My Husband and My dog joined me to live in Singapore last week! Woo Hoo! My hubby and I have been working in different cities and countries for the last year so this was a BIG deal! On top of that about 24 hours after he got here I made him hop on a plane to Hong Kong to join my dad for his birthday and then he had to fly back to Singapore for a week by himself while I was in meetings. Nice intro to Asia right? Welcome honey, now have fun without me!
Anyway, in his honor, and because he did so well without me showing him around last week, this post will be about
How to become a local in one week:
So happy to have this guy back in my bed every night. Ok… I guess it is nice to have the husband back too!
#1 READ signs:
My mother, for all her travels abroad, NEVER reads signs. It is amazing how flustered people get and just forget to look around. I always look for the big I!. It is the international sign for information and someone almost always speaks english, even in America (hey, you never know these days). And most airports, malls, or streets have some sort of clue, arrow, or picture in their signs to where you are going.
(this picture has nothing to do with directions it is just my favorite sign I have ever seen in Thailand so I thought I would share)
#2 Dont be afraid to get lost:
You find the coolest stuff in places you never intended to go. Take an intentional right turn off the path and just see where it leads. Or if you are like my husband, get off the bus a few stops earlier and then just walk to wherever you were supposed to go (that how I got to see the big Banana in Australia…totally worth the hop off the bus in Coffs Harbour). The only problem with this is that if you find a cool place you will want to visit again try to get a card or address of said place… ya hear that Jimmy!
#3 Commit to public transportation:
Taxis are convienient but you will never get the true local feel unless you hit the streets with the rest of the crowd. Own that spot on the bus or subway like you mean it! I promise it helps get the lay of the land 100 times faster.
#4 Dont be afraid to ask people for help:
Even if you think no one will speak English to you or they look like an angry New Yorker (If you have ever had to walk through a swarm of tourists in Time square after a long day of work or had to pay $20 for a salad you will understand the angry look in NYC, trust me!, but ask anyway). You will be surprised at how far a smile goes when combined with a totally helpless look. Usually you can get your point across with hand gestures and broken (insert foreign language here). Just be nice, try to say where you are going and ask for help. I have met some of the nicest people this way. Including a little old french man who spoke no english but actually walked me to the subway. Who says the french are rude?
#5 Adopt the motto, “I will try anything once!”:
Sounds scary, but hey even if it sucks you can always have a great story. I personally dont want to look back and regret the things I DIDN’T do. you never know. Although, I still would say take a pass at Durian fruit. I already tried that one for you. And unless you feel like eating something that smells like feet and gives you gas, just thank me for taking the hit on that one for ya!
Good luck and HAVE FUN!