Wednesday, July 23, 2008


It's late and I can't believe I'm typing this out instead of sleeping.

But.... I needed to say this, to get it out of my system today.

In recent years, some of my close friends have fallen upon hard times. I see the direction their lives take and just ache for them.

I cannot believe these people, these essentially good people, would do these things, would indulge in these patently self destructive acts.

But they do. And I have to stand by and watch them with tears in my heart.

I've known them since our schooldays together, kids in uniform bonding over Macdonald's fries, comics, games and first crushes. And I want to hold on to those memories and their fresh happy faces because what I see today breaks my heart.

You can't save people from themselves.

I don't like to interfere but I need to say something soon because if I don't, then I'm just not a friend.

Good night all.

Friday, July 11, 2008


I know I've been particularly whiny recently and I also realise I seem to complain about being back in Singapore alot. But I think it mainly does come down to the process of moving to a new place, finding people to hang out with again and just generally feeling disoriented.

My first six months in Australia were terrible. I was lonely and cold had never experienced winter before. All my close friends seemed so far away and I longed for friendly faces and loving hugs and for the sun. I didn't know where to buy stuff, where to find the things I wanted to eat; the city seemed so foreign, so cold.

It's the same experience all over again. Really, it is.

Except that now I think about the ski trip I could have taken, cake and hot chocolate with friends in warm cafes and lazy weekend morning brunches. I see on facebook the dinner parties and gatherings I missed out on and ache.

Singapore changes so much and so quickly that it seems like a foreign city despite having grown up here. My home is the same, but the city morphs into a different creature every six months. I miss my friends, my friday night group, Boy and my girl groups from school, work and church. I kept asking myself, all through the last two weeks, if it was worth it to give all that up to move back.

There isn't a good answer to the question. There is only a story, rather a patchwork assortment of stories.

The story of how my mum, my sister and I met for lunch at a cafe to celebrate her birthday last week. The story of old friends meeting after 2, 5 or 10 years over coffee or drinks. The story of new shoes and the finding of a lovely new restaurant come back to.

Finally, the story of family and the cousin who drove me to the air freight centre to pick up my boxes and patiently and uncomplainingly helped me through the frustrating process of extracting them out of the warehouse and into my home.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Wandering minds

There is a greater reliance on my ipod now. Everyday, I drown out the crowd, the rumble of the train, the dull roar as we fly through dark tunnels toward work and offices and ever greater crowds.

So I sink beneath a pool of music, willing my mind elsewhere, anywhere but the carriage of silent, weary and sometimes outright grouchy people.

It's something you forget. You move to a different country, one with more space and fewer people and you forget how to cope with crowds, how to raise barriers, how to slip with ease through a throng. It's hard to imagine that I've been away long enough to forget.

I'm not so sure I really changed that much. There's always been that hankering after wide open spaces and moving away just answered that need. I greeted Melbourne's parks,cafes and the Victorian countryside like they were old friends and always reacted badly to the suggestion that Australian cities were 'quiet' and that there was 'nothing to do' in them.

I wish I could wrap it round me like a blanket and take it back to Singapore with me but I can't. You can't bring a whole country with you and so I'm determined to try and bring the attitude I brought with me to Melbourne back to Singapore instead.

Don't look back. Every country has something different to offer and Singapore is itself full of urban curiosities waiting to be explored. Don't try for a pale replica of things you cannot fully experience in another country, instead, look for what is unique about the place and embrace it. I'm going to eat nyonya food, wander the heartlands, smile at random aunties and uncles and go swimming outdoors.

But I'll plan my next vacation around countrysides and star gazing, just so I can let that part of me fly.