Last week, I had travelled back on a break to the city, which really gave me an identity, a voice and played an in valuable part in shaping me through my two master degree programs. The place is Singapore and this city’s role in my consciousness was further intensified during my recent short break.
Ever since landing up in Singapore’s Changi Airport Terminal 2 I was warmly received by two old friends from my AIESEC Days in Grad School at NUS. We had a short chat over Peranakan Teh Tarik and Kueh at the Airport and then I made my way to my home for the next three days in Singapore. I was fortunate to have visited the Town Area of Raffles Place that afternoon for a meeting then headed to Arab Street for Iced Apple Tea Turkish Style and Beer later on at Blue Jazz Cafe. Did I mention that I had the opportunity to partake in authentic vegetarian Bengali fare for lunch too: P
Singapore for me is not about the place, but about the people. My trip was made special by my Singapore Family, two friends who are truly my family there lah. None of the places that i have been this time in Singapore, would be without the blessings of the Singapore Family. I felt at home in Singapore right from the moment I landed to the moment I had to leave. From the Idly and Masala Chai at Tekka Centre, Little India MRT Exit C to the Hummus at Arab Street all felt home.
Singapore is the microcosm of Globalization, where can meet a Bangladeshi and a Global German speaking Chinese Singaporean at Little India for makan on a Saturday evening over a Russo-Uzbek meal and then walk down to a North Indian Restaurant for Indian tea post dinner for an extended conversation. A lot of my friends in Singapore complain about the place being boring and about the country undergoing a churning regarding identity. Well, my answer to them as a person who wishes to make Singapore home again, is that safety and discipline can make a place seem uninteresting but there is no counter price to good governance and law and order. And regarding identity, every young immigrant nation takes time to find it’s ‘ethos’ and its ‘core’.
Singaporeans are a resilient people and have well-wishers like me all over the globe. And I will be back for my dumpling noodle soup at a food court nearby very soon.