Friday, April 22, 2011

The Reverse Perm

In the U.S., perms are synonymous with curly hair (this has nothing to do with my last post). In Singapore, they tend to be more obsessed with straight hair.  At any salon you'll see rebonding services on the price list.  When I first saw this, I thought it was like extensions or something.  Wrong.  Rebonding is what I like to term as the reverse perm.  It's chemically straightening your hair.  No wonder Asian hair always seems so straight and nice :).

The last couple of times I've been to my hair stylist she's made comments on my hair being curly.  There is a little wave in it and I could never let it air dry without straightening it, but curly??  A couple weeks ago when I went, I got the same spiel.  I asked her to cut more layers because it gets too heavy at the bottom.  She proceeded to tell me how that wouldn't work because my hair is too curly.  So I asked what the answer was and she said I could straighten it. So I did.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Habitat for Humanity - Batam, Indonesia

Back in the U.S., my home office usually dedicated a day each June for the last few years to a local Habitat for Humanity projects.  I've learned to drywall and properly hammer a framing nail :).  It's always been a great way to do something where you can see your impact immediately.  And, very nice to get out of the office and have some physical activity.  So when a co-worker here in Singapore said she was organising a local Habitat outing, I was all for it.  It was not a work sponsored event, so we ended up with a good mix of eight of us with different backgrounds.

There's a nearby Indonesian island, Batam, where the Singapore Habitat program does daily builds, Batam Build. Otherwise they also sponsor longer trips (~1 week) to areas such as Thailand and most likely Japan here in the future.  What I quickly realised was that there would be no framing or drywall here.  Houses are made out of concrete and bricks.  Prepare for some manual labor!

Here's a re-cap of our successful day (be prepared, lots to share).  I mean, I'm crazy sore this morning, so that means success right? :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hairy Food

Ever get hair in your food?? on purpose!?!  :)  This is one of the most disgusting things to me.  Hair in food (or really anywhere when it's not your hair), the horrible sound of people hacking up huge snot balls and nasty feet. These are the things that make me cringe.

So then we went for Chinese New Year lunch for work.  And someone asked me if I was going to eat the hair. Hmmm??  Do you see the black goop? It's on my abalone.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Say What?!

When you're outside the U.S. or English speaking countries, you can find lots of funny translations.  You understand what is trying to be said but it sounds so wrong :).  At breakfast one morning while travelling for work, a co-worker pointed out the following headline to me.  Did Mr. Buffett really say "retard"?

I don't have pictures of others that I've found, but a quick search on the internet brought up these priceless gems right here in Singapore.  There was actually a contest to fix them. Singapore has been known to have campaigns to improve English speaking skills because a lot of locals speak Singlish - a mix of English and some dialect of Chinese (I think).  Definitely makes it hard to eavesdrop :).

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


No, not the adult beverage but some awesome kiddie fun!  I went to the second weekend of Concert in the Gardens a while back and had to get a picture or two. Here's a picture of the front of the stage this time :).

It was another nice Sunday evening, but Saturday it down-poured during the afternoon and then we got some more rain Sunday morning.  Luckily a real thinker in our group (not me) brought a tarp and some extra garbage bags so our blankets didn't get all soggy.  It wasn't a mud hole, but the ground was saturated and my pants were flecked with mud from the walk over.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Minority Report

I don't remember enough about the movie to recall what the title referred to, but it came to mind as I thought about this post.

Living abroad gives you a good dose of being a minority and changes your perspective.

A white, middle-class female growing up in the U.S. is pretty standard.  I think we only had a handful of non-Caucasian students at my school (K-12) growing up.  College brought on more diversity, but more so between those who grew up in the suburbs of Chicago v. rural Illinois (and no Bloomington-Normal is not rural).  I studied abroad in Spain at an international school.  I was only there four months and I went over with other Americans.  Needless to say, while we did intermingle with locals and other foreign students, we also spent a lot of time together.