Before I left the UK, a friend asked when I thought I would feel ‘settled’. When I would look around me and say, yep, this is the life.
I wondered too. In fact I’m still wondering.
When you move to a new country there is so much to get used to. New people, new roads, new house, new school, new friends, new ways of doing things (remind me to tell you about the pavements, and don’t even get me started on the driving).
Don’t get me wrong, I know Singapore is one of the easiest places to move to – the people here speak the same language as me, eat food I’m happy to eat, live in homes I’m happy to live in (not with them!). It’s a good gig really. But there is still so much to get used to. The whole way of being here is different. Not bad different. But different.
There have been a few eureka moments already.
The first time I got to the school and back without getting lost – I gave myself a huge pat on the back for that. When I was shopping at the supermarket and knew to take my fruit and veg to be bagged and weighed before heading to the cash till. Also, again at the supermarket when I didn’t stand and gawp at the chicken feet (no idea what they taste like as haven’t gone there yet) with my mouth wide open. Another time was when making an appointment and heard myself saying, ‘oh no, I’m seeing a friend that day.’
All of these little baby steps are leading me down the right path, I hope.
Then, of course, just when I start to feel like I’ve got a grip on things and can start to relax something comes along to bite me on the bum. Just last week I took the wrong turn to a place I’ve gone to a dozen times and ending up going completely in the wrong direction. In the end I gave up and came home.
Each day seems busier which I guess is a good sign. I still laugh at myself a lot as it can take me all day to get one thing done. I’m very easily distracted you see. But, each day there is something else that reminds me that I do really live here, and actually it is feeling more like home. For example, I’m not wearing my hair up every single minute of every single day; I seem to be adjusting to the heat. The aircon isn’t on quite as much and when the radio announcer said “it’s chilly at 26 degrees today” I get what he meant. When I get in a cab and tell the driver where I’m going when they ask me how to get there, I don’t panic. (Yep, it seems to be a cab driver here you don’t actually have to know your way around. No ‘knowledge’ needed. London black cab drivers take note!)
But, as for feeling like we’ve settled. I’m still wondering – are we there yet?