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The chronicles of two Portlanders in Singapore

The Cold Rainy Summer

July 25, 2016.Joshua.0 Likes.0 Comments

Yeah you read that right.  It’s been cold.

Well, “cold” is a relative term isn’t it?  By cold I mean that the ambient temperature outside has dipped below the seemingly permanent fixture of 32 Celsius1are we still translating these to Fahrenheit?  It’s 90 F.  But seriously, Google has a great tool for conversions.. And it’s dropped on most mornings to a staggeringly chilly 26 Celsius — or, because I really need this to sink in — 78 degrees F2on another aside, one of my weak points in writing is my use of punctuation.  If you’re seeing em dashes for the first time, it’s because I’ve finally figured out how to make them on a Mac keyboard.  Opt-Shift-Dash, if you’re wondering.  This site is nothing but helpful..

Yeah you read that right.  Seventy-eight degrees Fahrenheit is now sweater weather.  To be fair, at no point have I considered 78 to be “hot”.  In fact, I’d say that 78 is about the best number a temperature can be.  Warm to the point where you can wear shorts and feel a little cool air on your legs, but not so much that you can’t wear jeans or slacks and die.  Indeed, I’ve taken to wearing jeans when I take the fur kid out on her morning walk, when the temps have been low and a small breeze heralds the next incoming storm.

And it has been raining.  We’ve had some amazing lightning storms pass through in the past week, brought on the trade winds from the west.  Growing up near the Pacific, I learned if you want to get an idea of what the weather’s going to be like in the next few hours, look west, towards the ocean.  West-North-West if you will, to see what storm is making its way down the coast.  Here, it’s a bit more dynamic, but in these months, it feels a bit like growing up, looking west to towards the ocean.  Of course, now the ocean in question is the Indian and it’s nearly a thousand kilometers away3the Malacca Strait is huge.  So is Sumatra..  But still, east the winds blow, bringing water and cooler temperatures.

And brother let me tell you, for that, I am thankful.

The cooler temps have been a nice reprieve from the past three months, Singapore’s warmest.  During those months, we had a number of days where the highs hit 34493 F and didn’t back down until well after the sun had dipped down behind the towers of the concrete jungle.  And if 93 F doesn’t sound all that hot considering the triple-digits I’ve heard tell of on the West Coast, remember that it’s being coupled with 85%-plus humidity.

Welcome to the jungle.

Don’t think for a second that I’ve “acclimated”.  I mean, I’ve learned to accept what the weather is, but — heed this — I will never get used to the heat and humidity here.  I’m a cold weather person, no doubt.  This “cold snap”5I kill me, I really do is only serving notice to me that autumn is around the corner in the United States, and in my beloved Pacific Northwest, fall is my favorite season.  It excites me to know that we’ll be returning on the onset of the third season.  Brisk weather and falling leaves, red and yellow and gold like the wealth of kings, football and hearty beer.  Harvest & crush season, which I do believe I need to use as excuse to update my winery memberships6Penner-Ash, I’m coming back.  I’ve missed you..

Have you enough of my whining over fall?  Fine.

Beverly is out of town this week, the stress of figuring out her next step necessitating some “me-time” for her.  She’s gone to Sri Lanka for a yoga retreat.  Which, based from the photos she’s sent me, looks like money and time well-spent.  In her absence, I’ve of course readied myself to party hardy and promptly— got sick as a dog.

We did go out Friday night, some of the Writers’ Group and I.  Karaoke until the wee hours of the morning, and after that, we walked down one k to the nearest McDonalds.  Don’t judge.  It’s amazing here.  They have spicy chicken McNuggets and curry dipping sauce.  It’s not something I’d do more than once every few months, but for a late-night meal whilst buzzed, it holds up exceedingly well.

My late night excursion did not go unnoticed.  Jean-Luc was calling me early Saturday morning, the evil bastard.  If he wasn’t waking me up, then the fur kid was with her need to make poopy. Sadly for her, and for me, by the time I had dragged myself out of bed, alone and hungover, it was already pouring down.  Still, we managed not to get truly soaked.

I’ve mentioned this before — hawker food is the best for hangovers.  The hawkers nearest us, by the HDB flats, now have an Indian vendor selling among other dishes, Roti Prata.  I’ve declared my love for this dish many times, but the morning after, dear Lord in heaven, did it hit the spot.  Flatgrill-fried dough folded over on itself and served with curry.  It calmed Jean-Luc down since like all hawker food, I ate my fill for $5, had some kopi “O” extra strong, and even got some juice to chase it all down and feel like a human being once again.

And then I got sick.  Go figure.  It wouldn’t be so bad if I could write in the apartment, but I find myself unable to be productive there.  The desk/table I bought from IKEA is just a bit too high, and too narrow to be a good working space.  It’s something that I’ve been considering in the back of mind — how to make a good writing space at home.  We have a very cool office, but that’s been a shared space.  I need my own space and have some ideas to make one of the bedrooms upstairs fit the bill in that regard.


So, no writing for me at home.  I feel like I’m on a timer here at my “office”, before my head explodes and I pass out right here on what will surely be named the Joshua Bruce Memorial Bench Seat after Jest Rovanna’s fifth movie comes out.  That’s the one where she goes back in time to stop John Wren from being killed by sentient time traveling statues7Fuck that sounds like a good story..  They’ll give tours here.  “And that’s the seat where Josh wrote three chapters in one fever-dream induced session and then shat himself.  Don’t worry folks, we steam clean.”

Just another exciting week in the life and times of an expat that’s not traveling.

Paaarrrrtyyyy!  Woooo-cough.

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