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So for the past few days I’ve been back in Singapore.
I lived here for 4 years, from 2005 to 2009 and I have to say I loved it.
Some of that was because of the job. Some of that was because of the newness of it all. A lot of that was because of the people.
Sure, there were some things that got on my nerves, such as the rigid red-tape, the odd times where you were exposed to unbelievable cultural pettiness and the overall fear mentality … but they were small prices to pay for the chance to live in such a vibrant society.
Hell, they gave me permanent residency, let me sit on the governments ‘education’ council and allowed me to get married there so I’ll never, ever diss it too much because it gave me wonderful times, experiences and lessons.
However being back is always bitter sweet now.
I’m lucky a lot of my old friends are still here, despite many having left and of course, they have still have my beloved Funan Electronics Mall – where I have a never-ending choice of ridiculous gadgets all in one place – but stepping back into this wonderful country feels very strange to me from an emotional point of view.
I’ve written about this many times [for example, here] but maybe this time it’s stranger.
You see I always had this belief that I may move back to this city at some point in my life, but now I am coming to terms with the fact that is very unlikely.
I don’t know why that surprises me because I’ve learnt from a couple of terrible experiences to ‘never go back’, because nothing is the same as it once was and for a sentimental fool like me, that always leaves me feeling fucked up. But the fact is, it has surprised me because in all likelihood, my next move will not be to Singapore, but somewhere else.
Of course I don’t know where ‘somewhere else’ is and even though I have a couple of thoughts, the fact is there’s a high likelihood my time in Asia is coming to an end – at least a temporary end – and that’s sad and strange.
Yes, I know you should always be excited about the future and I am … but I love this part of the World, it has been incredibly good to me and has given me a chance to experience things that are beyond my wildest expectations but I don’t feel I have repaid my gratitude as much as I should or want to.
Of course there may still be time as I doubt my circumstances are going to change in the next six months at the very least and as much as I love Singapore – I utterly adore Shanghai – but as I walk around the streets of this place I once called home, I can’t help but feel a pang of sadness which – if I’m being honest – is extra pathetic given I fly back Monday morning.
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