As I mentioned on Facebook, there are some things you learn quickly when you live one degree off the equator and in a new culture. Obviously I still have much to learn, but here are a few starters.
Nothing should ever touch your skin if it isn't cotton or linen. This includes watches, jewelry, bras (obviously), backpacks, fanny packs, shoes, you get the picture. These things stick and in my book, being sticky is worse than being hot.
When looking for a place with a real estate agent, there is a tiny, tiny room with no a/c they will call a maid's room right up until you say you will not be hiring a live-in maid. From then on, it is called a small bomb shelter.
Singapore is not as pet-friendly as Switzerland, but it has more to do with sensitivity to all religions. Your strict Muslim neighbors will appreciate your thoughtfulness if you wait until the next elevator or carry your pup in small common areas. The Swiss are just heathens.
When finding an apartment, ask about the electricity rates. We've been running the a/c almost 24/7. Who knows what awaits us when the Man comes calling for his payment.
Every bathroom and kitchen has a switch called "water heater". It is recommended to leave it off until a few minutes before your shower and dishwashing/laundry and then turn it off afterwards. I've taken a few cold showers before having this lesson burned into my brain.
"No frizz" shampoos and conditioners might work in Minnesota or Kansas, but they are a waste of S$57.80 in Singapore.
Chinese weddings typically serve a 7-9 course meal, not including the desserts. You might want to be in the restroom for one or two courses:
|Not my preferred perspective to eat a fish.|
These courses are mingled with toasts, blessings and the newlyweds greeting each table. Instead of a wedding gift of cutlery or potpourri pouches, the guests are expected to find out how much their "seats" cost (available on the hotel's website) and give that much and more in cash to the couple in a red envelope ("hong bao"). The color red is to symbolize good luck. These weddings are a lot of fun but do not eat for a week leading up to the reception.
Daytime rain storms are always welcome since they last about 20 minutes and cool the air off by about 5 degrees.
5 degrees can be the difference between "I'm not going outside" and "A quick dog walk near the water should be ok."
And, as always, dog people are the same the world over. Auggie has been my conversation starter, my ambassador to the Asian world. There is at least one other woman in our neighborhood with a shiba inu and as soon as she returns from her holiday in Switzerland (?!), we will be meeting up with the pups over a cup of iced coffee.
Stay tuned as I learn more lessons. I'm sure my ignorance will be entertaining.