I have been in this cab for over ten minutes now. I forgot what distances are like in Singapore. I forgot what anything is like in Singapore. I am here for the first time since September 2009, for barely a weekend, and it has been most pleasant. I couldn’t figure out why; I hadn’t expected this. It took me a little bit of convincing to come here. I was definitely hesitant, afraid even that it would be painful.
I’ll tell you why this weekend turned out the way it did first. I’ll tell you how later. Leo was all spot-on with his analysis – he said I had 8 years worth of memories and associations with this city and the multitude of good ones trumped a few odd bad ones. Which is irrevocably true. The familiarity I feel with Singaporeis real and I realised that it was comforting. There was nothing bitter or painful about it. There were memories in every street corner, every neighbourhood.
As I walked into Esplanade, for instance, I had a crystal clear memory of my first time there 8 years ago. I wore a wispy cream-coloured Karen Millen cocktail dress and waited for my date, Adrian, before a Stravinsky ballet recital. We used to love going there. I saw numerous statues and monuments that I had posed with when Zip and I took part in a photography/treasure hunt challenge (and won 3rdplace!). Quite serendipitously, some, like the gorgeous blue fountain, were already within the race walkabout route (and some like the Indian Army memorial, incredibly, had been relocated to the route), making them hard to miss.
All I saw around me was all the reasons and reminders of why I had called this city home for almost 8 years and why I had decided that it would have been okay to continue on living there. I daresay I even felt that it would be alright to call it home again some point in the future. It is amazing the magnitude of possibilities the human heart is capable of accepting.