Thursday, February 28, 2008

Why I couldn't be a housewife in Singapore

Singaporean TV on the base is bad. So bad that we often watch shows that I won't even admit to other people. We get about ten channels and when Aaron's at work, here are my choices of programming:

3) Australian outback vegetation on the Australian channel.

5) Bulletin board--the base's upcoming events powerpoint that plays on repeat all day with a blue screen

6) AFN Sports--whatever sports game is playing at the time (this obviously ends before noon)

7) CNN--stale CNN, like 2-3 days old

8) This channel is for random cancelled shows from back home. So they're usually bad. Think Psych and Beauty and the Geek.

9) Finally we might get a good show every once and a while. Like now, Oprah is on and I feel like it must be Christmas. I haven't seen her beautiful, warm round face in weeks!

I almost forgot to mention the commercials. The military will not let us see the commercials from back home for some reason. They've instead replaced them with commercials about how not to be a dumbass and suck at life in the military. I'm not even joking. There's one about how you shouldn't shake your baby. Another one is about how you should blend in to your surroundings so that you won't attract terrorists' attention. My favorite is the one where they tell you that when you get married, you should consider how to fix your living will to include your spouse. This commercial is complete with an 80's bride and she and her new husband are actually arguing about this at the altar. It's complete with bad lighting and atrocious acting. I will say that these commercials are entertaining though.

I can escape if I really need. We have the Slingbox which will play American TV from home through our computer, but the down side is that it will play on the same time frame. So you can imagine my choices at noon, which is 2am back home.

I need a job as soon as I get back in seriously.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Beach Bums

Aaron came home early yesterday so we decided to go down to the beach for fun. How freakin' awesome is it that I can just take a short train ride to the beach? Booyah.

Here are some pics:

We didn't swim because there are about a jillion ships not too far in the distance and the water doesn't look too sanitary. However, there were lots of people in the water. We just decided to have cocktails instead.

Monday, February 25, 2008

All of my little adjustments

I knew getting into this that I'd have a lot of adjusting to do. I'm not just referring to the getting married and growing up part. I'm referring to the total uprooting of every custom I've spent my last 23 years growing to understand and changing it over to this weird Asian standard of life. I say "weird" meaning "very different from America".

The first adjustment: Celsius temperatures. No one even acknowledges that Fahrenheit even exists over here. One might think that this is no big deal, but wait till you want to bake something. To bake cookies in a 375 degree oven, you have to set the Celsius gauge to 176.666666....which is ridiculous. For a perfectionist, it invokes anxiety to no end. Not only do my cookies cook ridiculously fast, they make me question my normally kick ass baking ability.
The second: meatballs. As weird as it sounds, it is something that gets to you at first. To Americans, Italians and any other Americanized person in the States, a meatball is a round glob of cooked beef, sausage or pork. In Singapore, a meat ball is a white ball of fish. A big white glob that they serve in a broth to make it look that much more appealing. Aaron and I discussed this one night over dinner. Fish is a flaky meat by nature. So, how the heck does it stick together in a ball? We just decided that we probably didn't want to know.

Third: Chili sauce. They put this red goo on everything! It's sweet and spicy and they have the same stuff in the States, but this crap often replaces ketchup in most restaurants --thus the reason for my irritation. Ketchup, in my opinion, is one of the best concoctions ever created. I have even been known to eat certain foods just so I can drench them with ketchup (i.e. onion rings, hot dogs and meat loaf). I'm not even kidding, I won't eat those foods unless there's ketchup. So it's like they've taken away one of the greatest loves of my life and replaced it with this sugary spicy crap that only mocks me with its red coloring (which almost looks like ketchup). I'm seriously considering keeping a bottle in my purse when we go out. Sad, but necessary.

Don't get me wrong, these are minor adjustments that I will be fine with once I get used to it all. There are adjustments that I find very nice too. I like that everyday is summer and I can go to the pool whenever. It's also nice that almost everyplace delivers here. McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut and Sakae Sushi all deliver. I do miss Taco Bell so so much. :( I'm probably better off though.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dance Dance Revolution

So...I've found a new way to entertain myself while Aaron is away at work. After I do my HNTB stuff, I get a little bored with tedious housework tasks so I had to come up with something else. While surfing the Web, it hit me. Why not learn all the things I always wanted to know?

Melissa has always been so embarassed at bars when I go up to the black people dancing on the dance floor and beg them to teach me how to do (insert latest dance craze here). They always just laughed at me and told me they'd show me when the "right" beat is on. (That's code for 'You ain't never gonna get it white girl'.) So I've taken it upon myself :)

Yesterday, I learned how to "walk it out", the "Cupid Shuffle" and the "Soulja Boy dance". I look like such a white girl when I do it, but I don't care. I think people would be impressed that I'm such a well-rounded dancer. It's easy to learn too. Most of the rappers who sing these songs post instructional videos on YouTube. I like to call them "Now you white kids can dance too" videos.

I showed Aaron my moves when he got home, but he just mocked me. I know he's jealous. My "superman" needs some work, but it's way better than his.

Soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Emeril

Aaron and I have decided that one our favorite things to do together is cook. Not only does this give us a break from sickeningly sweet Asian food (which all food here tastes Asian even if its from McDonalds), but it also is something that we have a lot of fun doing. We've bought fresh garlic, fresh parsley and fresh parmesan cheese. We make all kinds of fun stuff....and we have a dance party complete with wine and cocktails while we saute.

Our menu thus far has consisted of steak on tomato infused noodles, steak with asparagus, taco marinated chicken quesadillas, garlic breaded chicken on alfredo parmesan noodles, pancakes with bacon and eggs, and spaghetti with parmesan garlic bread.

We haven't gotten too adventurous yet as we can only use ingredients that we can find and ones that we know what to do with. :)

We've noticed that the quality of meat in this country is pretty lame. Chicken is really thin and fatty and beef is either extremely lean or so fatty it's tough to chew. Apples were also a sad discovery. Ours were brown and mushy once you cut into them.

However, stuff that is more popular within the region such as dragon fruit and bananas are pretty tasty. The only part that sucks is that we have to keep EVERYTHING in the fridge (i.e. bananas, bread, cereal, etc.) because the bugs here are horrible. I've kept a cup of vinegar and dish soap on our window sill for two days now trying to catch the gnats. Eck!

It's fun learning about new stuff to try though. Aaron's shown me that I like a lot more stuff than I thought and I've convinced him that asparagus is delicious. If you have any recipes or ideas to share, please send them my way!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

An Asian Safari

Monday was Presidents Day and that meant that Aaron had the day off. So we took full advantage of it and took a bus tour of Singapore. Here are the highlights of the day:

The MRT (which is like a subway) is ridiculously clean and white.

I'm a pretty awesome picture taker.

Singaporeans misspell a lot of things. (This actually really bugs me.) This sign reads "tyre" not tire. They also think that authorized is spelled "authorised". ARGH!

Aaron is my favorite fellow explorer. He's tall and can see things way before I can. It's like having a lookout.

There is a mall every five feet. I'm not even exaggerating. They're so huge that you can't help but get excited just looking at the outside. It's like when you go to the circus as a little kid. You pull up and see the tent and you just get excited because you know that magical stuff is happening inside of it.

The US Embassy is kind of scary looking.

The Singaporeans will stare at you just because you look different than an Asian, but if you're pushing a shopping cart of groceries past Kate Spade in the mall, no one even glances in your direction. Explain this to me. I don't get it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A trip to Malaysia

Saturday, Aaron and I took a trip to Malaysia. We took a bus to the border (which ended up taking us like over an hour, but that's another story). The real drama happened on the bus.

Someone on the bus sat behind me and threw balled up pieces of gum into my hair! What the hell? For one, gum is illegal in Singapore and two, what the hell did I do to deserve that? We didn't even notice it until we were almost in Malaysia and off of the bus. Aaron had to sit there and pick out the pieces cuz I was gagging. Oh the irony. we got into Malaysia. It is a shithole. Pardon my French, but there is no other way to describe the hell that is Malaysia. It smells very bad. And it is dirty. Dirty to the point that immediately upon setting foot inside the country, you want to shower...forever. There is a line of skanky Teksi (Taxi) drivers that holler at you like Polynesian pimps as you walk past and they make you feel like you're a skeezy person just for entering the country. It's bad. Very bad.

The whole reason we went to Malaysia was for three things: cheap pedicures, cheap massages and cheap DVDs. Our pedicures cost less than 24 US dollars combined, our massages cost less than 75 US dollars combined and we got 12 DVDs for about 30 US dollars. Pretty sweet.

So the country is a complete toilet, but there are some perks.

DISCLAIMER: (I've been told that other areas of Malaysia are quite nice. We were only in Johor Bahru)

Below are the pics of the Hyatt resort where we got our massages.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Attack of the air conditioner

Last night the air conditioner in the bedroom became possessed. I'm not exaggerating here either. It was beyond terrifying.

Aaron and I were sitting in bed reading. He was reading his textbook for his Java class and I was learning all about Singapore in a travel book he gave me to read. (Save your old married couple jokes. We're aware it was a sad scene.)
Then the horrible noise began. It sounded like a drip at first. Then it progressed to this horrible grinding/moaning sound. I put down my book and stared at the air conditioner in paralyzing fear. At that moment, ice chunks came flying out of the machine. I jumped immediately over to Aaron's side which is the furthest from the evil apparatus.
Aaron had to sudo-dismantle it and wipe it down. Then, it stopped.
He wasn't fazed at all. Apparently it's happened before. Great. I'm glad the air conditioner is eccentric. Does it also personify itself and strangle you in the night?

(Aaron also said that I'd blog about this in the morning. Well, you're right. I think if I die in my sleep, my family should know why.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

So much to say

So many things happen in a day that I'm having a lot of trouble picking specific things to write about. To remedy this, I've decided to just make a list of interesting facts. If anyone would like further explanation, please comment and I'll elaborate.

1) I got locked out of the house yesterday. It was dramatic, traumatizing and I found a way to break in. And it resulted in a large bruise on my right butt cheek. Not fun.

2) Asian grocery stores mean it when they say "2 apples for 1.69". You can't buy one or three. The clerks get really confused and have to call their manager over. It's really irritating.

3) IKEA is the greatest place ever. I'm really sad we don't have one at home in Kansas. Or Missouri. Or Oklahoma. Or Nebraska. WTF?!

4) Watching Sex and the City with my fiance while drinking Vanilla Cranberry Vodkas (aka Cheesecakes) might be one of the most enlightening/interesting things to do.

5) There are no trash cans in food courts. I know! It's crazy that such a clean country doesn't have a trash can to throw away your garbage. Apparently they're that crazy about customer service and like to clean it up for you.

6) Chicken rice might be my favorite Asian food ever. We had it last night and it was delish. :)

7) No fruit punch or lemonade as the staple non-carbonated drinks in food stands. They instead carry flavors like Water chestnut, Rose and Lime with sugar syrup.

8) Durians really do stink. Bad. They have a stand in the middle of the grocery store to cut them and wrap them up in cellophane to protect the noses of others on your way out.

9) I love Asian soup spoons. So much more practical than western spoons for soup.

10) I can't wait to marry Aaron. This is what happy feels like.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Learning the ropes

Yesterday, Aaron and I went to the grocery store. It was interesting. Lucky for me though, I was eased into this as I have been carusing the Asian food markets back home to buy phone cards to call Aaron. So the unusual food items didn't necessarily weird me out, but they still triggered my gag reflex.

For example, Singaporeans eat black eggs called "salted eggs". These are aged eggs that have been preserved and therefore have turned black. Yes, people eat this crap. They also eat dried sardines, pig tails and everything with the head still attached. Chickens, ducks and fish are sold in hawker stalls (food courts) and grocery stores with the heads still attached even after they're cooked. It's pretty terrifying.

Thankfully, there are still a lot of American items that we recognize to buy. Everything else we can get at the NEX, it's just a long hike.

Here are pictures of the cab ride home for our shopping adventure. This cab did not allow durians to be eaten or taken inside of it. Durians are an asian fruit that smells like a rotting corpse, but apparently tastes delicious. I think these people are seriously demented to eat something that smells so awful.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

It's Official (again)

Aaron proposed last night :) It was perfect. Here's the story:

He told me that we were going to go out for dinner, but didn't say much else about it. Me, being the unobservant dork that I am, had no idea that anything was up. When it was time to get ready to go though, he was getting pretty dressed up for an 80 degree night in the humid tropics. So I put on a dress (that I made him pick out so I'd know how dressed up to be) and tried to curl my hair, which went flat before we even walked out the door. Oh, well. Still, I didn't really think anything was out of the ordinary.

He arranged for a Mercedes taxi to pick us up. Yeah, they have Mercedes taxis here, insane, I know. This is when my slow brain caught up and I began to suspect that something was up. Aaron was really quiet the entire car ride and wouldn't tell me where we were going.

The car drove us up this windy road to the top of a large hill and to a restaurant called "The Jewel Box". It was gorgeous. There were flowers and vines decorating the whole restaurant which had an amazing view of Singapore. I thought we were eating in the restaurant, but Aaron led me to a patio and told me to wait there. When he returned, he led me to a side room of the restaurant. I was really confused at this point.

As we walked into the room, I was stunned. We were having dinner in a cable car that would overlook the island of Singapore. I think my jaw was on the floor for about 15 minutes. It was the coolest thing I'd ever seen/done. The view was amazing. Aaron just kept laughing at me while I acted like a little kid at Disneyland.

We didn't even get passed the salad course before he proposed. It was the sweetest, most perfect thing I could have ever imagined. I didn't cry, but geez -- I wanted to.

The ring is gorgeous, I can't stop looking at it. Yeah, I've totally turned into one of "those" girls.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Here goes...

It is my first official day in Singapore. To celebrate, I'm beginning a blog. With so many people to update on the random things that occur in the life of Megan, I thought this was the easiest way.

The trip began with a 2 hour plane ride to DC, then a 14 hour plane to Tokyo, a boring stroll through a small part of the Japanese airport and finished up with a 7 1/2 hour ride to Singapore. It sucked. I'm not even gonna sugar coat it. Being in a small chair with the ability to recline to a 2% angle is not my idea of comfort. I didn't sleep at all and the food was Asian. THE ENTIRE TIME I WAS IN THE AIR. Don't these people know that we're about to be submerged in this stuff while we're here? Do we really need it on the way? I'm sick of Asian food already. I'm so screwed.

In happier thoughts...I'm finally here. Seeing Aaron was amazing. It's like being in the 6th grade and seeing your crush for the first time since summer vacation. I had butterflies and I felt like everything I said and did was awkward. It was weird because even though we've talked on the phone everyday, it still felt like we were meeting again for the first time. It was exciting, thrilling and very nerve-racking. It was great to feel that again.

So now, I've unpacked my things and settled in. Aaron came home from work for 15 minutes to surprise me with a hairdryer. You would have thought he got me a pair of Manolos I was so excited. I needed desperately to wash the "airplane" outta my hair. I think the smell was getting to him too. That may be the reason he got me one so fast. Ha.

That's all I have to report now. I shall return to my Sex and the City marathon. It never gets old. :)