R&N.
Again soon.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

blank still but clean

Welcome to the islands? Our apartment has been ours since Dec but we have still not moved in. It has been having renos, since Nov?, and they wanted to wait till we arrived, to clean. Good idea.But maybe the day before or so. Not 3 days after we arrived. We have been staying at out friend, our DEAR friend Norm's home, an apartment directly bellow by 5 floors. If we didn't have Norm's, and Phil's and Mem's incredible generosity (they are all at their places in Pukhet and just leave their place open for us!!!! island hospitality!) this would be an even more expensive move, with hotel downtown and taxis back and forth. But it is 6:30 a.m. and I await a decent hour to start moving our things up. We have our suitcases, plus some basics from IKEA and Mustafa- some bedding, towels, some kitchen stuff. We did buy beds, chairs, some stuff at IKEA but it will be delivered Sunday.
Our friends Rod, and Nancy arrive before our beds, ( to host them in OUR place), so we all will be at Norm's apartment  and will be overbooked for a night or so. I'm sure Norm will figure that out. He is our guardian angel.
My pain has come back, and my right hand is almost useless. BUT went to the aesthetics salon in our complex, and had a very good massage (lots of work on TCM pressure points) and feel better for that. It is about same price as home ($60) but location can't be beat. I can see it from the balcony.
We, me too, are off to Tiger Air this morning. We are also going to be moving our stuff up to 2305 and putting stuff away, although continuing to sleep here (1508 Norm's) until our beds and mattresses arrive Sunday.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It's next year

2011 passed somewhere over the Pacific at 38,000 feet. I thought it might be an event, but passed unnoticed.
We left Vancouver 2 p.m. Saturday, (1st class upgrade which my back and shoulders appreciated to the full) and 10 hours later were in Narita (Tokyo). Had to do customs and the whole schmeel to then try for a flight for Singapore. Our dilemma was #1, we were exhausted, and a hotel overnight seemed very attractive. #2 a hotel room would be expensive and push us to trying on Jan 2 where the flights were much fuller and chances not so good. So we ended up buying tickets on Singapore Air,(kuching kuching) to get out at 9 p.m. and get in to Singapore 3 a.m. Not a great arrival time, but it worked. The Changi Airport is amazing, huge, spacious, easy, and after finding the separate taxi line for those with way too many bags for a regular (little) taxi, we got our van and arrived at Norm's 4 a.m. What we would do without Norm, I do not know. Keys and entry worked, and by 5 a.m. we 'd had a beer on the deck, and crashed. For 2 hours. We don't feel too badly now. Me 2 pain killers, and a sleeping pill helped. We also tried "No Jet Lag" homeopathic pills and we will see how we fair with them.
Watched a movie on AC documentary channel on Chauvet Caves in France. Pristine cave paintings from 32,000 years ago, found only in 1994. Amazing.
While waiting to arrange tickets for Singapore in the Tokyo Airport they were playing Mozart Clarinet Quintet. Classy.
Singapore Air flight attendants are GORGEOUS. I wonder where they farm out the ones that pass the age of 30. They are exquisite in floor length slim skirts and the most beautiful sexy but modest neckline on their top. They are heavily made up, but beautifully and tastefully so. And gorgeous hair, very neat. We in North America and Northern Europe Airlines could take some pointers.
Tokyo/Singapore we were on an Airbus 380. It is a monster. 470 passengers. Quiet engines, very, decorated with Christmas decorations along the interior!
This morning we await our real estate agent who is delivering the key for our apartment upstairs. Our apartment will be on the 23rd floor of the building we are in now at Norms. We will be his neighbour! With the key we will check out our blank palette of an apartment and then will see if IKEA is open Jan 2 and head out for stuff- mattresses, beds, LR chairs, lamps, bed tables- etc. I won't bore you, I will photo what we do with the place.
So, we are here, we have truly started the adventure. With a sunny 26' on our balcony, things seem pretty good. Pretty good. Mighty fine.