Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The Daily Schedule

They say that money can't buy you happiness…

However, in Singapore it can keep you occupied in buying a shed load of cheap [shoes/food/sports attire - insert vice depending on day/mood] and for the Rondy's that's nearly the same thing right?! This could be dangerous…..

The Frenchman started work on Monday, which means I have officially been an unemployed expat wife for a whole….. 3 days now.   The original plan was for me to spend the few weeks until I start working finding our new apartment, kitting out said apartment and sorting out all the necessary admin things that we need to do with moving countries etc. etc. whilst the Frenchman concentrated on work.

However, the efficiency of life in Singapore (and how quickly we seem to be settling in to living here as a result), has surprised even me:

  • We visited a local bank and left just an hour later with two individual accounts, a joint account, debit cards, a chequebook and a credit card application in train with nothing more than a passport and an employment pass. (However, I'm still waiting for [very well known international bank] to sort out my international account here due to lack of documentation, yet I've been a customer there for 8 years. Go figure.)
  • We found an apartment on our second day. 3bedrooms,a balcony and a massive pool. I imagine this is the point you all start looking at the price of flights to make a cheeky visit to Chez Rondy, Asia branch... go on ;-)
  • We're already regulars at our local hawker centre (yes, for about £2.00 a head, even I don't feel like cooking every night!) and we're working our way through the various stalls, generally without much of a clue yet as to what each new thing is. Ordering and wondering what you will actually end up eating is great fun. Though perhaps this game is not so good for the waistline….
  • The Frenchman has found his cycling club for crazy bike people as well as a triathlon training facility and I've found a lovely flat, off-road coastal track where I can cycle for 50km+, traffic free, avoiding the need to join said crazy bike club….Though if anyone asks I didn't say that, just in case I turn round in a few months and am 'convinced' (read: coerced) to join! 
  • We've discovered entire shopping malls dedicated entirely to sports stuff - the Frenchman is in pure heaven (I've recognised that look as the same as when I walk into shoe shops). On second thoughts, perhaps we should've signed up for an even bigger flat...
  • I've found a 50m swimming pool which charges 50p per entry, is outside and has WARM water (despite not being heated).  As it's one activity I can do without sweating too much, I'm learning to overcome my aversion to water...
  • Despite the fact I haven't yet set up a local phone, nearly all the coffee shops and shopping centres have free wifi! Which means I'm never feeling too cut off from all you lovely people and everything else we've got going on. However it does mean I'm unintentionally taking on too much caffeine and seem to be typing this with slight shakes…
  • I've found my local nail salon which charges the same as my local vietnamese place at home (£10 and am currently loving my barbie nails. Perhaps I am more suited to this expat wife stuff than I thought?

So, as we seem to be running out of 'urgent' things that 'NEED' doing sooner than expected (and as it's going to be a few weeks until I condo, so I can't just lie and sunbathe all day - most probably a good thing?) I had a massive panic about what useful stuff I was going to fill my time with (I shall pre-empt this one: Yes, ask me if I feel the same way in a few weeks when I'm due to go back to work, I'm sure I won't have the same attitude!)
Therefore, in order to avoid having nothing to do and/or going shopping all day (thereby causing too much damage to my husband's bank account, our future storage space and/or my waist line), I decided to create a 'Daily Schedule' to keep myself as occupied as possible...

I might have gone a little bit mental and joined a gazillion expat wives/sports groups to make some new friends and have signed myself up for all sorts of things: from breakfasts and drinks meet ups to cooking classes, museum visits and sports groups - I even tried my first hatha yoga class yesterday.  Safe to say, I was sweating almost as much as bikram in London….

In addition to trying to fill my days meeting people and exploring Singapore, thanks to the Frenchman, the 'Daily Schedule' also includes daily training for the (it's only a SUPER sprint, so don't anyone get too excited now) triathlon that he has signed me up for in April. As an added incentive (simply alleviating boredom might not be enough after the initial couple of weeks have worn off, let's be honest), we've agreed special Nicole-appropriate mini-targets:  for every [x]kms swum, cycled and run, I am permitted to buy a new pair of shoes.  

So all in all, so far so good. Singapore, its people, food and shopping are treating us well so far and the 'Daily Schedule' is filling out (and, more importantly, being adhered too!).

But then if the daily training starts to get too tiring and new shoes still keep appearing...?

Well, realistically, the Frenchman's at work all day... so it's his expat wife's word against his ;-)

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