The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Coming To Terms With Reality …
March 28, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

So for the past few days I’ve been back in Singapore.

I lived here for 4 years, from 2005 to 2009 and I have to say I loved it.

Some of that was because of the job. Some of that was because of the newness of it all. A lot of that was because of the people.

Sure, there were some things that got on my nerves, such as the rigid red-tape, the odd times where you were exposed to unbelievable cultural pettiness and the overall fear mentality … but they were small prices to pay for the chance to live in such a vibrant society.

Hell, they gave me permanent residency, let me sit on the governments ‘education’ council and allowed me to get married there so I’ll never, ever diss it too much because it gave me wonderful times, experiences and lessons.

However being back is always bitter sweet now.

I’m lucky a lot of my old friends are still here, despite many having left and of course, they have still have my beloved Funan Electronics Mall – where I have a never-ending choice of ridiculous gadgets all in one place – but stepping back into this wonderful country feels very strange to me from an emotional point of view.

I’ve written about this many times [for example, here] but maybe this time it’s stranger.

You see I always had this belief that I may move back to this city at some point in my life, but now I am coming to terms with the fact that is very unlikely.

I don’t know why that surprises me because I’ve learnt from a couple of terrible experiences to ‘never go back’, because nothing is the same as it once was and for a sentimental fool like me, that always leaves me feeling fucked up. But the fact is, it has surprised me because in all likelihood, my next move will not be to Singapore, but somewhere else.

Of course I don’t know where ‘somewhere else’ is and even though I have a couple of thoughts, the fact is there’s a high likelihood my time in Asia is coming to an end – at least a temporary end – and that’s sad and strange.

Yes, I know you should always be excited about the future and I am … but I love this part of the World, it has been incredibly good to me and has given me a chance to experience things that are beyond my wildest expectations but I don’t feel I have repaid my gratitude as much as I should or want to.

Of course there may still be time as I doubt my circumstances are going to change in the next six months at the very least and as much as I love Singapore – I utterly adore Shanghai – but as I walk around the streets of this place I once called home, I can’t help but feel a pang of sadness which – if I’m being honest – is extra pathetic given I fly back Monday morning.

Happy weekend.

26 Comments so far
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Is this news or you just being a melancholy sentimentalist?

Comment by DH

its campbell being a fucking sentimental drama queen. i hope it is, him being in asia makes me feel lot safer being in the us.

Comment by andy@cynic

Good point. You should definitely stay in asia Rob.

Comment by DH

And being in Singapore qualifies as you having another holiday. So much for 5 months, you haven’t even had 5 weeks since your last one. Nothing changes.

Comment by DH

And you fly back again on monday. You owe me $10k Rob. One holiday in 5 months meant you lost the bet, 3 is a massacre of the bet. Pay up.

Comment by DH

I accept defeat. That’s about as much as you’ll get from me.

Comment by Rob

This one reads like a diary entry. Hope you get to more exciting places, Robert.

Comment by Miguel

Can you hear it? It’s Singapore breathing a massive sigh of relief.

Comment by Billy Whizz

This is potentially big news Robert. Has the teaching come through? If it has, congratulations, you will be magnificent. If not that, then I know whatever it is will be exciting for you and I look forward to hearing about it.

Comment by Pete

you better fucking hope not because it means hes moving to the us and then were all fucking doomed. the good news is as soon as border control see this blog, his green card application will be ripped up into a trillion little pieces. ill notify them now.

Comment by andy@cynic

Thanks Pete. The teaching thing is inching its way forward with ‘inching’ being the most perfect description in the World.

Comment by Rob

By the way, I agree with the never go back advice. People do it thinking everything will be as it was before but it never is, things always have changed or moved on.

Comment by Pete

Ive never been anywhere.

Comment by John

you come to this blog, that means youve been to hell.

Comment by andy@cynic

stop being a whiny fucking little girl. whatever the fuck you do youll land on your feet because youre a jammy little shit. if you become a binman youd get the rodeo drive route. or singapore, where they dont drop litter so you could get paid but do fuck all. just like you are now.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH

The locals may view you leaving them in peace as repaying your gratitude. So is it the teaching gig or a W+K secondment? Or just you bring sentimental again?

Comment by Bazza

W+K Afghanistan.

Comment by DH


Comment by Rob

OK, this post may have come out wrong. Admittedly it’s all my fault given I say things like ‘6 months’.

The reality is I do think my time in Asia is coming to an end … when that ‘end’ happens is anyone’s guess, I certainly doubt it will be within 6 months, but it will certainly be within 6 years.

I know 6 years seems like an age away [and the reality is it will be much sooner than that] but having seen how quickly the past 9 years have been, it will feel like the blink of an eye.

Plus I’m a chronic sentimentalist, which doesn’t help matters, ha.

Comment by Rob

if youre going to drag this out like you do every fucking birthday im going to kill you.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’ll ignore the easy holiday jibe
I was in edinburgh the other week in the exact place my wife agreed to marry me the other week
It felt very bittersweet to know history was another country don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t change a thing about know and I love my kids even more than the smiths but it’s hard to peer at who you were and know you can’t return
On a lighter note I managed to bash my biggest client in the face with a Ping pong bat in the early hours so some things never change

Comment by Northern

Massively impressed with the client bashing skills, your spelling on the other hand …

Comment by Rob

Still drunk typing on a stupid iPhone keypad thing

Comment by Northern

I will believe it when I see it Robert. You love Asia far too much to leave and for some unfathomable reason, Asia seems to love you far too much to let you go.

Comment by George

Ha, that’s very true George … except the bit about Asia loving me. But they’re very kind to me, which is a sort-of love. Or it could just be pity.

Comment by Rob

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