This month, we have mostly been:
- Recovering from our immense honeymoon in Japan. Started my new job on 28 September and am loving life as a Cultural Diplomat - Director of Creativity at The British Council. It's definitely one of those jobs they don't tell you about in school.
- Entertaining family and friends. My parents, sister and family, cousin and our good friend, Hannah, descended on Singapore in quick succession which precipitated an extension of the over-eating and excessive drinking sessions that we enjoyed on our honeymoon. Putting the diet off until 2011, methinks. Particular highlights were a sumptuous Peranakan meal at Candlenut Kitchen (their ayam buah keluak is a die die must try) and Noble House for exquisite dim sum.
- Meeting Great Aunties and Uncles that I never knew existed. The setting for my cousin's Chinese wedding was the beautiful Four Seasons - just the right amount of gaudy chic. This being my second Chinese wedding, I was keen to compare notes with the previous wedding I had attended. As before, there was a seven tier plastic cake (although this one didn't even have a cutting slot!) and there was the ceremonious cascade of a bottle of champagne but none was served to the seated guests.
New notes on the list: (i) It is acceptable to turn up in jeans and a t-shirt (I pondered that this guest must usually wear a singlet and yellow wellies, so this was considered 'posh'); (ii) It is not frowned upon to be late. There is little time for idle chitter chatter. Get in, chown down, leave. Nice. Thankfully, my cousin added a little Western touch and extended the bar so we had time to drink more than we should and embarrass ourselves. Even better.
I shook hands with distant relatives and close ones, perfected my stick on smile and enjoyed the feeling of being paraded around by my mum as her special daughter who lives in Singapore. I can only imagine that many of them were wondering how much I earn and whether I take chilli but didn't have the English vocabulary to ask. My Grandad was his usual 'silent but deadly' character and had scrubbed up rather well for the occasion - a rare sighting.
- Cringeing at the new MRT jingle that makes you want to strangle the nearest auntie.
Ludicrous and funny.
- Marvelling at the biggest loser in Singapore. Can you imagine what it feels like to lose one hundred million Singapore dollars? N.B.F. = Sheldon G. Adelson. Fact. Another fact is that I won $62 at my recent visit to throw money in the Marina Bay Sands coffers. Apparently, I can be rather lucky on blackjack but suck at roulette. The Chinese band's covers of popular tunes such as Lady Gaga's Poker Face and the free flowing whisky oiled the evening along nicely.
Next up, is a trip to Kanchanaburi, Thailand and getting back into the swing of Singapore in the run up to the Christmas season... Cue a Very Sweaty Santa Claus.