Aaand I did it – the 50 km cycle around Singapore. Something I have dreaded and looked forward to at the same time.
Tour de Singapore has been an exhausting journey, both physically and emotionally. While the physical tiredness from having to attend weekly spinning classes in preparation was very much expected, the emotional part came as a surprise. The pressure only came in much later, closer to the race – I was growing nervous and restless, unsure about the road safety and whether I would be fit enough to complete the distance. It was amplified by the fact that one of my friends who was joining the ride with me was no longer joining. It felt like I lost a bit of emotional support. It also did not help that half of the time I was wishing I had decided to forget about this whole cycling thing and join my friend on a 3-day football charity trip to Cambodia from 14th-16th Feb. (The title of this post at one point in time was dangerously close to be “Cambodia: Of Football, Happy Pizza and Fried Tarantulas” had I chosen to go.) But I had too much of a sense of commitment in me to quit halfway as tempting as the Cambodia trip sounded.
And I’m really I happy I went through with it. It was a well-spent 5 hours of my journey and looking back at all the preparation that I had done, it was the only right thing to do, really.
(Although after hearing the exciting stories from Cambodia, I did have a sliight regret, but hey, you can’t have everything).
So read on, if you want to find out more about what happened before, during and some observations that I reflected upon completing.
I am perfectly aware that I do still have a long overdue post to write about my trip to Nepal in April last year. But in the spirit of Chinese New Year overeating (which also explains the absence of posts over the past week due to uncontrollable food consumption), I thought it would be wise to slot in this post about Nepalese food, inspired by the recent post-trip gathering to a Nepalese restaurant in Little India in Singapore.
Before that, just a little background regarding me and food photography: I hate taking pictures of food. It is perhaps partly due to the fact that I believe in just indulging in the food the moment you see it, but mostly due to me being just plain lazy. I don’t have the habit of taking out my phone/camera and snap pictures of the dishes that are served in front of me. Unless if it looks something like this.
I love Singapore, particularly because of how easy it is to get from a place to another. The country is small enough that you can get from one end to another in less than two hours by the train. This feature is especially important since we only have one Saturday and one Sunday – weekends should comprise of more days in a week!
It came especially handy today when I felt like I had so many things to do and that many people to see. I had a friend to meet for brunch, two friends to meet for tea and a bunch more to meet for dinner. The amazing thing was that even with such a packed schedule in a day, I’m glad that I managed to sneak in some time to check out the Aliwal Urban Art Festival, thanks to Singapore’s small size and efficient transport system.
I wouldn’t say I understand much about art and music, but they have always sparked my curiosity. In Singapore, the art scene seems to sprawl in the underground known only by a handful and appreciated by even fewer people, which makes it even more intriguing.
Although I didn’t get to spend much time at the Arts Festival, it definitely was one of the highlights of my day. When I reached the Aliwal Arts Centre, I was greeted by the loud music of ‘I am David Sparkle’. Definitely not my staple kind of music, but it grew on me with every song they played.
I certainly have been guilty of some of the notion of busyness that was mentioned in the article. However, if there was one accomplishment that I have achieved in 2013, it would be that the fact that I still feel I am living in Singapore despite travelling out almost every month to about 10 countries in a year. That I’m not too busy travelling to actually be in Singapore.
Which is such a contrast to how I felt in 2011. I did very frequent travelling back then as well, but I felt very distanced from what was happening here. That was why in 2012, I decided to travel much more sparingly and to have longer gaps in between. That seemed to work okay until nearing the end of the year when all hell broke loose. I felt so suffocated by the lack of travel that I decided to take off for a solo trip to Europe. (Now you see how the different pieces come together? All these travels are meant to be, really).
So being the overanalyser that I am, I tried to analyse what was so different last year (yes, 2013 is already last year) and 2011.