Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ten Sure Signs You Are At A Hair Salon in Singapore

1. They offer you a cup of hot water.
2. Marie Claire is in Chinese.
3. You're the client with the most challenging hair.
4. You can't understand any of the gossip.
5. You bring in your (reluctant) son, who studies Mandarin, so he can tell you if they're talking about you. They are.
6. It's freezing.
7. They give you two oranges for good luck on Chinese New Year.
8. When they say: "Your hair is so curly, lah" it's not in a good way.
9. Describing your desired color as "Copper, you know, like the color of the sun setting on kitchen pots in  Provencal farmhouse," is not a foolproof plan.
10. Those straightened locks smiling back at you from the mirror may stay behind at the hair salon.
I guess you forgot the 100 degree humidity outside.

(Published in Expat Living, April 2012)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

10 Questions To An Expat: Eclectic Ellen

Back by popular demand, "10 Questions To An Expat," featuring the lovely Ellen Cholmeley. This British expat likes travelling, hanging out with her daughters (the two angels pictured above), and bringing home stray dogs. Lucky dogs.

1) How long have you lived in Singapore?
Almost six years.

2) Where are you from originally?

3) What brought you here?
We moved here from Hong Kong for my husband Simon's job at Reader's Digest. He has since started his own company Novus Media Solutions (

4) What do you do in your spare time?
When I'm not working at my husband's company, I'm either walking the dogs, helping the charity Room to Read, or carting the girls (Jessica and Maddie) around.

5) What do you like best about Singapore?
The food, the wide open green spaces, the weather, home help.

6) What do you like least?
Driving. Nobody signals.

7) Never leave the house without?
A sense of humor...

8) Best weekend trip?

9) Interesting fact most people don't know about you?
I got married in Bali.

10) What advice would you give someone who is about to move here?
Make sure you've got enough money!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Stuff Fifth Graders Say

(My own fifth grader, Alexander)
1) Awesome!
3) Double jinx
4) I don't have any homework.
5) Can we have a double sleepover?
6) Can I bring my skateboard?
7) I wish I were in a dojo.
8) Oh, I didn't know that was a bad word.
9) I just turned on the TV this second.
10) I'm really into technology...can I get an iphone?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Stuff First Graders Say

(My own first grader Eliot)
1) You are my second best friend. No, wait, actually you are my third best friend.
2) Let's pretend we're puppies.
3) Wow, you have such a big book bag.
4) I really like him, his hair is so smooth.
5) I missed you with all of my heart.
6) I don't like the holidays because they took away my friends.
7) I can't wait to be six and a half.
8) I wish I could fly.
9) I shouldn't even call you, Daddy, I should call you 'good job.'
10) How tall do I have to be to have a sleepover?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Stuff Expat Moms in Singapore Say

It doesn't rain that much...
1. I love the weather here.
2. I hate the weather here.
3. I miss the seasons.
4. Do you have a maid?
5. Should I get my hair rebonded?
6. I'm thinking of getting a car.
7. Don't even think about getting a car.
8. My husband is in China right now.
9. My husband is in India right now.
10. Are you going home for the summer?
11. I'm definitely not going home for the summer.
12. Isn't Singapore Airlines great?
13. I love Bali.
14. Lombok is the way Bali used to be.
15. I read it in the Straits Times.
16. Singapore is so safe.
17. I read the New York Times on line.
18. Where do your kids go to school?
19. Is that fee per year
20. My kids have mycoplasma.
21. My kids need more Mandarin.
22. If I lived in a house I would definitely get a dog.
23. When did you get back?
24. Are you jetlagged?
25. My husband is learning Mandarin...please, let this not mean we're moving to China.