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Wandering with purpose

Catching a Moment - In search of imperfection

SINGAPORE | Friday, 19 April 2013 | Views [96] | Scholarship Entry

A journey is often undertaken in search of that one moment that you will want to relive every time you think of the place. It was this moment I sought from the minute I landed at Singapore.

Singapore is a lovely little place, perfect to a fault: the forms are processed instantly at the airport, the cabs reach on time, the traffic moves exactly as it is supposed to and the people follow every rule and are incredibly helpful. I began to feel a bit worried about being able to find something unexpected, something unique, in an environment so flawlessly organized. It became my mission to find imperfection. I wandered in and out of popular tourist spots like a moody lover, fascinated and restless all at once. I wanted to see a place that was not so organized as to make it impossible for anything different to happen.

I found the place - Marina Barrage. I eagerly walked along the reservoir, admiring and mocking the neat rows of flowers, for I was heading towards a place that was more "natural", away from all commercialization. And indeed it did not disappoint. Standing on top of the barrage I could see all of Singapore on one side and the sea on the other; it was an amazing juxtaposition. I walked around admiring the view, wondering if this was the moment I was looking for, when my shoe strap broke. It was raining and I was not carrying an umbrella because that was too much of a modern encumbrance for me. I was on top of the barrage trying to escape commercialization like I wanted to be, and therefore, at a respectable distance from all other modern conveniences as well. I was at least a half hour walk from any mode of transport. There were no shops in the vicinity where I could purchase another pair of shoes. Honest to my intentions, I had refrained from carrying maps. My only option was to begin walking, dragging my broken shoe along, and hope I would reach a metro station somehow.

I realized that this was my unexpected moment in Singapore, the story I would take back home. I sat down to marvel how it close captioned everything that Singapore represented and everything I had failed to understand about the place. It was only then that I was able to truly appreciate the beauty of Singapore - it was impossible to land up in a situation as inconvenient as the one I found myself in, unless one actively sought it. Singapore tried, even restricted you, from landing yourself in a pickle. But what kind of traveler would I be if I allowed that to stop me?

Tags: Travel Writing Scholarship 2013

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