A Foul Smell, a Challenge, and a School Tour

This week held more new experiences.  We moved out of the apartment and into our new home in Bishan.  The move has allowed us to spend more time in the area we will be living in and to try more of the recreational, shopping and eating experiences it offers.  There is so much to share it will take several posts.  I’ll start with today’s experiences.

Durian:  The King of Fruits

Expats in Asia confront a formidable culinary task upon arrival; living alongside durian.  Western expats encountering durian for the first time can be shocked both by its smell and its popularity.  The fruit’s odor is so pungent that you can smell it through cellophane packaging.  It isn’t a pleasant odor.  Despite this, durian has a great influence in the culture, and many believe its taste surpasses any obstacles its odor creates.

There isn’t a comparable fruit for Westerners to relate to; you have to experience durian on its own terms.  For those who want to know more about durian; its allure and influence in the East, Kew shared a great article you can read here.

Since being inundated with durian advertisements, Michael has succumbed to curiosity.  He convinced me to purchase a packet of the odiferous fruit despite my objections.

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The offending tray

The smell rocked our home, overwhelming its packaging and even containment in our refrigerator.

Chris and I directed Michael to eat it quickly as we couldn’t tolerate entering the kitchen.  Here is how the taste sampling went:

Michael decided to forgo any additional enjoyment of his own, but bribed Jonathan to give it a try.

Michael is now down 19.00 sin for the durian we threw out and the bribe he paid Jonathan.  No one else tried it, but maybe with a little more time to acclimate we’ll be ready…

Stamford American International School

Despite being here almost two weeks, we hadn’t made it over to the kids’ school yet.  Today was laptop pick-up day, so we tangled with the hordes of rush-hour commuters on the MRT to go get them.

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The MRT has a stop right next to campus.   As we reached the stop, traffic thinned and we stepped out onto the sidewalk with relief.  The entrance to the school has a covered walkway to protect students from the MRT to the front door.  I was thankful for that courtesy as monsoon season will be here soon.

When Jonathan, Michael and Ariana saw campus, their excitement swelled.  Stamford has around 2800 students, many options for study, and amazing facilities.  We are all thankful for the opportunity the children have to study here.

Staff graciously helped us find our way around, set up the laptops each student receives, and retrieve our schedules.  We stopped by the athletic field on our way out and enjoyed watching some students play frisbee.

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Orientation and a family BBQ come next week and our family is eager to connect with the Stamford community.  I hope it will be a place for the children to engage with different worldviews, cultures and learn about themselves.

The next post will focus on some of the amazing shopping and eating in our area of Singapore.  Hope you’ll come back and let us share some of our favorites with you!

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