The Ugh List

Wise ones often caution that the geographical cure isn’t a best practice. A drastic change to the where doesn’t promise to shift the who all that much. That said, while I’ve personally found relocating to be a positive experience that has given me a net happiness boost, there are some things that just aren’t all that great about our new setting. Here’s a quick list of five bummers.

5. If I’m on the MRT, I’m toting a stroller. And this means I can’t make use of the escalators or stairs. While each station has elevators, I’ll often wait forever simply because seemingly able-bodied individuals insist on clogging them up. I know not all disabilities are visible but the extent of the backlog transcends my ability to give my fellow commuters the benefit of the doubt. I’ve never seen anything like it in other cities and it frustrates me every time we go anywhere.

An often ignored but clearly visible reminder.

4. The time zone. Being exactly 12 hours off from most of our loved ones is hard. There are narrow time windows in which to take advantage of the miracle of FaceTime each day, and right upon waking or right before bed aren’t usually my children’s optimal hours. It also means that all day long, I don’t have many people to chat up; especially this week with Seb functioning in EST, mid-day can feel a little lonely.

3. The constant construction. Buildings are demolished and resurrected here at a breakneck interval, and this means that a straightforward walk you took a week ago suddenly includes endless detours and earsplitting fracas that will definitely wake your sleeping baby.

A familiar Singaporean sight

2. Bugs. I don’t actually encounter that many, though every time I do spot a mosquito bite on a member of my family, I start to panic about Dengue Fever. The other problem is how they keep the bugs away. Most condos will spray the perimeter regularly. While they post when this will be happening and you can try to avoid being around, nothing clues you into when neighboring residences are about to spray. Having been caught unaware in a plume of noxious chemicals twice already, I’m certain each instance has taken a year off my life.

1. The smoking! The only place I’ve visited recently where I’ve had to hold my breath as often was New Orleans. While they attempt to relegate it to certain areas, the sheer number of people puffing away continues to shock me on every walk I take. I’d like to import those harrowing advisory stickers I once spotted in New Zealand to help combat this epidemic.

Pretty ingenious labeling if you ask me.

What didn’t make my list? The heat. I know many disagree, but I love warm weather. It’s still cooking here and we expect it to stay in the high 80s all year long. We’ll see if I’m still digging it in February.

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