Having been in Stockholm for almost two months now (time flies!), I wanted to put together a list of unexpected things that I have taken for granted in Singapore. Before I left, I already knew that I was going to miss my family, my friends, my bed, my wardrobe, the good food in Singapore etc. A big hello and hug to anyone reading this!
So anyway, I call this list unexpected and possibly a bit random because they always make me think about Singapore and how easy/convenient it is. I don’t know if you would agree with this list but here goes:
I know I don’t miss the feeling of being sweaty but I do recognise that there may be some benefits of living in a more humid country. After a few days in Sweden, I realised that I couldn’t comb my fingers through my hair even after a wash. My hair was so dry and tangled up that no amount of conditioner or hair mask could save it. The thing is, I experienced this problem before three years ago but I thought that washing my hair was the issue because the water is “harder” here so I washed my hair less frequently. However after a day out, my hair would usually become really frizzy because of the wind.
In addition, my skin started to become really dry and slightly itchy. I must admit that I am not the most hardworking person when it comes to moisturizing myself because I hate that sticky feeling. Thankfully I have found two remedies that work and this is no product advertisement but I guess sharing is caring.
Prior to my trip to Copenhagen, I was using my Tangle Teezer and Know Knott’s Detangling Spray everyday but honestly it hurt like crazy and my hair didn’t stay untangled for long. Thankfully, while in Copenhagen, Laura and I wandered into Sephora (partly to revive our hands with some free hand cream) and I randomly found Argan hair oil which sounded exactly like what my hair needed.
This is something I would never imagine buying in Singapore but wow who knew that it could work wonders on my tangled hair! The next day I woke up with wavy hair and I was actually able to run my fingers through my hair. What a luxury I know. Anyone planning to go to a cold country, please consider buying one. I promise it doesn’t smell nor make your hair look oily.
I also started diligently apply moisturizing cream everyday after shower now and I have been really liking this Nivea Body Lotion Express Hydration. It works well for me because it is light and doesn’t leave a sticky feel. I also never leave home without hand cream but I have yet to find one that I love but for now I am using a Sephora brand one.
Or the lack of changing weathers. As it is only either rainy or sunny in Singapore, an umbrella is all your need for both “seasons”. Now that I am in Sweden, I have had to cultivate the habit of checking the weather online before I head out. It is a bit “mahfun” but there isn’t much of a choice because looking out of the window can be a lie. I don’t know how to explain it but a 10 degrees cloudy day, 10 degrees sunny day and 10 degrees sunny and windy day all feel very different.
Trusted weather website: http://www.yr.no/
It is good that the weather in Sweden is getting much better now but I guess I miss the predictability of Singapore’s weather. The rule of thumb though is that it is always better to overdress than underdress. Shivering from the cold wind is no fun at all. #truestory
3) Public Transport
I forgot how easy it is to get around in Singapore. Buses in Singapore come quite frequently and even if they don’t, you will have other transport options. The MRT trains run every few minutes and 6 minute intervals would be considered “long”. Finally, taxis are a good back up option that you won’t need to break the bank to take.
I have never been to Stockholm so I didn’t know what to expect but I was hoping that it would be a lot closer to Singapore. It is true that they do have quite a good transport network that makes it very easy to get around. However, I have noticed that 1) the trains breakdown more often, 2) it takes a longer time for repair work to be done and 3) it sucks when you miss the train and have to wait at least 15-30 minutes for the next one. Plus taxis are not an option to take here unless you are super super super desperate.
4) The IU in the car
You don’t realise how convenient it is to pay for parking in Singapore until you experience Sweden’s world class parking system. Pardon the sarcasm but here is what happened one day when Jens and I wanted to run an errand at a mall.
Imagine a row of people queuing up in the cold in front of a ticket machine. It was quite a cold, windy and slightly rainy day and the machine was doing an awful job reading people’s credit cards. Hence the parking tickets were not being generated quickly and people were frustrated but had to stay in line. It took a good 15 to 20 minutes to get to the front of the line and then another 5 minutes to get the ticket printed. After we were done shopping, we had to go back to the same machine to pay for the time spent at the carpark. Can you imagine how much fun it would be to pay for a parking ticket when it is snowing?
“Jens can you smile with the machine? I want to blog about it.” (Disclaimer: The machine in the photo is not related to the incident mentioned above.)
I have to say I am still getting used to the extra steps I have to take here like checking bus/train schedules the night before so I know what time to wake up, deciding which outer layer to put on before heading out, taking a couple more minutes in the shower cos of the extra steps I need to take. So yes, growing up in Singapore has made me spoilt and these little things I need to do still feel more “mahfun” than a habit. Probably things will change down the road and I will look back at this and laugh. So yes I do miss Singapore in many different ways but Sweden has been very kind to me in many other ways as well. I guess that will be for another post.
Till the next time!