When I was pregnant, I think I made a lot of people smile - mostly older women. People just seemed to look at my belly and get happy. This was NOTHING compared to how people react to a baby. Especially a super blond baby. Yesterday morning I strapped on Samara and we went off to get coffee (yeah - I figure since I never really stopped drinking coffee when I was pregnant (don't tell the pregnancy police), I should probably keep drinking a cup a day - for her. You know, not me. She may be addicted...). The coffee guy that my mom found in our neighborhood is named Ben, and his coffee shop is about a five minute walk from our place, if you walk slowly. (More on Ben later). On the way there and back, we probably made 20 people smile, and at least four asked how old she (or he?) is. It's kind of nice to have that effect on people! Though locals seem to be appalled that we're taking her out at such a young age - she'll be four weeks tomorrow - they're giving me incentive to keep doing it!
So, I had found an okay coffee shop near our place when we were looking for apartments. When we went back there, I realised it's farther than it needs to be, and the coffee wasn't strong enough (Samara likes a good, dark blend). We then tried this other one, right across the street from our condo, and while the coffee was good, she charged S$1.50, which is a serious rip off for coffee. Ben charges S$0.80. I think there are lots of tourists where we live, and she took us for fools. I told her that was the most expensive coffee in Singapore (other than the western kind, obviously), and we did not go back. Then my mom found Ben. He's Singapore born, and he moved to central Java (where Mt. Merapi, the volcano that erupted last week in Indonesia, is). He lived there for a while, and then he moved to Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand. He met his wife there, and then once his kids were old enough to need good education, they moved back to Singapore. He says that the pace of life doesn't suit him in Singapore, but he did it for his children. Now they're all studying all over the place (Australia, and I think in N. America, but I can't remember the details), and he and his wife opened this coffee shop that has a coffee stall plus a Norther Thai food stall. I can't wait to try out the food. He let me know that westerners really like this Thai dish called pad thai. I agreed and let him know that I also can't wait to try their fish cakes and tom yam. The place is always packed, and it's some of the only non-Indian or non-Chinese food in our area. If only Belle didn't cook so well so we could have some incentive to eat out of the house sometimes...
In other news Safta and Papa headed back to the States after a two week stint in Singapore that felt more like five days. Safta was very sad to leave the baby, but we assured her that we would take good care of her. G-chat will be her lifeline, I think.
In yet other news, we found that we can walk downtown with a stroller/pram, which is fantastic. There is a sidewalk all the way from our place to the National Library, and I used it yesterday to walk back from Raffles City mall. It's only about 30 minutes, and it's a great walk. I'm relieved to know this, since our experience with the stroller in this neighborhood has not been in our favour. The shophouses and uneven sidewalks have been challenging.
I also found a website that has all of the nursing places in Singapore, which is super cool. I tried out the room in Raffles City yesterday, and it's a whole world that I have never experienced. I met a ton of moms and babies, and it's so nice that I can feed her nearly anywhere. The police's statement says that as long as you're only exposing what's absolutely necessary from your boob, then you can actually nurse anywhere. Isn't that nice of them? There was only one SUPER CREEPY guy who kept looking in the windows and trying to catch a glimpse.