Sunday, October 27, 2013

Second Place is Just Right

If somebody had to bump Diary of An Expat in Singapore from first place, I am glad it was Malala, the brave girl who survived being shot in the head on a school bus for standing up to the Talibans. No surprise really, what do I stand up for? Durian, laksa, and Singlish.  Culturally important, but not the same thing. Anyway, I just finished her book and strongly recommend it.
On the other hand, a bio about the Kardashians might have hurt.

It's All Relative

"She's way lighter than my book bag."

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Last Day of School Holidays

"I really need a subscription to the Nat Geo magazine."

I love this photo by Steve McCurry of an unforgettable Afghan girl.
In honor of Alexander's last day of school holidays, we went to see the National Geographic 50 Greatest Photos exhibit at the Artscience Museum (Marina Bay Sands). Besides the photo above, there are 49 other great photos and remarkable stories behind those photos. You're still in time to see it...but just barely (it closes on the 27th October), so go now!
More on Alexander's long school holiday in anther post. In the meantime, if you're strapped there's always this all time favorite

Selective Memory

"Can we come here every day?"
"I miss Verona."

Of course, Eliot. I understand. It's the downside of expat life. What do you miss? Your grandparents? Friends? The breezy walks along the river? The pizza, the gelato?

"No, I miss that place where we can stand and the wind pushes our clothes up in the air."

For an older post on nostalgia, you can check:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Radio Rebel

'Yes, we always publish a photo for our website."

Lesson learned this morning: Always go to the hair salon before an interview...even for one that's just on the radio.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

How To Have a Ten Steps

1. Choose a catchy title that has readers guessing.
"So is it like Bridget Jones Diary...but set in the tropics?"

2. Write about what you know.

3. Do not offend anybody.
Optimistic editor: "You'll be fine."

4. There's no such thing as bad publicity.
"I said what?!"

5. Engage your kids in publicity stunts (if you do not have kids...consider renting them).
"Mommy, I'm tired." 

6. Choose your neighbors wisely.
"Wasn't Malala just nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize? Look the guy who does Top Gear."

7. It never hurts to have friends in high places.
"Way better than The Hunger Games."

8. Do not use the book launch as an excuse to wear flashy clothing.
"But they're from Dubai."

9. When the going gets in the team with swag.
"How many copies do we have to sell before we can play Call of Duty?"

10. Publishing Date Matters
"Thank God, it's not the week Schwarzenegger's bio came out."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Anatomy of a Playdate

"Are there rules at your house, Eliot?" Only when my Dad's home.

So this is how I find out...

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Not What I Expected When I Started This Blog...

Okay, pinch me now!
Hope you can make it this Saturday, October 19th at Kinokuniya (Takashimaya) at 4 pm!!
Looking forward to meeting you and answering your hard-hitting questions!!

It's All Relative

"So did you get bigger, Alexander...or did I get smaller?"

So Eliot, how is school going?
"Well, I'm not good at Spelling, I'm not good at Chinese and I'm not good at Math...but I am really good at dodging balls."
That's actually a really good talent to have, Eliot.

This was supposed to be the photo accompanying the post about Alexander's return from his school trip: but the photo of the canoes at dawn was just too beautiful to pass up. Happy Weekend everybody!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Scenes From Sibu

After the rave reviews for the photo in the last post about Alexander's kayaking school trip in Malaysia:
I asked the man behind the lens, Mr. Martin Spreckley (7th grade mentor, scientist, and photographer extraordinaire), if he would kindly let us print some more. Did somebody say National Geographic Explorer Competition? Just remember you saw them here first:

Monday, October 7, 2013

Signs Your Kid's School Trip Is Different From The Trip You Took As A Kid

Kayaking at dawn in Sibu, Malaysia (photo Martin Spreckley)

1) It's not a school trip. It's an expedition.
2) It lasts five days, requires a passport, and is to a place you never even heard of until recently.
3) There are no visits to museums, art galleries, or churches.
4) You fasten mosquito bracelets on his ankles before sending him off.
5) Your son needs to bring a head torch for night time kayaking.
6) He uses it.
7) The stuff he packs is what you assume Bear Gryllis needs when filming "Man vs. Wild:" energy bars, water shoes, long sleeve rash vest, mosquito repellent, short finger cycling gloves, water proof slicker, and high factor sunscreen.
8) He corrects you more than once: "It's not stuff. It's called gear."
9) That gear costs more than all the school trips you ever took put together.
10) His buddy brings along birthday cookies and homemade sandfly repellent. 120 bites later, they realize they both forgot to use it.
11) He doesn't like your suggestion of writing a detailed description about the trip. "While it's still fresh."
12) He sums up the trip with one word: "Awesome."

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Dressed To Kill

"I hope there aren't crocodiles."

So Eliot what was the best part of your trip to the River Safari?
"My partner on the bus."

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

It's All Happening...Kinokuniya Here We Come

I just wish I could tell the 9 year old me: "Even though nobody showed up on your birthday today-well, one girl but the table settings and goodie bags were 14 and you suspect it was because the cool girl convinced the rest of the class to give it a miss...don't worry. Life is going to get so much better. Just remember this: when life throws you lemons...make lemonade."
Or, in my case, get out a notebook and pen and write about it.

Looking forward to seeing you all and answering your hard-hitting questions, on Saturday, October 19th at 4 pm @ Kinokuniya Singapore Main Store.

Dreaming of Bali

On a rainy day in Singapore, it's nice to dream of Bali...and more specifically Ubud...(No sign of Julia Roberts or Javier Bardem). In other news, a list of must-see films and must-see books is in the making (aka best way I know to procrastinate)...what were your favorites this year?

"What exactly is beef rendang?"