Wherever

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wherever
wɛːrˈɛvə/
adverb
  1. 1.
    in or to whatever place (emphasizing a lack of restriction).
    “meet me wherever you like”
adverb
  1. 1.
    used for emphasis instead of ‘where’ in questions, typically expressing surprise or confusion.
    “wherever could he have gone to?”
conjunction
  1. 1.
    in every case when.
    “use wholegrain breakfast cereals wherever possible”

I’ve been walking around in my towel for ages. Ha, caught your attention didn’t I. Words are fun. Words say a lot. I am not in my towel. Or am I…

This post is for the person/student overseas who is homesick for home and specifically, Singapore.
Writing this, I’ve realised something. (Then again, if I hadn’t realised anything, I wouldn’t be writing anything, trust me.)
It’s that I may have this irrational and subconscious fear of getting left behind in time. Do you ever wonder if you’ve really outgrown your 16 year old self, the one that has always wanted to grow up, but other people mature way before you do?

Like in the way they carry themselves (especially my female friends whom I admire, this whole idea of femininity and if I’m feminine enough – what even is a ‘boyfriend’ and where do you find these creatures nowadays?) and their taste in things.

Like when did the boys start liking cigars? Y’all very rich ah?
And how did I start appreciating whiskey and HOW have I even grown to like it, that I crave a glass of it every now and then?

I’m fascinated at how our preferences in taste start to change as we grow older, and we can’t keep track of it because we’re so busy living life, whether back here in Singapore or elsewhere.

Here, things haven’t changed as drastically this time round. The only thing I’ve probably noticed are bits of its landscape – new buildings and places that have completely vanished.
Eg. Park Hotel/Alexandra Central is currently up and running next to the IKEA near Queenstown MRT and for people living in Bukit Timah, our beloved KAP or the dark blue building with that old school Mcdonald’s has been torn to the ground and will now be replaced with “KAP Residences”.
Oh, and almost everything and everywhere is branded with the SG50 logo. The fireworks were the most beautiful we’ve ever seen this year, but that’s also because 1.5 million SGD was spent on it. (Correct me if the sum of money invested in these sparkly things is wrong, or if it’s more.)
Also, election season is coming, so some have been contemplating – very vocally – on whether they’ll remain friends with you should you decide to vote against the PAP.
It’s all very fun.

My taste in men has also, for lack of a better word, DETERIORATED.

I’m a Christian but I’m attracted to Atheists, and God help me, because I do not choose very wisely. This is a list of types of men I’ve met in the UK. As a disclaimer, not all men in the UK are like this, but like I said, I have poor choice in men. Especially so because I was homesick. But here goes:

You get

1. the drug dealer (trust me, you want to be immediately block this dude than be swayed by his good looks),

2. the lad (womanizer, beer chugger, obsessed football fan; worships his own biceps and can be quite descriptive but whose vocabulary never ever expands),

3. the -vague- dude who has social insecurities about where he’s from and can’t decide on the kind of ‘cultured man’ he really wants to become (usually goes down the route of the typical British lad and often has terrible taste in music, but this is subjective so I will say no more)

4. the man in the suit who would never drive his expensive car to pick you up even though you’re less than an hour away from London. It’s as if the guy who lives in Bishan is telling you that driving to Serangoon is “too far”.

5. the chav, a smaller version of the lad who spends most of his time begging strangers for another cigarette and screaming “chingchangchong” at Chinese passers-by. At people like me. Except they find me attractive after looking through my very attractive pictures on whichever platform they’ve managed to send messages on.

And let me tell you, all the above can’t hold a conversation without either subtly or blatantly wanting sex from you, and race plays a huge factor as well, hypersexualization and what not. I’m Chinese by race, but apparently, I look ‘exotic’. What am I, an endangered species of bird? In Singapore I either look Malay or Filipino. In the UK, I look Brazilian and the most up-to-date observation is that I’m half Latina.
This means that he thought I was half British, which doesn’t make sense, so I didn’t go out with him.

Off the top of my head, I define homesickness as a longing for familiar experiences in one’s homeland. But in that longing, we tend to ONLY want those experiences. So we start grumbling and carrying this discontent of heart around with us, which we know isn’t very pleasant at all.

But does our taste in experiences, countries and people really have to stay the same – and is it subject to where we’re at?

Sometimes we don’t realise that we actually need to reach out to these different experiences even though we may not be where we’re most comfortable at.
People are experiences too. You just have to be, unlike me, wise about who you choose to share moments with.

With all this said, what I’d really like to emphasize on is that homesickness could affect our emotional awareness; our sensitivity towards ourselves isn’t as sharp when it comes to deciding on what we really deserve.
If you can make tea, you can make time.
I’m only starting to learn how important it is to take ownership over my time and what I invest in, in being selective with who I spend time with and to create situations that, in turn, make space for the conversations I’d actually like to have.
Instead of talking about sexsexsexsexsex with strangers who may not even care for what I stand for, re-connecting with someone I cherish and respect helps to seal that void. Sure, there can be nights of absolute carnage and revelry, but right now, I really cherish coffee time with the people I love.
I live for the intentional meet-ups, which, surprisingly, are always more than “how are you”s and recently, more of “what and why do you think of things this way?”

More often than not, the people we love are the most interesting ones (because if not, why would we miss them in the first place) – but without giving them the chance, how would we realise we loved all these things about them? And the best part is, there’s always something new to discover.

If you’re overseas right now, be even more selective, especially if you don’t have family with you. Speak to the kind of people who are healthy for you. And converse. Connect.
And the next time round you get back, you might realise that dating out of loneliness is a waste of time. That you may actually love this country for its quirks, and might have even grown to be unashamed of it all. (How that happens is by being away from home, it just happens.) That making it a habit to go out of the way to speak to your friends and family prepares you for Round 2 of war at whichever overseas institution you may currently be studying at.

And it’s tough when you’re fighting in a war all on your own. We don’t realise how much emotional support we actually need from those around us. So don’t be afraid to ask.
At least, that’s what I’ve realised. I don’t know about you. But yes, coffee sometime soon.

Make time, you pompous prick.

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