Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ten Sure Signs You Are An Expat Kid Living in Singapore

1) Your parents don't ground you. They threaten to turn off the air-conditioning.
2) When you meet a friend for the first time you ask them: "So how big is your pool?"
3) You complain that there is something about the kindergarten class you don't like but can't quite put your finger on. (It's the Mandarin.)
4) Anything below a ten hour flight on a plane leaves you disappointed. "That's all?"
5) Roti prata and seasoned seaweed are your favorite snacks.
6) You think the corner on the sidewalk outside your condo is for hailing taxis.
7) You dream about wearing gloves and sweaters or even a long sleeved shirt.
8) When they find a cobra at school, you reassure your mother: "It was just a little one."
9) When you don't see your Dad at home you wonder if he's in China or Japan?
10) You've probably travelled business class at least once. Your parents realize this was a huge mistake. You unfailingly ask them before any trip from this moment on: "Are we travelling business class?"

(Featured in Expat Living magazine, October 2010)


  1. So funny and so true!

  2. Jennifer Gargiulo MarrapeseOctober 8, 2010 at 11:11 PM

    Thanks Heidi!

  3. Io ho provato quando lavoravo in Repubblica Dominicana la voglia pazzesca di mettermi un maglioncino o il piumino. In gennaio sotto una palma pensavo ai miei amici in Italia che in quel momento erano sulla neve con la tavola da snowboard!
    Ora vado a googlare, devo capire cosa sono i Roti prata!

  4. jennifer Gargiulo MarrapeseOctober 9, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    @ lagolosastra: si e' proprio vero, e poi le tue bellissime foto di Verona sotto la neve mi hanno messo ancora piu' nostalgia! Se ti capita google anche masala dhosa (colazione fantastica indiana che faccio ogni tanto con le mie amiche mamme a Little India dopo aver lasciato la bimba all'asilo. Penso che per la gastronomia ti piacerebbe Singapore!

  5. Hi Heidi - saw your list in Expat Living and shared it with my 7th grade class. We had an hour of discussion, and came up with a few more for you:
    When you call every adult male "uncle" (and female "auntie").
    You wear a uniform to school.
    you have to turn on a button to have a hot shower.
    You know how to use a squatty potty.
    You're not surprised to find a monkey in your kitchen or snake in your living room.
    You prefer to stay inside when it's sunny outside.
    when you know to wear a parka to the movies.
    When you dress warmly to inside (malls, museums, etc) but dress cooly to go outside - the reverse of at home!
    you get used to drinking out of a plastic bag with a straw.
    when you can take a taxi by YOURSELF at 11 years old.
    you think your clothes/dirty dishes/toys magically disappear (truth is, you have an amazing helper!)
    when you feel cold when the temperature dips below 30 degrees...

    Thanks for the conversation starter!

    Karen McDowell, Singapore American School

    1. Only in Singapore! Glad you were able to use this for a class discussion!!

  6. Jennifer Gargiulo MarrapeseOctober 25, 2010 at 11:09 PM

    Hi Karen, glad you enjoyed it! Btw, my name is Jennifer but my good friend is Heidi! I like your additions too.

  7. I read this piece of yours in Expat Living-congrats! Very funny and true.

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. Hi Jennifer, enjoyed reading this piece to Mikail and hubby...we all had a good laugh!! Maliha

  10. That's nice, Maliha, our boys know a thing or two about this list!

  11. LOL I was just re-reading this. The fatal mistake of business every trip!

  12. Hi Jennifer, I'm Julian's friend. Enjoyed the piece. Relieved to read about the business class. Thought I was the only one!! And I dont even live in Singapore. Keep writing. :-)

  13. Thanks so much, Payal! Join the blog!

  14. Fantastic!!! and soooo true! Love the blog, keep it coming!

  15. Even I'm not living in Singapore (but Malaysia), i nodded with every sentence :-D