This is our new puppy Guinness. We rescued him from an animal shelter here in Singapore. Someone dumped him and his sister on the side of the road and thankfully, the animal shelter picked them up before the Asians ate them (just kidding).
He's 2 1/2 months old and is a mixed breed. We're thinking he's part Chow and part Lab. The shelter didn't know for sure. We asked the guy which puppy was the calmest and the guy pointed to "Zorro". Yeah, we changed his name. Zorro sounds like a queer Spaniard with too much cologne and a slicked back hairdo.
We know he's going to be big. However, the small dogs in Singapore start at $1,000 each. So we decided to get a big one that needed a much cheaper home instead. :)
He's such a good puppy...now that he has food and chew things. The only accidents he's had so far have been due to human error. Aaron and I are working on that one. We'll be potty trained soon.
Native Singaporeans speak a very different version of the English language. Their version is immediately derived from the British English and then they add in words from their own culture. What happens is people speak very fast and use words that make Megan panic and look at Aaron for translation. It's also called Singlish. To illustrate why this is so difficult, I've compromised a little mini dictionary of Singlish for you folks back home.
Can = yes
Ang Moh = this word actually means "Red hair", but it's grown to be a derogatory term for "someone of caucasian descent"
Argly = ugly
Lah/Leh = this is added onto many sentences that they say. "Ok, lah." "I cannot speak English, lah." Aaron likes to say this all the time and it annoys the crap out of me.
SPG = Singapore Party Girl. This is a term that describes the Asian women on the prowl to hook them a caucasian man by dressing like a cheap hooker and being annoyingly flirty....and slutty. I'm not being mean here. I'll take pictures of the crap they wear when they're out. (Most may be prostitutes as well.)
having here/take-away = (used in restaurants) dining in or taking food to go. They ask us this often when we go somewhere to eat. "Having here or take-away?"
kopi = coffee
jilo = zero
So that's just a few. There are so many that I can't even pick out of the mess that comes out of their mouths. I'm getting better, but I still don't feel comfortable venturing out alone. If I got lost and hailed a cab driver like the one we had last week, I'd end up on the other side of the island. Yep, that's so not happening. Innocent people might be harmed.
Aaron finally talked me into cutting his hair last night. It was a long process to get me to agree to this. I was not at all excited to be in charge of the attractiveness of my husband. He is very picky about his hair and what possessed him to think I should cut it, is beyond me.
Anyways, we went and bought some new clippers because the voltage difference in Singapore fried his clippers from home. So we hopped over to the Asian version of a KMart/Best Buy and bought a "middle of the road" pair. Not cheap, but not top dollar. We brought them home and Aaron checked everything out and talked me through it for the hundredth time.
We soon realized that the new clippers did not have a number 2 guard, which is the guard he prefers to go around the back and sides of his dome. The numbers we had were 1.25, 3, 4, 5, 6 and so on. So Aaron told me to just use the 1.25 and it'll just be a little shorter. "It'll just mean that I can go longer before you cut it again." He tells me. Super, I thought, I'm now signed up to do this again already.
So I psych myself up and go in for the kill. After the first strip of baldness, I start laughing uncontrolably. "Aaron, it's really short!"
I'm not kidding you, it was to the scalp. I looked like I didn't even use a guard.
"No, it's fine, that's how short I cut it. It'll be fine."
To appease my freakout, we switched to the number 3 and did the rest of the sides and back until I felt comfortable. That wasn't so bad, but the bald patch from the first strike was still staring back at me. So I got the courage to return to the 1.25 guard to even it out.
This is where the horror began.
The more I tried to blend, the blotchier and higher the ugliness went. It was like, the more I tired to fix the situation, the more the clippers betrayed me and put random patches in his scalp. Finally I just gave up on the clippers and I tried to fix it by hand with scissors. Since I'm a beautician and all, you can imagine how that went.
I begged and begged Aaron to let me take pictures of his hair. However, because I can't look at him without laughing, he won't let me. It looks like someone shaved his head in the dark and then slapped a toupee on top. Then an angry bird attacked him from the sides and clipped off extra chunks. It's a mess and one we can't fix at that. His hair is so short that it's beyond help.
Here's the clincher kids. After all of that, Aaron reads the intructions to the clippers. Lo and behold, we find out that the numbers on the guards were not the numbers they use to number guards in the US. The numbers were the height of how short it cuts hair in MILLIMETERS. So a US number two guard would have actually been like a 5 or 6 on these....not a 1.25.
I just spent four hours going through our wedding pictures. Yep. Four. We got three CDs that contain about 480 pictures. Welcome to the age of digital. You no longer get 30 proofs of your special day. You get 500. In every angle and color distortion imaginable.
Unfortunately, all of ours are super cute. I may be a bit biased.
So my husband tells me "You're going to have to pick your favorite ones and that's what we'll print".
That's like telling a 4-year-old, "Here are all of the puppies in the world, now pick just one".
Really? That's so not happening.
Anyways, I loaded some on my Facebook and MySpace pages for those of you who know how to access them. For those that don't, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you the link or send you some in an attachment.
After spending several years as a server and bartender it is really hard for me to get used to the notion of not leaving a tip. However, in Singapore (and Malaysia), it is not something you do. It's also really weird to see people in the restaurant industry not working really hard to make their tables happy. Customer service takes on a whole new meaning here.
Whenever you go out to eat in Singapore, it takes about 15 minutes before the server will even come up and take your order. No jokes. You may even have to flag someone down to let them know that you're ready (it's perfectly acceptable to do so here, but I still can't). Then after they take your order, you'll be lucky if they come back to fill your drink....ever. We've even brought bottles of water with us into restaurants because they suck at it. You have to flag them down and wave your empty Dixie-sized cup at them. Then once your food comes, you might as well kiss your server goodbye forever. They rarely ever return. Everytime we dine out, we have to grab someone walking by to retrieve our bill and I don't think it's ever been delivered by our original server. Then the person will stand over you as you sign your credit card receipt. There's also nowhere to leave a tip. Often times though, a service charge of 10 percent is already added in.
After comtemplating how nice it is to not have to worry about tipping, I thought "Screw that." In America, servers are usually eager to practically wipe your mouth for you to earn that tip. I remember days of dealing with jerkoffs and granting their every ridiculous wish in restaurants as I earned my way through college. People in American restaurants really suck, but that extra cash from the good people made those hellish nights much more bearable.
Now that I'm on the other side of things, I'd much rather trade the inconvience of tipping for the better service. Not that I blame the servers here. I'd be a crappy waitress too if I wasn't working for a better tip.
It's a really weird concept for both Aaron and I to get used to. He was a server too. During the times we get good service, we really want to tip. We've even tried to leave tips and gotten turned down because it was against the restaurant's policy.
Extra FYI: The taxis also don't accept tips. (This is really nice.)
This is what my husband carried in our front door this afternoon. Those are very deep mail tubs full of carrots, potatos, apples, oranges, etc. It looked like a produce department threw up in my kitchen. How much did we pay for this veggie paradise? Nada. Zilch. Nothin'. Story below.
A truck carrying this lovely, healthful goodness was supposed to be delivered to a plane headed to Diego Garcia this afternoon. Diego Garcia is the base where all of the US ships went after doing the not-so-successful Myanmar disaster relief effort. However, a canceled flight later, the truck had to either throw out the produce or give it away to hungry sailors in Singapore because the suckers in the ships wouldn't be gettin' it.
Aaron and I both have a problem turning down free stuff, even if we really don't need it. So he took as much as he could carry and then some more. And then he took so much that he had to drive it home in the mail truck.
You better believe we tried to fit it all in the fridge. We did a damn good job of it too. Check it...
The pictures are slowly trickling in. The photographer put together this slideshow for our friends and family to see. It's pretty cute. We'll be getting all of the other pictures soon. Until then, feast your eyes on these:
One of my favorite food groups in the world is Mexican. I used to eat it several times a week back in the States. Melissa (my former fiancee and date night buddy) and I rarely went to a non-Mexican restaurant together. I was even a Taco Bell junkie (even though that's not technically real Mexican), but Cheesy Beefy Melts are sooo good.
Asia, does not have a lot of options as far as Mexican food goes. They've never been really exposed to it and I'm sure it also "doesn't please the Asian palate" (see below post). Aaron and I have tacos and taco salad all the time, at home, to compensate for this. It never gets old. We even have Taco Bell brand seasoning for the lame hamburger meat that we find frozen at the NEX or the odd-looking meat we find in the stores in town.
I was determined to find a Taco Bell though. There was a rumor that Singapore had one and when we looked online, we found two. So last week, Aaron and I found one on Orchard Road. It was a stressful time. There were no signs. It was also situated at the very top of a 4 story mall. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't on the verge of tears before we found it. (I had been so excited to find it all day, give me a break.) Anyways, we found it.
So who cares if the menu only had 5 things on it. And it doesn't matter that they only offered chicken, right? The beans may have been dry, but IT WAS TACO BELL. I've decided to look on the bright side of things and not be so negative toward my asian neighbors. At least they tried.
I've been combing the Singapore Expat forums and think I've found another mexican place to try. It was recommended by someone from Southern California. I think that's a pretty trustworthy source. I'll let ya know how it goes....
As for now, we get to have homemade burritos and tacos thanks to a care package from home! Yay!
It's sad to say, but yesterday may have been one of the happiest days of my life. Why, you may ask? Because we found cheese. Yes my friends. Cheese. Not velveeta's processed goo crap, but real, delicious cheese. So what did we do? We bought it all. I'm not even joking. We got a round of provolone. We got shredded cheddar. We got sliced colby. We even got shredded italian blend. It was a good day kids. It was almost as great as Christmas.
Finding cheese in Singapore is a big frickin' deal. Apparently, cheese is "unpleasing to the Asian palate" or so I read online. Instead, they'd rather eat turtles, bugs, smelly fruit and other crap that should NEVER go in your mouth. Of course it doesn't please their palate. Their palate is that of a rabid dog. Sorry, the lack of cheese for a month has upset me.
So anywho, my momma sent me her recipe for cheeseburger soup and that's what I'm making my dear, sweet husband for dinner. I was going to make a delicious dessert, but without our Pyrex cookware and a hand mixer, it won't really be possible. Our stuff should get here soon. Let's just pray that we have a place to put it in when it gets here.
Aaron and I went to Chief Higley's retirement ceremony on Friday. It was pretty neat to see an official Navy ceremony. It was held at the Terror Club's outside "event" area which is under fans and shade.
I get really excited when Aaron has to wear his Dixie cup hat because I think its ridiculously funny. The military is really stubborn about updating things, I'm finding. Amusing at times. Annoying at other times.
Still no word on our house. Still no job. God I love the US Military.
Aaron and I ventured out the other day to dine with the asian kids. Sometimes we can be a little brave. Tuesday, we went to a hawker stall for dinner.
Singapore is full of hawker stalls and is a popular way to dine out. A hawker stall is very similar to an American-style food court with several choices of "restaurants" and tables to pick on your own. Most hawker stalls are outdoor with some kind of cover.
This one is somewhat close to our house and if we're feeling healthy, we'll walk there. It's intimidating at first because you can't recognize the what the food is, but on my second trip, I was less scared.
Here's what it looks like from the outside.
...and the inside
This is Chilli Crab. It is a famous Singaporean dish that has made the country famous or so we hear. Aaron and I find it very hard to eat (and very messy). It's a crab that's sitting in chilli sauce. Only, imagine trying to crack crab shell when it's slimy from the sauce. It's really difficult.
This is pineapple rice. One of my favorite Singaporean dishes. It's got rice, pineapple, chicken, egg, ham and shrimp in it. Sounds like an odd combo, but it's delish.
This is BBQ Stingray served on a banana leaf. It's soooo good. It tastes like a really mild fish. I like to dip it in the red chilli sauce to give it some spice. You have to be careful when you eat it though, because it has small, soft bones on the underneath side. Not so fun to chomp down on.
Oh, the pictures of Chinatown and Little India are posted on my facebook page for those interested.
Saturday, Aaron talked me into getting a foot reflexology massage in Chinatown. I' d had one before in February at a place near our house and it was somewhat uncomfortable, but I felt great afterwards. So I caved in again. Let me explain why it's hard to be excited about something that's supposed to feel so great.
A foot reflexology foot massage involves the masseuse using knuckles and finger tips to apply pressure to certain points on your foot. Each point is supposedly connected to another part of your body. Thus, by applying pressure to these areas, it relieves any aches and pains within your body. But, it hurts. A lot.
My massage hurt more than a lot. I was sitting there with clenched teeth to avoid screaming or crying. I was in a lot of pain that DID NOT AT ALL FEEL GOOD. A foot MASSAGE is supposed to FEEL GOOD. Anyway, remembering the last time I had one, I sat through it and thought that I'd feel good afterwards. Wrong!!!!!
The next morning, I awoke to bruised shins and ankles. Then, I couldn't walk right until Monday. It felt like I was walking on rocks. I am never doing that crap again. What really gets me is that I paid for someone to turn me into a battered paint-by-number.
I'm an idiot. Oh, and Aaron's massage was fine and he had no after-effects. Whatever.