I haven’t posted anything for Dream Of A City for two months now, aside from the chapters for The Grand Tour and Manhattan in 12 Streets, which don’t strictly count.
Admittedly, I’ve been going through a bit of a rough patch settling in, and that has somewhat inhibited reflection on my situation in general. Or perhaps, it may simply be that having settled down for now in only one city, I may no longer have anything new to say on what this blog is primarily about: Mobility.
I am, however, still uncovering what it means to call some-place Home. In particular, I’ve since discovered, 6 months after moving in – that where I’m staying at right now couldn’t possibly fit the bill.
I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it’s because of the general age of the place, and its inadequate protection against fundamental challenges of Singapore Living. Mosquitoes being one of these: the place is crawling with them, and I go to bed almost every evening spraying myself with insect repellent. It doesn’t help that where we are is definitely dengue territory.
And then there’s the constant, stifling heat, because the place isn’t adequately air-conditioned, and where it is air-conditioned, the apparatus is so old it simply isn’t powerful enough. And also the black mold that has colonised the bathroom walls, and the fact that the place had almost certainly almost been broken into very recently. And the cat who’s allergic to something in the air or in the food and can’t stop wailing day and night…
It’s like in moving home to Singapore, we had somewhat regressed backwards, because we couldn’t wait a few weeks to find something better, and instead settled for something we were familiar with ten years ago and thought would still be familiar; where of course, things after ten years tend minimally, if nothing else, to age.
This inability to settle in has been causing much resentment in the domestic arena; and as we all know, resentment does not Home make.
I hate complaining and this is most definitely a Complaint. But I find the environment in Singapore and at home right now, toxic. And so I keep posting the next installments of The Grand Tour and Manhattan in 12 Streets, as much to keep counting the time until things finally settle down, as to escape reality.
At some point soon, Home will straighten itself out. I can only cross my fingers. In the meantime, at least everything else, including the furniture, artwork and myself, have got a temporary place to stay in.