Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Move/渡星

Alright, the introduction was a bit on the heavy side, on to the lighter side of blogging. Moving to Singapore was great for several reasons.

First, the move freed us from that voice in our heads that repeats, “We-MUST-live-in-NYC-until-death-(or retirement, or bankruptcy)-tears-us-from-it”. The sad mentality you develop after a few years, or even a few months for some, of being in NYC. We had already moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn (1 stop), but moving further was not even in our scope of thought until this opportunity came up. Yeah, you know who you are New Yorkers, there are no 24hr delis around every corner!? No hipsters and their $6000 bikes!? No good thin crust Pizza!? (I do lament this) No coffee shops that roast their own coffee beans!? How can you live in such a place!? Shockingly, it’s possible. There’s already a great gawker article about leaving NYC, so I won’t try to explain.

Second, it got us more space. Well, we still went from apartment to apartment, but now have an office and a spare bedroom. There’s also more space outside for the kids to play, more restaurants where they don’t shun children and streets and subways that can accommodate strollers with ease. Having a full-time helper relieves you and your husband from spending every date night at home or counting the $ you spend on teenage babysitter sitting on your couch. There is space and time for parents to be human, not just parents. Priceless. Hey, we still do bitch about crazy rent in Singapore, but more on that later.

Third, fabulous Asia and SEA travel is suddenly so much closer and affordable. I’ve always enjoyed traveling in Asia. Love the food and culture. I’ve always felt (and some seriously disagree) I can go to Europe, as a mature adult with money and enjoy it. But when I’m young (OK, I’m pushing that young thing) or as long as my stomach can take some levels of street food, I want to travel in Asia.

And so, we moved out to Singapore 2 years ago and haven’t looked back.







How do I start a blog? Or decide to start a blog? I’m not someone with a very concrete purpose, I’m not a super mommy, I’m not a great chef, particularly crafty, nor am I a great writer. I don’t have a concrete theme that I will dedicate my blog to. So I’ll call this an experiment and a place to track my random thoughts with some focus on languages.

My friend I saw the other day said something interesting, paraphrasing it, she said, “I believe the language you speak drives how you think as a person”…maybe it’s not what she said, but that’s what I heard. So this is where my whole experimental idea comes from. I’m a “third culture kid” I was born in Japan, but moved to the United States when I was 8. My parents were very culturally Japanese in some sense and yet very progressive. I went through the American education system, went to a US university, worked in New York for close to 10 years, and then moved to Singapore 2 years ago. People who know me would typically describe me as being very American, but there are some aspects of my core that are strangely Japanese. I wondered, after hearing my friend, if this core is from the fact that the Japanese language came first for me and English second. Although if you ask me now, I would consider English as my prominent language, I wonder what there is to that first language that determines your cognitive process. My situation is not unique, but I wanted to document my thought process in both languages to see if I can figure out the dualities in me. I’ve also never written both in Japanese and in English, so I thought it may be interesting to those that are studying either language, or are coming from similar backgrounds, or raising children in a similar situations as I am.

The other reason to start this blog is following my children’s developments. My daughters are half Japanese, quarter Vietnamese and quarter American (Caucasian originally from the UK area) growing up in Singapore. My older daughter Nina, is almost 3, born in New York and moved to Singapore when she was 8 months old. She is now learning English (being exposed to both Singaporean English and American English), Japanese and Mandarin.
My younger daughter Mila was born in Singapore and recently turned 1. Clearly, she is not speaking yet, but she is reacting to certain words in Japanese and English.

I don’t have any background in psychology, language studies, or anything of that level, so this blog will most likely remain a personal rant with very limited sample groups, mainly my personal experience and struggles raising children in a mixed cultural background. Is that interesting to anyone? Maybe not. I know a couple of moms that may be interested, so why not put it out there?
So here’s a start, of a potentially short journey, or a long one. Who knows?