I love Singapore. And loath it at the same time. The love is grounded in all that has been achieved here, the entrepreneurial spirit and all those reasons which every observer admires and on which more commentary has been made than can ever be read. The loathing is more personal I think. The hollowness of this place resonates with my own. Its scrambling to be busy and forever moving forward is a heartbeat in rhythm with my own. The futility of the scramble is a frequency that transmits to my own core. I watch the throngs rushing. But I never understand to what. We all know there is only so much shopping that can be done, glitter that can be absorbed, shiny baubles admired, high couture icons that can be panted after. In the end the only status you take to the grave is the amount and quality of embalming fluid your family can afford to have pumped into your cadaver. I have never hankered after material things though I certainly appreciate the art and craftsmanship in the things people love to buy and which hang off gorgeous models tempting me follow suit. But that temptation only fuels a melancholy in me. A feeling that there is nothing worth pursuing, no venture worth chasing, no day worth climbing in to. And yet I do. Still I do. It’s the human dynamo that churns away within us, grinding us forward, relentless and unyielding, seeking meaning in what we do, injecting purpose to our day, wealth to our relationships.
And so I stand at the top of the stairs and peer into the warm rain hissing down and watch the shadows in the grey bustling on the other side of the street in a cardboard city that has even marketed its ‘smile’ and realize I can’t help myself. Like a fly to rotting meat I step into the rain and wander into the grey to join the crowds in their pursuit of… something.