Singapore

christmas in august

1. That’s how the Kiwis celebrate it, apparently? I went to a Christmas party Friday night – it should be worrying that it took me a few minutes to remember if it was last night or the night before. It was a friend’s boss’ party, so it was mostly an older crowd: chiefly startup entrepreneurs, late-20s onwards, predominantly expats. Took around four cups and half an hour to stop feeling intensely uncomfortable and tongue-tied, and then the night sped on in a vague buzz of laughingly serious political conversations and harmless flirtations. As the party wound down, I honestly heard two women debate earnestly about the Hobbesian state of nature and the Lockean idea of government. I spent half an hour carefully enunciating my arguments about how stifling Singapore is, while the host’s wife, American, I think, agreed and elaborated. Next to them was a white plastic table littered with the exhausted debris of imminent alcoholism, and behind them, a couple was necking on a couch under the air-con’s chilly blast; one of the hosts sat slumped against the wall in the balcony, a gift-wrapped box protectively tied around his … hips, shall we say.

I watched this all with a detached sense of amusement. I don’t think most of them registered how bloody young we were. Met an ex-RGS girl, working in the government now, throwing professional parties on the side. In the same breath, she invited us to one the following night and made a face when she mentioned that 19-year-olds would be there, regrettably. I didn’t envy them their clean-up the next day. We left around 4, and then we made a detour to A&E for a friend’s stitches after she fell terribly on some gravel, but that’s another story. I went home, crashed at 6, and pretty much slept the rest of Saturday away.

Sloth is the word of my weekend, it seems. But over-indulgence and cramps and a flu and pining and a lack of sleep are not good combinations at all.

Anyway, the party was mainly to reassure myself that I could go to a party where I knew practically nobody and not come off as 1) a cringing wallflower 2) an incredibly awkward freak or 3) an embarrassingly shy Asian. (I left as “the sober one”, but really, that’s not that bad a moniker, is it?) This seems especially important for Freshers’ Week, especially as there are talks about absinthe parties in my college’s FB group for the day the international freshers land … though the age ranges would obviously be different.

2. My thoughts were very, very far away that night. It seems there is no escaping them, even the dreams, when they come. My dream last night was more allusive than explicit, and hilariously also a reflection of the fandoms I’m currently re-immersing myself in. I dreamt I was back in Pearson, though it did not look like it, and MCL was a stony castle, and there was a rumbling dragon hidden at the end of a long flight of downward stairs. Merlin, obviously, except the dragon in my dream was obscenely fat and slimy, and someone was supposed to kill it, of course, but I didn’t think it was me, and I spent a long time pacing the airy room on the other side of the castle, watching for any tell-tale shadows above the house, because I had the idea that it was after me. Then I ran out of the house and down a moonlit path into a forest, and I was in a bright room, having a house meeting of sorts, and someone asked the difficult question, but why weren’t we told there was a dragon here? There was a pall about the room as though someone had said the word apocalypse (yes, Supernatural.)

Anyway, the dragon broke out of the dungeons after that. I found this dream preferable to the previous one, which was of surprise and familiar arms and a benediction painful to awake from. I know I am unexpectedly envious about my first years returning to Pearson, and I miss the place, but it’s the people I want to keep, and so returning will do me scant good.

3. Three more days of class to teach this term. Right now I would be happy if I didn’t have to go back next term, as seems likely, but perhaps a week of break would do me enough good that I might be re-energized by then. Meanwhile, I should start looking at my readings and assorted math worksheets, because my college buddy assures me that they will be a pain to complete during term.

I STILL NEED TO BOOK MY PLANE TICKETS, regrettably.

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