Nature Condensed III: Confidence & Complications

At the polar bear enclosure in the Singapore Zoo, 26 December 1990 was supposed to have been a routine day.  Sheba, the first resident polar bear of the Singapore Zoo, had last been seen swimming nonchalantly in the enclosure’s pool the day before. Aside from the stereotypical behaviour characteristic of polar bears confined in small […]

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Your grief will never go away. A moment: an hour, a week, a month, a year, a decade. Time passes. You think it gets better. You climb up mountains full of knives and stacked with ghosts, and you think, there I’ve made it. You think you’ve conquered the grief, wrestled the demon and broken its […]

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What is a Singaporean?

Do Singaporeans have belly-buttons? Not so long ago, there used to be a theorist of the nation, and his name was Ernest Gellner. He is said to have famously and provocatively asked the same question about nations: do nations have belly-buttons? By which he meant: do nations have a single, traceable origin? Are nations born? Where […]

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Southbread II: Waiting for the Night Bus

You think travelling solo is fun? Full of spontaneous love affairs, moving musical soundtracks, full of dancing brown people or white people in baggy harem pants in search of Love, gorging on alcohol and pseudo-spirituality? It’s 8.10pm on the island of Lombok as the bus drives off the ferry. Ordinarily, one should feel a surge […]

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Southbread I: Bali Breakout

First days are the worst. It is May 2017, and I have just landed in Denpasar, Bali after an early morning flight from Changi Airport. Because I was too much of a cheapskate to pay for an exorbitant early morning taxi all the way  to the airport, I had spent the night (quite snugly) being […]

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