God's Blessing

I've been a bad bad blogger again . . .   Please forgive me.

So the big news since you last heard from me is that yes, indeed, I am pregnant!?!  At the moment I am a bit over 15 weeks.  I have had a bouts with nausea, light-headed-ness and other pregnancy unpleasantness, but I should not complain.  God is good and obviously He has a perfectly placed plan for us and this babe.

The abridged story:

Jelly bean at 12 weeks
During an appointment with my lovely nephrologist on Cody's day of birth, she discovered a suspicious "fibroid" on my uterus while conducting an ultrasound of my kidney.  Well, after a couple of tests (I may have insisted on repeat tests just to feel assured . . . ), the suspicious "fibroid" turned out to be our little babe - just 5 weeks old!  Despite my recent health concerns, the babe was (and still is God willing!) healthy and thriving.  We are scheduled to find out the gender of our little jelly bean on October 2nd.

Stay tuned!



"Can lah!"

As promised, more Singaporean musings. 

You may have noticed (or not!) that I changed my blog title to Sarah’s Singapore Story, lah!  You may even be asking yourself, “What does this lah mean?  Sarah said they speak English in Singapore!”  Never fear, an explanation is near. 
Best little handbook ever!
First, you need to know how wrong I was.  They speak Singlish here, not English.  This means that standard English grammar conventions rarely apply!   Simply put, lah is an indispensable utterance sprinkled into what seems like every bit of the Singlish language.  It peppers all sorts of phrases.   More often than not you will hear this three-letter word tacked on to underline meaning or place emphasis.  Sound a bit confusing?  It can be.  Lah conveys acceptance, understanding, affection, lightness, jest and a medley of other positive feelings.  However, it also can have no particular meaning at all and simply gives a sing-song quality to the end of a sentence.  And mind you, lah is not to be confused with ah, leh, hah or meh.  Here are some examples:

          “Can lah.” – meaning ‘yes' and  'I can do it’.

          “Can lah?” – meaning ‘Can you do it?’

          “Cannot lah!” – meaning “I cannot do it!”

          “Don’t know what to do lah!”

          “Hurry up lah.”

          “I want to go home lah.”

          “I make u-turn.  Go back lah.”  - taxi driver communicating he’s going to turn                        around.

          “Where we go for makan today lah?” – ‘makan’ means ‘to eat’.

          “Okay, lah, I be more careful lah!”

Love this illustration!   
Now that you have a better understanding of lah, you should know that my blog title aims to convey to you, my reader, a sense of positivity and affection for this city-country that has been my home for 281 days.  Living in Singapore has forced me to experience the spectrum of emotions from extremely depressed and homesick to elated awe and thankfulness - sometimes within the span of a few hours!  But, while I will always miss my country, friends and family and even feel disappointed about graduate school dreams, I prefer to take the "Can lah!" approach when it comes to this international adventure.  

So.  More tomorrow lah.  :)


A Delinquent Blogger

Upon request from my lovely friend, Geneva, I am returning to the blog-es-sphere to share with you my challenges, adventures and joys of living in Singapore.  

Genevers & me in Washington, D.C. a few years back . . .
Thank you, friend, for being the extra 'umph' to get me writing again!
(And, yes, this blog is changing radically just as my life changed oh-so-unexpectedly 9 months ago.  Remember my graduate school, GRE goals?  Yep, those are on hold right now as I explore the other side of the world!) 

So here’s my adventure in mass public transit 9,432,321 – and I’m not sure this is an exaggeration!   You’d think after 9 months of living in Singapore, I would finally be used to public transit here.  One would assume I would have mastered bus routes, bus schedules, best case locations to hail the multitude of taxis or even the quickest MRT (think clean, on-time, super crowed subway) route to work.  And you would think I would plan enough time for mishaps.  

You would think, right?  Read on. 

This morning started out behind.  The situation at 6am is this:  I am perhaps entirely unprepared for my EFL class (English as a Foreign Language) and I still need to possibly finish lesson planning.  Do you get where this is going yet?  The harried lesson planning turns into You Tube videos that wouldn’t load, a printer that wouldn’t connect to the wireless network and low ink issues.  Fun.  It may be time to leave in order to catch my regular bus but I have yet to stuff some breakfast in my face and shower (let’s not mention that I did not iron my outfit, blow-dry my hair nor wear any makeup).  So, by the time I’m ready to leave, taking the bus is out of the question, which necessitates calling a taxi at 8am.  Monday morning.  At rush hour.  Yep, that's right.  

Now I come prepared.  Remember, I’ve had 9,432,320 previous adventures to teach me a thing or two.  Armed with my two taxi-calling iPhone apps plus additional numbers saved in order to “jump the Q” (that’s how Singaporeans refer to jumping the line), I am amply prepared to locate a taxi in a pinch.  However, never once in 9 months have I “queued” a taxi 15+ times only to receive the message:  

52 minutes later - still no taxis.
This isn't good.   The “I missed my bus and no taxis were available” excuse does not exactly suffice with my Chinese-born-Japanese-acculturated-supervisor who daily uses mass public transit herself.   I’m also pretty sure she has never been late to work a day in her life.  I have exactly 30 minutes to cross half the city / country and 45 minutes before my students are awaiting a well-organized and executed lesson.   

What taxi stands - both physical and electronic - usually look like on Monday mornings!
After perhaps a few curses and prayers, I decide if I can’t queue a taxi electronically, then I will attempt to hail one street-side (brilliant plan during Monday morning rush hour, eh?).  Within 1 minute – no, maybe even 30 seconds – I see a promising green “TAXI” sign atop a beautifully available blue Comfort Cab.  I hail that sucker and make it to work 2 minutes ahead of schedule!

The many varied signs on S'porean taxis . . .
Monday's are notorious for every sign BUT the available green "TAXI".
Thank.  You.  God.  

But for those of you, readers, who glorify the environmental benefits, convenience and overall superiority of mass public transit, please consider your words carefully.  While 9 months ago I would have agreed with you wholeheartedly, if you haven’t experienced the frustrations of it first-hand, every day of the week, you have no idea what you're facing!  While I still agree there are still many pros to mass public transit, I do have a confession:  
There’re just some days I would give my right kidney to have my little green bug back, a couple ten lane highways that move at 70 mph and free employee parking.  

Stay tuned for more adventures tomorrow!