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Insomnia. Somehow it was so much sexier when Jill Scott sang it.

When you travel to the opposite side of the world (literally), day becomes night, night becomes day, up is down, right is left…well, you get the point.  Basically, my body is a mess and I can’t sleep.

No really. This is night 3 without sleep.

On the upside, I heard some incredibly entertaining (disturbing?) conversations circa 4am in the alley by my bedroom, and I’ve caught up on a substantial amount of Modern Family and How I Met Your Mother episodes.

But enough is enough.  I’m terrified of taking sleeping pills, but surely there’s some natural cure for this? Suggestions?

There is a puzzlingly high number of instructional signs around the city showing just how to wash your hands, but my favorites are right outside the hospital:

Like the backpacker webpage above, I too was going to make a snarky comment.  Something to the effect of “Only in Singapore.” But while I was sitting here typing this blog and laughing to myself, I stumbled across this gem from the CDC.  It turns out my own government has a “Clean Hands Save Lives” campaign.  With instructional hand washing.  And goofy signs.  Damnit.

And I don’t mean maybe.

If you enjoyed the Phua Chu Kang MRT video, then please brace yourself for what might be the most amazing public service announcement in the history of EVER.  You’re welcome.

I feel like a crack-addict today, now that I’m finally getting my internet fix after being without a computer for the 3-day weekend.

Yesterday I got my first real case of the blues, triggered by the malfunctioning of my 2-month old computer which no longer turns on.  No internet, email, music, movies, contact, etc. = meltdown.   When the endorphins from my morning jog didn’t lift my spirits, I did what any good Singaporean woman would do: I went shopping!

Shopping is practically the national sport in this country.  You can literally find a 5-story mall on every other city block, and if you ask a local if they have any hobbies, they’ll most likely tell you: television and shopping.  No joke.  In fact, Singaporean kids have a big problem with myopia because they don’t get enough sunlight. (Don’t judge.  After 5 minutes outdoors here, you’d understand.)

So my retail therapy began with a trip to the Funan center, home of all things digital.  This place is 7 levels of cameras, computers, software & electronic gadgets and accessories.  Fortunately I didn’t drop big bucks here; I simply left my precious MacBook in the hands of the Sapura center folks who assured me they would fix it in 3-8 business days.  I’m skeptical.

Next, I headed to Orchard Road, the Mecca of Malls & Materialism.  Ordinarily this crowded street makes me really uncomfortable, but I was in the shopping spirit.  Imagine being 2 feet taller than everyone, looking over a hundred heads and seeing where you want to go, and walking there at a snail’s pace in the midst of flashing lights and advertisements.   Actually, just picture your local mall, multiply it by 20 more malls, add 3 more levels to each one, and put them all on the same street.

One black dress and a couple household items later, I emerged alive and made my way to Chinatown in support of Operation MWGH (see previous posts) to find some herbs.  I asked a woman at the health store for something to help my cough and runny nose, and she looked at me and said:

“You have too much heaty in body.  I give you sumting.”

Great.  I’m thinking she’s going to try to sell me a $500 piece of bark, but instead she came back with tea bags in a box labeled, “Heat Expulsion Powder.”

“You put in hot watah. No more cough.  No more heaty.”

Sold. Closer inspection of the Heat Expulsion Powder box reveals that the tea promises to “nourish the stomach-yin, remove dampness, and clear away heat for temporary relief of bad breath, sore throat, and minor symptoms of aphthous ulcer.”  I’m not sure if medicine lady was trying to tell me I was too sweaty or too stinky (maybe both?), but I’m not coughing this morning…

I rounded out my day of shopping with some fresh-squeezed orange juice from Ami at the corner fruit store, and now I’m ready to face the week!

December 2019
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