Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Say anything

Another year older, hardly any wiser.

This time last year, life was full of unknowns. Each step was a new, unsure one. I was in a brand new relationship, and what was new was that it was (and still is) a long distance one. I'd just quit my job and was moving to England to be a student again.

A year on, things are different.

My relationship is still going strong after more than a year together. Leaving and studying again has made me realise that all this time studying in Singapore, my brain was hardly ever fully utilised.

And now, being back in Singapore, even just for a couple of weeks, makes me realise how much things change around here. Buildings go up, buildings go down at lightning speed. The skyline changes. In Brighton, the skeleton of the burnt down West Pier still stands in the water, four years on. In Singapore, what's no longer new is gotten rid of without a second thought. It's always about the new. And it's tiring to keep up.

And in some ways, it's still the same. People still don't give way to alighting MRT passengers, bus drivers still brake as hard as they can so that standing passengers can exercise their arm muscles and practise their balancing skills, the government raises the gst rates and at the same time doles out more money to those who already have too much, the neighbour's kid is still noisy but now noisier with the addition of a drum set...

A lot of questions have been asked of me, and I suppose not all my answers have been totally satisfactory. So I suppose I'll answer some here, whatever comes to mind. So please fish out whatever answer fits your questions best.

I don't know what's going to happen after September, when my dissertation is handed over and my lease on the room is up. I do love Brighton, and while it may sound really boring to a lot of people, I like my life there. It's simple, it involves a lot of walking, a lot of reading, a lot of sitting and thinking. It's a small place with just a three-storey mall and lacks the buzz of London but it's a great place to be a student. It's got clean air and I sneeze far less than in Sg. It's an MA in Globalisation, Ethnicity and Culture, and it's made me develop an interest in imperial history, but from the Other's point of view. Part of the reason why I'm back in Sg is to do some research and I've been spending time in the central library (and no doubt comparing its many flaws to the British Library) and at the National Archives. The other reason of course is to see my family and friends. I will not describe R more fully in this blog because while I know that most of my friends haven't actually met him proper, the time will come when we're actually in the same country and then the floor will be open for questions.

That's all for now.

It's the morning of the 11th of July.

8 comments:

me said...

yaaayy happy birthday to u Jie!
was great to see u!!:)
i just got back, so i'm just gonna Zzzz

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Shar!! : )

- Shu Ping

mel said...

hey shar, even though you didn't say that much during this visit - i feel that you seem more contented and serene, probably a combination of the quaint brighton life and R? i kinda know how it must feel to be pressured into answering these impt questions - but i'm glad you're sticking to what your heart is telling you. i'm excited for you and the many possibilities ahead - have a great 28th year!

olduvai said...

thanks everyone!

Vanessa said...

Happy 28th! A little belated, I'm afraid. =)

Anonymous said...

Hey you don't know me but i thought i'd share this... i got to your blog by googling the price of food in singapore!

the strange thing is that i'm in colombo sri lanka, my partner and i are off to singapore next week for hols, and in october we're finally planning to return to the uk to live in brighton (for the first time). I've been in lanka for over four years, and i do peace work so i'm very interested in colonial history etc..... so i enjoyed reading your accounts of both places. Andy

olduvai said...

thanks vanessa!

Andy - thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Hope your visit to Singapore goes well! Just remember to avoid Newton food centre as its far too touristy. Try the East Coast lagoon food centre instead!

ih said...

Happy Belated Birthday Sharlene! Only just knew about it but better late than never.