Monday, 19 December 2011

The last one of these you're gonna read about for a long time - Leaving drinks for Team Taylor...

Team Taylor Deportation/Repatriation Countdown

Days left in Singapore: 3

Days left until arrival in the Queen City: 10


And a good evening to you all from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City.  The Bull logged another morning run today, managing ~3.75 in just under 30 minutes.  It felt good, especially with the (incessant) light rain throughout the front half of the run.  It's official - running is fun again, and I'm finding myself wanting to do it every day.  Cycling was a great alternative in the heat, and I've no regrets about joining a gym here.  However, I'm really, REALLY looking forward to those outdoor runs in the Queen City - just a scant week and a half away.
Seeing your entire life packed away into 17 boxes that fit
snugly into a single air crate is, well, an interesting and
somewhat humbling experience.  There's more to Team Taylor
than those boxes, damn it!!!
So today has been a memorable one for the Bull and Striker, beginning with the arrival of the movers right on time (much to my surprise!) at 9 AM this morning.  It took about 4 hours to pack up our lives, and our possessions weighed in at just under 500 pounds (meaning that we fit nicely into a single air crate - kind of sad when you think about it). 

And now, Team Taylor is back the way they started in 2006 when we first landed in London -living out of four suitcases and 2 backpacks.  Ideally we would be traveling much lighter, however as the moving guys politely told me:  "You see, sir, New Year's Day is a holiday in the United States of America, and so we can't guarantee delivery by 13 January," Team Taylor is CARRYING ALL OF OUR SKI GEAR WITH US.  I mean, I wanted to run around Hong Kong in my stylish "UK street sweeper" ski jacket, but the mere suggestion of it sent Jenny running for the hills (and John Davies falling off a chair laughing), and so I'm back to rockin' the Nautica Bomber jacket (yes, Steve - it's time to go kill some Germans).  Mum - that Jacket celebrates 10 years on 1 February of 2012!  One of your best gifts EVER!!!

Also, in the midst of the packing and tossing out anything that was a) old, b) moldy, c) never going to see the light of day in Charlotte, or d) unidentifiable, Jenny stumbled upon her most prized possession from our trip to Taiwan - the leftover Oolong Tea, baby!!!!  Oh yeah!!!!  Now I doubt you'll remember, but after paying a whopping $10 USD for a bag of tea and the pleasure of sitting on a balcony and drinking a portion of it in Taipei back in July, the Bull felt his cultural experience was complete and had planned to pitch the tea before heading back to the bus.  Muffin Puffin, however, was having NONE of that, and consequently she wrapped up the remainder of the tea with the defiant statement:  "We're DEFINITELY drink this.  I'm keeping it."  I looked at her as though she was from Mars, because I can literally COUNT ON ONE FINGER the # of times Jenny and I have brewed tea.  But hey, SIX MONTHS LATER, Jenny makes good on her promise to drink the rest of the tea and whips out the kettle.  I can confirm that it tasted like, well, six month old tea - enough said.  But isn't she cute in the photo...

The other, bigger milestone that officially signified the end of Team Taylor's time in Sing Sing came this evening, as Team Taylor rocked up to Boat Quay and settled in at (where else?) Red Dot for our leaving drinks. 

Now I realize that this is the part where Brother Owain Morgan says, "I don't believe it - we've hosted THREE of these for Sam and Jenny in London alone." However, I can confirm that this will be THE LAST Farewell shindig for Team Taylor (for a good while, at least).  In fact, now that this soiree is over, we're counting down the days until the Repatriation Party (Hitman, Miller - now that you've teased me with the idea, don't let me down...)!

The evening was absolutely PERFECT - filled with good friends, good laughs, and multiple towers of Green Monster Beer.  It was truly wonderful to look at the crowd assembled and then a) think back to the first meeting with each of them, and b) think about how rapidly our friendships have grown here in Singapore. 

I know it's often said that expats make friends quickly because they have to, but in the case of our Singapore friends (as with our London friends), I like to think that we became friends because we really enjoyed each other's company and stayed friends because the bonds that brought us together continued to deepen throughout our myriad experiences.  Regardless of the transient nature of our time in-country and the limited amount of time we were able to spend together due to everyone's ridiculous travel/work/exercise schedules, I do feel that we've made some really great friends out here, and it is my sincere hope that we'll remain in contact (and hopefully have a few crazy trips together in some remote destinations off the beaten path) with the folks around that table tonight for many, many years to come.

Well, it's nearing midnight, and the Bull and Striker are going to hit the sack.  It's been quite the day, and as we look back at a VERY empty house (since our suitcases are already packed), I get the distinct feeling that we're just marking time at this point.  The repatriation countdown nears single digits, at which point the most AMAZING journey of our lives to date, stretching across almost half of our married lives, will come to an end.  However, I firmly believe that the most exciting chapters are yet to be written, and I couldn't be more excited about going home.

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print.  Chat tomorrow!


Sam and Jenny

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