Am I a Tourist ? ? ?

In Uncategorized on June 28, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Saturday, Mrs. Stockdale and I were taken on a tour of the island by the relocation company that coordinated our move.  We really didn’t have high expectations for the whole endeavor.  We hoped it would be helpful, but also just thought it would be someone who drove us around and pointed out the post office, malls, and the grocery stores.   Gosh – golly were we wrong!

Valerie (the woman who lead our tour) was great!  She had lived in here years ago, then lived in various spots around the world, lived in Austin for a period of time, and was now back in Singapore.  We spent a little time seeing the basics ( grocery stores, shopping, etc. ) but the majority of the time was exploring the guts of Singapore and the numerous things to do just miles from our apartment.

Like a lot of folks, the Stockdales were guilty of being homebodies back in Kansas.  We had an easy life back there.  Great friends, great neighborhood, the country club, a yard to take care of , a minivan ( before it caught on fire ), and on and on.  However, there were countless things we never did that I regret.  I wish we would have caught a KU football game in Lawrence.  A few more Royals/Chiefs games would have been nice ( They remind me of the Reds and Bengals. ).  I never went to the NASCAR race.  We had the zoo pass, but only went a couple of times.   The Truman Museum, symphony, theatre, plays, concerts, even just varsity basketball games at the little Stockdale’s school.  The list goes on and on. 

In Singapore, I’m not sure we ever really understood what was here, even after our arrival.  We read a few books, but books never taught anyone anything.  ( That’s a fact, you can look it up. )  Over the last two months, the Stockdales haven’t been nearly as adventurous as we probably should have been.  Maybe you chalk this up to being new, the time it takes to get settled, or just laziness.   But, if you don’t start doing this at the beginning, when do you?   There were tons of things we should have done in Kansas and even Cincinnati for that matter.   Maybe if we would have been more active in the early days of KC, we would have gotten to more things on the list before we got tossed halfway around the world.

Whoever said you need to be a tourist in your own city was exactly right.   We moved to Singapore with the thought of travelling throughout Asia to see the sights.   However, after our tour, I’m not sure we need to.  There are plenty of sights here.  We couldn’t even come close to exhausting the list of restaurants, bars, shops, bike trails, beaches, brothels, bars, parks, bars, coffee shops or bars that we could visit without getting bored, diseased, or sober.  

The hardest part is trying to be a resident AND a tourist.  When you live someplace, you give up on exploring.  You assume you know where everything is and you stick to what you know.   The tourist is someone who is new.  Someone who likes to explore.  But, the tourist sticks out in his grey fleece and shorts in the middle of Winter.  No one really likes the tourist.   They are these temporary people who just get in the way of life for the locals ( who really know the place ). 

Maybe the lesson is that folks are all the same, wherever we go.  It’s easy to fall into what is convenient and comfortable.   To an extent the Stockdales have already fallen for this trap.  My primary goal has just been to keep us all ( me ) sane until school starts in August ( I’m playing golf today, not sure what the little Stockdales are doing, that is the Assistant’s issue. ).   I’m sure there are plenty of expats, and locals for that matter,  in Singapore that have really never ventured past their closest Starbucks or favorite ‘Fish Head Stew’ kiosk.   The Stockdales will hopefully do better.  Or, we could just sit here and eat more of the Assistant Stockdale’s mouth-watering biscuits.  Mmmmm, biscuits!

  1. Nicely said. I’m pretty sure I know very little about Cincinnati in the 11 years I’ve been here. Gotta run. Need to get started on my itinerary!

  2. You know you always have a place to stay when you come back to KC and we could probably even find you a car to drive although all the Stockdales may be cramped riding in it!

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