Go big or go home…

Archive for December 2008

One of the perks of being relocated (as opposed to relocating yourself) is that people who know what’s what are paid to help you out.

As such a nice lady in Illinois (obviously) is in charge of our shipping. According to her:

Here are the items not allowed to be shipped per our policy:
• Household Pets
• Piano
• Items of exceptional value, Jewelry, Furs, antiques, works or art, coin or stamp collections
• Wine or Alcoholic Beverages
• Boats, engines, cars, motorcycles, trailers, Recreational Vehicles or Airplanes
• Riding lawn mowers
• Foodstuffs
• Live Plants
• Firearms, ammunition, knives or blades, which could be classified as weapons.
• Materials of any explosive, dangerous or flammable nature such as paints, solvents, bleaches, acids, etc.
• Building Materials
• Any item that may be subject to complex or restrictive export/import controls.

My first response to this is that clearly we’re being a little unambitious thinking that all we need to take with us are two boxes of books and some dive kit.

Second thought – what kinds of people does this woman usually relocate??? “Yes, I’d like to ship this greyhound, a grand piano and a mysterious fur coat.” That’s surely the plot of a Jack Lemmon movie?

And who takes building materials? Apparently we have a whole 20ft container at our disposal. Perhaps I’ll fill it with bags of cement and coarse aggregate.

Or perhaps I’ll just take two boxes of books and my dive kit.


As J is being transferred to S’pore with his company, he’ll enter with an employment pass sponsored by the firm.

I, on the other hand, am entering merely as the spouse, and will be there on a dependent’s pass. This is basically a housewife visa – I won’t be allowed to work unless a local company writes me a letter of consent.

Yet… I’ve been asked to supply my birth certificate (fair enough) and my degree certificate (preferably from a “well-established” university).

I *really* hope this is a belt & braces approach from J’s company rather than a Ministry of Manpower (so Orwellian!) requirement.

I can’t see my ability to run Southern blots being all that useful when it comes to getting sozzled on gin at lunchtimes and ordering around the staff.

We’ve booked our flights. First time I’ve ever had a one way ticket anywhere. *gulp*

D-day is January 25th, exactly five weeks from today. Fortunately we’re on the 2205, which gives us a bit of time to get ourselves to the airport.

The extra time is likely to be necessary as we’re having our leaving drinks on the 24th (going out with a bang) so I predict that in five week’s time I’ll be doing the same thing I’m doing right now – sitting saucer-eyed in my dressing gown after four hour’s sleep.

Recipe for disaster?

Hot and wet!

Hot and wet!

Aside from complaining about being hungry and/or tired (my needs are quite infantile!), I’m a pretty glass-half-full girl.

Certainly leaving the UK has never been about wanting to run *from* anything, it’s always been about what I’m running towards.

Until this week, when I really struggled to force myself onto my bike and out into the icy pitch of 0640 – pretty much the only thing motivating me was the thought that this’ll be my last winter cycling in the UK.

The optimism thing means that cycling into the dawn and feeling the freezing air rush past my face is always enough to stop me scowling, but hopefully it also means I’ll find plenty of things in Sing to make me smile too.

We… I say ‘we’, perhaps I should introduce us first. My husband J and I, got the news that we’re leaving about a week and a half ago.

He’s being transferred out with his work, I’m accompanying him as the little woman (I rather like the sound of ‘expat wife’, more glamorous than ‘her indoors’). While being kept does sound vaguely appealing (perhaps I could join a golf club?), I’m looking for work too.

We’re noticeably both scared and excited by the thought of leaving our nice safe London nest, but we’re dealing with it in very different ways. J tends towards the insular when he has a lot to think about, whereas I seem to have flipped myself into a very manic phase.

I’m not sure this mania is a bad thing – I’ve certainly got a lot done in the past week – but I don’t know how sustainable it is. The longest guess in the sweepstake is two weeks, which falls a bit short of the seven weeks I have left in the UK.

Two weeks feeling this insane does seem like a long time when you consider I’ve been bouncing off the walls, surviving on four hour’s sleep a night and driving J mental, but so far it’s been really good fun!

I’m sooooo smiley and happy along with the insanity that I think I could see it carrying me through until I leave. Trouble is, I know myself all too well, and wouldn’t be surprised if I get to Asia and then suffer the longest comedown of my life.

Smack bang in the middle of some of the best diving in the world, that’s where!

After two year’s talking incessantly about how much we’d like to live abroad, it’s finally happening!

D-day is the last week of January – less than two months away.

I’m sooooooooooooooooooo excited/terrified/excited/terrified. It’s gonna be a roller coaster, baby!

There’s nothing like all out bipolar mania to let you know you’re alive.