Friends Visiting from Sydney | 22-281018

Highlights of the week. Monday’s: trampoline barre class. Tuesday’s: staying in all day, except for a barre class in Hong Kong Street. Wednesday’s: wining and dining with a Danish girl and a Kiwi girl, a successful match of two of my good friends, who’ve never met before, on 1880’s verdant roof terrace overlooking the river. Thursday’s: cycling from Tiong Bahru to Cluny Court via Tyersall Avenue, halfway expecting the lush lining of the quiet, serene avenue to hide a palace like it does in Crazy Rich Asians, feeling that old familiar thrill and fascination of ‘discovering a new’ part of the country. Why have I never been here before? Or in Cluny Court? A mall that’s almost cosy in all of its quaint quirkiness. I meet two friends here – to browse around the boutiques and to have a late breakfast at The Bakery by Woodlands, further up the road, a real hipster institution, which I also didn’t know existed until now. Afterwards, we wander over and smile at the black swans waddling around on the manicured lawns of the Botanic Gardens. That evening, I meet the other barre girls from Koh Samui for a class followed by dinner – and we get our teacher certificates!

Weekend Wonderland. A couple of our friends from Sydney are visiting for the weekend. She’s one of my closest friends, whom I met and worked with in London, and they’re both so lovely, easygoing, thoughtful, just easy. So nice to show them our world here, to have them be part of it. We plan nothing all weekend – just go with the flow and do whatever each moment calls for. When they arrive on Friday evening, we just head down on the corner for some Thai grub at Little Elephant, and then have a night cap at Bincho, where Sanoop and I first met. On Saturday morning, we all go running through the park and along the river before having breakfast at Plain Vanilla. Maybe my favourite bits of the entire weekend – having them join us for such normal, typical activities. Next up – a long walk in the Botanic Gardens; a short walk around the markets in Little India Arcade before introducing our guests to Kerala food at our usual go-to spot just behind the Arcade, Premaas. Walk over to Bugis, Haji Lane, National Design Center … head down to the Marina Bay to get a few cocktails at Spago … walk through the CBD and Telok Ayer to Duxton … tacos and margaritas at Lucha Loco … late-night foot massage at OD Wellness. Sunday morning – hatha yoga at Yoga Inc, the four of us are the only one in class. Such a good start to the day! Followed by a meander through Tiong Bahru, getting fruits and free range eggs from the market and coffee and bread from the bakery, and a long breakfast session at home, chatting and listening to lo-fi lounge music. When we feel like moving again, we head down to the Southern Ridges for a long walk and to check out a few galleries at Gillman Barracks, particularly taken by NGuan‘s dreamy photographies of Singapore. From there, we head over to Everton Road and Blair Road, showing off the candy-coloured Peranakan shophouses, lunching at Strangers’ Reunion and drinking coffee at Nylon. Then it’s time for a pause at home. And around 8pm, we drive to East Coast Road for laksa and smoothie bowls. Our friends leave early on Monday morning, after such a lovely weekend with a comfortable dynamic. We talked about nothing and everything, keeping a good balance between deep conversations and sudden insights and exchanges, banter, comfortable silences … Sanoop and I got an opportunity to do all of our favourite things, reconnect with our usual Singapore after weeks away, and also to spend quality time with our friends – and introduce them to a country they’d never been to before. It wasn’t so much what we said or did (though I liked all of that), but spending a normal weekend in Singapore together, something they fell into easily and also appreciated, most importantly 🙂

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