Monday, September 21, 2009

I grabbed a bite from Taco Bell near my apartment the other day and suddenly recalled that Taco Bell once could be found in Singapore. The memory is so distant that I'd almost forgotten it. Strange how our mind connects things. In my case, how I find links to home in my environment even when they are seemingly non-existent. My apartment is near the airport, so when lying in bed at night I spot the occasional flash of lights from aeroplanes. When that happens I instinctively think of myself returning on a plane. It's not that I'm really homesick, or that I really want to leave this place. It's just a mental connection I make with everything back home, a connection that transcends miles.

Despite the mostly mundane quality of daily life, sometimes it still feels surreal to be here. I guess after planning something for so long and that thing actually happens, you find it hard to believe. I never really gave much thought to the consequences of my actions, or at least I thought I understood what those consequences were. I just focussed on getting here. But now, with people's exclamations of astonishment at how far I came (all the way from Singapore!) and the fact that I'm the youngest child, have never lived by myself and don't know anyone in the immediate vicinity, I started thinking. They say I'm brave or, as my aunt put it, I'm not 'simple' (translated from Chinese). Sometimes it takes sweat and tears to step out of your comfort zone, but I can say that it's well worth it. Even if I were to fail in my studies (I certainly hope I don't), at least I can say that I tried, instead of spending the rest of my life wondering about what could have been. And already, I've learnt so much about the world and myself just by coming here. I now know what's important to me, which some people take a lifetime to discover.

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