Walking in the ghost of past in Singapore

August 25, 2022

Many years ago when I lived in Singapore. I used to ride my bike or walk for hours on end. I prefer the night. I knew every connector. I even knew the ones that weren’t supposed to exist. Back then on some of my best walks I would suddenly end up in a place that I could not recognize and revel in the salutory joy of getting lost and not knowing where I was. I have returned after many years. But this time round there are simply too many changes. I don’t recognize where I am most of the time. At times, I can pick out some remnant of the past and I just stop and peer at it, but it’s just a faint watermark as most of it is gone and after that I feel silly. As if the past is conspiring to make me feeble. I am accustomed to wearing my heavy field boots. The pavement is just too even and smooth and I even find myself having to put a big bag of coins into my right pocket so that I can feel the comfort of an imaginary heavy parang I am accustomed to carrying in the field. At times I look back expecting my trusted Doberman body guard to come around. Then I remember, he is not with me….. on top of all this. I really miss my friends the birds and trees. Maybe its not Singapore that has changed. Maybe the change is deep inside me……I realise this sounds defeatist, but I dont fit in any longer……its no fun being lost all the time, not knowing where you are or even where you should belong. Or maybe I should just keep walking till I reach some place that’s familiar.

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