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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Tahan V: Eight Rivers and the Mountain King

“Wow,” exclaims Shawn, “it’s like we’re walking into lemon tea.” It’s the fourth, and longest day of our expedition to summit Gunung Tahan (translated literally as Mount Endurance in Bahasa Melayu). We had already summitted the mountain on the second day of our climb – but there would be four days of walking through dense, […]

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Tahan IV: The Longest Day (Part One)

We tell stories for many reasons. We draw from unstable, uncertain memory to weave these narratives together. Structured by a confluence of many needs, and polished by the glow of nostalgia, we tell stories for many reasons. Stories remind us of our past selves; they tell about a brighter time, offering a circle of light […]

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Animals of the Everyday: Encounters and Experiences in 1930 Singapore

On the morning of 7 October 1930, three Chinese women rubber tappers working on “Puloe Tekong” were badly mauled by a “wild beast”, which was either a bear, or an “unusually large” black panther. A European resident on the island later said that he had seen a panther swimming to the island from Johore several […]

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The Great Affair

Why do we travel?  About three weeks ago, after much deliberation, hemming and hawing, I embarked on a trip. Contextualising it in the time frame of other friends who were also going overseas at the time,  my trip may have been mistaken (by others and myself) for what is commonly understood these days as a […]

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The Odysseys of Little Things

I sat next to this pen at the busstop. We didn’t have much of a conversation, but I wondered what stories it had to tell, if only I’d asked the right questions: whose hands had cradled it, through long puzzled hours; and then, in a pique of absentmindedness, had left it behind? What places had […]

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