The last time I was here was 1987. I carried one back-pack fresh with Guangzhou red dust and filled with all I really needed. Oh and a Lonely Planet Guide. My strongest memory of Singapore was that I needed to leave immediately because I couldn’t afford it. The famous Singapore Sling, a syrupy sweet drink served at the famous Raffles hotel was a fortune then and even now costs about $20. I immediately caught a bus to Malaysia.
Given that this was my only real memory of this place, my husband was rather shocked when I agreed to move here without so much as a looksy visit. But he has supported me in pursuing my dreams and it was my turn, I felt, to support him in his. Apple, you owe me one. Plus we both really wanted to live abroad while our kids were young. So here we are.
The best thing about Singapore so far: Amazing people. In just three months I’ve joined a cohort of donors supporting Chris Cusano, head of Ashoka Asia‘s drive toward expansion. Assisted Durreen Shahnaz a TED Fellow who is founding Impact Investment Exchange Asia with some early stage fundraising. And have had a chance to talk with Willie Cheng former Accenture partner, author of Doing Good Well and commonly referred to as the wise man of the Singapore social sector.
So all the ribbing I got about coming out here to live the tai tai* lifestyle notwithstanding, I am finding a rich community of social entrepreneurs and activists. This time, I think I’ll stay awhile.
noun 1. A term used in Chinese circles for supreme wife (implying situation where a man is wealthy enough to have several “wives’) but no longer strictly interpreted. A Tai Tai is a privileged lady of means. (from HelloTaiTai.com)