Tuesday, August 08, 2006

every 6 months

the wind was blowing ever so strongly that friday afternoon. the sun decided to hide behind the clouds that day, prompting people to come out from their homes and offices and just sit by the waterfront. i joined them, taking my place next to a group of girls who giggled while taking pictures of each other, and thought about my day.

my first stop was to library@orchard, where i spent 2 hours flipping through photographs of U2 by anton corbijn as well as the first collection of zits comics. after lunch, i headed off to city hall, where i spent most of my weekend, and paid a visit to the singapore art museum. then it was a trip to another favourite location: chijmes, home to one of the most beautiful cathedrals ever. i walked towards the esplanade, taking in the various photography displays in the tunnels along the way, which led me to the bayside where i sat, enjoying the breeze and people-watching my time away.

it is only in singapore that i can spend my time at abandon and invest the minutes into doing the things i really like: taking more than just a moment to appreciate and photograph things that i find interesting; scrutinising abstract pieces of art trying to figure out how the artist could name his work "three spaces, three lines" when there were obviously no spaces and no lines; and walking from one place to another along pedestrian-friendly roads.

it is only in singapore that i can just sit and do nothing but savour the saltiness in the wind and listen to a rock band do its soundcheck in preparation for its evening performance. my mother would balk at this wanton waste of time and chide me for days on end if i were to do this in malaysia. i would never be able to live down the guilt of not choosing to start my eos revision instead if i were to do this back at home.

but in singapore...i feel free.

i understand that all the dreariness i felt about the little red dot while i was living there is really because i was living there (and doing some studying on the side, of course). now that i have no obligations there, i find that singapore is no longer the claustrophobia-inducing island i resented three years ago. its small size is now a blessing because it means i can get around at minimal cost, relying only on "bus no.11" (my own two legs) and it means i can go to all my favourite places whenever i wished.

the only thing that suffocates me now is the love and protection of my family at home, who make me feel like a rotten child whenever i go out to a restaurant that has an in-house jazz band that plays the most excellent music. i can't take the car out without having a barrage of questions thrown at me. i know that it's only because they care, but i feel caged up at home.

that's why i look forward to my twice-yearly trips down to singapore ever so much. the 6 months in between fly past just that little bit more quickly because i know i have a train ride to 3 days of freedom at the end of it all - freedom to fall in love with the esplanade again, to hope for a wedding to peek into at the chijmes cathedral, to watch the mischievious turkish icecream man pull tricks on girls in clarke quay.

just freedom to be myself and live in the space i am most comfortable in again.

on the way

lishun at 10:08 AM