Singapore / Updates

quite a contrary creature

I need to learn to stop taking myself seriously, since my sentiments vacillate more strongly than those amusement park pirate ships. (The ones that whoosh up and down?) I have three weekends left in Singapore.

That … really doesn’t seem like a lot, does it? And to think, only two, almost three months ago, I was going stir crazy at the thought of being here all summer. It comes down to purpose – as much as I resent the daily loneliness of (apparent) inanity, in retrospect, I have occupied myself to acceptable levels this summer. The three weeks ahead are very packed, of course, but I thrive on the hapless, masochistic student sort of frenetic activity.

My to-do list for the next three weeks:

– Pack!! Purchase necessary items. Eliminate discretionary spending!
– Assemble packing list. See above.
– Final lunches/brunches/dinners/meet-ups/RENDEZ-VOUS.
– Finish math assignments + assigned economics reading. Skim through all other subjects’ readings if possible. (To the latter’s purpose, visit the National Library!)
– Go windsurfing. Many times. Practice tacking and jibing.
– Make sure my four English classes pass their English exams.
– Various side projects!!

Very excitingly, approximately 4.5 hours today were spent on Moderately Strenuous Physical Activity.

a) Windsurfing today was an mini-adventure. There were around ten heartstopping minutes when I was half-convinced I was going to drown. I don’t know how it would have happened, except the wind picked up suddenly, I was using a bigger (4.0m^2) sail, the waves racked up and the sky was cloudy, and I couldn’t get my sail to stay in (what I thought was) the right direction, and I couldn’t even get the sail safely onto the back of my board to paddle back to shore because the wind kept flipping it off the board. Yeah, that was quite scary. 

There was also no other people on the sea, and I get understandably antsy when I’m all alone on the water. It’s a matter of faith, and I have very little in myself, intellectually speaking. Having another person – even just one! – on the water might be a placebo, but it’s an effective one. The wind was very light when I first went in, and one of the staff recommended that I use a bigger sail. Then, as mentioned above, the wind picked up and I didn’t have enough leverage (read: strength) to hold on, and I thought a storm was picking up, so I hightailed it (or drifted, panicky) to shore a beach down. Another helpful windsurfing veteran offered to sail the board back to the main beach so I wouldn’t have to lug it by trolley back, and then he left the board in the water and motioned for me to continue.

I actually looked at him quite dubiously, and I was like, is the wind too strong, to which he replied, depends! it’s not strong enough for me haha. But he told me to get on and give it a go anyway, and by this point, other people were entering the water (because the wind had picked up, yay me!) so I thought that even if I were to fail epically, there’ll be help close by, so there was really no harm in trying. 

I WENT REALLY FAST! I also fell into the water by losing control of the sail twice – but that’s par for the course! I also managed to make it back to shore on my own, which is another plus. Little victories, right? Think I’ll stick with the 4-meter sail from now on. It’s harder to control, since there is more power, and it’s very precarious, but that’s the point of windsurfing, right?

(I will actually have some kind of multimedia soon. All these wordy and irrelevant updates must be getting old, huh?)

b) I discovered to my chagrin that the bike shop at the park right opposite my house rents bikes for an absurdly low student price of $6 for two hours from Tuesdays to Fridays. It is appalling that I only discovered that today when I wanted to bike the Punggol Park Connector with B, because I could have gone cycling like, every day. Or every two days. Or even just once, in the past three months.

In any case, the Punggol park connector was more crowded than I remembered, which is a pity, but it was gorgeous nonetheless, and quiet, and a little reminiscent of both Stanley Park and the riverside trail in Innsbruck. The colors couldn’t quite compare, of course (iPhoto was used freely on the following photos; also my first foray into photo editing, so I will warn for over-exposed/over-saturated/etc. etc. photos.)

Sadly, not many photos of us actually biking.

We did feel a little stupid taking all these shots, but … YOLO?

(Definitely over edited, I think; my only excuse is my bad taste: I kind of like this effect.)

I suppose Singapore is pretty, if you look in the right places. I haven’t found that many, but I don’t think I’ve been honestly looking.

The book I was reading a while ago, Singapore: An Air-conditioned Nation, ended off with an achingly evocative essay about Singapore’s constant renovation and upgrading, and warned, quite rightly, that Singapore’s landscape is changing to the extent that the very country might become unrecognizable to its own children when they return a few years later. Armed with my camera, I’m going to try and save some memories for myself before I leave

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