Friday, August 24, 2007


I decided to make this post thematic. . . so I have listed every type of sheet I can think of. If you think of others, send me a comment and I'll see what I can scrounge up =)

Bed Sheets
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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
We went on a search for a flat sheet only to discover that IF you can find a flat sheet, it is going to cost you an arm and a leg. Most stores do not carry them, but there are a few hi-end stores that cater to the ex patriot crowd that do. We took an average of several stores' flat sheet prices and found that you can expect to pay around US$100 (or about 150 Sing Dollars) for a queen-sized flat sheet (not a set, mind you, just the flat sheet)! We didn't buy one. . . we decided wait until Yvette can bring them with her when she comes for a visit in October.

Dryer Sheets
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!

Cookie 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. =)


kirsten said...

These are interesting little tidbits: things one would never think of, really unless one were transplanted. Cookies sheets? Flat sheets? Who could have thought these things would be an issue? :o) I'm glad to hear the Flat Sheet Dilemma will be solved by an upcoming visit!

Caleb's Gram said...

SHEET of stamps (90 cents for one ounce if you are sending from U.S. to Singapore)

SHEET of rain (As in hurricanes of monsoons)

SHEET of copper (we have several in our garage for not2bright)

SHEET of glass (windows!)

Live from London said...

Flat sheets... miss them too. Getting the duvet inside is definitely a skill I'm still working on honing.

A4 sheets... ya, we get to use those too! Except they're difficult when designing something. The dimensions aren't normal in Metric or English units. Why? Well, I did a little research. The size and shape of an A1 sheet of paper is one square meter, and the ratio of the sides is one to the square root of two. An A2 sheet of paper is an A1 cut in half... and so on. Isn't it fascinating?

Caleb's Gram said...


deduced as only a TRUE graphic artist can! That's the fun of custom-sizing your work...

Can anybody say "templates"?

(BTW, is it okay to comment on a comment?)