1. After 18 years of complaining about the weather in Scotland we are, er, still complaining about the weather.
Walking 10 minutes to the bus stop is enough to make your hair drip with sweat. It’s hot, but it’s the humidity (80-90%) that’s the killer. I now carry a foldable plastic fan and a battery-operated fan in my handbag. I know Edinburgh hasn’t had the best summer this year, so I probably am not going to get any sympathy points from you guys, but I actually miss 17°C. The heat just makes you want to do this all day:
On the plus side, I love not having to put tights on wriggly girls in the morning. I love not having to bother doing up fiddly coats and hunting for lost gloves and did I mention not faffing around with tights in the morning?
2. Singapore is small but not as small as Edinburgh. And it’s got more than 10x the number of people!
I always thought Singapore was pretty tiny, but admittedly, as a teenager, I probably spent most weekends in the predictable confines of Holland V and Orchard Road. Now that I have two littles to drag around, Singapore feels quite a bit bigger. Even though the public transport here is excellent, I was surprised the other week that it took us an hour to get from my parents flat in the south-west to the Singapore Art Museum. A slight pain, considering we used to live within a short bus ride of most of the museums and galleries in Edinburgh.
So when I got home that day I overlaid a Singapore map onto Edinburgh just to satisfy my curiosity. It looks like this:
Singapore’s city centre (southern tip) is probably about the size of Edinburgh within the city bypass. But it’s the traffic and crowds which makes getting around a little slower than one would expect. Singapore’s population is currently just shy of 5.5 million, and is projected to reach 6.9m over the next 15 years. Which leads me to my next point…
3. It’s significantly harder to spot my children in a crowd.
I find myself yelling “hold my hand!” a lot more these days. We’re getting used to it now, but the first week of navigating the swarming crowds around the MRT stations, malls and supermarkets with two excitable, short children made me slightly anxious. Not only are there a lot more people, about three-quarters of them are Chinese, which makes spotting my kids a lot harder than is used to be.
Once the kids pick up Singlish it might be even harder to find them!