This is the answer Sydney gives when people ask her where she is from and the response perplexed me. I found it surprising she remembered her home in the United States. However, one day when we were driving back from a trip, she saw our apartment building and she screamed out “Massachusetts! Aidan would say he lived in Massachusetts and in two-year-old Sydney’s world this was where she slept – an apartment complex in the middle of a skyscraper filled Asian island nation.
To the rest of us our home is known as Orchard Parksuites. It is a service apartment which means it is part apartment/part hotel. We have a kitchen with maid service 6 days a week! Not a bad life, huh? Our maid is Yuan Yuan. She also would moonlight as a babysitter for the children many Saturday nights. The kids were very excited on the nights she would come.
The apartment also served breakfast weekday mornings. Here is where food is served buffet style. Tater tots and chicken nuggets are the kinds favorites.
The nationalities of the people who stay at Orchard Parksuites is amazing diverse. We have become friends with families from New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland, France, and Australia. Many families stay for a short time as they settle into more permanent homes in Singapore. A few like us are here for several months just long enough to see many come and go.
One family that we have gotten particularly close comes from Manhattan. They arrived two weeks after us and will leave in about 6 weeks. The two girls Elle (age 4) and Seraphina (age 9 months) have become good friends with Aidan and Sydney. Elle is prone to car sickness in taxis. Here is a photo of Aidan trying to distract her from her nausea.
Sydney my perpetual mother hen loves to feed her family and at breakfast she loves to help care for baby Seraphina.
In addition to the Western residents there are also many Middle Eastern families. Our relocation expert explained devout Muslims prefer to stay in service apartments to prepare their own food so they do not eat pork or other taboo items. The first week after we arrived two women in burqas with only their eyes barely showing got into an elevator with the children and me. Aidan looked them over and asked “What is up with those people?” Now he sees women in such dress and doesn’t even notice. I still must admit I still find the mix of cultures impressive. Recently I noticed a Buddhist monk eating breakfast in his orange robe sitting at a table next to a Middle Eastern family where the women were in burqas. Talk about melting pots!
My favorite feature of Orchard Parksuites is the pool. Most afternoons we will go down and see which kids are around. It is a great way for the kids to get off some extra energy after a hot day in Singapore.
The most intimidating and fear inducing aspect of Orchard Parksuites is the ‘death drop’ open plan. Right outside our door the floor drops 22 stories to a shallow fountain. There is a railing but it still makes me nervous every time the kids approach the edge.
We have really enjoyed our stay here at Orchard Parksuites. Aidan today mentioned he feels sad that when we got home we would not have the nice view. I told him we have nice things to see at home, but secretly I agree it is different. Check this out…there is a lot we will miss.