24 September 2011


Paul worked today. It was the first time in a long time that he was gone all day and for the first time in that same long time, I this morning realized that I suddenly had no idea what to do without him here. If this were any other day of the week, I likely would have lounged around the house. But Friday is cleaning day and I hate being around the house watching someone else clean it.

Every other Friday, I meet the AWA ladies for coffee and repetitive chit chat but this was not coffee week. No touristy destinations came to mind so I decided to do what expat wives do when they are not having coffee – go shopping.

I had heard about a store called ToTT a bit west of here. ToTT, which stands for Tools of The Trade, is a store centered on the kitchen. They have almost everything for the kitchen, dining room, bar area, outdoor kitchens and any other area where you would cook or serve food. I had a great time and I ended up with quite a few new toys.

After a little rest this afternoon, I headed to Clarke Quay to engage in another one of Southeast Asia’s legendary arts – uber-intense martial arts training. That’s right, I, the exceptionally smiley, perky, former cheerleader who has never hit anyone other than her brother, has never even touched a weapon and listens to NPR every day of her life, am learning to kick some butt so that someone else doesn’t kick mine.

I not only got a workout, I learned how to defend myself if someone decides to come after me with a pole. I know the “fight or flight” distance and whether to fight or get the heck out. I know that for every one hit I make, someone else can make 10 so I need to just keep hitting and kicking until the other person is immobilized. Message to my little brother who is the chief jungle warfare instructor for the U.S. Marine Corps: Watch out. By the time we see each other for Christmas, I just may be able to take you. OK, at least I won't be immobilized on the ground, helpless like I usually am.

Completely pumped up from my class, I decided to take my time getting home. I knew I was close to Chinatown, so I took a short train ride in search of one of my favorite American treats – hot dogs. That’s right, hot dogs. Somewhere in the heart of Chinatown, just behind a giant temple and next to one of the biggest hawker centers I have seen, is a little truck where an old Austrian man sells smoked sausages and pretzels. Funny enough, it’s just a couple kiosks down from Serendipity – or Serenedipity, as it says on the sign – Patisserie.

Knowing full well that this is one of the many exciting weekends in Singapore, I made one more stop before heading home. I have never seen a car race of any kind so I thought I would check out the happenings associated with Race Weekend.

The sound of the Formula 1 cars racing around the Singaporean streets was deafening. I could hear the cars from Clarke Quay inside the martial arts studio. I could hear the cars in the subway. When I walked outside, I thought my ear drums would explode as the sound of the engines revving reverberated off of buildings and windows and echoed through tunnels and outdoor walkways.

I have to say, watching these odd-shaped cars take over the streets of Singapore at such insane speeds was thrilling. I definitely enjoyed myself today and am SO glad I didn’t end up sitting on my butt all day!

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