16 January 2013


Well we didn’t sleep through dinner Saturday, but we probably should have. 

We had been home less than 24 hours when I got a text from my friend, Megan: “Welcome home!!! When can we play?? Nic and Duncan suggested dinner this weekend…” Awesome. While I was incredibly excited to think of spending an evening with my friends, I was also still trying to process being back in Asia, fighting a 13-hour time and 65-degree weather difference. Of course we had no plans, but were we even going to be awake at 7 p.m. on Saturday?

I walked back to Paul’s office and asked, “Knowing that you hate people and going outside, do you think we will have a better chance at being awake for dinner with Nic and Duncan and Megan and Troy Friday or Saturday?” “No….Saturday, I guess. Wait.” “Too late!” I called back. “Saturday it is!”

Even on Saturday, I was still trying to figure out if I would have the energy to make it through dinner. I knew Paul wouldn’t, mostly because he kept telling me. I had a feeling I should have left him at home when he stated he was really hoping we didn’t end up going out, but I failed to listen to my gut. So we went. I at least made an effort to be amiable. Paul, however, raised his game to a whole new level as we sat down to dinner.

I blame myself, really. I was the one who said, “I am not going without you,” before we left the house.

It had been four weeks since I had seen my friends. When we got to the restaurant, Paul and I were both exhausted and neither of us had an appetite but we made our way to a tiny, hidden building boasting of family-style dishes with Middle Eastern flair. Nic was especially excited about the Haloumi a.k.a. squeaky cheese and, I must say, It. Was. Fantastic. I have never had grilled cheese – literally cheese that is grilled in a pan with oil – but I could not get enough.

We had a spread complete with babaganoush, hummus and beetroot tzatziki with flatbread before the main courses of shish taouk (seven-spice chicken), lamb and green chili calamari joined the party. The conversation flowed throughout the evening around five of the six people at the table; Paul was in a bubble by himself. The food made its way around the table but it never stopped at Paul’s place. He just sat, angled back with his chair far from the table, drinking water and wishing he was in bed. Duncan thought it was hilarious. “I just had to look over at Paul throughout the evening and I started laughing to myself.”

I probably felt half as badly as Paul did – Nic made a point to tell me later just how tired I looked that evening – so I did feel badly for making him come with me. While at dinner, I was the apologetic wife. “I’m sorry. He’s really tired. Neither one of us have much of an appetite. I didn’t even eat a whole portion.”

We respectfully bowed out a bit early and took a taxi home. I was glad to leave when we did because I heard the party moved to a bar and went on for three more hours. We definitely could not have handled all that!

Since then, we have settled back in the almost-normal Singaporean world. We are awake during the day, sometimes all day. We are sleeping at night, though rarely all night. We have even gone out of the house on a fairly regular basis. Monday, when Paul stepped out of the apartment to go to the airport, he was immediately greeted by a super-excited, “Heeeeey!” from our groundskeeper who just happened to be sweeping outside our door. “Haven’t seen you long time!” I cracked up inside as the door closed behind Paul because this guy always comments on how he never sees Paul, since it is his life’s mission to stay inside as many days as possible. So far the record stands at six days without leaving the house…hermit.

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