a year gone by

Same time last year today, I did a last round of our now empty house, already reminiscent of what it once was. We dragged what was left of our clothes in four luggages in various sizes, then a final glance of our house enveloped by blue skies and the view of the distant Mediterranean Sea. Got on a plane and woke up on the other side of the world the next day. Time had passed so quickly.

Arriving Singapore in time for the Chinese New Year, we celebrated four New Years in the last 12 months. Seeing our apartment lobby with a joyful ornate of diverse decorations for Hari Raya, Deepavali and Christmas throughout the year is amazing. And here we are, in that cycle celebrating this weekend the Chinese New year again, ready to kick out our monkey sitting by our kitchen with a chicken.

Change had a gracious welcome after my year 2015 wreaked so much stress. It even seemed necessary. Although I have confirmed that the city life is still not my bowl of rice, the year had pleasantly gone by. "But you're from Manila, aren't you?" they asked. Yes, but I'm from that part of Manila in the south, the outskirts which the ones in the center calls the "province". Cocooned in a quiet village with security guards, spending all our weekends around this neighborhood without a worry of speeding cars, except for those chasing dogs. Then there's probably just the age. Having less and less patience for the city's perpetual crowd. That constant city noise.  That regular bright night sky void of twinkling stars.

The perks of being in Singapore is that you can find anything. That is if you know where to get them. Everything I needed before can already be found in one supermarket. We did have a ball locating a simple screwdriver a week after we arrived. A bout of food cravings? A world of cuisines here! Almost all of my essential French products are delivered to my doorstep. I had to drive a minimum 10mins to get it before. Ah, the city where everywhere can be reached by foot. Well, almost. We tend to get rotten spoiled after a year living here. Frustrated when the MRT arrives a minute late. A little build up of cars is considered traffic. And how we live in the west and the east seems so far when it's only about 23 km from end to end.         

The best part of living here is its cosmopolitan essence. It's so international that the world seems smaller. Meeting people from around the world is a wonderful experience. I have never met so many nationalities in one single place. There is so much more than casually knowing them. Having that kind of friendship here is not that apparent. I guess like any good ones take years to cultivate, but most of them are also just passing by. Two, three or a five year work contract. And yet, it seemed that I am still learning. An understanding of differences in culture and beyond as a unique individual. To be broader, not just open in mind. It is always said that traveling is an enriching experience. I can say that even without that awe of being in a new place, meeting people from different parts of the world is as enlightening. Plus, I get to see Singapore by foot with them. And it is an amazing city. There is as much parks and forests as much as buildings. They even have a museum, The Singapore City Gallery, presenting its urban planning and development. While it does reclaim land around this island, I was told that they wanted a breathable city, preserving the forests and as much space for greens. And that is exactly what it is, a clean and green city. 

I do miss France. Having a car. Road trips. Baguettes - good ones. My cat. Especially my cat. A year has gone by. It definitely was not an empty year. Xin Nian Kuai le - Happy Rooster Year!   
My everyday ride, it can be exciting


From Manila to Paris, then to Marseille & to the Côte d'Azur, now in Singapore, clinging to a map of three worlds, where everything becomes all relative.


  1. Hi Makis. Glad to see where you are today.

    1. Hi Chesca! It is a pleasant change :) Hope all is well on your side!