Fashion illustration Stories

Singapore bound!

August 11, 2016
aldraws fashion digital illustration singapore yoyokulala yoyo cao
Drawing inspiration: Singapore beauty and fashion influencer Yoyo Cao, a dress by the Singapore designer Ong Shunmugam and, of course, the Singapore lion

Yep, that is what the title of this post is saying: I’m moving to Singapore.
(it’s so cool when I write it like this black on white because seriously, I still have problems believing it…)

It all happened pretty fast.
I went from “Oh, yeah, my boyfriend and I sometimes talk about moving outside of Europe for a while, you know, just for a different experience” to “WTF my flight to Singapore is in less than three weeks and I still have to pack my house” in a matter of a few months.
(I voluntarily omit the daily stress bunny/freak out episodes of the few months I mentioned above…)

I still don’t know why we decided to go for Singapore as experience-out-of-Europe destination, honestly.
For sure, the fact that both of us found a job there almost at the same time helped… Of course the prospect of a very juicy salary and the promise of a boosted CV were very attractive too.

But personally, the main reason is that I’m terribly curious.
Just the idea of living in a Country so different from what I’ve been used to for all my life is enough to make my chest explode with excitement and anticipation. The habits, the colors, the smells, the lost in translation moments, the new friends, discovering every single corner of a completely new and unexplored city… And of course also the bad things, like not being able to get used to the steamy humid heat, getting lost in the city exactly when you need to arrive in time for an appointment, feeling lonely and missing home (like desperately needing a Duvel, my favourite mainstream Belgian beer, to quench a moment of nostalgia and bursting into tears because a Duvel costs 22 Singapore dollars – yes, TWENTY-TWO = Fifteen fucking euros-)… Things that are not that bad in the end, because they’re all part of the discovery and the process of getting used to a new home.
I just can’t wait for all this to happen.

Also, I’m  slightly obsessed with Japan, but I never contemplated moving there for many reasons. But hey, at least I’ll be in Asia! And in Singapore there is an onsen. They have some of the best ramen restaurants in the world. There is a whole Japanese food supermegamarket, sort of a made in Tokyo Eataly (if you’ll be looking for me two hours after my flight from Frankfurt has landed, you can find me there *insert thumb-up emoji*).
No more hours spent hunting for Japanese and Korean cosmetics and skin care on untranslatable Japanese websites just to find out they don’t ship anywhere in Europe: I’m gonna have it all there, a ride of MRT away, offered to me on inviting shiny shelves by impeccable tiny graceful smiling (sorry for the series of adjectives, couldn’t pick up a favorite) Singaporean shop assistants.
There is a huge Kinokuniya, full of manga and Japanese books, where I can get lost while I wait for my wagyu dinner.

And the shopping (mostly, the window shopping)… Getting lost on Orchard Road, through the doors of Prada and the mirrors of Valentino, admiring weird Japanese designs and countless Bao Bao bags through the windows of Issey Miyake… My pain for loving fashion and not being able to afford it will reach a totally new level of self-inflicted torture. Can’t wait.

What say you, I sound a bit shallow because I talk only about food, make-up and clothes? Naaaaa…

No but wait, there is more.

Let’s talk about the islands of Malaysia.
Like, Pulau Rawa, just to name one. Apparently you can go there from Singapore on Friday night by a short minibus trip, spend the weekend on a white beach and in transparent blue waters and get home by Sunday night. Which means you don’t even need to take a day off to be in a tropical paradise.
I can’t even imagine it honestly.
I mean I live in Belgium guys. You need a raincoat to sit on the beach.
Come on…
And what about Bali, Thailand, Borneo all a short flight away…

OK I admit I’m saying all of this just to try to forget I just signed a contract that binds me to work for a minimum of 42 hours a week, with 18 days of holidays a year (might sound very normal to Americans, but for someone who works in Belgium this will be pretty hard to get used to…)
But it’s OK.
I have an onsen I can go to every day.
Everything will be alright.

Now, going back packing.
Which leads me to the next post’s topic (just hope the next post won’t be again in two months…): how can a fashionista move to the other side of the world with only two suitcases and nothing else? If you have an answer let me know because I’m tempted to book a last minute cargo container honestly I don’t…

xx Al

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  • Reply Adam Pickford August 11, 2016 at 8:55 am

    F*#k that is insane. Pardon the expletive but oh my. You know when you mentioned moving 'far' away I still kind of expected it to be close to where you are. Like "We are moving to Denmark!!!" but Singapore, I really just can't fathom the rush you must be feeling. I'd probably be a puddle of emotions on the floor. I know way back we discussed our shared interests in Japan briefly over Facebook comments. I'd love to visit Asia some day, Tokyo and Seoul the places I'd most like to see and of course i have that dream of living there. But I doubt that would happen for me and I'm horrendous with languages, I can barely get English right. However, I and others have the opportunity to experience these things through you. What an adventure you'll have, you'll be working hard of course and in the beginning finding out how to best utilize your off time will be difficult but once it clicks you're going to experience so much. The posts may be sporadic or non existent for a while but we all know you'll come back with one filled with awe and wonder.

    Wishing you and your boyfriend all the best for this epic new chapter in your lives.

  • Reply Anna August 11, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Congrats! This is going to be an amazing experience! I'll start with the moving with 2 suitcases part: capsule wardrobe/downsize. For 9 months in the US I packed just one suitcase and a carry on. On the way back of course I bought a new suitcase and shipped some stuff on boxes, but was still ok!

    SE Asia has so many places to explore (and beaches) and you'll be definitely closer to Japan (and I guess cheaper to visit).

    The 18 days is a bummer…we have 25 here in Greece!

  • Reply Al August 12, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    ahahaha seriously, every comment you wrote about this (like on FB and instagram) just made me laugh for a 10 minutes 😀
    In Singapore the first language is English, so you would be good to go 😉 And you should definitely go to Tokyo, I also didn't know Japanese when I went, and they speak almost no English but somehow you find your way :p
    And Seoul! I've been wanting to go for ages (side note: Korean food in Singapore is plenty and orgasmicly good)

    And thank you so much for you nice words… I'm still amazed at how you've been following me and supporting me through the years, it really means a lot <3

  • Reply Al August 12, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    In Belgium we have 32… Superbummer *cry*
    I also think I'll have way more stuff on my way back, but it's OK because I hope it will be travel treasures and nice memories of my stay there 🙂
    I'm really looking forward to it, I promise I'll keep you posted!


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