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easter homecoming

after 5 films and 13 hours mid air, i'm finally home in singapore. the ecstasy was evident as we flew below the cloud cover, above islands unknown to me. and as singapore came into view, you could literally feel my heart racing. the airbus was undoubtedly beyond criticism. the service and facilities were impeccable and it was massive. terminal three was sorely disappointing. lacklustre ammenities and such silence, it was literally a dead city. i was overwhelmed by the people around me. the distinctly singaporean accent, the singlish, the hokkien and chinese and malay that peppered personal and transactional conversations was a change from the crisp british accent your ears have accustomed themselves to. ordering at the drink counter in the foodcourt was intimidating seeing that the self-conscious effort to control the 'lar's and 'lor's had ingrained itself so deeply it was hard to avoid. ordering in chinese was a speech impediment.

after breakfast at the airport and on the taxi ride home, i felt like a stranger in such a familiar land. the landmarks, the greenery, the sights were all taken in with exclamations of wonder and that little budding sense of pride, i was positively sure the driver thought i was a tourist. it didn't help that the route taken was such a familiar one, having memorised it by heart last year as i travelled to and fro camp and home. the ikea at tampines, the exit that led into jalan kayu and seletar camp seemed like distant memories from the past fighting its way back into the present. it was almost conflicting as you tried to reconcile what you knew from the past, and what was passing by your very sight. turning into the exit off the highway led to the road towards home. the strongest sense of nostalgia hits you as you recognise the roads, the schools and the junctions. in your head, you're tracking the route home, creating a mental picture of the traffic lights and knowing at which ones to turn. the uncertainty mounted as each passing car brought you closer to the warmth and familiarity of home.

stepping through the doors of the house, you immediately shed away all uncertainties and it's replaced by a curiosity. my room was left pretty much the way it was, slightly spruced up, yet retaining all its character and simplicity. moments were spent picking up what was there and what wasn't there, and it's this process of assimilating the knowledge and history of a past, with a not so familiar reality, that made the whole sensation so dynamic and exhilarating. it's about piecing the new and old together to recreate a new sense of being and presence. so i showered and nestled myself into a comfortable position on the new sofa with my laptop, watching a not so familiar scene outside my window. the bendy bus looked strangely different. a funeral procession just went by. and it struck me how oddly familiar and strange this whole world was to me. it stood in such contrast against the world that i've grown so used to in the last six months. the green pastures, the sea view and the animals that littered the landscape provided the best view from a room in darren's house in wales; a street of neatly lined up cars, opposite a row of houses built to mimic itself was what north london could offer at annie's place; students and ducks strutting pass your window in utter oblivion best depicts housing in university. the contrast was undeniable. yet it slowly sunk in. that i was home to familiarity, and that's what home truly was. it's about living with the hot and humid weather and not having to put on an extra layer everytime you step out of the house; it's about trashy singaporean tv shows like crimewatch that have ah lians screaming 'we need to beat her up coz she was staring at me and she gave my boyfriend a condom' (this i am not kidding); it's about hearing the imperfections of english on tv and know that it's ok because we get it - and that gives us our identity. i am home now. somehow, home seems a little surreal right now.

yet, part of me is longing for the people back in warwick. i'm sorely missing them. i'm heartachingly missing you. and it doesn't help that we're 2 continents and 13 hours apart, that when we're asleep, they're awake. it doesn't help that part of me cannot be at ease, and a couple of minutes each day on skype seems to be the only form of connection we have. it's probably the best we can get and all we need is faith and belief, that you and i won't go wrong. as uneasy and unsettled my heart may be, as flustered i may get when you tell me you're heading off to somewhere and that i won't be hearing from you for days, know that i am trying my hardest to get over it. the hardest obstacle is getting over myself first, and i'll do it for us. i don't know how to ask of you to make this easier, coz i wouldn't have the answers for that. i wish you had them and gave me the wisdom to see me through this.

coming home has been such an emotionally charged experience. not thinking too much might just seem to be the best way about it till the 19th of april.

p.s parents are so cool about the tattoo and piercing. thank you.

“easter homecoming”