Sunday, September 30, 2007

Winds of Change

Its been a week since I've returned to Bristol. Before that, I was away for a 2 week holiday back home in Singapore. It was warm and humid, just as I remembered it. However, due to me being in the UK for the past 5 years, my body found it extremely uncomfortable to cope to the local weather conditions. But still, I was out and about with family and catching up with friends and basically, just revisiting old sites I used to hang out when I was a teenager.

The Raffles Hotel

Unfortunately, some of these memorable sites have been demolished to make way for progress in the grand scheme of things. New buildings, shopping centres, trains stations, bus stations, roads and highways, are being built. Many places now look so new and unfamiliar to me that I sometimes feel like a tourist in my own country. And I feel quite disturbed in finding my own place unfamiliar to me. Is home a place to remind you of your roots & childhood? Or is it a place just to provide a roof over your head?

Tropical fruits

However, I am delighted to report that the food still taste the same as ever! Perhaps the reason I'm so happy is that I've found something that hasn't changed in the face of 'progress'. Just imagine me saying: the food is as reliable and delicious as ever! I think no one has ever described food as reliable.

Bright & shiny

When I arrived in Bristol, it was really chilly and cool, a huge contrast to the weather in Singapore. It felt like someone had just turned on the air conditioning. However, I felt comfortable in feeling this coolness, like I'm familiar with it already, which I should as I've been living here for 5 years. But the disturbing thought of considering Bristol my home just flitted through my mind. I'm proud of my own country and that thought made me feel like a traitor, which was really uncomfortable. Perhaps I've now become what you call a global citizen, a person who moves from place to place but doesn't really settle down and has no place to call home. Or a person that considers the world his/her home.

Tropical jungles

Monday, September 17, 2007


Looks like the previous post was a self fulfiling prophecy. I not only had to go to the toilet once, but twice during the half marathon! My time was 1 hr 54 mins. And I was actually looking to go under 1 hr 30 mins before my first toilet break hit me. I was pretty lucky for the first one as there was one of those porta-loos along the route when I had to go. I wasn't so lucky when I had to go the 2nd time. I was basically in agony for about 30 mins before I dashed into a hotel (thank you Ramada Bristol!) along the route to use their first class toilet. And that was how I felt for the rest of the day, even after the half marathon. I was feeling extremely weak and dehydrated that I had great trouble walking back home after the run. It looked like I was suffering from a mild bout of food poisoning from the smoked mackerel I ate the night before (grrrrr).

So there you go. Just imagine, assuming I took 20 mins for my toilet breaks, my actual timing could be 1 hr 20 something mins! Instead, what could be a personal best for me turned out to be one of the most agonising runs I've ever done. Oh well, such is life and I'm just glad I got through the ordeal without looking like a wimp in front of thousands of people.

Anyway, I'm now back home in Singapore and its humid as hell! Well, almost. The recent rains seems to have cooled things down a bit and the breeze whispering at me feels pretty soothing. I've met up with most of my friends and family and I've just couple of days left before I return to England. I'm gonna feel pretty homesick when I do. The journey back is always never pleasant.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Well, in about two and a half hours, I'll be running the Bristol Half Marathon. I woke up early today so I could have a proper breakfast, and most importantly, go to the toilet. Believe me, its the most fustrating and, might I say, embarrasing moment when you're doing an event in the public eye and then suddenly, you just have to answer the call of nature. This is confounded by the lack of toilets when the feeling hits you. Where are the toilets when you need them?! The is the stuff nightmares are made out of.

Anyway, I'm expecting to finish the half marathon in 1 hour and 30 -45 mins. That should be a reasonable enough target for me. I am also going home (i.e. Singapore!) for two weeks tomorrow. That is the day after the half marathon. Hopefully I'll be able to sleep peacefully on the flight home and not cramp up my body. The flight is 13 hours, so I'll be watching lots of in-flight movies and sleeping.

So thank you all for your kind words of support. For the silent majority of you, I'm sure you'll be supporting me in your heart and you're just too modest to voice it all out :-) Hopefully, fingers crossed, I won't be needing the toilet when I'm running. Now......all I have to do is go to the loo.