It's hard to believe I've only been in Singapore for thirteen days. It feels like I have done a million things, mostly because I have shifted countries, moved into two separate living spaces, gone shopping, eaten chicken rice, rearranged my life, signed up for a bank card, had my blood drawn and lungs X-rayed, watched Chinese dramas, visited churches, applied for an employment pass, read through the student-parent handbook, and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned. My hands have been fused to mop and rag for the past three days, and I have yet to scrub the floors in my room.
Setting up a new life is hard work, but ultimately I am quite satisfied to have something of my own. It's not much, and I have a tendency to make it out to be much larger than it really is--in my mind I have many rooms and elegant furniture, though even my coffee table at this point in time is plastic. In my new place of residence I am surrounded by a school and church; I have a library a stone's throw away. In the morning, light pours into my living room through tall windows overlooking the courtyard, and I can open my veranda door onto a small patio and green trees. A few days ago the gentle strumming of a guitar and a worship refrain floated up past my overlook.
As for the neighborhood, I am very happy to live here. Bukit Timah has long been an old haunt of my, and this new community is close enough for comfort. The old Malaysian railroad is in the vicinity, though it has long since been abandoned, but I find the thought of it to be continually romantic. I imagine it's glory days. To think it now lies forgotten under so much greenery!
I like my neighbors as well. My landlady lent me her IKEA card for a free drink in the restaurant. The owner of the wooden furniture store is a Christian who supports his Christian Indonesian friends by selling their hand-carved signs in his store. The barrista at Coffee Bean is very nice. And today as I was walking to the local coffee house to get some reading done, I met a couple, walking hand-in-hand. The man suddenly raised his voice and sang out Whitney Houston's "Aaaaaaaa-iiii-yaaaaaaaaai willl aaaaaaaaaalways love yoooooouuuooooo," catching his girl by the waist and twirling her around on the sidewalk. It is one of the few displays of public affection of which I approve.