Singapore, 2022, using a Sony a6000

8 years. That's been the amount of time I stayed in that small island, on and off. Starting our initial move in 2014, to finally moving to New Zealand in 2022. The three of us--me, C and Charley--dealing with excitement, changes, leaving, staying, loss, loneliness, challenges, and wins.

There's a lot this little island have taught us. For one, it has definitely elevated a lot of our expectations in terms of what it means to be efficient. Singapore is probably one of the most glaringly stunning poster childs for progress, and dare I say one of the best adventures one should experience in their life. You see massive buildings or train stations built over the span of a couple of years, and be something else again after another few more. This is a country who welcomed their colonisation and made it very distinctly their own.

But being small may also mean a lot--while progress can seem easy as mobility is second nature, it also meant transience--it was easy to replace something that didn't benefit them anymore to bring in something shiny and new. The influx of workers, both blue collar and white, also made for temporary neighbours who'd move to either cheaper neighbourhoods or back to their home cities after a few years. Some of their cultural icons (like graveyards or old houses) sometimes have to be moved for a new train station. Even the coffee shop I nervously stayed in while I waited for my very first interview--was gone to make way for something new (actually, the whole building was revamped--which said for so much because it was a 30 storey tower) after only 5 years. 

It felt like there was no room for reminiscing. Or if there was, it was looked upon with a tinge of sadness for what used to be there that's now replaced by something shiny. Like ghosts of Singapore past just hanging around to be recognised.

So for my last few months, I went around the island again--revisited all those I've dared to cherish and love for that past 8 years, and left a small prayer that in the off chance they ever go, I get to bring them with me and their memories flourish where I've kept them warm.