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Singapore: Early morning philosophical indulgences

SINGAPORE | Wednesday, 3 June 2009 | Views [699]

I'm feeling bizarrely homesick for a time when I wasn't so competent.

I remember the first time I managed to book an international flight on my own, and orchestrated my escape from Christchurch to Melbourne, all under my own steam. I remember when I booked and excecuted my first ever trip to Europe: I remember sitting on the bus on the way to the airport after months of build-up, and giving myself a mental pat on the back. Hey wow. Check you out, doin' all that adult stuff.

I remember the first time I made it through customs and immigration in a strange country: It was in Frankfurt. I came out of the airport and I was in motherfucking Europe and I had to find the bus to get to the poor person's airport to catch a RyanAir flight to Italy. To motherfucking Italy!

The next morning I was wandering around Ravenna and it was surreal. The houses were older than my country.

There was a kick to it.

Now the kicks are getting harder to come across. I had it when I first arrived in Borneo. I had the "holy shit, I'm in motherfucking Borneo!". But it faded quickly. Once you adapt to the heat and shift yourself into whatever gear the country operates in, it just becomes normal. I'm about to go and learn how to navigate the MRT (metro) in Singapore, and that will probably give me a temporary kick, but I don't think I'll get that same pride that I experienced the first time. I know I can work out the public transport system in a city as organized as Singapore. There's no skill required there. Really.

I think my mantra of "it'll all become obvious" is the antithesis of the kick. The kick comes when you amazingly manage to do something in a competent fashion. Oh wow, I didn't fuck up. How unexpected. But having faith that everything will work out somehow and that your future self will find everything she needs when she needs it -- that kind of makes the accomplishment less.

That said.... here I am sitting in Terminal 2 in Changi Airport, Singapore. I'm 29 years of age. I'm sitting in The Coffee Bean drinking my second cup of free refill coffee and scrawling in a notebook. I've just come from Borneo, and I'm heading to Indonesia in a few days. I've got a wallet full of random currencies. It's still pretty cool.

Motherfucking Singapore!

Tags: thinking

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