I admit I have been, and am fickle.
My complaints of the city has been revoked and of late, I find myself staring adoringly at the city lights, struggling to come to terms with this new found love, unable to look away at the same time.
Is this home now? I have never had a physical home. Perennially displaced, I oscillated between Taiwan and Malaysia. Now, a third edition with the name of Singapore, I’m at loss with my sense of belonging other than my loyalty to my parents, my family and myself. I was never fully patriotic. A country was but a place where my physical self was located. They composed of good food, a high ceiling and laughter (my family’s) – the rest fades away. My passport is just another notebook-sized document, all I feel is a superficial, rational love which has no purpose or end.
Now, Singapore is beginning to take hold of me. I find myself staring at the high rise buildings, the cold metallic skyscrapers and the transient people which always seem like overexposed films – detached, overwhelming and always, always foreign. The reflective buildings seem to stare back at me, taunting me to be someone, anyone – make a mark. I’m no longer daunted by the magnificent buildings though, rather, I’m at peace with them. What has happened between now and three years ago? Have I grown from a town girl into a city woman? I like that cities are cold and unforgiving, detached and strange – even the amorphous identities are an appeal. I often wonder what will I find next, what can I stumble into – cities are forever a wonderland and we are each Alices in our own ways.
I no longer miss Penang although my tongue palette craves for her food, Tainan remains a constant desire and the rest, well, the rest is kept in my room – a little secret here and there, in the corners and drawers I have carefully put together because in here, you will be able to find my life and the person that I am. I am still trying to carve out a meaning for Singapore. Her effects on me has been amorphous at best, but now that it is solidifying into something more, I am a little daunted and apprehensive. Like always, though, only time can tell, and my personal discoveries will continue to be enmeshed with these love affairs – one that will not stop growing as I continue to collect adoring places in my heart.