Wednesday, November 10, 2010

All change, all change...

I'm seeing that I'm not the only one in the neighbourhood going through change. The next door neighbour's moved out after living in the estate for years, and renting the apartment out; the coffee shop across the road is undergoing major renovation; the little provision shop next to it is changing over tenants; and some of the apartments in the block across the way have new tenants (good riddance to the freaky weirdo who did nothing much all day but sit at the window in his boxer shorts WITH binocs AND a telescope and perve at everything. He had a really gross-looking body as well :s The audacity.). 

Despite the almost daily sightings of aforesaid freaky weirdo, we've loved living in this little apartment of ours for the last 2 1/2 years. It's been a sanctuary from the vicissitudes of life and work swirling around us, and it's going to be hard to say goodbye to it for we don't exactly how long. I know when we do come back to live here, the whole area will probably be undergoing major change, given the Jurong Lake District (somehow that moniker sits uncomfortably with me) development plans for this area. 

Of course this is a good thing for property values etc, but this is the thing that has bugged me for the longest time living in Singapore: very little stays the same. It's the main reason why I've found it difficult to really feel at home here, because so much of what I remember from the earlier part of my life here is gone. Obliterated. Bulldozed over. OK there are those of you who will pontificate at me about this being necessary for economic progress, national development etc, but with all due respect  - you can keep those opinions to yourself - we've heard about them all our lives. It's cold comfort for one who feels like she can't completely sink roots down in this country when key aspects of her personal history are gone forever. So please spare me all that.

"All I want to do is trade this life for something new, holding onto what I haven't got." 

A lot of people have commented that Steve and I have a nomadic life, moving from country to country, setting up home where opportunities and new experiences await us, and yes - as much as it is a hassle transitioning - I feel right now that as long as we can keep doing this, we will be very fortunate. My dear friend D was saying the other day that I need to start thinking of myself as "an international person who happens to be Singaporean" and realising that my achievements and experiences have the potential to take me well outside the country and into other  opportunities in the wider world. Steve and I never imagined that we'd have the chance to live and work in Europe, so we're really going to make a go of this. So as they say, "Onz!" :)

OK enough early morning rumination. Need to haul ass and deal with visa issues (which will be the subject of a future post. Which will be funny, I promise - D, thanks for giving me the idea for it after I told you about my US visa experience!).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I think I must have...

... been a squirrel in a previous life. 

How else to explain all the stuff I'm finding stashed away so safely that I've forgotten about/couldn't for the life of me find for the last three years?? It's around 8.30pm now as I type this, and I'm taking a break from packing and sorting, to vent my bewilderment at the fact that I'm still finding things to deal with! I just unearthed a bag of socks, scarves and pyjamas that I had brought back from Chicago, and was hunting for sometime ago - and they all need cleaning now before I pack them away again... :p 

Mum was saying to me at breakfast that I had x number of things still at the Pine Grove place that she hopes I will deal with before this upcoming move. I stared at her in wonderment as she described what these things are: a bunch of old Swatch watches, hair accessories, the mini sombrero table decorations from the wedding party, my old and seriously beat up court bag, old notes and books from my LL.B. days... you get the idea. Blimey. HOW could I have left such a breadcrumb trail of possessions in the wake of this and the last relocation? What was I subconsciously hoping that they would lead me back to??

When we moved back from Chicago three years ago, we had a total of 14 boxes that were shipped back here. I'm waiting to see how many I end up with tomorrow. I can remember airily saying to the nice customer service person at Allied Pickfords "oh I don't think we'll have a lot to move, as we're renting our place fully furnished and we won't be moving electrical appliances either..."  May have to eat my words tomorrow.

I'm looking at the CD shelves now, and I think I may do another cull. Come ON, Ling - they're all mostly in your iTunes library and they'll DEGRADE in a few years anyway...

And so it begins...

So. I've finally entered the blogosphere :) I've had a few nudges from a few of you to do this, especially since I'll be relocating to the land of windmills and tulips very soon; embarking upon another stage in this life of mine. Incredibly mixed emotions have been coursing through me of late: initial exhilaration at securing the new job and the reality of starting a new life in Europe, gratitude for all the support and encouragement from my family and so many dear friends, sadness at the thought of not exactly knowing when and where I'll be seeing them again, and debilitating frustration at the sight of ALL THE THINGS currently crowding my living room that the good people from Allied Pickfords are going to come to pack and cart off on Monday... 

This snap shows just a fraction of the worldly possessions I've been marshalling for the move over the last week. I have 106 books, camping and sports gear, a guitar, our Capitalist Piggy bank, plush toys (ok something unexpected for those of you who think you know me) including Valter and Vilma, our Swedish Christmas gnomes...


I hope to be in a better frame of mind after next Monday, please God :p  I've been listening to Linkin Park's new album "A Thousand Suns" over and over again for the last few weeks, and one track has been hitting home hard - "Waiting for the End". OK sounds morbid, but I can really relate to it, and in any case it's a mind-blowing song. Fabulous video as well.

OK enough with being maudlin. Back to why I'm starting this blog - I just want to start recording my experiences and the images I capture for myself, so I don't ever forget how this journey of mine progresses. Why the title of the blog? Some of you may know that I'm a sucker for these two bits of accoutrement, especially when I'm travelling. Oh and in cold weather I like to wear mod caps too... :) See snap below, courtesy of S when we were travelling in Tianjin recently :)

Will be back with more posts, hurrying off to breakfast with parents now... !