Nov 14, 2015


We never really leave a place, or a person. A bit of an exchange goes on - it leaves its imprint with us, and we leave a bit of our souls there. Labrador Park is full of memories for me: it's where I go when I need to escape the confines of school. Most recently I was there past midnight, the lights from the ships shrouded in haze, a guitar's melody blending with the crash of the sturdy waves. We were lying on the ground, my thoughts and tears going to a special person I once knew, a person I hope to meet again. The Esplanade waterfront is my favourite hangout spot in Singapore. I brought HY there - him getting all excited at drinking beer underage, asking for a picture and all - and Sabri, and Max before he went back to Germany. The Kallang River is where James and I played with sparklers last week. A beautiful, peaceful place I've never been to before. Every time I walk past Red Dot Traffic Museum I desire to go in and walk through the corridors where OB Music Forest used to be. Music classes there used to be the best part of my week, goofing around and singing acappella and squealing over JJ with the best companions. Those were beautiful years, when we foolish teenagers were unapologetically, unashamedly, absolutely hilariously ourselves. I also lost my first kiss in that lift.

I was only in Krakow, Poland for a week, but how I love that place, how many beautiful memories were made there because of friends I made on the free walking tours. The day Isaac and I decided to brave the thunderstorm to get to the Schindler's Factory with my flimsy umbrella, we got fantastically lost and ended up in a place so dull they had put an advertisement over it on the map. Bar-hopping with Isaac and Jack, roaming around the square on my own, going on all those amazingly insightful tours. My current phone wallpaper was taken in Krakow. It's a stencil mural in the Jewish quarter - the Jews in Krakow witnessed terrors of an unimaginable scale, with Auschwitz being just a short distance away, and only a tiny remnant of them remains. The mural is of a timid Jewish boy, made afraid by the atrocities of only a few decades ago, who must remember his identity: he wears the headdress of the lion of Judah. Remember who God has called you to be. Put on the identity of your destiny; be courageous and strong, for He is Jehovah Nissi, the God our Banner.

Even places that you're not too fond of also stick to you. I didn't exactly love my Banda Aceh internship, and I did not enjoy bathing with a pail or not having a toilet flush, but bits of Banda Aceh still feel like home to me - the coconut juice corner and the egg murtabak man and the incredible avocado juice, the supermarket, riding on the backseat of a scooter with a spoilt helmet. Watching the kids do simple English exercises on the floor of the porch, the afternoon light casting its yellow veil. I was only there for five weeks, but part of it feels like home, strangely, somehow.

I think what sparked this post was my thoughts about the Paris incident. This morning we awoke to shocking news, terrible news. It is currently 7.30am in Paris. The city is shrouded in blue morning chill, but the silence today does not speak of peace. The silence this morning is of terror, fear, mourning. I don't know many people from France, and I've never been there, but we live in an age without borders. Many many terrible things have been happening all around the world, and what can one do but ask for God to give us hearts of compassion, to keep ourselves bowed in prayer; to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.

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