Crazy! I was literally shocked out of my sleep by the explosion of fire crackers. Yes, early in the morning. With this strange tendency, I am eternally grateful that fire crackers are banned in Singapore. You have to experience this sudden explosion to know what I mean. After 911, Mumbai, Hard Rock in Bali... these sudden explosions can send imaginations wild, albeit Brunei is a relatively safe place.
All things said, Larry and I could not resist this opportunity set off a few explosions. We paid $8 for 2 packets of fire crackers and a box of 'rockets'. We must be the most stingy players in the neighbourhood. Our neighbours set off fireworks, which cost $90 for a small box and $140 for a big one. We were dabbling with kiddy firecrackers.
For a country with more than 80% non-Chinese, the CNY celebration is large. There are more lion-dance troupes, more media coverage in the press. The Crown Prince together with his princess and little prince attended some open houses, mainly homes of the more established Chinese here.
Some friends I met back home while I was back for the CNY had this misconception that I'm living a 'tai-tai' lifestyle here. Honestly, nothing near it. Into our third month now and still no live-in maid. I do all the housework everyday. A part-time help comes once a week to help with the 'big' jobs. It helps to have a husband who is an expert in ironing clothes. If everything works as planned, our maid should arrive next month. Praying.
One concerned Chinese friend asked why I had so many complaints in my previous entry. Take heart, 'hao peng you', I'm still a Singaporean deep in the core. Even if prices hit the roof, Singapore is still my home. I read Dr Lee Wei Ling's column last Sunday, and I think those who have spent some time living in another country will appreciate Singapore more. And by overseas, I mean it includes the 'much sought after' USA.
During our stay in the US, that 'Singaporean' feeling was stronger and deeper. Of course, in the enthralling US the urge to travel was stronger then. I remembered we visited NYC, Boston, Orlando, New Orleans, Arizona, Seattle, Denver, Salt Lake City, New England, St Louis, SF, LA, Washington, Niagara Falls... I can't recall all of them but I do remember traveling at least half of the time we were there. We were brave enough to venture to Switzerland and Israel before we finally flew to the US. Then Larry was a student and we had more time. (maybe even more money to have done all those places!)
Now, I don't even want to go to Miri, a few hours drive from home or KK (only 25 min flight). Perhaps, we have learned the pleasure of simple leisure. In fact, I'm not keen to go anywhere except back to Singapore. I missed my sons, very much. Singapore is always home because my family is there. I will never willingly give up my red IC.