Wednesday, March 30, 2005

510 for the next month

The room number in Residence du Parc is 510. It would have been freaky to be given room 2046... But I'll never look as good as Maggie in a cheongsam. The phone number bears repeating here, because I think we are charged for outgoing calls, but incoming should be free (*hint hint*) so +39 011 6508 383

The thing that I forgot about being in Europe is how wonderful a hot shower feels. In Singapore you take a shower to cool down, so I can actually lather up shower and get out in 5 minutes flat. This is about the time I take here to decide whether or not I want to come out of the hot water and into the cold bathroom. I wrinkle up daily in this state of indecisiveness. Quick written sketch of the surroundings: Spring is coming! Rainclouds retreat and are replaced with pale sunshine. Little fountains come alive in the parks, little shoots push out of trees, you have to dodge the dogshit on the sidewalk, busy tramways and crazy drivers.

Wonderful piece of news! My ancient laptop which I donated in Singapore will go on to Cambodia to be used by a girl going to university there. Thank you so much Kat - that has made me really happy!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Not goodbye but till we next meet

Depth of friendship does not depend on length of acquaintance.

I hate saying goodbye - so let's just say "au revoir" - till we next meet.

Please come visit me and Fabien either virtually by blog, or physically in Turin!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Happy Easter!

It is Easter Sunday today in Singapore. In Britain this is also Mothering Sunday, or Mother's day. Apparently the tradition started because child labour was common following the industrial revolution, and employers would give children the weekend off to go home for Easter. So the children would pick flowers along the roadside to give their mothers and the reunited family eats cake to celebrate. Happy story. But how much have we progressed since then?

I have had the last 2 weeks of goodbye lunches and dinners. I actually cannot wait to leave and lose weight.

oh yes - I passed my DM swimming test yesterday. This is good, because I don't want to have to take the swim test in Turin. Check out the weather report . Yucks 19 degrees in the day and zero degrees at night, but the worse part is - it is raining

Friday, March 25, 2005

Some Important Scheduling

We are going to leave Singapore on Monday 28 March from Terminal 1 at 2320 on AF 257 and arrive in Paris at 0630 at Aerogare 2, leave at 0720 on AF 1102 and arrive in Turin at 0850.

We will be staying at:

Residence du Parc
Corso Massimo D'Azeglio 21
10126 Torino

telephone: +39 011 6508383

This is not our permanant address, but a serviced appartment, and we will be looking for a place to stay in Turin shortly afterwards - please keep your eyes on this blog for more updates! By the way - don't worry if the timing on these posts look wierd - I have changed to Turin Time!

Family Reunions and Wildlife Programs

I just had dinner with my paternal relatives. Picked up Grandparents with food to feed 500 and went to Auntie Susan's place. Saw cousins, especially their offspring whom I have not met before. I carried Trinity on my lap for a decent length of time, and was pretty relieved that she didn't cry or fuss but just sat to drool and babble and whatever it is babies do. It's pleasant enough - can people out there please have more kids like that? Anyways, Trinity is a really cool name for the progeny of really cool parents. My grandpa is getting old, and it makes me a little sad because he is having difficulty hearing so he kinda withdraws into his own world. My grandfather is hip enough to email, so hopefully we will still keep in touch in Italy.

Quick straw poll question - Do you cry when watching wildlife programs? I was watching Animal Planet and saw this little lost polar bear in the arctic circle making these "mummy mummy where are you?" kind of noises. The camera kind of pans across this white expanse, and you see this little baby bear approaching another mummy and cub, who promptly chases him away (no adoption there). Snow keeps falling and the little bear keeps making these heart-breaking noises. I have to admit I cried. Maybe it's relief that the stress of packing is over. Or that I just have this sentimental thing for bears.

Monday, March 21, 2005

The Journey has begun - Fraser Suite

Okay - we have moved to Fraser Suite, and this is the DID: 6833 4686 the address is 491A River Valley Road. We will leave Singapore on Monday 28 March at about 11:30pm (Air France)

The 2 bedroom appartment is cosy and not crowded, with internet access - though not wireless. I hope we get a similar sized place in Italy! am really starting to get excited about it now. The best part is that I will have to learn to drive in Italy, but the written and practical exams are in Italian!

The sad part - missing my friends, breakfast of dosai/chicken rice/stingray/carrot cake after Zouk, just being so at ease here. It's quite literally moving out of the comfort zone, and into an awfully big adventure! The good news is that I will be able to keep in touch by blog, and hopefully sneak a peak into the lives of other friends by either the comments they leave on my blog or one of their very own - Nisha keeps threatening to send me the link to hers so I hope to see it soon some time. Denise has stopped hers -, but I hope she recusitates it soon.

There is only one loose end that is bugging me - Tulip. For those of you that don't know, Tulip is my houseplant, which Fab gave me on the night that he proposed. All the florists had closed by the time I finished work (I was meant to have met him for lunch), so he couldn't buy my favourite flower - Tulip. So he bought this little houseplant of unknown pedigree, which was promptly baptised "Tulip". So - does anyone who has green fingers want to adopt this cute little plant? It's housetrained!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

So busy so happy

It's strange how happy and yet stresed I feel at the prospect of leaving Singapore.

I am happy because it is the start of a brand new adventure with Fab - we didn't quite get prancing horses, but we're still riding off into the sunset.

I am stressed because of the inter-continental move, about giving up any resemblance of a career and going back into student-hood, about not being able to communicate in Italy (but I speak "hand") oh yeah - and there is the packing.

Stuff to do:
1) Bring Samsonite to Taka to repair wheel
2) buy another big suitcase
3) decide what I will need for a month in Italy?
4) Decide how to organise the moving -- the Boxes still have not come yet?!!
5) our leaving drinks/ dinner/ meeting up with various individuals
6) the spa, yoga, massage and whatever sessions I need to use up
7) Settle income tax and other boring financial things better left to people who can count
8) change of address to Citi-legal (thanks Auntie Anne for dealing with our mail through your office)

Yerks I need to get a move on that list, and try not to bite Fab's head off. I have an awful habit (human I suppose) I tend to be incredibly grumpy at the people closest to me. It's really unfair to take it out on them. I've resolved to stop doing it insasmuch as possible.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Last day of Work

Today is my last day of work. It's strange because since I started working I've had at least 3 last days of work. I think the hardest was leaving my first firm, because all my friends were still there. Some of the fondest memories were passing Jeff on my way into work at some ungodly hour (such as 5 am) just as he is leaving. It is literally the night shift passing the day shift.

Tju Liang phoned to tell me that he reads this blog (*wave*) I told him it was a great deal easier to just put everything online rather than send multiple emails essentially carrying the same "stay in touch" message. But actually that is not all. Partly due to the last vestiges of the lawyer habits that I have left behind, I need to keep a contemparaneous record of what is happening. Sometimes stuff happens so fast you want to be able to think about it later. I am pretty sure that the changes that are about to happen in the next few months of my life together with Fabien, are going to happen with such speed that, apart from merely reporting their occurence, I want to be able to savour the moment and perhaps reflect on it at a later time - now that I actually have time for such reflection.

I think to a certain extent Karen's death does remind us that life is both precarious and precious, and it matters not the length of your life but its richness and intensity. Even trivial things like sitting at Balaclava having drinks with friends, bitching about random things which you've moaned about 100 times before, and celebrating your 3rd last day of work, carries a certain freshness when you know that you are alive, have friends and are deeply in love, and that any one of these things in itself is a rare priviledge, but to have them simultaneously you are truly blessed.

Sunday, March 13, 2005


Karen (1986 - 2004) was cremated at the Wat Prathong with both Christian and Buddhist rites. Representatives from the embassy, and the forensic pathologist who made the positive dental identification attended. The ashes will be collected by Karen's mother (Caroline) on Monday 14 March, and a death certificate issued.

I'm tired. I am glad we went, and I am glad Fabien was there. There is a sense of closure about all this.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Mafia Themed Leaving Party!

Yes (*thought trickles into small brain*) I am actually leaving singapore It is a pretty scary thought because there are a zillion things I have not done yet. Like send out the proper invitations to our Mafia Party. Yep - seeing how we are going to Italy, it somehow sounds appropriate.

We will be leaving Singapore on 28 March 2005 on the late night flight - in all probability the 2300h Air France to Paris and then change to Turin in Paris.

My last day at work is 15 March. Then I will be running round like a headless chicken for a bit what with visas and other paperwork - which I detest. My friend Caroline (and Lucy the dog) are in LA doing the visa treadmill right now -Caroline that is, not the dog. So at least I have one (maybe two) friends to hold my hand by internet and whine and wonder why visas are such a major pain in the ass.

Our Mafia themed Leaving Party is on 19 March 05 at 31 Tomlinson Road, #08-37, Singapore 247855, failure to show up in suitable Godfather/Sopranos-inspired costume will result in downing shots to gain entry. Need costume inspiration? Check out Elina and Ollie's Mafia Investigation Party.

The rules of the Mafia game (it's a variant of the game Werewolf) are explained here

If you could read up on the rules before coming - that would be great, because we are introducing a variant on the variant!

If you are not into dressing up, we will be having our last champagne brunch at the Ritz Carlton on Sunday 27 March -please feel free to (*hic) join us for a last glass of bubbly before we exist only online.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Buta Singh

There is this guy in my company called Buta Singh, which in Malay means "blind Singh". Note to self - Check the meaning of the name in a couple of languages first. BTW: Warmest Congrats to proud Papas and Mamas out there - The early rooster babies are all comin in now... It makes me a bit clucky too- wonder when is ever a good time to go down the parenthood road?

Things to do:
1) figure out how to shrink my photo for online application for new Passport with Mrs Thibault on it!
2) figure out how to transfer Singtel accounts from Self to Mom. Will have to fight with Singtel about the transfer fee.
3) Work out Morton's dinner logistics
4) Work out Leaving Party Logistics

So much to do so little time!

Friday, March 04, 2005

I am the Warrior

You Are a Warrior Soul

You're a strong person and sometimes seen as intimidating.
You don't give up. You're committed and brave.
Truly adventuresome, you are not afraid of going to battle.
Extremely protective of loved ones, you root for the underdog.

You are picky about details and rigorous in your methods.
You also value honesty and fairness a great deal.
You can be outspoken, intimidating, headstrong, and demanding.
You're a hardliner who demands the best from themselves and others.

Souls you are most compatible with: Old Soul and Peacemaker Soul

I sure hope that Fabien is either a peacemaker or an old soul!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

I had a quick google on what to eat in Turin, and this is what I found:

Torinese cuisine shows strong French influences, especially evident in the winter dish of bagna caoda . Fungi and game in autumn, and truffles used as flavouring, are also classics. Agnolotti and cappelletti are the best-known dishes, followed by meat buji (boiled) or braised in wine. Cheeses to look out for are tomini , robiole and tume. The sweets, too, are marvellous, many of them invented in the Savoy kitchens to tempt the royal palates: among the decadent delights are spumone piemontese , a mousse of mascarpone cheese with rum; panna cotta , smooth, rich cooked cream.

Turin is also credited as the home of zabaglione , used to fill bignole - iced choux pastries. Spanish friar San Pasquale Bayon, a gifted cook and parish priest of the city's church of San Tommaso in the sixteenth century, is said to have invented the egg yolk, sugar and Marsala mixture.

Looks like I am not about to starve, but I seriously wonder whether this will do any good for the diet. My girl friends better come for the french wedding to zip me into my bodice-hugging wedding dress! I fear I am in danger of having my cup runneth over...

Do I look fat in that photo?

I used to really like the photo that Fabien has put up in his post below. But now I am not sure - do I look fat in that photo?

I wonder why all women have body issues. It is far too simple to just blame it on advertising. Why is it all designers make clothes for skinny people is just one of those often repeated and never answered questions.

Fabien loves me the way I am in whatever clothes I am in (actually preferably without!). Why does that make me not feel secure about not being skinny? I guess it is because you want to look "nice" as defined by the mass media because you don't want to stand out from the crowd, or if you do then only in a positive way (i.e. admiration rather than horror). Does that mean that I have no faith in Fabien's love? On the contrary no, but for my own self esteem I think it is important that even if I don't look like a supermodel at least I look "normal" - or whatever passes for it these days.

Mood - contemplative

Wednesday, March 02, 2005



Je viens de joindre ce blog, ca fait tout bizarre....

Bon, je suis le mari de Sharon et nous partons dans quelques jours pour l'Italie !

Voici une photo de nous deux le jour de notre mariage.

our wedding day
Originally uploaded by vacheorange.


Tuesday, March 01, 2005

In sickness and in health

I am sneezing and coughing and still shaky from running a temperature. The house is a mess and I have been cleaning at little bit parts of it. Why is it we never appreciate good health untill we don't have it? Only when you have been ill do you feel thankful at being able to breathe properly and to sit or lie down and not feel pain. Fabien has been a good nursemaid, but he cannot take away the temperature nor stuffy nose, he can only look clucky and caring but when you are ill, you can only suffer alone.

I wish you all excellent health.