Thursday, July 16, 2009


I'm starting to learn all the quirks of living in this new apartment. You know that saying, "you learn something new every day?" Well, when you live in a foreign country, you learn about 10 new things every day. On Wednesday when we had to take a taxi to Ikea, I learned that in Singapore you don't pronounce it "eye-key-uh," you pronounce it "ick-ee-uh." Good to know. The taxi driver and I had a hard time communicating about where I wanted to go. I wanted to scream, "It's the BIG BLUE BUILDING on Tampines Rd." Except you don't pronounce Tampines "tam-peens," like I thought. It's "tam-pin-ess." Good grief. Are we speaking the same language or not? Definitely not.

Here are some things we're learning about our new place:

1. If you go outside the front door and it closes, you're locked out even if the deadbolt isn't locked. There is a button you can push on the door itself to be able to use the door handle from the outside, but as soon as you've locked the door, the button releases and you've got to do it all over again. Luckily we've only been locked out when an adult is on the inside.

2. The doors on the elevator close very quickly. I'm the only one who's been crushed by them yet, but I've put the fear in the boys that they've got to hurry when we're getting out. No dawdling, Levi!

3. There's not an air conditioner in the kitchen. During the morning and early afternoon, it's not too bad if you leave the door open and let some air in from the dining room. But by late afternoon and with a gas stove going, it gets HOT! We're definitely going fan shopping this weekend!!

4. We only have one plug in the laundry area, so only the dryer OR washer can be used at one time. The ladies who turned our apartment over to us said we could just get one of those plug adapters that allows you to plug in two things at once. However, the men at the electronics store said you cannot plug a dryer into one of those plugs because they pull too much electricity and we'd need to get an electrician out here to create a double plug. So, for now it takes all day to wash and dry two loads.

5. I'm going to wash every dish we own by hand today (no dishwasher) because they're all dusty from the packing paper and have been touched by two sets of movers. I went in there earlier to get things organized and realized we have no drain stopper.

6. I bought a coffee pot in Houston before we left that I could use here without an adapter. It's a Black & Decker. When I opened it up a few days ago, I realized that everything printed on the pot is in Spanish. It's a good thing I know a little Spanish and coffee pots aren't too difficult to figure out! I still laugh every time I look at that coffee pot, so it's good in the mornings when I'm not in a very good mood. :-) It tells me where to turn the lid to "servir" and how to "abrir or cerrar." It's a hoot!

7. We have 7 air conditioning units in this apartment. They are sort of like window units in the States because they only cool that space, but they are actually installed into the walls. We've been experimenting all week with which ones to leave on (there are 3 in the main living space) and what temperature is comfortable.

8. There are quite a few kitchen cabinets, for which I am very thankful! My big dinner plates even fit nicely, so that is a plus. The only thing lacking was a pantry space. All my cooking stuff and dishes took up all the cabinets, so I was lacking space to put food. I found two bookshelves at Ikea that were the perfect size to go against the wall in the kitchen and serve as a pantry. And they were only S$29 each. (Thanks Tori, Jakeb, and Andrea for helping put them together! And thanks Anna for keeping the boys occupied!)

It's fun getting to know a new place. I've been able to navigate two taxi drivers here from various locations, so that was a relief!

In this week's episode of "What My Kids Have Broken," we add one laptop. (Before you freak too much, Justin was able to fix it!) Levi decided it was a good idea to put play coins from his cash register into the DVD player of the laptop. Daddy was NOT a happy camper when the computer wouldn't even turn on at all. He took it apart, and was finally able to slide them out with a rounded knife w/o hurting the computer at all.

Let's just hope next week's episode has to be cancelled for lack of material. *fingers crossed*


Marcia said...

I only moved across town and I ended up with a kitchen without a pantry. We went to IKEA for a solution too!

Glad to hear yall are starting to get settled over there.

Camille, Blake and Pierce said...

Glad to see you are settling in and getting lots of help... I just loved figuring everything out here... and I am still learning.

Shelley Gray said...

Sounds like humor is the best medicine! Nice to know you are in your own place. Thanks again for keeping your blog updated. I love keeping up with you!

Melanie said...

I love how you commented on the elevator doors!!! I used to get so mad when they closed on me!!

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