Sunday, July 10, 2011

We're in Singapore!

So much has happened since I last wrote here. But I have been so busy that I haven't really had time to do so until now.

On the 25th of June B and I went away overnight!!! for the first time since little R was born. We went to California's Gold Country. We stayed here, where we also ate dinner (we didn't like the hotel that much: we stayed in one of the suites which wasn't very nice, but the food was quite good) and ate lunch here. Things we did included touring the spot where gold was discovered, going on a tour of a gold mine (which will be going back into operation soon now that the economy is bad again), visiting a couple of local museums, and touring the little historic towns of the area. It was really nice to be free of caring for little R for a while, and I actually didn't want to come home the next day, although I feel guilty about feeling this. She apparently was quite happy with her grandparents (my parents babysat her), for which I am glad.

The next days were mostly consumed with preparations for our move to Singapore: sorting everything (the Salvation Army came on the 29th), getting final chores done (buying stuff, logistics, etc.), packing (the movers came on the 2nd, and we spent the rest of the day moving everything out that they didn't take), and cleaning (B and I spent most of the 4th doing this). My cousin from Washington came down on a road trip on the 26th-28th (her first trip sans parents, to celebrate graduating high school), and I spent all day on the 27th with her. We visited the California Academy of Sciences (the new museum and space are as awesome as ever: I love the aquarium especially), had tea and mochi at the Japanese Tea Garden, and I took her out to a fancy dinner at Michelin-starred Range, along with my sister. It was fun, since she lives in a small town and doesn't get much exposure to city living.

As B and I slogged through the moving horribleness, I remembered anew how much I hate moving. However, it was much less painful this time, as his university paid about $6000 so that we could hire full service movers. They showed up, packed and wrapped everything (including the furniture) in brown paper, and loaded it on a van. It was so great compared to our other times moving, when we had to haul heavy boxes and awkward furniture all over the place. I didn't even have to pack anything! It will be hard to go back now: spoiled.

We spent the last couple of days in-country with my parents in Walnut Creek, and saw movies on both nights (B wanted to take advantage of our last babysitting opportunities for a while). We saw the X Men prequel and Super 8, both of which I really enjoyed. It is sad that we can't go out together sans little R for quite a while, until I find a good babysitter.

As a result of all this hecticness, we didn't do anything for the 4th of July, not even lighting a sparkler. Usually I love holidays, but honestly I don't regret it at all. It would have been too overwhelming with all the other tasks to complete that come with moving internationally to a unknown country with a four-month old.

On the 5th, we flew out of SFO bound for Singapore. We chose Singapore Airlines, because the airline is very important, especially when flying a long way. American airlines are generally really bad in comparison: Singapore Airlines is so much better. The food is better, the flight attendants are really nice and helpful (even in economy, where we always are), everyone gets their own TV loaded with hundreds of movies and shows to choose from, etc. This meant that we did not have a direct flight. The stopover was in Seoul, Korea (my first time in that country, though it doesn't really count), which seemed a clean, organized place with grim (serious?) people.

Little R was on the whole a dream baby (she slept almost the entire way to Korea). We had purchased her a seat (since the university was paying), and although her carseat did not fit (much to my chagrin) and we could not use a bassinet after all (unless we were willing not to sit together), it turned out fine, since she simply slept comfortably in her own seat between us. B watched many movies, and I slept and watched two movies. She did get restive towards the end of the second flight (maybe the last two hours), but still did not really cry or cause a scene. She is the world's best baby! What a relief (I was so glad she was not the baby some rows ahead, who cried for long periods of the flight).

We arrived in Singapore at 2 in the morning, and after some trouble with locating our stroller, gathered all our luggage (which was a lot: we had 6 checked bags (one was actually a large box=B's computer), 3 carry-ons, a stroller, and a carseat), and took a taxi (actually a large van due to the luggage) to our hotel. It was a really long trip, and we were all exhausted, the more so because Singapore is basically opposite to the US (when it's day here, it's night there).

We are staying at Wangz Hotel, a fairly small and very nice hotel for about the next two weeks (until we find an apartment). Our room has a large and extremely comfortable bed, and is very spacious. Little R sleeps in the bathroom in her Baby Bjorn travel crib (one of the pieces of luggage we hauled). The crib is good: I don't really like her sleeping in the bathroom because then we can't use it fully at night, or I am paranoid about using it (B and I just had a disagreement about whether he could take a shower after working out or not; he took one and it did not disturb her, thank goodness). But it is only a single room, and I prefer her to be in a separate space for both noise and psychological reasons. The hotel includes a free full breakfast (quite good and so convenient, and is a real breakfast, not one of those joke "continental" things) and has a small gym, which we've used several times. The staff are all helpful, polite and friendly. Also, the location is very convenient (about 10-15 min walk to the subway; near everything). So far I give Wangz two thumbs up.

We are finally starting to recover from jetlag to some extent. At first it was not good, and little R didn't sleep much at all (she spent many hours our first full night here whine-crying since I made her sit in her crib when it was night time, even though it was day according to her internal US-set clock), which means I didn't either (lucky B slept through it for the most part, although it was only because he was utterly exhausted, having not slept on the plane: I took Benadryl and was of limited use; he did most of the diaper changes, etc.)

B is telling me to go to bed now, so I will continue at another time.

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