While I am being generous with the word "girl" I am just a person from small-town anywhere trying to survive the culture shock of "Asia-Easy". Well, it ain't that easy, but then again, it ain't that hard to survive where there is no snow, shopping galore and food every 5 metres. Singapore, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Thailand, educate this prairie girl.
Sunday, 15 July 2012
A Week of Firsts
Life is filled with many firsts. First communion, first kiss, first dance, first marriage, but as you get older, those firsts are rare. When you are in another country for an undetermined amount of time, it is easy to slide into in a slump and fall back into familiar patterns of your life back home expecting everything to be the same. It never will.
I made a conscious decision to have more "Firsts" while in Asia. I have been here six months now and my new experiences are slowly disappearing while I wait for my sister Lori to visit me. It was time for me to leave the computer and start expanding my horizons.
My son getting his ear candled in Singapore
My first First was something I have been curious about for a long time. Asia is the home of untraditional, holistic medicine, acupuncture, and herbs and potions that come in a variety of exotic forms. Recently, I had a chance to visit Revive Holistic Center on famous Haji Lane in Kampong Glam to alleviate my curiosity. I was pleasantly surprised to meet a tiny, dynamo of a woman named Pratima Nagaraj who has many credentials behind her name. She is not only a certified Hypnotherapist, she has an MBA, and is a Reiki Grand Master to name only two services she provides. She left the corporate IT world and has dedicated her life to helping others through various holistic methods.
Pratima explained the process, telling me hypnotherapy is not magic and if you aren't willing to modify your behavior, whether it is kicking the smokes, losing weight, managing pain, etc., it won't work. You must have the willpower and desire to change. Hypnotherapy will provide the suggestions in your sub-conscious but you must be willing to accept the hypnotic suggestions. This was my first time with Pratima but I am looking forward to our next session where she will hypnotize me for two hours. If I feel as good as I did the first time (I was "under" for 25 minutes), I can't imagine the benefits of two hours. So far, her therapy and suggestions have revived my outlook on life.
He was a hoot!
My second First was meeting some "IN" friends that took me to one of the most ultra luxe lounges in the world. I grew up in small town Saskatchewan, Canada with two working parents so the thought of going to a night club that hosts the obscenely rich is not something I am familiar with. When you have four kids all involved in music and sports, there isn't money to hobnob with partygoers at Pangaea in Singapore.
They call Pangaea the Ferrari of the Nightclub world and I believe it. Partygoers have animal skinned sofas to perch on and 1,000 year old trees to set their drinks when they become weary of holding a $50 Martini. For the opportunity to do so, the wealthy can reserve a table for $2,000 all the way to $15,000 for the Dragon Den meant so the uber rich can lord over the merely rich. This is "THE" spot you will see A-listers like Madona, Kate Moss and John Travolta but I wasn't so lucky. What I did get to see was a marvelous cross dresser named Miss Stevious who was decked out in fucsia pink from head to toe. We compared clothes and he asked if I would give up my blouse and purse which matched his cotton candy wig. Find your own bag, buddy.
My third First was an invite to a Japanese friend's home. While this may seem like an everyday occurrence, it is not. Japanese are more accustomed to entertaining outside their home because most houses in Japan are so small. My friend Mami (Mommy) is a wonderful friend, who has been learning English while living in Singapore. We don't always understand each other but we have many laughs and a lot of Charades. She invited me and a few other friends, one being Korean, so believe me, there was a language barrier.
Mami has me hooked on Takoyaki
None of that seemed to matter when Mami began preparing Takoyaki which is a ball-shaped Japanese snack filled with grilled octopus, pickled ginger and sprinkled with dried seaweed. Delicious, delicious, delicious is all I can say. We laughed so much because almost everything we said had to be translated into Korean, English or Japanese. I did manage to teach the ladies important western phrases. "Shake your booty," "Get out of my face," and "Sucks to be you" are important expressions every person must know.
My fourth and last First was conquering a beach. I have tried countless times to ride my hybrid bike to Changi Beach, in the far eastern heartland of Singapore. I have only been there once before when R2 and I got lost riding and thought we were going to expire in the mid-day sun. Changi Beach is about 20 km from my home and I have never been back since.
After my trip to the hypnotherapist, I decided I was going to make the ride; 40 km in total. I am not only happy to report I conquered the beach, and then some, I went back again. It seems what Pratima has suggested to me through hypnotherapy has done the trick. I am a new woman, ready to tackle anything.
Changi Beach - you don't scare me
A week of Firsts was an eyeopener. There is nothing you can't do, if you set your mind to it. I will take that under advisement when my sister from Moose Jaw and I go on the hunt for perfect sand in Phuket, Thailand or dance with gorgeous ladyboys on Patong Beach. No matter what the next First will be, I am well equipped; not bad for a kid who grew up in a prairie town of 35,000 people and didn't step on her First plane until she was 18 years old.