Now that it is the month of October, we are just less than 90 days to the end of the year (88 days to be exact!). It makes me really happy to think that I am another month closer to heading back to Singapore for a visit but also quite amazed by the fact that I have been here for more than six months now. It sounds a bit funny to count but I do enjoy looking back and reflecting what I have accomplished over the last few months.
For this post, I just wanted to share a list of things that I consider “important things to learn before moving out” (whether it is moving overseas or moving out of your family home). The thing is that I never seriously thought about what moving into my own space would entail. For any non-Singaporean, it may sound a bit strange but in Singapore, we usually do not move out of our family home till we get married. So over the last few months, I have been learning how to look after my own space and while you can learn everything through trial and error and with the help of the internet, if I could turn back time, I would have loved to spend some time shadowing my mum to learn a few tricks from her on how to look after a house.
So these are some of the things that I would have loved to have learnt/known:
1) Learn how to make your Mum’s favourite dishes
Some days you just crave for familiar comfort food and for me I always think about all the yummy food my mum makes. It has been nice to have my mum give me tips over whatsapp but because everything is an “agar-ation” (ie estimation), I always feel that I have not been able to fully recreate the taste of my mum’s food. Perhaps also because it is lacking her love/touch. So far I have tried the above Paperback chicken, Plum sauce chicken, Kung Pao chicken and Beef stew (using pork). It has been fun giving my mum’s recipes a go and I hope to…get better.
It would be a lot easier if you are not moving overseas because you can go home any time but I think it is still nice to learn your favourite dishes so that you can eventually cook them for your partner/family.
2) Familiarise yourself with the essential household supplies and the average prices of what things should cost.
Having lived at home my whole life, I have never had to buy any household supplies. I have helped my parents carry these supplies home from the supermarket but I have never had to “pick them out” or take note of the cost. So when Jens and I went to the supermarket to stock up on the house for the first time, I left it to him to pick out the “essentials”.
And when you live on your own, every penny matters, so it is good to know what things should cost and what a “bra pris” (good price) is. I don’t get why toilet paper is so expensive?! I mean if you want to get a decent quality one that does not scratch your skin, you need to pay at least S$0.61 per roll and this is already discounted price. Haha yes mum I am finally feeling the pinch.
3) Learn how to use the dishwasher and washing machine
I know dishwashers are not common in Singapore so I had to learn this when I got here. Sounds very “suaku” but I have only JUST learnt that it is important to have “salts” in the machine to get a good wash. I have not been very happy with the quality of the washes but Jens told me that the dishwasher “washes itself” so I thought that it was normal until I realised the difference with some of this in the washer!
It is not exactly rocket science to learn how to work a washing machine but I always have this innate fear that my clothes will come out shrunken or torn so I am quite happy with the “handwash” function on my washing machine here. And yes, that is the only setting I use for my clothes.
4) Learn how to wash the toiletbowl.
Wow, this was really the last thing on my mind but I never realised till now how important a fresh toilet bowl is. And in case you are wondering, it doesn’t get any cleaner with each flush. You NEED to get your…hands dirty. I have since learnt from Jens with the help of this toiletbowl washing liquid (who knew there was such a thing) but I would definitely make a mental note to see how my mum does it at home when I am back in December (lol!).
I have had a few friends who have commented that I am very “domesticated” now but I know that I still have a lot to learn and I have had to learn the basics in order to survive. Having my own place now, has also made me a lot more appreciative of everything my mum and dad has done for me over the last 25 years. Thank you both, I have been very blessed/spoilt.
If you have your own list of things you wish you knew before you moved out, do share them with me!
Till the next time!