singapore musings

the flight on the way back to london seemed to follow a carefully orchestrated flight path. it was as if the pilot decided to play join the dots with european capitals, and take the plane in paths over berlin and amsterdam, and some eastern european capitals such as bucharest. i can swear you're supposed to fly straight line. no matter... it was nice to pick out berlin sprawled out and circular, city lights and all from all that altitude.

15 hours, plane delay and long wait at klia later, the plane was about to complete its short hop from kl to singapore. i too, love window seats everytime i get them, although the received wisdom is that aisle seats are better, (better access to the toilet mah). so i try not to fight over seats... if you love windows as much as i do... go ahead, i don't mind aisle too.

having once known an air traffic controller, i appreciate being stacked and made to fly circles around singapore. i swear the plane chewed up 300km in 20 or so minutes and flew circles for 25 minutes. fortunately it was turning anticlockwise, so everytime the left wing dipped down i was greeted by a view of a chunk of singapore lighted up with street lamps. the reclaimed hook of tuas, jurong island, all these new additions to our geography. the unlighted portion in contrast, the central catchment area. just like returning to see the white cliffs of dover after crossing the channel.

home is two places, it's where you come from and where you're going to.

that's why i felt halfway at home. taking the mrt from woodlands to clementi at every stop i could associate it with a certain hangout place with a certain friend who lived there. i haven't yet lived long in london for "kentish town" or "royal oak" to acquire a certain meaning, although "angel", "holborn", "euston" and "camden town" already are special tops. so as clarence told me a long time ago as we were walking through toys r us in wisma, when you turn left you see a memory, and right another one.

now, food. i was pretty underwhelmed. no the food is still great. but as i sank my teeth into the next great delicacy i realised it tasted pretty much the same as that seared into my memory. haven't been gone long enough. so it's not the food, rather the availability of cheap supper after a certain time which i miss.

people. was getting used to how tiny singaporean girls are again. once more i felt like the correct size. and of course the fashion i'm used to coats and dresses and suits but here it's the less the better. nice to hear our local lingo again. it is very affectionate and we're pretty proud of it to foreigners who wish to learn. when i was waiting at singapore immigration though i just felt a little vibe of unfriendliness. some people were always pissed off (must be the waiting) and the service staff weren't really that nice and friendly and chatty. i tried to smile to my passport officer but at least that worked out fine.

shopping is fantastic still. cheap cheap. eating on the mrt, fine 300. what the. a bit not used to it.

at the same time i know i won't be hanging around for the next few months. i barely have time to get settled and make myself comfortable, search for concerts, sit around at borders. i just have this feeling that i'm in a rush, that i have only 3 weeks, and it's the certain kind of mentality that you have when you're doing whistle-stop tours of europe i guess. don't really get to settle down to the vibe of the place. so that's the second part of being home, knowing that it's somewhere to stay.

so for the next 2 years, home is london. although that seems woefully inadequate to bleed the city dry of that which is interesting. that and wanderlust means lots of boxes and packing and laundry and cooking and generally headaches but you asked for it.

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