Living the expat life

I went to a leaving drinks recently for a client that’s moving back to the US. Sat around the table were five female clients and my female colleague and I. As is usual when a group of women get together, as the wine flowed, so did the conversation which quickly turned to personal matters of relationships, matchmaking and general gossiping.

It was only afterwards that, reflecting on the night, I realised that all seven of us were of different nationalities. Sat around the table that night there was a mix of Indian, American, Singaporean, French, Filipino, Japanese and British women. All with different cultures and backgrounds, yet that enhanced rather than hindered the conversation.

At the end of the day we were just seven women drinking wine in a bar after work. And that’s what I love most about this expat life – that it allows you to meet people from all over the world in your day-to-day. And though we come from different places and backgrounds, it’s our individual differences that make the relationships so special.

Dubai’s expats

I had to share these tongue-in-cheek images, published in the Daily Mail, that made me laugh last week! Dubai-based expat designer Clare Napper has created a series of posters poking fun at Western expats living in Dubai.

I’d love to be all high and mighty and say that these are merely contributing to the unfair stereotype of Dubai, but I have to say that a lot of these pictures rang true to some of my experience of living there!

Ravi’s has become a bit of an institution in Dubai – it’s a Pakistani restaurant that serves cheap and delicious food to everyone from cabbies to Western expats. Visa runs, jaunts to Barracuda in Umm Al Quwain for cheap booze and trips to Musandam, RAK and Fujairah are also spot on, as is the fact that pretty much every restaurant in Dubai delivers. As a treat, if I knew I was going home to an empty flat, I’d strategically time a call to Wagamama on my way home from work so that my Yaki Udon and I would arrive at my front door at the same time!

I miss Dubai!

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It’s the small things!

A conversation with a colleague today made me realise how easy it is in Singapore to forget that you live in Asia. Since, superficially at least, most things here are very familiar, it’s easy to take for granted the fact that some things are very different.

Yesterday I went for lunch with a Singaporean colleague. We only went ten minutes down the road but as we were walking back to the office it started raining – luckily we had umbrellas, but our feet got soaked. I was wearing sandals but my friend was wearing ballet pumps so had to endure that cold, squelchy feeling for the rest of the afternoon.

Today she informed me that her pumps are still drying out – she’d put them next to the bottom of her fridge (where it emits heat) to speed up the drying. My first thought was that she should have put them on a radiator, but then I kicked myself as there’s obviously no need for radiators in Singapore! When I mentioned this to her, she looked confused so I asked if she’d heard of a radiator. She said, ‘You mean a car radiator?’. I tried to explain that, back home, we have radiators in our houses to which she said, ‘Oh, you mean like an electric heater?’.

We then spent five minutes looking at Google images of the bog-standard, humble radiator – something completely normal to me that was entirely alien to her.

For those of you who may also be unfamiliar with the radiator, below is the picture that I showed to my colleague!

Picture 050

First ever post!

Hello and welcome to anyone who has stumbled across my blog! I decided to start this blog after being inspired by my favourite bloggers whose posts keep me entertained and informed and who have weirdly come to feel like old friends (despite never having met or spoken to the authors!). The intention is for this to be a lifestyle blog with elements of travel, fashion, food and general day-to-day happenings.

A bit about me: I’m a twenty-something Brit living in Singapore. Originally from Cheshire, England, I’ve lived in China, Dubai and London and moved to Singapore in October 2013. The past year and a half has flown by – I love living in Singapore and the opportunities it affords to travel, experience different cultures and meet new and interesting people.

Having previously lived in China, I seemed to miss out the culture shock that some people experience when they first move to Singapore. For me, it was the best parts of China with all my home comforts added, no language barrier and sunshine most days. What’s not to like?! Oh, apart from the fact that I arrived during the rainy season, when you could pretty much set your clock by the daily afternoon showers. Even then, the rain wasn’t the cold drizzle that I was used to in London and I still love watching a tropical thunderstorm (as long as I’m undercover!), knowing that after the short shower comes the sunshine and slightly cooler temperatures.

Anyway, I digress… I’m currently writing this at my desk at work so better wrap things up.

Until next time!

Kate