And... we're back!

I have always found that phrase (on Gmail) amusing.

Having used both Blogger and Wordpress throughout the years, I think Wordpress has become a lot more user friendly since the last time I tried to start writing there.

So I will be:

1) continuing this blog at
2) writing ridiculous not-so-fictional stories at

I've grown quite fond of this bird perched above, the lovely premade layout which took me no effort to create, the (maybe too) extensive collection of previous posts, the comments and discussions, and many memories associated with writing here. But I guess I don't need to be sad, because I will keep writing - and it will be the same, but different.

And that's all folks. The end.

Fly away




诗篇 55:6-8

"Be ready to see missing posters of me soon. Ha ha ha."

Again, thinking about how the psalmist goes from wanting to escape, to bringing his complaints before God, to recalling how God is faithful, and finally trusting and resting in him (rather than resting in some faraway hideout of his imagination).

Happily ever afters

But it is a fairytale

We love our bedtime stories, and on this occassion it was the story of Pocahontas. Didn't realise that whilst some of the events in Pocahontas is based on true stories, the romance is most probably fictional. Anyhow, this is how the ending went.

W: (the book went something like this) John Smith went back to England and Pocahontas didn't get married to him but to another man. But he was always in her heart. The end.

C: Nooooo (feeling cheated), that's sad! It's not a happy ending!

W: Sorry... happy endings only happen in fairy tales, they don't really happen in real life.

C: But this IS a fairytale book!

W: Oh yeah, you are right!

So you do, very occasionally, find unhappy endings in fairytale collections.

Good, but not the best

(quotes from C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

"If the old fairytale ending 'They lived happily ever' is taken to mean 'They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married', then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships?"

Love ever after, with no element of "life"; maybe not so desirable after all.

"Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling."

I guess in the midst of it, it's hard to think, much less feel, that there is anything more compelling, more important to attend to. But there is of course.

"When we meet someone beautiful and clever and sympathetic, of course we ought, in one sense, to admire and love these good qualities. But is it not very largely in our own choice whether this love shall, or shall not, turn into what we call 'being in love'? No doubt, if our minds are full of novels and plays and sentimental songs, and our bodies full of alcohol we shall turn any love we feel into that kind of love; just as if you have a rut in your path all the rainwater will run into the rut, and if you wear blue spectacles everything you see will turn blue. But that will be our own fault."

Indeed, what a sobering thought.

Regardless of the outcome

Each conversation, each person, each couple, brings their own point of view. Family says, it will never work, your career will be disrupted, you will take forever doing your training, or how are you going to reconcile his family wanting him to be there and your family wanting you to be here. Besides, they say, there are many fish in the ocean (trees in the forest, insert other absurd analogy), you're young and will find a good doctor in the hospital (as if doctors are the only appropriate people for doctors to marry), or he will find some girl and you will never know, and they will get settled there and that would be way easier. Friends generally give positive stories about how they themselves or their friends had long distance relationships from anywhere between a year or two, to eight years or more. Then they got married and lived happy years after. Okay, maybe some couples they knew broke up too.

Then there was this slightly intense auntie at church. I don't actually know her very well. Today we happened to be sitting in the row in front of her. At the end of the service, she sneaked up from behind, placing both hands on my shoulders, and gave it a firm squeeze. I was quite taken aback.

"Pray for each other," she urged. I was a bit confused and not sure why she was saying that, but nodded anyway.

"If it is God's will you will be back together. Even pastor and his wife had a long distance relationship." More nods.

"If it's not, you will find new friends." We looked at each other, and laughed a little.

She pointed her finger from one person to the other and said, "but you two will still be friends, NOT enemies, okay?!?!" She waited for an answer with that really intense stare.

"I will pray for you too," she added, and we thanked her for her encouragement.

I guess I appreciate both the conversations that make you think through realistic issues, and those that tell you, hey this is what worked for us, and there are couples who do end up staying together. But it was memorable too, to have someone neither say you might be fine, you might not, but both are okay outcomes. A reminder also, of what we have said to one another for many years. That if we both have that relationship with God, whichever way this relationship goes, he in his wisdom has a purpose and good plan for each of our lives. Which leads me to think about a question that makes me feel uneasy:

Do we rely on romantic relationships or God as the source of our "happily ever after" - or more appropriately put, our joy in life?


I hate change, it's so confusing. Who are my friends? Where is my family. Where is home? Is home with family, or is it the house in which I spend most of my year? This time, even my permanent address changed. It's strange to drive past and see the white and red house I grew up in, with grass on which I used to race mice and rats, with the starfruit and jackfruit trees at the back, with playgrounds and the library nearby, and all the other conveniences of that neighbourhood - and remember oh, that's not home any more. This is also the longest I've stayed at one place, during the semester. Over the years I've had bits of mail sent here, others sent there, and different cards issued with unmatching addresses, and it was all very confusing. I have clothes, cooking ware and other belongings in boxes that I either forget about, or deliberately not unpack because who knows how long I will be here for. Or they are in a different city and I don't remember what is here and what is there.

But it's confusing, emotionally too. I feel as if segments of my life are paused, or resumed, each time I make a trip to the airport. Or that each aeroplane journey is a time to switch off my attention to one set of tasks, one set of people, and switch on to another. Why is my heart split and scattered them over separate dots of the globe. Why is it that I will never be able to be with all the family and friends I love in one place. Why do I keep saying so many goodbyes (often morbidly wondering if it will be the final goodbye), so many that I rarely cry anymore. Why have there been so many warm farewells and promises to keep in touch. In the end though, many move on with their lives, or grow to have completely different approaches to life that we no longer share a close understanding. I always wonder how many friendships I would discover to be transient friendships when I revisit a year, two, three, four years later. Sometimes I wonder if I might as well avoid making these discoveries by quietly arriving and quietly leaving a place. But maybe I shouldn't be so dark, midst the disappointments there are always nice surprises - new friendships with childhood playmates, friends who become even better friends, or childhood enemies who become friends, or even new friends in old places.

Why am I here at all though, despite asking myself the same questions time after time, for the past six years. Well, less than six if you minus a few of the in-between years. Why, especially when I no longer have to be here. Did I make the right choices. Back there, the house is almost adjacent to the hospital grounds. Plus I would be staying in one place for the entire year rather than coming here and going there.

The same thoughts always accompanies my first weeks back in this city. Why is everything so much effort, even driving down the street, or attending a yummy dinner party. Why do I meet so many many new people here all the time, but count so few as my friends. Will I be lonely, will I be sad, and why is the city so cold even when the weather is quite pleasantly summery. Why do I feel so distant, as if I am here but not really here. Why is it here that I am always being told that I am in some way, abnormal? In first year - why do you walk slow (on the way back home, so why not), why do you pronounce things differently (because I didn't grow up in Singapore or Malaysia), why would you live in that town, it's so boring, I mean what's there to do in D (school, work, shop, eat, family, friends, not that different after all). Then, even this year - they were all looking at you and feeling uncomfortable, why are you browsing a book on the shelf instead of joining the rowdy card game across the room. You don't understand how these social situations work. Maybe you are too blunt, maybe you need to work harder to integrate yourself. Blah blah blah.

Anyway, I think everything will be normal when I am used to life here again. In the meantime...

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