Friday, June 13, 2014

Relocation ??

Hubby dropped a bombshell just a few hours ago leaving me insomnia now. *hoot hoot*

He asked if I would like to move to Shanghai with him as he has a job offer. He hasn't reply them yet but he thinks it's good for his career.

What a question?! Of course I have to follow him right? He goes to deserted Africa I must follow too right? And if I follow him, the kids have to follow him right? 
I was in the midst of compiling che-che's stuffs for DSA application. I stared at the papers I was holding when he spoke to me and thought to self - then what the heck am I doing this now? 

Is he having mid-life crisis now where he wants change in his life?  Okay this change is better than him having a change of heart and asking for divorce. My heart sank.... it really felt like he dumped the D-word on me.

We're so comfortable here in Singapore now, it's not easy to leave. Family, friends, facilities in Singapore, cleanliness, weather. No wonder they say kids adapt faster than adults. I'm the lor-soh troublesome one.

SCHOOLS
My first thoughts were - How about the kid's education? He explained that the girls will have the exposure in studying in another country, they can go to International School there. For a moment I was elated, okay get out of the stupid system. But then the reasoning part of me told me children may have problem adapting to the bullish race in Singapore if they've been on bearish crawl in International school . How long will we be away? Uncertain. It's not a posting by current job where we have a definite time frame to stay there. But rather our stay there is based on when he resigns from his job. No one knows what will happen, we may be away for long we may be away for maybe a year or two before he feels he don't like it. He didn't tell me for how long but knowing he has no answers himself.   

I did a check many years ago, when he also had two job offers in Shanghai and Tokyo. I know there's a Singapore International School in Shanghai. And so, I insisted they have to go into SSIS, which unfortunately has a waitlist. Firstly, I'm familiar with the curriculum. Secondly, damn! I spend so many late nights; mornings while waiting for mei-mei in Kindy ; afternoons while waiting for them to finish their tuition compiling educational stuffs into their educational blog segmented by different primary level and it's gone to waste if mei-mei don't use it. Then all the guide books I have at home will go to waste. Thirdly, if we're back in Singapore sooner the girls can adapt faster.

FLUENT IN MANDARIN
My girls will come back and speak Mandarin fluently. And I hope fluent in English too since there'll be angmoh teachers.   

TIMING ALL MESSED UP
He'll be there in August and I'll have to bring the girls down in Nov/Dec to look for house there. Oh no, he did suggest bringing them down in September, which we can't coz' che-che has her supp classes. He asked me and told me we need to book the air tickets soon as it's peak period. But I have no idea when the results will be released, when the posting results will be released, when is the reporting day. I'm equally BLUR myself.
I calculated we probably only have 3 weeks there to reccee; to blend in and push around like the locals do.        

LEAVE OF ABSENCE
But I'm angry, why at this time when we have no idea which secondary school she'll be in. If we happen to be away for 2 years, girls can go back to their schools. So the DSA application might be of use??? ... In actual fact, the two schools that we're trying our luck for is not where she wanted to go. She wasn't keen in them but as a kiasu mother who also lack confidence in her daughter .... thought securing a place somewhere is better than going to her affiliated secondary school. Her dream school requires a 250+ aggregate score which I'm not sure if she's able to attain. Then again, I dare not pin such high hope on her. Sigh..... bad mummy.
Mei-mei can go back to the primary school.  And hopefully she survives her Primary 5 onwards there.

If we're away for 4 years, hmmmmm......... LOA will be of no use. I had better not think too much, who knows maybe we decide to stay in Singapore. Ehh.... not good for the marriage right? Not good for the kids too. Though they're used to daddy not being around as he travels frequently, this is different.  

ANOTHER OPTION 
That is if based on her results she don't qualify for her dream school but she would like to try to go in... dunno what's the success rate. And whether I can withdraw the LOA in the secondary school.

Extracted from MOE website :  
Returning Singaporeans not on LOA may consider the following options:
  • Direct School Admission — Secondary (DSA-Sec)
    Under this exercise, schools have greater flexibility in selecting students for Secondary 1 using their own school-based criteria.
  • School Placement Exercise for Returning Singaporeans — Secondary (SPERS-Sec)
    SPERS-Sec is a centralised posting exercise conducted at the end of the year for Returning Singaporeans who wish to join secondary schools at Secondary 1, Secondary 2 and Secondary 3 at the beginning of the next academic year.
  • General School Placement
    Returning Singaporeans who are unable to participate in the SPERS-Sec or DSA-Sec may either approach MOE for assistance or apply to their preferred school directly. In both instances, the secondary school may conduct school-based assessment to assess the children’s suitability for admission to the level, stream and class which they are seeking admission to. Admission is subject to the availability of vacancies and the applicants meeting the schools’ admission criteria.
    Returning Singaporeans seeking MOE’s assistance can submit the Application Form for School Placement not earlier than three months before the intended date of school admission.
    MOE will place the Returning Singaporean child in the secondary school, subject to availability of a vacancy in the school and that the child meets the school’s placement test requirements.


WHEN THE GIRLS AND I ARE GOING OVER?
It should be in June. School term starts in September, orientation in August. We need to get our lungs accustom to the pollution level there first. We need to learn how to walk through Carrefour without making so many comments. We need to get used to moving around SHA. Not sure if we have car, but it's crazy to drive there. The jam is enough to kill me. I must strategize how to fight for cabs there when I'm alone with the girls. (interesting story of our cabfight)  
If not for the fact that che-che has progressed to the next stage in her school life, we could leave the country earlier. I needed to chope a place in the school (typical Singaporean), study awhile, apply LOA.   
 
PSLE
Why now, why not earlier? Then I needn't go through the pek-chek of nagging and scolding my girl. Shorten my life span. Make me suffer as she still has to go through PSLE. Make me so stressed up that I haven't had my menses since January. My body is really automatic man!

TUITION
Sianz! I already had plans of getting che-che's tutors to teach mei-mei. All down the drain. Che-Che's EL and MT tutors are good, 该吗就骂. Though I must admit it'll be a shock to her EL tutor who has never taught the noisy and funny girl before. Do they have tuition centres there if I need one? Are they as kiasu as us? Maybe no need since they spend a long time in school daily and it's a small teacher children ratio in SSIS.

PIANO & BALLET
For obvious reasons these two classes have to stop. Teacher Peggy will heave a sigh of relief. My girls aren't like the normal students she has but she really admire them for hanging on even though they get hell of scoldings from her. She ever told me, she can't give up coz' my girls never gave up. So now she has a chance to be let go.  "LET ME GO.... LET ME GO..... CAN'T HOLD IT ANYMORE". Not sure if able to hire her back next time but I'll take a step at a time. In that case, the piano has to either go into Storage or in my opinion, better off be sold. Then for my electone organ, I dunno.... Storage or parents place or dispose (since no value)
Mei-mei will miss her friends for sure, she likes her teacher and Aunty Sally and Uncle Jeremy there.
I've reiterated to hubby these two classes needs to be continued over there for sure.  Maybe she'll get the stern teacher in Ballet and come back as graceful as a swan. I commented to mei-mei "good! you'll continue your ballet there. The teachers over there use cane on their students. They bend their legs straight, you don't get it straight they cane you." She opened her eyes bigger and replied "But Teacher Kathleen is also from China, she never use cane on us. Eeeeee..... I dowan to learn ballet there." Heehee! My gullible girl believes every word I say.    


FAMILY
It certainly is difficult to leave my family behind since I share such close relationship with them. I know I haven't been a filial daughter, not able to visit my mom that often now but I thought after the PSLE I could spend more time with her. And now the thoughts of the inaccessibility in spending time with her next time saddens me. It's not like a bus ride or train ride but a plane ride. Yes, she is welcome to stay with us for months. She can shuttle in between Singapore and Shanghai.
My girls will miss grandma and duagu, duakim, Iggy, ah yi and ye ye. 
I have a funny feeling that when mom goes to Shanghai, she'll be bringing the agar agar and pandan leaves over for the girls. Ikan bilis and dried shrimps too.

OUR HOME
Aiyoh! Our new place is almost ready, should be collecting keys end of the year. I am already trying to declutter our house faster now to make the move easy. I had plans on making my new house organized like Alejandra but now I can't. I know I can do that in SHA but it would mean more things to ship back to Singapore then. The girls were looking forward to it coz' we have our own PES to the pool. They were already planning to run out into the pool and back into the house. I picture the two gila girls playing in the pool and I  shout out to them to come back for their snacks in the sitting area in our PES. *dreamcloud vanish*
We will rent out our new place. I feel so sim-tia.... as it is, to rent out our HDB already I feel sim-tia coz' no tenant will take care of your house. I've heard of horror stories. 
Both houses will be rented out. Which means we're HOMELESS when we're back. And needless to say, we should be CAR-LESS too.
So where does our stuffs go to? We definitely need a storage place to keep some stuffs. I don't think we need to bring everything over.


THINGS TO BRING OVER
Apart from our necessity clothes and panties and bras .... actually I'm not so bothered by all those as we can buy them in SHA. I'm more concern about what I HAVE to bring over. My KitchenAid mixer!!!! Will hubby agree to it? Is he going to get an International Mover to move some things over. Haha! Must think about my baking. I haven't been baking coz' you know I'm sitting for my PSLE this year but that doesn't mean that I will stop baking forever. I think I'll be so bored that I'll bake everyday. Maybe make fresh bread everyday. Anyway 有这么多时间,我会 patiently  等 the bread rise, knead and hide in cupboard for another hour or so and wait for it to rise. DARN! I'm turning into an Aunty.
Ok, so if I have my mixer. I'll bring some of my recipe books over. Not all but maybe just that trusty few.I need stuffs right? I can bring my piping tips, my fondant tool kit (I should have the time to 慢慢摸 and make fondant cake) Our personalised aprons.
I also have my jelly molds, my girls love agar agar. I can make agar agar, I think they should have pandan leaf there right? So I shall bring my jelly molds. How about the different characters chocolate molds I have? How about their cutesy bento stuffs? Lunch is provided so I don't need to pack food. Yay! But pity to not fully utilise them 
Oh wait! I may need to cook right? Then must bring cookbooks over, if not my kids and hubby can eat porridge everyday. Don't worry, I cook a variety of porridge. One day with chicken, pork the next day, fish, beef... I'm hopeless lah! Oh my! I'm still talking about stuffs in the kitchen?
I like crafts. So I need my hairbow making stuffs - my binded instruction books, ribbons, resins.
I have my scrapbooking stuffs too. Now that's really alot of stuffs!
How about the girls? They definitely have some stuff toys they want to bring over, of course I need to restrict only 3 or 4 toys to bring over. Their Moshi Monster cards, Moshi Monster figurines, some treasured toys. Che-che's Nanoblocks, I'm sure she wants to display them out over there. And ..... I can't think what else. 
Some guide books and files to bring over for mei-mei. Perhaps we can bring those in batches. I pack them into boxes according to the level and then come back and bring it over when it's time.
 
Aiyoh! Char-bors are so troublesome. Hubby will sure shake his head.


MOST IMPORTANTLY - GIRL'S REACTION
Che-che wasn't too keen and I can understand why. She has her "what if I can get into my dream school??" Actually I'll find it a pity for her to work so hard, qualify and then can only go for 6 months before we leave next year. When I questioned her "what if you get into xxx, do you want to go Shanghai?" She shook her head. "What if you can't get into xxx, do you want to .." Haven't finished my sentence she nodded her head. I dunno why she liked the school so much. 
And her question to me was "Do they have Handbells there?" Which led me to remind her again to work hard. If she gets into her dream school we can always come back in July to August, she studies for that few weeks and stay back for practices. I can ask the instructor if he could be kind to let her join in their practices. She don't have to take the main bells but perhaps some bells which is not the important notes, wouldn't want to disrupt the whole ensemble just for her. But at least she gets to touch her bells again. Or in worse scenerio, just join MOB for awhile. I dunno if it can be worked out or not these are just my thoughts. 
She also has her friends here.
Mei-mei is okay lor..... 
Anyway, we're more concerned about what che-che's reaction would be. I even have the thought of letting her stay in Singapore if it's her dream school but I don't think hubby will like it. Then, who's going to take care of her?     


LOST TO THE WORLD??
Everyone knows Facebook and Blogger are blocked there. But I know there's a way to go around the network. I still need to keep in contact with my friends through Facebook. My blog and the educational blog are under Blogger. So must convince ah-lao to do that whatever thing to access to the world.



DANCING
I joked with friends that once after che-che's PSLE is over, I have another 3 more years before mei-mei's PSLE. Meanwhile I can take some time to learn dancing, maybe I end up learning Line Dancing. 
I suddenly remember the Chinese loves to dance in the park. Wah lau eh..... will I end up like them dancing in the park?? Hahaha! 


EXPATRIATE WIFE??
I don't feel like an expatriate wife. I'm just an Ah-soh aka maid (being ordered around by my 2 mini bosses) upgraded to work overseas. Yah yah, they have Ah-yi  (domestic worker) there, chauffeur. Never asked if we'll ever have chauffeur (it'll be nice though to be chauffeured around) or we gotta squeeze in the train. Don't want to think too far. 

If chauffeured, will I be like this woman  - 
or this woman? -


ROOF OVER OUR HEADS IN SHA 
Hmmmm..... we'll have to hunt for houses in Dec while we're there. I want an oven!! Or worse come to worse buy those stand alone oven there. So interesting to see the apartments being advertised for rental. Maybe get one with fitness centre so I can gym in my free time. I seriously need to lose weight. 
Not keen in a compound area, which is a landed property, coz OCD me will mati cleaning the house. I don't think hubby wants it anyway. But most importantly, the area must be of a comfortable distance to the school and to the workplace. 
  


Having said so, hubby has 2 weeks to consider. So what will his reply be?

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