my guest writer for this week is foyan. i met her here in singapore, at one of those house parties i used to go to where our common friends meet. eventually, we got together with the rest of the group for our visits to museums and more get togethers.
she was the first in our group to get married, and have a (cute!) baby. she also writes about her thoughts and experiences on her blog.
how's life in the little red dot as a married woman, to a local? let's find out!
When I was a child, I didn't even know that Singapore existed.
In my teens I learned about it because of its death sentence by hanging for a Filipino maid who was convicted of murder. It gave me an impression that Singapore was a scary place. I never dreamed of even visiting it.
When I was 24, it was my first ever international travel, for tourism. I concluded then that I did not see myself working there because I found the environment unwarm.
Two years after I said that, I moved there for an Information technology consultant job.
I said I would just be here for a few years, then I'd be off to somewhere else.
A friend said maybe this is where I'd find my Mr. Right.
I replied I would never date a Singaporean.
Four years after I said that, I married a Singaporean.
We now have an 8 month old baby.
I have been living in Singapore for 8 years now.
As you can see, my being in this country has always been kind of led by chance. Nothing about going here and living here was a part of my plans but now I understand why. I was destined to meet my soulmate here and I was meant to bring him back to his roots.
I was planning to move out of this little red dot when I met Malvin who was on a sabbatical and travelling around the world and was just "passing by" Singapore to spend some time with his family (he's been living in Australia for the past 10 years). We met thru a meetup of an online travel club where we're both members. There was an almost instant attraction, we hit it off, and a year, we got hitched. Oh yes, it was a whirlwind romance. ;)
Being married to a Singaporean changed the way I see Singapore because I got to integrate to the local life. I used to see Singapore from the foreigner's perspective, just mostly mingling with other foreigners like me. But being married to a Singaporean family, I got a taste of the local way of life - I got to discover the yummy local foods that are not commercially popular, I got to learn some local lingo and dialects, I got to go to non-touristy places you'd think was not in Singapore and I got even interested in following the local politics and news since it now has a bigger impact in my life. Although it's been an amazing experience, I'd also have to say that integrating into the local society can be also be challenging because of the racial diversification, which was established to create racial harmony but then it also created this racial tagging. Something which, up to now, I still could not get used to.
Starting a family here is both great and not so great. Great because of the convenience and security, the medical subsidies, tax rebates and baby bonus that the government gives to Singaporean families. Not so great because of the ridiculously expensive prices of real estates and cars and the competitive emphasis on academic achievements. Life is very fast since this country is a hub of technology and financial industries so it is very easy to get burned out. But at the same time, it is also a travel hub, something which is really fantastic for travel addicts like me and my hubby.
Raising a family here can be tricky in my perspective because it is different from what I have in mind. Nevertheless, my husband and I agree that we are raising our children neither Filipino nor Singaporean but in a Sinoy (Singaporean-Pinoy) way, a mixture of the best of both cultures.
Looking to the future, I am not yet sure where will we be at but as of now, home is this little red dot.