Wednesday, November 25, 2009

5 Days of 5 Thanksies: Day Three

Until I lived thousands of miles away from home, I never put much thought into the products and services that I use on a daily basis. Most of the time, I didn't ever do or use the same thing for longer than a month. I was constantly trying out new things and checking out the latest and greatest of everything that I could afford.

Fast forward to May 2008.

And take away everything that I've ever used to get ready in the morning, everything that I've ever watched on TV and my dear sweet junker of a car.

Add in a heavy dose of heat and humidity, a TV that plays shows that are at least three years old, and a transportation system consisting of walking, riding, standing, squeezing and shoving.

That's the recipe of a life that I was faced with when I stepped off the plane.

It was way more difficult than I anticipated. I mean really, how often do you think about things like the kind of hairspray that you use? Or the kind of makeup that you wear? Or the fact that you won't be able to find any of it again in a store for 2-3 years?

I sure didn't before. But I sure do now.

My thanksie list today consists of all of the products that I cannot live without in Singapore. And I mean CANNOT live without.

5 Thanksies for 5 Amazing Products for Expats in SG

5. Bags. I'm talking totes, reusable grocery bags, duffel bags, laundry bags, shopping bags, canvas bags and backpacks. Any kind of bag that is made is on my list. I've never appreciated a bag so much in my life. As a resident in Singapore without a car, a bag is a must. I don't have that luxurious hunk of metal and plastic to house all of my stuff, like I did back in the States. I have to carry everything I need for that entire day with me all the way to where ever I'm going. After a while, I even converted my laptop bag into an extra large purse just to be able to carry everything I need. It's now falling apart from over usage. I need a new, bigger and better bag. Seriously, I'm obsessed with bags now. I couldn't have cared less as a Kansas resident.

4. Too Faced Shadow Insurance. Singapore melts many things. It melts ice cream on the walk home from the store. It melts a chocolate bar left in a laptop bag at a picnic. It also melts makeup in a way that I was not prepared for, especially eye makeup. You see, I've always had very dry skin and never even understood what people were talking about when they said that their makeup kept "sliding" off. I'd never experienced such a phenomenon. Well Singapore sure taught me that lesson. Makeup simply will not stay on my face here for an entire day. The humidity and heat slick it right off before noon. That is until I found Shadow Insurance at Sephora. I just put a dap of this stuff on my eyelids before I put on eyeshadow and it's like magic. The makeup will NOT move until I take it off with soap and water. It even stays on overnight if I forget to wash my face. It's amazing and worth every penny.

3. PHYTO's Phytodefrisant Hair Relaxing Balm. If the humidity here can do such mean things to makeup, you can't only imagine what it will do to hair. Phytodefrisant is like an imaginary shield to this steamy climate. Without it, my hair turns into a giant red afro that resembles a clown wig. With it, my 'do lays almost as if the humidity did not exist. Almost. This stuff is awesome and the best weapon against the weather that I've found. Occasionally I can find it in John Little, a Singaporean department store, but more often than not, I have to order it from Amazon.com or Drugstore.com.

2. Slingbox. A Slingbox is a magical little box that enables you to connect to your home's cable connection from anywhere in the world via an internet connection. In simpler terms, it means that we can watch television being broadcast from Kansas all the way in Singapore on our computer. When you get a Slingbox, you can also watch your cable TV from your phone, laptop or international location as long as you are connected to the internet and have the proper software installed. I heart it a lot. Singaporean TV isn't horrible, but it isn't good either. They show a lot of American shows, but they are usually a few years old. So when we need a good TV fix, we just hop on the computer and catch up on our favorite shows as they're being aired from Kansas.

1. Skype. Hands down, best invention ever for people who travel or live abroad. With Skype, we can make calls to anywhere in the world with our computer. We can call landline phones, cell phones and other computers that have Skype installed on them. We've even set up our account with a local Kansas City phone number so that people can call our computer from any phone without being charged a long distance rate. AND! If we ever miss a call, we've set it up to transfer to our Singapore home phone so that we can take a message. It's been a real life saver. Before we discovered Skype, Aaron and I were spending about $50-60 a month in calling cards. It sucked. Now, we only pay $5 a month and that's solely just to have our local number. The Skype service alone is free. It's made living so far away a lot easier.

Without all of these products, living in Singapore would be ten times harder for the kids from Kansas.

Oh and should probably add one more thanksie: I'm thankful to Amazon.com and Drugstore.com for always shipping us our goodies.

(P.S. As I've said before, no one pays me to say nice things about their company. I say them if the company is deserving. So everything above is my real, honest, true to goodness opinion.)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Megan, I enjoy your blog very much. We are very much in the same situation.

I am a Singaporean who just moved to Illionis in June 2008. From a city girl to now living on a land of Nevermore, surrounded by woods and wild animals and the nearest neighbor is more than 1/2 mile away.

If you need to, my girl or sister back in SG can help you. Just drop me an email at jen_ong66@yahoo.com.

Beau Lotus said...

Haha I enjoyed this post very much. It reminded me of the time when we were living in the States and I had this wonderful cable TV and kept zapping channels and never being able to find anything to watch. Crappy commercial stuff, hub would go. And then it's true that all I could really remember of American TV were commercials for gas BBQs and muscle building equipment...I missed my Asian soap operas and couldn't find a way to get them. I wonder if your special slingbox works the other way round...