There it goes again, Singapore doing that deja vu thing, only it’s always real deja vu, never imagined. Last time it was a Dad memory that repeated itself from a different vantage point: oh, it’s too hard to explain, take a look here (it’s not a long entry, don’t worry).
That one was a Dad-based memory and this one’s Dad-based again, only rather than being set in the woody enclave of last time (see link, above), when it happened this time I was on a bus going to SM’s school, when the bus I was on pulled out a little in order to get around a rugged corner of construction work. As we sidled past I noticed that part of the hoardings had been taken down, or pulled to one side, and I peered through the gap.
And there it was, at last. In the time it took us to squeeze past and be on our way, I saw the food court that I’ve spent the last three years trying to recall, explaining and describing it to countless people in the hopes that I might find it and go there again. It was John’s aunt who took us there – me, Mr PC, SM and Grandpa – on our first trip to Singapore in winter 2011. I liked the place a lot, for some reason. When I have tried to describe it, people always try to help. ‘Oh, that’s Newton,’ says someone. ‘Maxwells,’ says another. ‘Bukit Timah,’ said my map-voice when I shut my eyes and tried to recall the car trip and the route in relation to that journey’s starting point, but my map voice was wrong, I was too far east. To make it more complicated we had visited the food court at night, so describing it to anyone was always going to be tricky.
Anyway, thanks to this city’s wonderful way of taking you right back to places you’ve been to before, without you realising it, we can now all relax, because this is just what had happened. All we have to do is wait until they finish building the MRT line by those food courts and then we can hop on the No 75 and go and get our bowls of noodles. I love your interlacing, Singapore, you do it so well – you’re like a mystical puzzle in a very safe setting, with kway teow in the pot at the end of the rainbow instead of gold. Brilliant.