souvenirs from another life

Eurockéennes de Belfort, 2005
A 3 day music festival of more than 50 bands of different genres,
attended by a crowd of a thousands from all over & of all ages.
There was a time when at the end of the festival, a guy was walking
around gently hugging random people he came across, clearly
sad it was over but definitely grateful for the gift of music.

"I will be in Manila soon, come home so we can catch up!" My best friend happily told me the other day. In another life, I would have been excited, planned a date, bought plane tickets, and flown to the motherland in a heartbeat. But I have to sit this one out and asked her to say hello to everybody for me.

Another friend sent us a message informing us of her low grade fever and sore throat. "I saw you 3 days ago, so just wanted you to know." In another life, we wouldn't care much and bid our well wishes to get better soon. A younger version of me would even have loved to catch the flu so I could stay home and watch Sesame Street. But this time, we crossed our fingers and toes, canceled plans before she gets her swab test results. Staying home is not as much fun anymore, even if Sesame Street was on tv.   

Festival d'Aurillac, 2006
A street performance festival from many creative artists in various forms,
from music, costumes, slapstick comedy, to magic, art is truly a
fascination in any form of expression.

After hearing that we have been fully vaccinated, another friend excitedly assumed that we'll be coming home to visit France again soon. The vaccine is not a ticket quite yet to a safe travel, and Singapore have implemented stricter rules in coming back. We didn't even consider the thought of traveling.  

The other day in the news, the Singapore government is encouraging people to come forward to get a free swab test if we have been to certain malls where a Covid patient have visited in the past week. I've been to one and I thought I had to get my very first swab just by going to a mall.    

I cannot even count the times I have walked out and forgot to wear my mask.     

Nyhavn Pier, Coppenhagen, 2015
It would have seemed that there is a special occasion happening in this
famous Danish pier, but on the weekends and with a beautiful sunny weather,
it's the most crowded place I've ever seen on a regular day.

Still here. Seemingly swirling in an event horizon of different black holes, while different parts of the world, as my friend aptly referred to it as musical chairs, still struggle from the nth wave of the virus outbreak. Still here, after more than a year. The new normal, as it is fondly called, still does not feel natural.   

An altered world, our view of this pandemic can vary depending on where you are. Will it be possible to have 0 case, or if not, live with SARS-CoV2 for the sake of the economy? To take back that sense of normalcy? And what do we make of new mutant variants, of reinfections, and of fully vaccinated people getting infected? Is it still possible to go back to our former world? After more than a year we are still in the dark.    

Placebo Concert, Clermont Ferrand, 2015
The last concert we've seen, already forgetting how it feels like. 

"Another one," a doctor's friend told him as he handed his prescription of Omeprazole. The languishing, the pandemic fatigue, as one local article appropriately described the situation we are all in - the anxiety from the uncertainty for the future. We surely can't wait for that world we are now sorely missing. Staying sane is so much more work than staying healthy.

One thing I love most about all this is having that valid personal space. 
It's even a law.  


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 comment:

  1. Those concert pictures look like they belong in history books, I wonder when we'll feel safe again to be in these kinds of gatherings! The pandemic fatigue is real, and I agree staying sane is the worst part of it. Let's try to stay safe and ride it out! - Kala