Seasonality: one week of Australian autumn followed by two weeks of Singaporean summer (now) followed by two weeks of European spring (from next Friday onwards).
Singapore is scorching sun and torrential rain. It’s circling on my bicycle between Tiong Bahru and Chinatown and the CBD. Working from a desk with sweeping views of the downtown and Marina Bay areas. Working from a little nook in the corner of our dining room on Friday afternoon, peeking out on the rain coming down hard and speedily beyond the plants on our balcony. It’s daily WhatsApp calls with my mum and friends on other continents. (My entire insta story roll is full of gorgeous spring scenes from Copenhagen, Juelsminde and London – people drinking rosé and barbecuing in parks and on their balconies, under blossoming cherry trees and orange rays of sunshine, in joyful celebration of a staggering 26-29 degrees celcius! As hot as here – but less humid – in April! The air is fresh and full of excitement – the sweet, nostalgia love that went away so many cold, bleak months ago has returned, and returned with pomp and circumstance and cherry trees in bloom. Two weeks ago it was snowing there! Hence the euphoria. I cannot wait to feel the spring vibes in a week’s time. Who knows what the weather will be like by the time I get there, but it will be magical either way.) It’s chatting with my various sweet, friendly and energetic barre instructors after daily sweaty, elegant, mind- and body-bending classes. It’s wearing summer dresses and yoga pants and not worrying about getting cold – nor about being too sweaty or casual; I only frequent places were those things are acceptable, haha. It’s meeting sweet American and Singaporean girlfriends for lunch – most of whom I know through barre. It’s meeting Sanoop for a spontaneous glass of wine at Wine Merchant or PS after work. Doing morning yoga with him. Eating fragrant, flavourful mango for breakfast, with tea, and also with him, on our balcony. Popping out for morning coffee, together, to Plain Vanilla or Tiong Bahru Bakery, in the glorious morning light. Running into local friends at the bakery, their arms full of flowers from the markets and with enough time for a chat before work. Coming home to gorgeous fresh flowers picked up by Sanoop, also from the market. It’s cooking dinner with colourful things from our veggie box delivered from an organic farm in Indonesia. Eating on the balcony in sweet evening light, chatting about our days, and our thoughts, ideas and dreams, whilst listening to the birds chirping in the trees right in front of us and gazing beyond those trees to the sleek, wavy Art Deco buildings in our street and the newly built luxury condos towering above them. It’s spending Friday night drinking red wine from PS and watching a few episodes of the Spanish Netflix show, Cable Girls (Mad Men meets Greats Gatsby in Madrid: very dramatic!), then scrubbing up to swing by 1880 to sip a few cocktails and dance. It’s waking up on Saturday morning and allowing ourselves to stay in bed for a long while, feeling the morning sun kissing our faces and the fiddle-leaf fig tree outside our bedroom window. It’s Saturdays with no plans, where one thing leads to another in a natural, lovely flow. We ask ourselves and each other, while still in bed, whether we’d prefer to do a yoga class, go for a hike in MacRitchie, go for a bike ride in the East Coast Park or just for a walk around the neighbourhood. Why do we have to do anything?, we also ask ourselves, but then decide on the fourth option, starting with picking up our favourite hot drinks at Plain Vanilla and dropping into a pop-up espresso crash course there – an Allpress barista is visiting to teach you how to brew a perfect long black – if you make it yourself, you don’t pay; so fun! We meander through Tanjong Pagar under a burning sun, chatting and laughing and hugging, get more coffee at another place in town that’s very serious about its caffeinated elixir, Nylon, in the cheerful, colourful, vibrant, lush HDB, Everton Park, and end up having breakfast at a new cool spot, The Social Space, hanging around for a long time with newspapers and magazines, reading out pieces to each other and mulling them over with tart, fizzy sips of açaí kombucha. Haha. From there, we head back home – for some more reading and to check out my friend’s friend’s pop-up exhibition in Tiong Bahru: she’s an illustrator and calligrapher, who does beautiful cards and water colour paintings, and the space in which she’s currently exhibiting, is shared by a florist and a ceramicist, who’re also exhibiting their works today. The studio is buzzing with colours and activity. Ah, I love Tiong Bahru! Sanoop and I then meet up again, around the corner from our flat, at Tiann’s, to share a scoop of their homemade dairy-free raspberry and chocolate sorbets. Yum. Then head to the Projector to watch Persepolis with a couple of friends, with whom we grab dinner at one of the Thai joints at Golden Mile Complex and a glass of wine back at Tiong Bahru Club. It’s past 11pm when we say goodbye to them, at which point Sanoop heads over to one of the local massage parlours for a foot rub, while I go home to call a friend in Sweden from the sofa. On Sunday morning, we head up to MacRitchie to rent a canoe for an hour’s paddling around the beautiful reservoir framed by lush greenery, after which we wander along the edge of the water – the boardwalk full of playful monkeys, totally oblivious to the people passing by, just scratching their own legs and reaching out to touch each other. Sweet! Next stop – coffee at Ronin, passing sections of the Sunday Times between each other. After two long blacks, I cross the road to join a barre bounce class, after which the teacher and I grab lunch together back at Ronin. Sanoop has gone home by then, and a few hours later I join him, chatting to my friend in Barcelona while walking through Chinatown to Tiong Bahru. We spend the afternoon reading on the balcony and the evening cooking and eating spicy chicken cakes with what’s left of this week’s veg delivery. That was that week. Oh, how I love our lives, or life, haha, in Singapore!
Wild Things on a Global Scale. Last weekend, we met wild koalas and kangaroos in an Australian nature reserve, while this weekend, we bumped into wild monkeys in the rainforst in Singapore. Next weekend, I’ll be meeting three newborn babies in Copenhagen. Can’t wait to see how wild my girlfriends’ offspring is, haha.