This, I believe…

You know the NPR show, “This, I Believe”? With social distancing, I’ve been doing a lot of solo walking (like 2-3 hours a day). This gives me a fair amount of thinking time. Scary. Moving to a foreign country coupled with a pandemic hitting at the same time has really allowed for a serious life reflection. So here it is, This, I Believe:

1. Every human is important to at least one other human. Even if you are 💯 alone in the world, you still at one point had a mother who loved you. Love is a constant no matter what nationality or race that you are. To someone, you are their whole world. No one is expendable. Anyone telling you otherwise is telling you a tale. Statistics are just that until they become personal.

2. I truly know nothing of the world. This thought is simultaneously scary and liberating at the same time. And that’s the secret, right? The more you see of the world, the more you realize what’s out there and that you can never see it all or learn it all or understand it. And that’s ok. The flip side is it makes it easy, when you are living in your comfortable little corner of the world to think you do know everything. You’re “educated”, right? But that’s the thing, what makes sense for you, in the context of your life, might make no sense for someone else. At the end of the day all we can do is to try to listen more than we talk, to keep on learning and to be forgiving of both ourselves and others. We are all just trying to do our best on our journey.

Woah, I warned you, too much alone time. I’ll leave you with a few pics from my walking travels. I’ve also learned I can really walk almost everywhere in Singapore. With enough time and a good shower at the end!

There are little shrines all over Singapore. I discovered one in front of the condo right across the street from us. A child Buddha.

The Buddha reminded me. I had my first Asian studies book club this week (on zoom). We read “Nine Lives: In search of the sacred in modern India” by William Dalrymple. It was a beautifully written book made more interesting by the amazingly diverse group of women in my book club. Again, I know so little of the world. But, I can’t wait to keep learning.

We frequently walk down to the Singapore river and we always go to the left and walk in Robertson Quay and Clarke Quay. I kept wondering, what if I go right? So yesterday I went right! That part turns into a PCN trail (the Alexandra park connector) and snakes it’s way through more of the local areas in Singapore. This is what I really love about walking. What you see. On this path there were HDB condos, schools, exercise areas (Singaporeans are very good about exercising) and playgrounds. Such a lovely trail. We are so blessed to live somewhere that values natural spaces in the middle of a big city! Sometimes I even forget I’m one of 5.5 million!
The Alexandra Canal. This leads to the Singapore River.
It’s not always perfectly clean here. They have these areas in the river where they catch the sludge and garbage. How Singapore deals with water is truly an amazing feat of engineering. this river has a lot of runoff from the street water drains. I’m sure they have people that come and clean it out. Also, the turtles didn’t seem to mind… if you’re geeky like me, here’s a link to Singapore’s water process: https://www.pub.gov.sg/watersupply/watertreatment
Terrible selfies. Very sweaty but I love this tile wall…
Mangos!!! The bottom is an apple mango (named for its shape, not flavor) Middle is a Thai honey mango. Not sure what the top is. We’ll see! So many varieties! Have I mentioned I love mango? I eat one everyday…
The Singaporean bakery is still open! Yippee! The left are pineapple and coconut tarts. The upper right, I ate for lunch, the auntie that worked there told me to get it. It was sticky rich with a curry chicken in the middle. I should have bought 10… so good. The bottom is 1 kueh lapis (Liam’s wanted to try it) and 3 kueh dadar. We’ll see if the kids like them….
This week I realized I’m going to have to embrace cooking here. Secretly, I had planned to do little cooking as the food here is just so good (when others make it). But living a socially distanced life means more cooking. So this bad boy arrived last night. Already made tahini. Pesto is next. Hummus and smoothies are also coming. silver linings.
I’ll leave you with these cheery guys. Flower stall is also still open (as was the whole wet market). We’re in a weird slush period where we’re supposed to social distance, but all the shops, restaurants, schools and work are still open. still not sure where it will end, but I’m stocked with food and ready to hunker down. We will continue to follow the government directives as we have been since mid January. It’s been working so far. Just hoping I can keep my walks…

2 thoughts on “This, I believe…

  1. These photos gave me hope in the dreary, cold, still snowy and empty town that is Lake Placid right now. I read your posts religiously, but don’t always get to comment. Thank you for all the updates and virtual feelings of warmth I get through your pictures. Sending you a germ free hug!

    Liked by 1 person

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