Sunday, September 19, 2010
This is almost a complete digression from everything I've been talking about recently, but I guess now is as good a time as any to say that this time next week, if all goes well, I should be on a plane to a land faraway.
I'm leaving Singapore for a year, to study something that is really close to my heart: writing. I didn't actually believe I had managed to get into a school to study writing, I don't actually believe it right now.
I don't think I'll believe it until I'm on the plane, eating barfy plane food and trying to watch a movie I should have caught in the cinema, without getting a headache.
I am going to do my darndest to keep this blog going, although I'll probably be taking my own pictures mostly, and you'll have plenty of new scenery.
It's strange because while I love to travel and I do it fairly often, I get really homesick, particularly peoplesick. I miss walking down familiar streets and seeing familiar faces, feeling the heat of the Singapore sun on my face. And yet, when I'm here, I long to be elsewhere, taking in sights and sounds and experiences.
A year is not so long, you say, and it's true. But making this sojourn even more bittersweet is the fact that Chip, my bestest buddy, is now 13 and well, I'll be gone for a year and... he's already outlived most average dogs and... I don't actually want to say more, but I'll take it that you're astute enough to connect the dots.
My grandmother is also terminally ill and considering that it's just a matter of time, I don't know how much I have left with her.
There are so many things I'm going to miss.
I felt a twinge when Dhany and I went down to the Marina Barrage on a spontaneous whim and decided to try our collective hand at flying a kite.
The air was full of swooping colours and beautiful shapes and the ground was full of swooping colours and beautiful shapes in the form of people trying to keep the air that way.
Some of the kite shapes cracked us up and some sadly struggled to stay aloft, constantly making a jagged, exhausted beeline for the ground.
Children running back and forth frantically, parents shouting "Let go, let go!". People picnicking on the grass, some with reels of string tucked comfortably under their toes to maintain control on the kite over their heads.
And above it all, diamonds and triangles, fluttering so effortlessly they looked perfectly still, like ships on a horizon.
We ran like maniacs trying to get our rainbow-coloured triangle and its streamers off the ground. Sweat was streaming down my sides, my throat was hoarse from shouting and my legs were starting to seize up. A sprinter, I am not.
The light was failing and Dhany had string burn all down his palms, but we kept saying, "one last time", hoping that our little kite would join those floating gently in the ether.
You probably think this is one of those stories in which our final run was a triumphant one and our kite soared upwards, a testament to our determination. Well, it's not. The damn thing wouldn't get more than four metres off the ground, and we walked all the way back to the city, making excuses about the number of tails, the weight of the kite and a lousy recommendation by the shop's proprietor.
But I didn't care. Up on the barrage, watching the sky painted with colours and wispy clouds, feeling the occasional breeze lift my hair, I felt alive and loved.
Don't get me wrong. I'm really really excited about taking this new step in my life and grateful for the chance that just fell into my lap. But I can't look forward without looking back over my shoulder. And there are so many things there.
It used to be that there was all that I couldn't leave behind.
Now, it's all that I have to.