Sunday, October 21st, 2012 - 12:38 am



21 Oct

The expat group at Frank and Claire’s farewell. Cafe Iguana, Boat Quay – Singapore

 

A friend of mine (you know who you are!) sent me a link to a flashmob in Sydney last year over a medley of Kylie Minogue’s songs – when I heard Love at First Sight, it brought me back to my Singapore years, between mid-2000 to the end of 2002.  It was the period when Kylie got famous again with Spinning Around, and Can’t Get You Out of My Head. During those years, I used to love hosting barbeque parties next to the swimming pool at the condo complex that I lived in, Sophia Court. It was the years of working to an expat package and mixing with the expat crowds – a period of living in a bubble of going out nearly every weekend, barbeques and parties.

Looking back, I realise how different my life right now to where it was ten years ago. It was the period of easy money, holidays, cocooned life, unrequited love, bookclub and diners’ club, as well as  horizon expansion. It was the time when I immersed myself in world music through several Womad festivals that I attended in Fort Canning Park. Through these years I also gained several good friends who I still consider as dearest friends.

Some of the folks who I hung around with in Singapore (except for the guy on the left at the front!) – Back: Irene, Rob, Amanda, Clare; Front: A random guy, Rachael, Sean, and a rosy-cheeked me (probably after one margarita!)

Although I still miss the old times, I know that one can’t hold on to the past or stop the clock from marching on. I can only smile and remember the sweaty dancing nights at Chijmes, or the Christmas dinner at Sean’s old condo, or a surreal party that a group of us gatecrashed after we finished our barbeque at Sophia Court, where Reuben made a fool of himself. I can remember breaking a bucketful of wine bottles as I struggled to put them into the elevator that would carry me to my floor. I remember heading home from work during lunch hours so I could iron my shirt while watching Jerry Springer. I also remember the expensive champagne breakfast at Hyatt that I attended – although I didn’t (and still don’t) drink bubblies. It was an expensive all you can eat omelettes and sushi for me. I remember heading over to Borders nearly every week to buy books and CDs because I could.

I know I’m no longer a fresh-faced yuppie and I may not have any “Singapore” episodes anymore – but I can truly say that I am really thankful of my life’s experiences. They help to make me, me. So, as I listen to Love at First Sight again, I can imagine myself dancing the night away in Chijmes with Clare, Sean, Irene, Stephanie, Amanda, Rob, Mel, Rachael, Bob, Erika, Hilde, Eithne, Frank and Claire – or the poolside barbeques in Sophia Court, where I met Bev and Jason, Billy, Selene, Ovidiu, Klaus and Debra, Reuben, Sharon, Mark, Frances, and many more names who I cannot remember at the moment. I get to remember my European flatmate whose name I will keep private, who loves to ‘be with’ older Chinese women, or a Canadian flatmate who thought that 9/11 would all be sorted out the next day.

Those were the days …

 


 

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