It occurs to me that I’ve gone through something of a divorce over the past year or so. Only, it’s not been to a person but a place.
Of course, there have been others. York for one. We had a few difficult years together. Then there was Oxford where I went to university. That was a nonstop party.
And I’ve certainly sowed my wild oats. I’ve traveled the world and experienced more cities I can count.
But, ultimately, Hong Kong was the girl I always came back to. There is no city in the world I know more intimately. We’ve been in a long term relationship – on and off – since I was 6 years old.
This has made the changes she’s undergone over the past few years especially painful. After we got married and had kids together everything changed.
She became controlling. She tried to stop me from having an opinion. She even tried to stop me from seeing other people!
In the end it was too much. I decided she wasn’t the right lady to spend the rest of my life with. So, as painful as it was, I filed for divorce.
But what are you supposed to do after such a long relationship? How are you supposed to cope? Should you jump in bed with the next city you find? Should you return to a former lover? Or, should you take some time to have a bit of fun and clear your mind?
I’ve really enjoyed my short time in Singapore so far. I think part of the reason is because I’ve come in with few expectations. Because I’ve taken a no-strings-attached approach.
First impression are good. I’ve very much enjoyed exploring her green leafy back streets in my spare time.
This is, incidentally, one of my favourite pastimes. Usually, before a layover, I would do an inordinate amount of research into places I want to eat.
I would star many of these obscure eateries (often in the middle of nowhere) on google maps. Then I would create a kind of walking foodie tour by connecting the dots.
I would walk far and I would eat well.
It’s something I’ve sorely missed during the past few years of endless quarantine. So, to make up for lost time, that’s what I’ve been doing since I arrived in Singapore.
I’m ecstatic to report that she’s an exceptional chef.
Honestly, the relationship wouldn’t last long if she wasn’t. When it comes to cities, the best way to my heart is through my stomach!
Still, nowhere is perfect and Singapore is no exception. Her parents – namely the government – are known to be particularly heavy handed when punishing certain offenders. That may well be a flag longer term.
With that said, the people here feel looked after for the most part. They have access to cheap affordable housing, excellent medical care and world class education.
Of course, they rinse the expats to make that possible. She ain’t a cheap lady to please! The cost of a beer is enough to make any man cry themselves to sleep. Mainly because he can’t afford to have a beer.
But back to the positive. She’s feels far more relaxed – far more family friendly – in comparison to Hong Kong. That’s certainly something I’m looking for at this stage of my life.
Although it occurs to me that maybe Singapore feels more relaxed because I am? Now that I’ve settled down, not that I’m together with my family again – after a very busy, stressful divorce.
Perhaps I’m simply projecting my feelings onto the place?
At any rate, I don’t care. I’m enjoying myself. The last thing I want to think about is whether or not I will (or should) be here in 5 to 10 years time. We can save that particular conversation for a later date.
For now, I just want sit back, relax and enjoy this fine Singapore fling.
I’ll finish by asking you one of my all time favourite questions: what is your favourite city in the world and why?
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