Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Singapore Love Affair

A few weeks ago, Singapore and I celebrated our first anniversary. It wasn’t a fancy affair. In fact, I wasn’t even here to celebrate it. I danced the night away in Phuket, only raising a silent toast to our blossoming relationship from afar.

Like lovers who make inspirations for romance novels, we’ve had a classic partnership that feels like forever and yet so new.

Around four hundred days ago when I sat in an empty apartment with three suitcases and a dozen brown boxes, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I tried to predict how my life would turn out in the coming year and I drew a blank. 

I was starting from scratch, yet another time. I wondered if I was too old to make the change, find new friends and throw myself in to work that I was not acquainted with.

Leaving familiarity is one of the hardest things to do. We end up staying in relationships, places and jobs because we are accustomed to them. We take the same route to work, pick up our coffee from the café where the barista prepares our order in advance, we know the buttons to press with our colleagues, round up at the regular bar for a drink and have repeated conversations with our friends about jobs that suck and dreams that remain unfulfilled.

I was breaking my current rut but something inside me hoped that I wasn’t getting myself into another one.

When the plane took off from Dubai and I glanced at the fading lights for one last time, I wished on them. 

A year and some later, I think about that day in the apartment. I try to remember the uneasiness, but it’s gone. 
I try to picture myself, but I can’t. I see another person sitting around the brown boxes – anxious and confused.
I’m glad I don’t know that person.

Love should feel like home. It should be easy and yet make your heart beat just a little bit faster. It should make you smile even when it’s gloomy because you know that sunshine is right around the corner.

When I landed in Singapore and we exchanged glances for the first time, I didn’t expect to fall in love. It happened slowly, and it was in the long-drawn process that I tried to find little reasons to smile every day.

Waking up in an apartment that overlooks the river.

A short walk to work.

Learning to cycle again

New friends who feel like forever.


A job that doesn’t feel like one.

Embracing dim sum for breakfast.

Hundred and fifty dollars return tickets to Bali.

Happy hour.

Bartenders that know that you need gin & tonic at 5pm on a Friday evening.

The joy of having Sunday off.

Whatsapp calling.

Traveling for work.

Packing away heels and fancy clothes - embracing shorts and slippers.

Cooking at home.


Becoming content with nothingness.

A gym with a hair dryer that’s better than the one I have at home.

The unfamiliar is frightening but we seldom realise that it’s in the unknown that magic happens.

On the 15th of June 2017, seated in that plane, I wished for playfulness, I wished to discover a part of me that got a bit side lined over the years.

By searching tiny reasons to smile every day and through this exciting, surprising, playful ride over the past year, Singapore has taught me to be grateful. To give, receive and embrace love, once again, unconditionally.

I can't wait to see what you have planned for me next. 
Here’s to us, Singers.


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