I had wanted to close the chapter for Odense, Denmark, properly before I route back to reconnect the dots in Perth, Australia. I had been in a frantic mode since weeks before departing Demark to transit in Singapore for a week and then back to Perth.
Clearly, I am not quite a light traveler (what does that even mean!). I shipped one huge box of personal effects to the boy in America since I have no use for cold winter apparels in Perth, so I thought. Perth’s winter is quite mild, as compared to Denmark.
Due to some last minute changes to my transport arrangement, I had spent more time rearranging for alternatives. Well, people disappoint us all the time, especially when we are of no use to them. However, people also surprise us in a right way all the time. The boy stayed up throughout the time to help guide me through my train rides and flights.
Singapore is constantly changing. The last time I was back in Singapore after a year and a half in Perth, there were quite many changes, big and small, that have been introduced to this city-country. After a year in Denmark, Singapore continues to surprise me (pleasantly) with exciting changes.
I miscalculated my “downtime” in Singapore. I had set aside seven days in Singapore, but after taking away the late arrival and early departure, I was left with five days. Then, I also forgot to factor in my jet lag downtime, which would usually start on the second or third day into the new time space. I would be a semi-comatose mode for the most of the day. I only really had three days that I was mentally and consciously lucid!
My sister and I had some lovely time together shopping and having afternoon tea; including photo bombing! My sister will always take time off her busy schedule to keep me accompany when I am back in Singapore, and I truly appreciate that. My sister is street smart and my walking dictionary and directory. When I first returned to the real world (long story, but in short, I was barely out of my apartment for six years), my sister was my public transport real time assistant. I got lost all the time, and she would ask that I send her my location and she would guide me out of it.
Needless to say, being back in Singapore means merciless feasting! My mom started taking food orders from me weeks before I went home. I had not tried the new Chinese New Year food “trending,” pen cai, so I placed that order with my mom. She also “preserved” the ingredients (mainly the seasonings) of the “lou hei” since Chinese New Year too.
Fortunately for me, Singapore’s weather was not at her hottest during my brief stay-over. I was grossly just tired from the stress of packing and traveling.
Before I could satisfy my tummy with all the great food in Singapore, I was due to return to Perth. Back in Perth, I was delighted with the cool weather, which quickly becomes freezing cold! Okay, maybe I should be specific about my weather order. I said “cold,” and it might be easily mistaken for “freezing cold.” My fault. I meant, cool, like one or two degrees from 17 degrees Celcius, not 5 degrees Celcius.
New semester had started a week after my return, and I was barely ready! This semester is going to be more challenging, but I have help from the boy to plan my study schedule, so I am quite confident that I am on the right track.
It’s been a crazy rush of packing, unpacking, repacking, unpacking and more unpacking! In a new environment, new housemates, and renewed emotional state, I am happier this time. I am quite a tough cookie; I may take longer to figure out social situations and schedules, but I am tenacious and determined. Regardless, everyone can use some external assistance, and there is no shame in asking for it when we need it.
I had been managing my overseas independent living on my own, and it has been the most arduous journeys I have ever taken in my life. There have been frightening and uncertain times; devastating disappointments from betrayals when fake friends pretended to be our friends only to use us for their personal needs; desperate sadness when stuck in a situation that we don’t know how to get out. I have been blessed with wonderful friends who did everything in their power to help get me out of dangerous situations; I am very fortunate to have a loving and caring partner who never once fails me when I need him.
Here is one of the songs that he recorded for me; this commemorates the 8th.