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.
Tuesday, 16 October 2012
Who's da Man?
Since R2 and I have known each other, we have bantered around the idea of an international student coming to live with us, preferably a Spanish speaker. My Spanish speaking husband lacks patience listening and correcting my Spanglish, so he thought he could foist me on some unsuspecting foreign kid from Colombia, Mexico or Uruguay. I, in turn would corrupt any Latino with my slang, cliches and colloquialisms while they listen to me blathering on about nada.
This idea never developed in Canada, unless you count the 17-year-old German kid that almost burned down my house by putting an entire pizza, box and all, into my oven and jacking up the oven to a roaring 400F. The blood vessels in my temple still throb when I think of that less-than-brilliant darling.
Whilst in Singapore, it seems I have more time on my hands because social lunches, cycling, Zumba, Krav Maga, hiking, writing for a Singaporean website and a Canadian newspaper and who can forget, schlepping groceries, takes such little time. R2 thought getting a student would be my new project to keep me occupied; my new pet, if you will. After 17 years of working, to suddenly not...well it plays on some hidden corner within your psyche.
First Hawker Center for dumpling and noodles
We envisioned a young, demure, quiet girl from Latin American, but what we got was a hotshot, corporate lawyer from España. All I can say ladies, if you are on the hunt for a handsome man, grab the nearest flight to Barcelona, or if your daughter is slagging on the couch with a wanna-be rap star, with his pants down around his knees, kick him to the curb and get your girl on "the rain in Spain, stays mainly on the" plane.
What? Never eaten Corn On The Cob?
Man arrived from Spain, toting two huge suitcases filled with his worldly possession that will keep him occupied for the next nine months in Singapore while he learns extensive English. Like a true Singaporean, I wanted to show him some of the beauty this city boasts before he started school. Within the first few days of arriving, we played tour guide and attended a concert in the Botanic Gardens, clued him in to Hawker food, bought live fish at the Wet Market watching as the head was hacked off, and this was only the beginning. I introduced him to his first taste of Corn On The Cob and almost burned his lips off with Bird's Eye Chili. I gave him VIP tickets to attend Zouk nightclub, one of the premier discos in Singapore, thanks to my writing. When he became throughly tired of the big city, we raced bicycles up and down the beach. I showed him the reflexology paths you see in various locations scattered throughout Singapore, so his feet could experience the sharp rocks that Asians adore.
A friend from the UK trying the foot paths
When I thought Man was down and out for the count, he rose like a phoenix from the ashes when R2 staggered in from the Formula 1 racing event and said, "Tengo un boleto gratis a Katy Perry si quieres ir," which translates to, "Dude, get your 25-year-old rear outta the chair and hit this Katy concert." Man jumped up like his calzones were on fire and sprinted out the door. I think he forgot his first day of school was at 9:00 a.m. but that is the life of the young.
So far, the arrangement has worked out well. He will water my plants when we travel, I am speaking more Spanish than anyone thought possible, and Man, well, he will do well in the corporate world with my flawless command of the English language. You never know when "Get outta my face," will come in handy.
There are days I think I have died and gone to heaven with two handsome Latinos in the kitchen whipping up Spanish Paella and Mexican Sopes. I sit like a lady of leisure as they wash the dishes, take out the trash and all I have to do is make a sweet pitcher of Sangria. Often my mind will daydream that I am in the middle of a Harlequin romance novel. Fabio and his trusty sidekick are in the kitchen, luxurious, flowing locks in a hairnet, sweating over a wok, while the damsel in distress lays on the couch with the remote control all to herself. Well, a girl can fantasize can’t she?
Our newly adopted "Sun", as I call him, is making headway to becoming my favorite child. I told Number One daughter in God's Country, Alberta, Number Two son in Bring Cash, B.C. and Number Two Point Five stepson in the Great State of Texas they might have to rock, paper, scissors to see which one of them can remain in the family unit because four is too many for me to manage unless they all take up cooking and dishwashing.