We're celebrating, again, still. Today marks 10 years since we left our home in Sydney, Australia to live overseas for what was meant to be a two-year assignment. We never left, and in 2011 we were granted Permanent Residency.
It is hard to comprehend that a decade has passed. This is the longest we have now spent in any one place including our hometown of Rockhampton post-marriage. We could not have imagined then that we would be living permanently and happily in Asia although it was clear for some time, to us at least, that we were not going to have children and settle forever in our hometown as our siblings had done. We had been ready to go for sometime, keen to discover what else was out there and what kind of lifestyles and memories were creatable. When at last the opportunity presented (a move to Melbourne) nothing stood in our way - not even a home we had designed and constructed and lived in for a mere 13 days but who cares about a house when the world is waiting.
As you know, I love Singapore. I love everything about Singapore. I love what lies just outside our front door like Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands, restaurants galore, shops, museums. I love that Steve spends seven minutes walking to work saving hours of his life out of traffic and coming home for lunch. I love Saturday mornings in Orchard Road and even though we have been going there for ten years at least once a week, we never tire of it.
Other things I love about Singapore:
the weather - summer all year round!
I love rain - it rains here 286 days a year but it is warm. Cold weather plus rain is not so good.
there is lush greenery and gardens everywhere.
it's neat and tidy.
it takes us a mere 15 mins to get to all the best shows, bands and acts the world has to offer then home again in the same time.
there's peace and harmony amongst multiple races, religions and nationalities. We all celebrate the religious holidays of all other major religions (Christian, Hindu, Buddhism etc).
people are civilized and respectful.
it's safe - you can go out any time night and day without fear. The worst thing that can happen to you is that you'll end up buying something.
it's easy, inexpensive and super-fast to get anywhere you want on a clean, safe and graffiti-free ever-expanding MRT system.
there's a brilliant system for queuing, including queues for queues, and queue officials. Queue jumpers are dealt with appropriately.
shops are open from 10am until 10pm - midnight some nights - and also open Christmas Day so no more panic shopping Christmas Eve.
it's a city that never sleeps - life is always 'happening'. People have supper at our local hawker centres (Satays by the Bay and Lau Pa Sat) at 2am so you're never hungry.
it has the fastest, most efficient airport arrival/departure processing in the world. I can disembark a flight and be in a taxi within 7 minutes, which is a blessing after a long flight.
it's a foodies paradise - so many choices though it is sometimes hard to decide.
it's constantly changing - nothing stays the same. There is always something new to see or do.
it's stunningly beautiful.
I don't know when this particular journey will end or what is next but I do know that when we're 90+ and reflecting on life, we'll remember this decade with gratitude and happiness.