Sunday, January 29, 2006


Our shop house was purchased in 2002. It underwent renovations for over a year and we moved in 2004. This was our dream home. We would never move.

Back in 2003, our contractor showed us the hand “I give you five years. In all my experience, Singaporeans always want to move”. His five fingers shook at us as if to make a point.

By the middle finger, we started to fulfil the prophecy which was that hand.

“Hey, look city apartment near town! If we only sold our place for X dollars and bought a place there, we wouldn’t need to drive to go shopping in town.”

“This is the plan. We save for down payment, sell our house and move near SCGS so that Alix can study there.”

We start to find all sorts of reasons to live elsewhere.

We focus on the current shortcomings.

We forget how lucky we are.

We lose the innocence.

14 moons ago, our meeting place was at the roof deck of my father’s apartment. In a place which wasn’t our own and with no roof above our heads, we celebrated our good luck. We made a secret garden. We didn’t need a key to enter. We found our way there independently of money, society and the approval of others.

All we had was a polyester army poncho. When it rained, we made a made-shift tent out of the poncho and sheltered underneath it. When it was cold, we used the poncho as a blanket. When we needed to rest our tired heads, we rolled up the poncho and used it as a pillow.

7 moons passed. Before we became working adults, we made a pact in the way that couples in Singapore do. Let’s buy a flat. We’ll turn our lives inward in the cheapest HDB flat and say F you to the rest of the world.

14 moons later, in all that we have; the rooms which outnumber our needs, the car which has replaced our walks and the working incomes which have increased but never seems enough, it is funny, how it seems we have lost our way.

So we retrace our steps backwards. We steal precious moments for walks at night. Leaving the covering which is our house, we look for the moon overhead. In her gentle glow and wise illumination, we find once again, that clockless world, that roof deck where we should have never strayed.

Happy lunar new year. Moon.


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