Monday, January 19, 2015

orientations, mustafa, and pasir ris park

Our first night at the condo was spent unpacking and eating a McDonald's picnic on the floor (we didn't have a high chair and the table was covered in stuff we had unpacked but hadn't found a home for). And just for the record, Singapore McDonald's is not the same as American McDonald's. But oh well, we were hungry and it was there. 

The next two days we spent with Shamla, from a company called Orientations, who hired a driver and took us around the city. She took us to the bank to open an account and other various things. She was a little much at times but really very nice. I just got sick of her constantly telling me what to do with my jet lagged, hot, leery-of-strangers kids. We also seemed to waste quite a bit of time both days. Her driver, Alan, was very nice and helpful. He is a Singaporean and seemed to know our area of the island better than she did. The part of the two days we will probably never forget was our trip to Mustafa. We told Shamla we needed a high chair and a couple other larger things for our apartment and wanted to go to Ikea to get them. Ikea is really close to where we live but it would be helpful to get them while we had a car to get them home. Shamla insisted we would be better off going to Mustafa, where things were much cheaper. So that's where we went. And trust me, words are inadequate. If I didn't feel like it would be offensive to Shamla I would have taken some pictures. I think we might have to go back just to take some. Brennan described it as a giant, horrible Kmart. But it was worse than that. So many floors of utter chaos. Boxes stacked everywhere, things taking up the aisles so you could barely walk down them, let alone take your cart down them. When we got to the baby section the guy had to call someone on his cell phone for help in finding a high chair. He finally found one but it wasn't in a box, just a bag. He set it up for us and it seemed fine so we asked what the price was. $95!! High chairs at Ikea are like 30 bucks. The biggest waste of time. But at least Shamla got the fabric she needed. ;)

Saturday was our first full day of being able to just explore a little. We walked to Pasir Ris Park, which is by the ocean. The sandy part of the beach was fine, but the water was gross. There was no swimming allowed anyway so it didn't matter. There were several different playgrounds and the kids loved it. We also got to see some monkeys. Tatum thought it was the greatest thing until she realized they had stolen food from people. Suddenly she started running for her life and looked quite scared. I figured it was because they had sort of acted aggressive toward some people, but she explained to me that she was afraid they were going to take gold fish crackers. :) That girl has her priorities. 

 The monkey is just to left of the tree.

 Give this boy some sand and a shovel and he will be content for a long time.

 We figured out a shorter way to walk home but it was still a very hot walk. I decided at the last minute to bring this stroller and I am so glad I did. I'm not sure I will ever feel gutsy enough to try to take it as a bike trailer myself, but when we are only walking somewhere, not taking any sort of public transportation, it is a lifesaver. Even if people do seem to think we are crazy.

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