You mentally remember things and say you ‘know’, but when it comes to actually living it day to day, it seems you forget and can forget more than you’d think, even after only 3 years.
Singapore was home to DengLang for many many years (we won’t count, but his whole childhood and much of his adulthood). Singapore became AngMoh’s “home” after living there for 7 years and experiencing so many life-changing events: meeting DengLang the love of her life and giving birth to their first daughter. Not to mention being so fit and stronger physically and mentally for AngMoh, than any other period of her life. There had been a lot of brain work involved to get the strong mental and emotional state.
After 3 years and a few months in the States, they hopped on a plane for the trip to Singapore to collect their BTO (built to order) flat through Singapore’s government run housing authority, which they had applied for before moving to the States (though knowing they would be moving). With only 4-5 days to prepare flight and arrival details, they planned the following:
- A bed and mattress purchase from local Singapore store online in US, before flying so it can be delivered the first day they have the keys
- A list of furniture and stuff from Ikea they’ll buy
- No plans to renovate like most Singaporeans do, as there is not enough time, nor is the expense needed for a place not lived in every day
- No plans to install Aircon or air conditioning, due to little time there and mostly because they wouldn’t be there consistently to maintain and service it. They also thought for 2 weeks and a few days they’d be fine with fans.
That last bullet is what drives the punchline of this blog post.
One lives in Singapore their whole life, another lives there for 7 years and came from a different climate (so maybe the impact of the different climate has a greater affect?) And both thought they could manage in Singapore for three weeks without air conditioning.
In retrospect, they wish they had arranged for Aircon to be installed, even if it was only going to be used for 2 weeks.
Singapore is hot and humid – that equals sticky, sweaty and smelly bodies, multiple showers a day, and lots of mosquitoes.
With two toddlers, everything is amplified.
Sleep was tough without air conditioning. Two fans, one that was a cooling fan with water made it possible to sleep, but it came with constant wind and wanting to cover with light blanket and then getting sweaty since you’re covered and mosquitoes braving through the wind of the fans to attack the girls.
All the factors mentioned above made it all the more challenging to just be there and get on with daily life (while you’re there). The girls were more cranky and naughty because they’re hot, sticky and have tons of mosquito bites and they cannot articulate their discomfort well. Both girls got heat rashes on their necks and Chili Padi started to refuse to wear her long hair up in a pony tail, which perpetuated the heat rash.
Things are more stressful when you’re hot and sticky and uncomfortable, AND have kids that are itchy.
Definitely not trying to complain – but rather ‘What were we thinking?’ “How could we forget how hot and humid it would be every day and all the things that come with that?”
Next visit, even if it’s only two weeks, they will plan ahead to get Aircon installed and not worry about maintenance and servicing as they can shut off the power breaker when they are away.