Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Driving to Work

We have moved to our new house last Sunday. For the past 2 days I have been going home during lunch time. It’s a great feeling to be living in your own house. The drive back from the office is through the back roads and it’s a very pleasant drive. The road travels through rolling hills and fields with white fences in some areas like some farm lands one sees in the television series ‘Dallas’. There are large homes in the colonial design with some houses having elegant long columns in their porches. There are also stretches of forest, with tall trees on either side of the road. It feels great to drive through these lonely roads to the office early in the morning.

In some places there are small lakes amidst the rolling hills and trees and one cannot be blamed for feeling that this is some idyllic spot dropped from the heavens. For a developed country, it’s strange that one can still feel a sense of paradise amongst these pleasant green hills. The house is in a new subdivision and our lot faces an empty space where houses will be built soon. I saw the sun rise from my son’s bedroom as I prepared to leave for work. There are tall tress surrounding the subdivision at the back and the night is black. No one wanders out in the evenings and I guess everyone is asleep early so they can wake up early. It’s really a rural place but with the latest technology and science that money can buy.

I feel that my wife will like it here and I can’t wait for them to come over. Although the house seems modest by the standards here, it’s the best place we have lived so far. I hope my family will enjoy their stay here like in the past 2 places in Singapore. I hope my kids will enjoy the challenges and the novelty of living in all these different places. I am arranging for our stuff to be delivered in the weekend. The ship arrived yesterday into the port of Charleston and would take about 5-7 days to be delivered if all goes well at Customs. I also arranged to have my garbage bin delivered and begin with the sanitation service. I called a few people to have this done, even writing to the director of sanitation in the city.

I also had our windows measured so that the blinds can be installed this week. I feel bare without the blinds because people can see from the outside especially at night when the lights are on. I am sleeping on an air mattress close to the floor though my son is sleeping on a better air mattress than me. These past days we have been shopping in Wal-Mart for the things we need in the house. Yesterday I bought a waste basket, 2 shower caddy, 2 sets of bathroom hooks, 3 soup dishes, a baking pan, aluminum foil, 1 kitchen rug, 2 temporary tables, a dozen kitchen rags, a small indoor garbage bin, a cooking pot and cooking utensil among other things. I was one among the many shopping in Wal-Mart and I realized that I am really part of the rat race.

I feel slightly uneasy will all these spending. I have been frugal with all my expenses for the past 7 years. I guess Singapore is a great place to save because all the public utilities and services are subsidized by the state. But here everything needs to be paid for and the savings for the past 7 years are now being spent. I hope the sale of my flat will replenish my funds especially for the college education of my kids. I do not regret coming here and I am glad to be here despite the many expenses. But I know this will be a good experience for my kids especially adapting to the new places and learning how to drive. This will keep their mind of any stress they may feel with the new environment.
The people at work have been great and they have been helping me adjust. Not much pressure for the time being. So I spend most of my time reading documents, studying, writing emails and attending meetings. There are a lot of seminars being offered at work and I attend a few of them. It’s a great learning environment, far from the situation in my former jobs. I hope I can finalize the papers here for my kids so they can have a good future in case they decide to stay here for the long term. The next decade will be fun as I have more time to spend with my kids and see them grow. It’s great to be together at their age and experience new things and discover new places.

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