How do I explain why I feel the way I feel about the every day beauty I see? I found myself floored last weekend, when I realised what was meaningful and interesting to me, was as humdrum and as boring as it could get for someone else. No matter the enthusiasm I pushed into my words, it all fell flat.
But don’t you see – the telephone number is only five digits!
But don’t you see – the signage is of a dying breed!
But.. they don’t see.
It’s all right, I guess. More beauty for me, as my heart lightens.
Today’s JalanMedha was blessed with a crazy blazing sun, after a week of uncertain rain whenever, wherever. We ate our way through Tekka Market, went into a secret observatory and noticed how Rochor Centre faded from view (soon enough, after this year), and were dazzled by the colours and sights of an area that was never designated to be particularly for the Indian community.
Memories last, but physical places don’t.
Presenting: the last moments of someone’s home; the closed shutters of someone’s shop; the remnants of someone’s playground.
You never know the potential inside you, till you max it out with trial and error. I never knew I enjoyed giving walking tours, till I realised in late-March this year that “hey, I love interacting with people, I love sharing, why not share more?”
So began Jalan Medha, and I should pen down what I’ve done before the funny memories get hazy:
- Chinatown, 5 Jul: First walk with 7 friends on a Sunday where many shops were closed and we bought lots of childhood snacks.
- Balestier, 1 Aug: 15 friends (and friends-of) on a Saturday, where I realised my throat needed to train itself to last longer than 2 hours. The owners of the coffee beans shop and optical shop were so lovely.
- Jalan Besar, 29 Aug: 12 participants where we walked through hot weather viewing beautiful and ignored architecture .
- Little India/Rochor, 10 Oct: More of a lunch walk with a group of 7 friends (with international representation).
- Joo Chiat, 25 Oct: Headed back to where it all started, with 10 participants, my own route and a new beginning.
- Keong Saik/Everton, 14 Nov: Finding new gems with 10 participants, even when I thought I already knew the area very well.
Looks like I’m on to something that I truly love. I hope you find what you love soon!
“Uncle, one teh-c siu dai (lit. tea with evaporated milk, less sweet).”
“Uncle, chio leh (try to smile), she taking photo of you.”
Uncle only smiles after the cup of tea is prepared, clinking it onto the slightly wet saucer.
All the nooks and crannies I’m wandering into, around, and on top of; I am re-discovering home when I thought I knew what I could. The bittersweet knowledge that we are still (oh, still!) finding our way, amidst the anger, the quiet discomfort watching the vocal minority, listening to misinformed views distorting the bigger picture.
I leave you with this few lines from a Singaporean singer, and a Singaporean lyricist. Something I wish we all could know and feel stronger for.
我的愛 明明還在 轉身了才明白
該把幸福 找回來 而不是各自緬懷