Things I miss about my home country.

Well, first and foremost, a HAPPY NATIONAL DAY! to all you Singaporeans out there. It's been a while since I've been out of the country and totally unable to celebrate it with the bulk of my fellow countrymen (although I have one very patriotic countryman in the vicinity). So I thought: what better way to celebrate Singapore's 51st birthday by listing some of the things I miss about it.

1. Family, friends and camping.

This photo says it all. I do miss my mother quite a bit. Even though we aren't always talking all the time when I was home, having her presence around was nonetheless very comforting. I'm missing plenty of friends too and camping with the ones I usually camp with. There's such a sense of community when you hang out together over a good ol' bbq by the beach.

2. Cheap and good food.

This was going to come up at some point, so why not second? I've been craving some local delights. I'm using the word "craving" here loosely. Truthfully, it's not something I would die without, but ahhhh. Laksa, prawn noodle, chee chong fun, vegetarian bee hoon, durian, wanton mee (I ate so much of this in JB), etc etc etc. AND ALL FOR SUCH A CHEAP PRICE. Can't get that here. Neither the good Singaporean food nor on the cheap.

3. The church.

Yeah, if I wanted to be politically correct, I would put this second, but let's keep it real. Food first. Haha. Honestly, I do miss the dynamic of large services, serving with a bunch of awesome people who I count as dear friends. I don't think I miss the admin work though. But definitely the musicianship. Back home, I'm a pianist. Over here I'm a guitarist. Nothing wrong with that, but it's just not my primary instrument. My fingers are itching to tickle the ivories already!

4. Cafe hopping and photography lovers.

I MISS YOU GUYS EX-MEDIA DEPARTMENT (self-proclaimed)! No one here quite understands why I always stop to take a photo. Or why I must squat unbecomingly, contort this way and that in order to get a good shot. Or why I am always insistent on taking a photo multiple times to get the best angle. One's slowly coming around (thank God), but you folks understand right from the get-go. You folks also understand when I geek out over gadgets. And I totally miss the cafe hopping scene in Singapore. Over here, the pastelarias all serve the same thing (pretty much). They're kinda like kopitiam equivalents. I've yet to see one with some sort of theme.

BUT... when it's all said and done, although I miss my home country at times, I'm still very glad to be in Portugal for this season to make an impact on its people and also on the economy (hurhur - Zara anybody?). There are many things about Singapore that I don't take for granted at all and that I am so proud of. I am so thankful to be a Singaporean and to have access to so many nations in the world. I am thankful that my passport allows me to be a global citizen. I am also very glad I have a safe haven to return to. It's true that nothing is perfect, but we should all count our blessings shouldn't we? God has certainly blessed us in Singapore and I am beyond grateful.

Happy 51st Birthday Singapore! May the year ahead be greater than the last!

etcJanetSingapore