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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm bilingual now

I've been living in Singapore now for just over a year. It's been fun listening to all the different languages and different accents. They are always so beautiful and exotic. It's one of the things I don't think I could ever tire of.

English is one of the 4 official languages of Singapore so that has helped us communicate with just about everyone. The kids take Mandarin in school and are pretty good at it too. They were able to talk to a few people while we were in China. It was awesome listening to my kids speak a different language. I have been studying Mandarin but I am no good. The voice inflections get me and I get too flustered. Our trip to China showed me just how crappy my Mandarin skills are!

I have however picked up on another language spoken here although it isn't an "official" language it is spoken everywhere! I speak of British English! Seriously! If facebook will let me choose it as a language I speak then I will choose it! Yes my friends I am slowly becoming very adept at speaking British English!

Here are a few examples for you non-believers.
My friend Tanya uses a pram for her children.
Notice that I say pram and not stroller. Pram is British English

Here's another...
Natalie loves to ride in the lift.
Lift is British for elevator. See how good I am at this? It's almost like my ancestors came from Britian or something!

Bob likes to put his beer in an esky.
In America we would say cooler but the British are so proper they like to say esky.
Even pinterest recognizes the difference between British English and American English as recognized by this poster....

So, Now on a hot summer day the kids will be offered cold on a cob instead of popsicles.
It has been hard to learn the differences in some places. I told the maintenance guy I liked his truck and he did not understand until I said I liked his lorry. It can still be confusing. Next I will try to learn the spelling of British English. How to spell movie theatre instead of movie theater, or go to the shopping centre instead of the shopping center. Being bilingual is hard but so fascinating.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving in Singapore take 2

This is our 2nd year we get to celebrate Thanksgiving in Singapore. This one we kind of know what we are doing! Last year we were just too new, but we still enjoyed it.

 Last year we had someone else make some of our feastly food. This year we had him do ALL of it, except deviled eggs. The kids like to do those. Mr. Hoe, from the Singapore American School makes the BEST turkey I have EVER had! He makes many things for both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and it is worth EVERY penny. It gave us more time to enjoy each other as a family and just to relax a little. I also didn't have to worry about any of the preparations or getting any of the food ingredients. SO easy! I did, however, take snapshots of all the prices I WOULD have paid for a Singaporean Thanksgiving. It's not like the States  and that's OKAY with me! In the States I would NEVER have got it catered.

Here is the price of a Singaporean Turkey. One Kg is equal to 2.2 pounds. So a ten pound turkey would cost you 44 dollars. Except this is my oven here in Singapore and I'm  not sure it would fit. I barely fit a full sized cookie sheet in it with a "personal" sized pizza on it! 

Next up we have a green bean casserole. Since living here I usually just get fresh green beans but I couldn't find any and barely found the last can of green beans at the store I was at! Plus, what is green bean casserole without the french fried onions? No picture of the cream soup because I totally forgot about it, good thing someone else was cooking my meal! This would be about $15 for the casserole itself! Mashed potatoes too, A 5 pound bag will cost about $5 here. I already had some so I didn't go out of my way to look. Just take my word for it! 

What would a Thanksgiving dinner be without the Pumpkin Pie? Although the day I was taking the pictures the store was out of pie crusts I still got a picture of how much it would cost if they did have some. When you add in the Cool whip at $6 for the small tub, two pumpkin pies will cost you about $25! 

Stuffing is a must have and although we usually drink grape juice with sprite I took a picture of the pints of milk! And don't forget the cranberry sauce. Of course you can use fresh cranberries but most of us like the canned stuff. So, that was about $4 for the can. 

Of course you need rolls and usually I just buy crescent rolls from the Pillsbury people. They are rare here in Singapore and can cost you ALMOST $12 depending on where  you buy them. For 12 crescents that would be about $24! Add in our pints of milk and some stuffing and you have a meal that costs about $145. 

Now, that's just the bare bones. Nothing fancy. And ALL that time and preparation is just too tiring. Especially when  you can just go pick it up here from SAS. We paid about $180 for all of that plus something new called pork cracklin'. And everything comes in a container already for you to put away the leftovers. The turkey comes pre-sliced but still looking like a turkey! 

We all had a good time! And enjoyed the food more because clean up was a breeze!