When I say Singapore Math, I do not mean the curriculum/books with this title in the USA.  I mean the actual math that Singaporean students are doing day to day.  I fell in love with many parts of the Singaporean education system while living there from Dec 2013-July 2016.  Because the smell of a bookstore is basically a narcotic to me, I spent a lot of time wandering the stacks of books and picking up mathematics resources and workbooks for my kiddos’ future use, and to use…Continue Reading “Strategies From Singapore: Learn To Do Math Easily With Rectangles”

I am a trailing spouse, because I am the tag-along when my husband accepts a job in another country. I have now moved countries twice. Here are my thoughts on preparation. Expect the process to be extremely emotional. You may find that you start shutting yourself off from your current friends; knowing you will have to say goodbye soon makes it hard to keep being emotionally open. This also makes any goodbye parties really hard. Expect to cry. To see what this process looks like in…Continue Reading “The Complete Trailing Spouse Guide”

Food The same foods have a variety of names in Singapore due to the three main cultures in residence:  Chinese, Malay, and Indian. A vegetable you are looking for may have several names. Thank goodness for smartphones; you can show a photo to a store clerk to ask its location. Grocery stores in Singapore stock so many wonderful types of produce. There is incredible variety in the wet markets, especially the large markets, like Tekka Market in Little India, which are located in the public…Continue Reading “Things To Know About Singapore Before You Move There”

I hardly know what to say, but my teeth are sick of the nightly clenching I give them, so say something I must.  We are about to be homeless again.  Temporarily.  We will be moving to Dubai in roughly a month.  We don’t even have a move date, but it is happening. Chicago.  Singapore.  Dubai. It sounds kind of fancy, maybe.  The commercial I just watched for the Intercontinental sure made travel look glamorous.  But travel for me is: Food-encrusted shirts on my children. Filthy…Continue Reading “That Intercontinental Life”

When it’s 2 AM in Singapore, and you need dried apricots, fresh dill, baby knee pads, a souvenir from London, a winter coat, printer paper, and a new shower head, you head to Mustafa.  It’s kind of like a 24-hour Super Walmart, but with an Indian cultural flair.  It is a place where you can get it all, and it is a Singapore institution.  From its humble beginnings in 1973 with a 900 sq ft shop, to its current 150,000 sq ft location, the store…Continue Reading “Mustafa Map”

You see the signs all over Singapore.  NO DURIANS. It is not allowed on buses, trains, and in other public places. Why does this spiky fruit garner such attention and focus?  I have never seen any other fruit important enough for warning signage, alongside such societal ills as smoking, eating and drinking, and flammable good usage. The reason is the smell, which is an intense, permeating smell that seems to follow you even after you have left the vicinity of the fruit. Until I came to…Continue Reading “Durian, Durian, The Polarizing Fruit”

Porridge. Such a horrible word, isn’t it?  It  conjures up images of tiny children sadly slurping gray gruel inside dank, cold, gothic-style orphanages in England.  Or maybe I just read too much.  Probably. But porridge in Asia is an amazing thing! My friend Elisa, who is of Chinese descent but grew up in California, said it is a comfort food that I had to try.  So try it I did.  And it was lovely.  I now find myself searching out the porridge stands, getting upset if they…Continue Reading “Porridge, Porridge, Glorious Porridge”

A year and a half ago I finally gave in to my husband, and we hired a live-in maid, because that is what you do in Singapore when you are overwhelmed with housework and have no semblance of a social life. I wrote about this previously on my personal blog when we first got our helper. I truly am thankful that it is quite affordable to have full-time help in Singapore, as it is not in other parts of the world. Our first helper, I’ll…Continue Reading “Maid or No Maid—A First World Problem”

***Meaning of Mee Pok Tar updated thanks to commenters J and Melisa below.  Thank you for the help! Hey hey American friends!  I know the title to this post is completely foreign.  Let me explain. Mee Pok means flat noodles, and tah means dry–it being a dry noodle dish instead of a soup-like dish.  Chia Keng Kway Teow Mee is the name of the noodle (mee) stall.  Kway Teow is the name of a different noodle dish I will share with you some day.  Chia Keng is…Continue Reading “Mee Pok Tar, at Chia Keng Kway Teow Mee”

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to write a guide to natural birth for Sassy Mama Singapore.  It was a fantastic chance to pass on the knowledge I had painstakingly gathered over the years pursuing a better way to birth for myself.  Whether you want to have a natural birth (in any country) or are interested in learning more about birthing in Singapore, this article is for you.   When I got pregnant, I was ECSTATIC. Then… I thought about the fact that the…Continue Reading “Introduction to Natural Birth and Stories from the Trenches”