Monday is another holiday in Singapore. Nope, it’s not the US’s Memorial Day (though that will apply to us). It’s Hari Raya Adilfitri which marks the end of The month of Ramadan. In other parts of the world, it’s called Eid al-Fitri. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast everyday from sunrise to sunset. On Hari Raya they usually eat a big celebratory meal with family and friends. The Malay area in Singapore is usually decked out in lights (I just read they did put up the lights and turned them on. They will leave them up until after the lockdown) But, not this year. Still in lockdown. Another celebration via zoom. No one can say this pandemic is targeting one religious group more than the others. Everyone here in Singapore’s taken a hit. Next year I hope we can head down to Kampong Glam, see the lights and grab some beef rendang. Dare to dream.
Funny anecdote. The other day Liam said, “mom, why is Faisal writing ‘happy Hari Raya?’” To which I replied, well Liam, Faisal is Muslim, so he celebrates. I know Liam knew in theory that Faisal was Muslim (they are from Saudi Arabia) but I don’t think he connected it to them celebrating ‘other’ holidays. It’s the best when you can connect another culture or religion with a friend. I’m so happy Liam has Faisal for this.
In other updates, there really are none. We are still locked down (stupid “circuit breaker”). This week we were excited as they announced what phase 1 would look like (it will begin on June 2nd). Our outdoor dining, playing tennis, seeing (a) friend, swimming, going anywhere hopes were dashed. Basically, in phase 1, we can get our Air Con serviced. The other interesting, though not super exciting news for us is, kids are going back to school. Local kids will alternate 1 week in school, 1 week at home beginning on June 2nd. Since they don’t follow the northern hemisphere schedule (as we do) that’s great for them. We have not received official word from our school, other than seniors will go back this Tuesday. They are indicating our kids will also go back to school in some capacity on June 2nd. We will hear next week. While I would normally jump for joy at this news, it’s kinda a “meh” moment as their last day of school is June 11th. They didn’t modify our calendar in hopes expats could go home this summer. Since that’s not happening it’s going to be a long summer in the condo. The theory here is to enable people to go back to work, they have to safely be able to have kids in school. Makes sense, right? Hopefully it works.
Our phase 2 is scheduled to start at LEAST 4 weeks after the beginning of phase 1. So that’s July 1st at the earliest. Phase 2 will gradually add back outdoor recreation, restaurants and retail over multiple months. If our cases spike during that period, back to the beginning. Finally we will reach phase 3, which is “our new normal” how we live until a vaccine or effective therapeutic is discovered. No news on travel. They will open the airport on June 2nd for transits only. No one can enter still and if we leave, we cannot come back until the restriction is lifted. Many expat families are separated with no end in site. It’s so sad.
I’ve been struggling a lot emotionally this week with our continued lockdown news. I really worry that there will be long term damage to the kids with the lack of activity and all the tech. They seem pretty good mentally, but I can’t see how this constant inactivity and staring at screens can be good for them.
Some ASEAN nations are working toward creating “travel bubbles” to try to reopen tourism. This would be great, but we worry that our American passports might exclude us. It’s sadly a difficult time to be an American right now.
I’ll include a few pics from our lockdown life. Again, nothing too exciting here. Stay well my family and friends.