04 May 2011


I am at a confusing point where I am trying to decided which I like more - working or not working. I like having a job and making money so that Paul and I have more to save and more to spend. If I had additional income, we could afford a bigger apartment closer to the city with an amazing rooftop patio like our new friends. I think I would rent an apartment just to have that rooftop patio. Or maybe we could just rent the patio and sleep in a tent.

On the other hand, I really like not having a schedule, taking time each morning to wake up a bit, make breakfast, read and respond to e-mails and catch up on my Bravo shows that are playing in real time. I also have a chance to call some people in the States before they go to bed.

So what do I do? Do I look for part-time work, whether contract or consistent? Do I keep playing the housewife role? I have learned that a lot of expat wives have businesses of their own in Singapore. Wives typically buy things from their home countries at discount prices and then sell them here at fairs for higher prices to make a profit. My new friend Tiffany, who used to sell Victoria's Secret clothing, advised that it is "basically just expats ripping off other expats." The things sold at these fairs are hard to come by in Singapore, so there is quite a demand.

In order to secure a job in Singapore, I would need to apply for one of two passes. The first is an Employment Pass, which Paul is in the process of obtaining, that would allow me to work and to continue to work even if Paul is no longer employed. The second is to obtain a Letter of Consent from Paul's employer stating that I have permission to work using my Dependent's Pass. Once the Letter is received and valid, I could begin working; however, if Paul stops working for any reason or his visa is revoked, I am also out of a job and we both will likely need to vacate Singapore. I am still researching, but the point is that I am not able to just apply for a job today and start working next week. So I suppose I will continue to enjoy my time off while I try to figure out what I want to do. Although it sounds like I want to work, doesn't it?

It would be stellar if I could find a way to work flexible hours making a decent income and have the ability to work from Singapore or the U.S. without reporting into an office every day. Don't worry, I am not holding my breath. I think the most intimidating thing for me is my lack of confidence in communicating with people here. I do not speak Mandarin or Malay and I often have a difficult time understanding the broken English most Singaporeans speak. How can I work in communications if I cannot understand people and they cannot understand me? I had to speak with thee different people this morning just to have an exterminator come to our house to do an inspection.

Even obtaining a job as a writer here is a little nerve wracking for me. I read the newspaper and online website information and I notice that sentences are not quite constructed the way they are in the U.S. I am a bit confused on the local written language. Sometimes I see it written in American English and sometimes I see it written in what I will refer to as European English. Sometimes I see "centre," sometimes I see "labour," sometimes I see "Nov 10 2010." I don't get it.

Paul is getting really good at understanding and speaking Singlish. I just overheard a phone conversation that went something like this:
  "I Captain Paul..."
  "What cost overnight for small jet?"
  "I call Captain Sandy. OK. I call Captain Sandy. Good-bye."

I can't really say that I miss speaking to people who understand and respond in American English because even in America we couldn't speak to someone on the phone from our own country. But there area some things that are not found as easily here as they are in the U.S. For those items we have to either search, research or set up our own foreign trade with friends and family members. They, thankfully, can supply most of what we miss from the U.S.

1 comment:

Allie Mayo said...

Do you want me to send you the Communications Standard Manual?