Holy Crap, Indonesian toddler smokes like a chimney

So in my experience out here in Asia, I've noticed that overall, there's a lot more smoking than everywhere else I've been.  Obviously more than the states, but also a ton more than western Europe, France and Italy included.  Of the Asian groups I've met, the Indonesians definitely take the cake. So over the course of the last couple weeks some of the guys have been working in Jakarta and joking that people start smoking as kids out there.  Sure enough the international news media has found a baby that smokes 2 packs a day (Video on The Age).  Seriously.  Not only does this kid smoke that many cigs, but he's got his own style to it from watching others.  He's chubby and too unfit to play with other kids, but his folks still buy him the cigarettes.  In my opinion another reason why he doesn't play with other kids is he's seen as a bad influence.  After all, would you let your 2 year old play with the fat kid who smokes .


Starting from scratch

So once again gentle reader, I find myself in a new location.  I have moved  to Singapore for a minimum term of 3 years.  And with any great relocation comes the usual process of building a new life.  Like everything else, I do it systematically: 

  • Exploring- I gotta get the lay of the land, and while that usually means walking great distances without a map, here that becomes a little tricky thanks to the sweaty sweaty weather, so I'm going neighborhood by neighborhood.
  • Lodging- finding a place that fits once the relo runs out.  It's gotta be reasonably priced, a short commute to the office, near cool stuff, and have space for an extra bed/futon for guests
  • Networking- meeting and building relationships with my professional contacts.  A lot of my contacts here are from a different generation, so the lunches are a bit more advisory in nature, but this has been really helpful in my job so far.  
  • Makin friends (can't actually be systematic here, but it's important to do if I'm gonna live here for a while)- I had a couple friends out here already, but during those first few weeks you get invited around a lot and you actually have a pretty short period to make friends to get the regular invites and start the transition from the FOAF to acquaintance to friend.  The last step often takes at least a year, but can be accelerated with other expats because they're in the same boat socially.
  • Logistics and routine- So there are the basics of  dry cleaner, grocery store, barber etc., but when you move to a different country your habits have to change too. Okay, in SG there are enough westerners that they don't really have to change, but they should a little if you really want to get the full experience.  Also it'll be a nice change to head back to an urban environment.  I love where I was in LA, but it's nice to be in a higher density place again since I don't have kids.
I'm still in the temp housing with a limited kitchen, so most of the time I feel like I'm on an extended business trip.  Aside from starting to make new friends the rest of the stuff here hasn't really come into full effect.