marina bay sands singapore

A Singapore Fling

It occurs to me that I’ve gone through something of a divorce over the past year or so. Only, it’s not been to a person but a place.

Of course, there have been others. York for one. We had a few difficult years together. Then there was Oxford where I went to university. That was a nonstop party.

And I’ve certainly sowed my wild oats. I’ve traveled the world and experienced more cities I can count.

But, ultimately, Hong Kong was the girl I always came back to. There is no city in the world I know more intimately. We’ve been in a long term relationship – on and off – since I was 6 years old.

This has made the changes she’s undergone over the past few years especially painful. After we got married and had kids together everything changed. 

She became controlling. She tried to stop me from having an opinion. She even tried to stop me from seeing other people! 

In the end it was too much. I decided she wasn’t the right lady to spend the rest of my life with. So, as painful as it was, I filed for divorce.

But what are you supposed to do after such a long relationship? How are you supposed to cope? Should you jump in bed with the next city you find? Should you return to a former lover? Or, should you take some time to have a bit of fun and clear your mind?

I’ve really enjoyed my short time in Singapore so far. I think part of the reason is because I’ve come in with few expectations. Because I’ve taken a no-strings-attached approach. 

First impression are good. I’ve very much enjoyed exploring her green leafy back streets in my spare time. 

This is, incidentally, one of my favourite pastimes. Usually, before a layover, I would do an inordinate amount of research into places I want to eat. 

I would star many of these obscure eateries (often in the middle of nowhere) on google maps. Then I would create a kind of walking foodie tour by connecting the dots.

I would walk far and I would eat well.

It’s something I’ve sorely missed during the past few years of endless quarantine. So, to make up for lost time, that’s what I’ve been doing since I arrived in Singapore. 

I’m ecstatic to report that she’s an exceptional chef. 

Honestly, the relationship wouldn’t last long if she wasn’t. When it comes to cities, the best way to my heart is through my stomach!

Still, nowhere is perfect and Singapore is no exception. Her parents – namely the government – are known to be particularly heavy handed when punishing certain offenders. That may well be a flag longer term. 

With that said, the people here feel looked after for the most part. They have access to cheap affordable housing, excellent medical care and world class education.

Of course, they rinse the expats to make that possible. She ain’t a cheap lady to please! The cost of a beer is enough to make any man cry themselves to sleep. Mainly because he can’t afford to have a beer.

But back to the positive. She’s feels far more relaxed – far more family friendly – in comparison to Hong Kong. That’s certainly something I’m looking for at this stage of my life.

Although it occurs to me that maybe Singapore feels more relaxed because I am? Now that I’ve settled down, not that I’m together with my family again – after a very busy, stressful divorce.

Perhaps I’m simply projecting my feelings onto the place? 

At any rate, I don’t care. I’m enjoying myself. I am feeling relaxed. The last thing I want to think about is whether or not I will (or should) be here in 5 to 10 years time. We can save that particular conversation for a later date.

For now, I just want sit back, relax and enjoy this fine Singapore fling.

I’ll finish by asking you one of my all time favourite questions: what is your favourite city in the world and why?


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35 thoughts on “A Singapore Fling

  1. I understand completely!! San Diego was my divorce. It gave so much when we first started our relationship…I could almost say it saved my life. At the very least it profoundly changed me for the better and helped me grow.
    My favorite city right now is a country…Costa Rica. I love this country, the people, the culture and traditions. I try to get there once a year but work always seems to get in the way.
    Luckily I am traveling quite a bit for my new job but it is mostly US travel. Still fun and interesting seeing how varied the cultures are in this country.
    I loved your post and your question! Thank you for sharing a part of you with us.
    Take care and be safe out there! Best wishes to you and your new lady friend for a beautiful future ☺️

    1. I’ve not been to Costa Rica but it’s on my list (along with almost every other country in the world I haven’t visited). San Diego is a great town. Thank you Danielle. Best wishes to you and your travels with the new job! 🙂🙏

  2. I love this! so creative and you’re right it is like a divorce. I love Italy and England but I’ve only ever visited. I would imagine living to be a very different experience. great post!

    1. Absolutely. Often we take a romantic view of the places we visit because it’s new and exciting. When you live somewhere and get over the honeymoon phase – it’s a different game. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂🙏

  3. This was fun! Thank you for pulling all of the imagery through. Yep – just like a relationship but in this case, you can have a few of them! I loved this line especially: “I’m ecstatic to report that she (Singapore) is an exceptional chef.” 😉 Food = Love

    1. I tend think places take on a character. Often I find that character mirror the people a little bit. Thanks for your kind comment. 🙏

  4. Love the imagery.
    I like your summing up of being in the present, “For now, I just want sit back, relax and enjoy this fine Singapore fling.”
    Wish you a lovely time with your new fling.

  5. Glad you are enjoying Singapore, AP. As for a favorite city, I don’t really have one. I did enjoy living in Washington, DC very much for nearly ten years. We enjoyed the Smithsonian Museums, restaurants, performances at The Kennedy Center, and exploring the city. We spent seven years in Miami Beach when the children were young. I loved the beach and hanging out on Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road, visiting art galleries and listening to live music .

    Essentially, though, I am a small town girl. I like the beach, but I sometimes long for the mountains of Virginia.

    1. DC is a great town. The museums/memorials are some of the worlds best I reckon. I’m yet to visit Miami buts it’s on my list. Thank you for adding your thoughts Cheryl. Wishing you well 🙏

  6. One of the tricks I adopted during my road warrior days was to get to know veteran concierge staff at a couple of the major hotels. Once you build a rapport, which doesn’t take long as they like showing off what they know, you ask, “tell me please, if you had an old friend visiting, someone you really cared about, where would you take them to dine.” It is almost certain that the answer won’t appear a guide book and will be absurdly good.

  7. This is more than creative writing. I never been to other place other than Bali for holiday and went there 3 times, love the beach and environment. But to live, I love to be in Singapore altho people keep labeled it as a non stop working life city… there’s a lot more to be explored. I hope you enjoy for every single thing that you do in Singapore! Stay safe!

    1. Bali is a beautiful place. I’ve been on holiday there many times. Thank you for sharing your thoughts/kid words. Wishing you well 🙂🙏

  8. I’ve been feeling this way about my own local Jewish community, in that while I used to love it it doesn’t feel like it is ever coming back post-COVID. But it’s not obvious that other places are really more desirable. It’s hard to find a place that feels like home, and hard when you think you’ve found home and home changes.

    1. Oh yes. Seeing the changes Hong Kong has undergone has been painful to say the least. Ultimately the relationship to the place changed to the point of no return. Nowhere is perfect of course. We must learn to embrace change – the good with the bad. 🙏

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