In the USA, a bed is (typically) made with a fitted sheet and a flat sheet. Not so in Singapore (and many other places around the world). A flat sheet is a rarity in Singapore. Everyone here sleeps with a fitted sheet and a duvet cover. But, in my thinking, there are two reasons to use flat sheets:
- Have you ever wrestled with a comforter as you are trying to put on a duvet? It's a pain in the neck! The less I have to wash the duvet cover, the better.
- Electricity in Singapore is expensive. A flat sheet takes up less room than a duvet cover and therefore washing a flat sheet instead of a duvet cover costs less money.
First of all, most Singaporeans don't use dryers. They clamp their laundry to bamboo poles which they then stick out their windows (imagine walking on the sidewalk below a 30-story housing unit and getting hit with a wet sock that fell 300 feet!). That method works well except for one thing. . . see "Sheets of Rain" below.
Due to the location of our building and the fact that our unit is on the fourth floor (which is considered a low floor. The lower the floor, the less the breeze.), we purchased a small dryer. I tried hanging our clothes the first week, but it took 3 days to get them dry and they smelled sour by then.
Anyway, back to dryer sheets. They are few and far between. The local stores (meaning the stores the locals shop at) don't carry them. There is a grocery chain that stocks a lot of American/British items, dryer sheets being one of those items. However, they are pricey. So, Yvette now has two things to pack in her suitcase for her visit in October. . . flat sheets and dryer sheets!
I am pleased to announce that they sell cookie sheets here and that they are affordable! They are smaller than typical cookie sheets in the US, but that's okay. Ovens here are smaller (actually, most flats don't have ovens built in) so the sheets are smaller. The sheet I bought fits 9 cookies instead of 12. So, I guess that just means that I'll have to start eating more of the cookie dough! =)
Sheets of Rain
Singapore gets an average of over 90 inches of rainfall each year. Compare that to the 9 inches (on a good year) that we were used to in California. When it rains here, it really rains. I took a video of a recent downpour, but don't have the capability of uploading it to YouTube yet (the file is too large so I need Josh to help me convert it). I will post it soon. In the meantime, imagine the loudest, longest thunder you've ever heard (Josh grew up in Ohio and he said the thunder in the Mid-West doesn't even compare to the thunder here!), flashes of lightening so bright that you wonder someone just flashed a camera in your eye, and sheets of rain so thick that you can't see through them. Now, imagine that happening at least once or twice a day! I've heard that this is the "dry" season . . . I am really starting to wonder what the rainy season will be like!
Sheets of Paper
Paper here is a different shape. Instead of 8 1/2 x 11 letter-sized paper, the standard here is A4 paper, which is about 8.3 x 11.7. Longer and narrower. For some reason, it makes me feel smarter to use A4 paper. It's kind of the same idea as speaking with a British accent. =)