I think I completely forgot to blog about this!
Nearly 10 months ago, my husband told me about a job offer that he had from Philippines. With a nearly 5 month K in my arms, I was completely unprepared for a news like that. He had not accepted the offer by then but he told me that he was willing to move because of the perks that he would get. He was asking me for my opinion.
What was I supposed to say? I have just settled in Singapore and dont want to move again? I have made such nice friends here and I am scared I might not be able to do this again? I have not yet gotten used to having a baby around and you are talking about moving?
In the end, I didnt say any of this. Instead, I just said that it had to be his decision and I will be happy with it. I dont know if he saw the confusion in my eyes or not but just a few days later he broke the news that he had accepted the offer.
We did not know how we would cope with the ‘moving’ hassles with K so just one month later I was on board on the plane, off to Pakistan so that at least K would be at ease. I stayed in Pakistan for 3 long months while my husband got everything packed in Singapore, sold the car, got an agent to rent out the apartment, move to Philippines, settle in his new job, find a decent place for us to live and a car. Amidst all this havoc, I remained in Pakistan, unsure of how long my stay would be and obviously with a ‘not so great’ time table for K. You know how it can get when you are with family. People have different schedules and you are kind of just expected to go along with the flow. They will never SAY anything, they will just silently EXPECT and you just know that you HAVE to oblige. K started sleeping at 1 n the morning during those 3 months!! Imagine a 6-9 month old sleeping soo late! The good thing was that she was still breastfeeding so I was not too concerned about her food. She remained a good girl and did not give me a hard time otherwise, no trips to the doctor and her chacha must have been relieved who has to see too many doctors already with the older brother’s kids wenever they are in karachi.
so finally, in March, I reached Philippines.
First impression: it actually is a lot similar to Pakistan. You reach the airport and you can just feel that! its not as organized as singapore and it can be a bit frustrating at times but usually reminds you that people have flaws and that is exactly what you should expect from them. Something which you kind of forget while being in Singapore where everything is too perfect.
Now the best things about moving to Philippines:
- The condo here has amazing facilities esp for Kinza with two indoor play rooms, a fish pond and plenty of space to play outside.
- There is a shopping mall just across the road with a super market where you can find pretty much anything under the sun. This means we are not super dependent upon the driver as we thought we would be.
- No, we do not live in a bunker and yes, it rains a lot here and flooding is a major problem every year but Philippines definitely deals with it in a way much better than Pakistan. May be because there is a lot more rain here than Pakistan and they have learned their lesson. I cannot compare with Singapore because for them having water on the roads as high as 6 inches is flood.
- The locals are easy going, happy go lucky people.
- It is just so much easier and cheaper. to get domestic help as compared to Singapore.
- Isolation: I had made around 6-7 really good friends in Singapore who were MY friends. Not my husband’s colleagues wives, not mommies of K’s playmates. Here i am still trying to make friends and have not yet succeeded as such.
- Formalities: Things are way too formal here. Back in Singapore, if you wanted to have some people over for lunch, just make something and arrange for paper plates! You could take your kids along and let them have fun. Here, you have to leave the kids with nannies because you know that your hosts would have spent the past two days just decorating the house and there would be a 5 course meal which you are afraid your kids will disturb! So you either leave the kids with the nannies, take the kids along and get stared at by everyone and not get invited later or u just decide to stay at home