I never imagined it could be so disconcerting to come back home to your own country and have to 'settle in' all over again- after all, it has only been a year since I went to Singapore, and I also made a one-week trip to Hyderabad/Vizag in April.
A lot has changed since then, though, and with Vizag no longer being home, I wasn't particularly keen to come back here. There are people who think you oughtn't to be saying so about the country you've grown up in, and I have often thought so myself about people who spent a spell abroad and came back all altered and a little irreverent, but I know what it really feels like, now.
My last week in Singapore went by in a blur. Shopping, cramming things into suitcases and cartons to be sent off through cargo, packing for the flight, last-minute goodbyes, and that one last, longing look at sights that had grown so familiar to me, and which I'd fallen wholly in love with. Oh yes, even the Merlion, a little grudgingly. (I'm not the biggest fan of the Merlion, you see- while it is symbolic of Singapore's rise as an economic power and a mix of history and modernity, the country definitely has plenty of other very interesting landmarks.) threaded numerous times through the alleys of Vivo City mall, which connects to our office at Harbour Front, and now I could probably go around blindfolded. I kept telling myself, don't say goodbye, it'll only make you feel worse. I went on a boat ride down the Singapore River, on one of the little cruises that operates from Clarke Quay, and saw the Fullerton in all its splendid evening grandeur. I went to dinner with cousins and had Thai food, for the first time ever. It was a pretty memorable week, little disappointments notwithstanding.
I still haven't reached the stage where I can say with a clear conscience that I'm glad to be back. I'm going to work from tomorrow, 9 AM to 6.30 PM, and obviously, not really looking forward to it after the almost regular 8-hour shifts I've been doing. It'll probably only be the beginning of something exciting and unpredictable, because that is exactly how Singapore came about. Touch wood.