Week 17

This week has been a very long one filled with a rollercoaster of highs and lows.  We started out rough after having had way too much fun at Gil an Lun’s place on Sunday night, reaching home at 2am! We had so much fun catching up with them and kind of our last hurrah with Andrew who will be leaving for Japan in early Jan. The Tan’s were so kind and I left there with all kinds of loot, including the offer of Uharn’s crib.

I know that my crib was passed down to lots of friends and babies in the family and I think it actually returned for my Sister to refuse to sleep in five years later. I love the idea of our baby sleeping in a crib that has been graced with beautiful baby sleeps already.

I’ve also been really busy putting together a couple of things on the Academic front. It’s been exciting and nerve-wracking and I am so fortunate that I have so many excellent people here to advise me.

My well-being has taken a little backslide with morning nausea resurfacing and awful leg-cramps waking me up on Wednesday night. I suspect it’s because I’ve been doing a little too much lately. I need to slow down a little and rest up for the flight to the States. Can’t wait for our holiday. It’s the first one we’ve taken that’s this long in many years.

I’m so looking forward to seeing Mom, the snow and fireplaces in Minnesota.

Kissing and cuddling my niece and nephew and sharing  beautiful San Francisco with the other Mr and Mrs Marchand.

Catching up with beloved friends who we don’t get to see often.

Spending time with Nick away from the daily grind that has really ground us this year.

Feeling baby move, it should happen while we’re there. Show us your strength little American Girl!

December 11, 2009. pregnancy, second trimester, Singapore life. Leave a comment.

Rush Hour (continued…)

The train slowed down as it reached the interchange and came to a complete halt. But wait…this wasn’t the station, it was a few hundred meters before the station. Our train was waiting for the train that was currently boarding passengers to leave before it could pull in. You can infer from this how long of a wait it is on the platform for the next train. It’s often less than a minute. Having had grand delusions about doing my part for the community I was now in the center of the car, the place dreaded and  avoided by all commuters.
– Why move to the center when that would just mean you would take longer to get off when you got to your stop? Never mind if you’re traveling ten or twelve stops, access to the door is all important you see –

When the doors finally slide open at Jurong East, twenty or thirty people vie for the few remaining spots in the car. I get crushed between the un-deodarized armpit of  a man who  is holding on to the top bar of the hand rail instead of the little loops you’re supposed to use and a very well dressed lady in very high heeled and very beautiful gold pumps. She looked at me in the way us rush hour folks look at each other, that veiled confrontational look. It’s the ‘I-don’t-want-to-look-you-in-the-eye-in-such-close-quarters BUT… scuff my pumps and die!’ look. I admired her shoes shining in the morning sunshine and plotted my strategy of how to get past her as I needed to get off at the next stop. “Excuse me” I said meekly and well in time as the train pulled up at the station. She graciously moved aside and disaster was averted. She didn’t know it but it would have broken my heart to have scuffed those pretties. Emboldened by my success I forged ahead trying to get to the exit in time. Nobody else seemed to care that I was panicking and I had no choice but to use my bag filled with the new Richard Powers novel I had picked up from the library yesterday as a battering ram to get me through the crowd and out the door in time. Phew…now all I had to do was try to get a spot on the feeder bus that got me to work.

September 28, 2009. Singapore life. Leave a comment.

Rush Hour

It seems to me that even the best of public transport systems, like the one we are privileged with here in Singapore, rush hour brings out the worst human behavior. Commuters rush towards the train doors, no wait… the markings that represent where the train doors will be when the train arrives. They push and shove their way forward, elbows out, heels engaged, ready for passive-aggressive staring battles with anyone who may dare to pass them and grab the coveted spots that allow them to board the train first. The 7-8am crowd is largely urban professionals and students, generally well-dressed with a look of determination in their eyes that anyone daring to make eye-contact will easily pick up on. They need to get to work and school on time, the elderly, pregnant and those with young children be damned!

This particular morning I had hit the snooze on my alarm one too many times and was running a little late so I joined them in the manic desire to get on the next train. As I took the escalator up to the platform I was pleased to notice that it wasn’t overcrowded on the side that I needed to board and I carefully selected my spot for easy access to the train car. As the 3 minute wait for the train ensued, a group of 3 ladies walked up next to me and I noticed that one of them was older and rather frail. I shifted aside to allow them access to the car as the train pulled up at the station. Talking loudly the 3 women rushed at the opening doors, blocking the way of alighting passengers who had to shove past them to get off the train. They then boarded the train, the two younger women shielding their older companion with their bodies as people jostled for a coveted spot on the direct train to Pasir Ris from the Red line.

As I made my way into the car I encountered a blockage, it was the three ladies maneuvering their way into a seat that some kind person had offered the old lady. That’s nice, I thought…fighting my annoyance as I was crushed against the back of the lady who was now standing next to her companion’s seat. The lady looked at me in annoyance. Why was I bumping into her? Was I some lunatic? A pervert craving bodily contact? She was standing so strategically clinging on to the old lady’s had that the throng of people still trying to board the train could not move past her to get to the center of the car which still had plenty of standing room. “Excuse me…may I move in?” I mustered up as nicely as I could. I did feel bad that she had to take care of an elderly charge in this pack of wolves. She grunted as though I were one of those annoying credit card or insurance sales-people who accost people in crowded places when they’re obviously rushing somewhere. I finally had to shove past and find a spot in the center where I could breathe a little easier until Jurong East where the second crush would come from desperate commuters none of whom could afford to wait 3 minutes (gasp!) longer for the next train.

September 18, 2009. Tags: , , . Singapore life. Leave a comment.