Friday, 12 August 2011

Catching up, Starting over

So, it's been nearly two weeks since I last posted. Oops... Given that I wanted this to be a record of my move for *me* as much as anything, that's not a great track record. Oh well - will try again!

Much has happened since I last posted. I've started work and, oh-so-thankfully, settled (or at least, am settling) into my apartment. Life here is So. Different. from anything I experienced in the States. Ever. For one thing, it is always hot and always humid. I walk outside and immediately start to sweat. My hair never looks reasonable for more than 10 minutes at a time. I may never wear a white t-shirt again. Makeup is useless, as it just slides off my face and sits in a puddle in my collarbones, looking at me as if to say, "Really? You bothered?"

Surprisingly, in some ways I love this. I can't and won't ever look good, so I'm just having to learn to move through the world as the awkward American, who towers over everyone and takes up more than her fair share of room. Not that I don't duck and pull myself in as much as I reasonably can, because I do. But there's a limit to how far that will get me, and so I just have to accept that for as long as I am here, I will be visible in all my towering, heavy, sweaty glory. It's disconcerting, freeing, scary, and tremendously exciting, all rolled up into a big ball of discount antiperspirant.

So that's part the first.

Part the second is this: I have a roommate. Actually, I have two roommates. I just haven't met one of them yet. They're guys. The one I have met is really nice - a North American (clue!), dryly funny, considerate, quiet and tidy. I think he will be a good roommate. I'm quite close to work, close to shopping, a walking and biking path, several restaurants, and several "restaurants" (cross between hawker centers and food courts). It's a good, affordable space in an unaffordable city, and I'm grateful to have it. But...I have roommates, people. I'm in my early-to-mid-30's. With roommates. I've lived alone for ten of the last eleven years. This is a change. I don't know if I'm ready for this. Wish me luck.

Part the third:

Today, I sing the praises of IKEA. I had never been to an IKEA prior to moving here. Have, in fact, been unimpressed with IKEA's actual environmental impact (yes, their primary contractors are certified as sustainable, etc., but as to the companies that the primary contractors contract with...but I digress) and, as a result, have been reluctant to buy anything from them unless it's through a thrift store. But, ladies and gents, I am NOT A ROCK. And I am, after purchasing my airline ticket, a new computer, housing for the week+ that it took me to find a place to live for good (or at least for now), and a deposit and first month's rent? A tiny bit broke.

But guess what I couldn't find room in my overstuffed and overweight suitcase to bring with me? Sheets. More than one towel. A pillow. A drying rack for my clothes (which will, to be happily fair, be washed in the in-unit washer. Huzzah!). Hangers. All those little things that make a house (or a bedroom with a single bed, a bookshelf, and more closet space all to myself than I've had in a bedroom in my life) a home. However, IKEA and its affordable, stylish-if-not-sustainable goods are a mere bus ride away. And so, today, I heap laud upon IKEA, as I have pillows! Sheets! Towels! Clean clothing! All for a price I can afford. Thanks, guys. Hopefully I won't be seeing too much more of you, but you sure did make me feel better today. Handshakes and milkshakes all around!

Part the fourth:

I am loving my job. A lot. I feel blessed, grateful, thankful, lucky, and all of those wonderful things. I don't want to talk about it too much here, but suffice it to say that I think I made a good decision, and I can't wait to work more with my colleagues. Good, smart, funny, interesting people all around.

Thanks, you guys. You rock.

Part the fifth:

I miss my bike. A lot. I will be procuring a new one at the end of the month (i.e., when I start getting paid), but biking here will be quite different from biking before. Wish me luck. And safety.

And with that update, I will take my leave. Cheers!

Today's guess as to where I'm from: New Zealand


  1. Such a great post, Caitlin! Thank you. And thanks for the bike-plan update. I was wondering about that. I was shocked that you hadn't ventured to IKEA while in Chicago!

    Technical question: What are the milkshakes like in Singapore?

    : ) ja

  2. I haven't yet had a milkshake in Singapore, but I think about them *nearly* every day as I traipse around in the heat. =)