Monday, July 22, 2013

100,000 hits today!

Not exactly what I expected would happen when I started this blog three years ago...but the blog has taken on a life of its own and just gotten 100,000 views today!
Oh, and the royal baby was born too. Happy Tuesday everybody :)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Pleasure of Anonymity

"Crumbs again?"

I used to joke that one of my lifelong ambitions was to enter a cafe' and say: "The usual." A Freudian scholar might interpret this as an unconscious desire, common to serial expats everywhere, to belong.
In these past few months, I got the chance to realize my 'dream.' After dropping the kids off at school, I walked every day to the same cafe' and even sat at the same table with my moleskin notebook and pen. Eventually, I heard the long awaited words, from the waitress: "The usual?"
I smiled. Finally, I got what I wanted: a coffee and a croissant without having to say a word.
Then one day, unexpectedly, she added: "So, how is your book coming along?"
After that, I sort of dreaded walking in. I missed my anonymity and that unique pleasure that comes from drinking coffee surrounded by strangers... and a hungry sparrow or two.

Monday, July 8, 2013

It's Always A Holiday in My Mom's Kitchen

"I thought vespa was a type of ice cream..."

I have a good friend whose holidays feature castles, temples, and Michelin-starred restaurants (hi LeeAnn). My holidays, on the other hand, mainly feature me drinking coffee in my mom's kitchen. Maybe I should get a tour guide. Or only travel with LeeAnn. But the truth is I really like hanging out in my mom's kitchen. It's where I spent most of my time when I was little or when I was home from college. Writing essays on the kitchen table, listening to the piano wafting in from the living room, marvelling at my brother Stephen's crushing logic on why he should own a vespa. The only difference is that in those days, my two great aunts Josie and Milly, were also in that kitchen. Hence, the freshly baked apple pie, endless cups of coffee, and conversations littered with: "What'd she say?" "Roosevelt was a great president," and "Was this lunch or dinner?"
Now it's my own kids hanging out in my Mom's kitchen listening to stories about the good old days. Sampling her risotto, checking expiration dates on Easter eggs (it's July, Mom), and watching her extensive classic film collection. An excellent way to get over jetlag, but I do wonder what effect back to back Audrey Hepburn films might have on them. As long as it doesn't result in Eliot wanting to shop only at Tiffany's or in Alexander asking for a vespa, I look forward to my yearly rendez-vous with Holly Golightly.

Friday, July 5, 2013

It's happening...

"I knew all that coffee and procrastination...would pay off."

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sure Signs There Is a Hazardous Haze in Singapore

Singapore's Summer Collection

1) Beijing here: "Who's laughing now?"

2) Indonesia voted least popular neighbor.

3) Outside looks like the film set of Apocalypse Now.

4) No problem getting a taxi.

5) Haze is the most googled word.

6) Children are encouraged to stay indoors and play video games.

7) All picnic items are on sale.

8) PSI (Pollutant Standard Index) is followed more closely than the Nikkei index.

9) Somewhere in Sumatra, there is a farmer without internet saying: "I think we're getting away with this."