17 June 2011


Crazy, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. And this beholder thinks the last week and a half has been on the crazy end of the crazy meter. First, our condo is falling apart. Our oven, which was fixed last month, is broken again. The ants in the kitchen are back, even though we paid S$150 or more to have an exterminator spray all over so that we would never see them again. Water is the new buzz word here in the McKee home because it is coming out of all of the non-standard places.

Last Friday, water was dripping from the kitchen ceiling where one of our three water heaters is located (don’t ask). A team of three tiny Asian men came to the rescue and determined that one of the pipes was disconnected and immediately fixed the issue. This morning when I went into the kitchen for breakfast, I slipped in a puddle and nearly fell. When I looked down, I saw a river stretching from one part of the kitchen to another, and I have no idea where or why it started. This afternoon, I fixed myself a late lunch and, just as I sat down to eat, I heard something that sounded like a waterfall. This time, water was pouring out of one of our Aircon units, which is mounted on one of our walls near the ceiling, leaving drips on the wall and a puddle on the dining room floor. And, while our entire condo seems to be crumbling around me, I am sick with some sort of sinus/flu thing while Paul is island hopping.

When I went to bed last night, I set my alarm for 2:30 a.m. so that I could wake up and watch the lunar eclipse. At 3 a.m., I was standing outside, camera in hand, ready to take some gorgeous shots of the red moon floating over the East Coast skyline. I felt like crap but I read that it is rare for Singaporeans to view a lunar eclipse and, since I do not believe I have ever seen an eclipse of any kind, I thought this was my chance. The weather in Singapore is hot and humid during the day so I was looking forward to experiencing the cooler, less humid air in the middle of the night. I now know that I completely misjudged mother nature. I stood outside in our driveway and baked in the 86 degree darkness where the humidity was so thick, not even my Rachael Ray knives could cut through. Up in the sky, the clouds covered everything except the moon, which was only half exposed at that point. I watched as the moon quickly got darker and darker and then, at 3:20, it disappeared.

With the exception of a few passing cars, I was the only person outside. I felt quite peaceful, yet still nervous. I know that Singapore is one of the safest places to live and that the crime rates are unbelievably low because the punishments are so harsh. With Paul gone, I, as an almost-30-year-old, am afraid of the dark – or, at least the things that possibly linger in the dark – so I stayed inside the gate instead of walking to the park like I had originally planned.

Once I realized that the dark moon was hidden by the clouds and that I would rather be in bed than standing outside waiting to see a red moon that I might not be able to see at all, I went back upstairs. A few minutes later, I watched through the windows as the trees outside blew in every direction. The wind was blowing so hard, my two doors were shaking. I was wondering when a branch would be flying through one of my balcony doors. The rains poured down as I slithered into bed. My eyes closed, I could see a lightning bolt and knew that I was in for quite a storm.

June, as the hottest month of the year, is supposed to be in the middle of the dry season. In the last two weeks we have experienced a number of gloomy, rainy days. Just over a week ago, Paul and I awoke to the sound of thunder and watched as the rains approached our condo. We continued to watch as the rains poured harder and then lightened up a bit before bellowing down again. The rains did not stop completely until after 4 p.m. Before relocating, we read that it rains somewhere in Singapore every day, but this rain was quite impressive. Downtown, parking garages flooded after five hours of continuous rain poured down, seeping into the lower levels and ruining some of the island’s most expensive cars. One area received 2.5 inches of rain within 30 minutes and the day’s rainfall accounted for 77 percent of the average monthly rainfall, according to the local paper.

When the sun is out, it is mighty hot. Honestly, when the sun is sleeping, it is mighty hot. At 11 a.m. it is 90 degrees and at 11 p.m. it is 86 degrees. I miss being able to put on a hoodie and walk outside after the sun has gone down. I miss having the ability to get ready at home, feel confident in how I look before I leave the house and get to my destination with the same confidence. Paul and I think it is crazy that we can sweat so much by doing something as menial as walking outside to catch the bus. Yesterday I went to the local mall for some authentic Asian soup. On the ride home, I noticed that my neck was sweating. I was not aware my neck had the ability to sweat.

Paul and I are constantly discussing Singapore’s hotness and there has been one solution to this endless conversation topic: New England. Paul and I have vacationed in New England since we were at the point in our dating relationship when traveling together was acceptable. We like the history and the architecture and the coolness of the summer and the piles of snow in the winter. Paul even proposed to me while kneeling in the snow. We have been talking about moving to New England for years and now that we do not have jobs grounding us to a specific state, we know that we have a real option to settle down in Massachusetts and Maine (yes, we need a house in each) whenever we do make it back to the States. Of course, we will be in Singapore for a number of years but we call this planning ahead. I need to get a book deal and make our millions before we can afford the homes on the New England coastline, let’s be honest.

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