Sunday, December 07, 2008

Episode 76: Back!

I'm finally back in Singapore. The books that are not to be brought back have been inserted into their places on my bookshelves. The clothes that have been brought back have been unpacked. The life that was interrupted by 11 weeks in a foreign country has been resumed. It's a little unreal, how it's entirely possible to pretend that I've never left at all, and somehow I feel like I should be feeling more disoriented, more lost in my own skin. Yet I don't. Perhaps I haven't been away long enough? Or am I less given to sentimentality than I thought? I can't say that the thought of being home makes me ecstatic, the way it might for some of my friends. Not that I'm not grateful for the familiarity of home, but sometimes I think part of growing up is learning to be able to let go, to go on functioning despite losing something. I don't think I'm any closer to entertaining the thought of migration than when I first left, but I do know that I handled being away from everyone much better than even I expected. You could of course read that as a statement of how relatively unimportant I am to most of the people I know, but then that would be rather cynical, wouldn't it? After watching Angus, Thongs And Perfect Snogging, which was an entertaining, albeit formulaic, coming-of-age flick, I decided to start reading Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. I think this is perhaps his best work since The Remains Of The Day. An Ishiguro novel always unsettles me as I'm reading it, but this one is particularly chilling because of its subject matter. Think of the movie The Island as a novel, without the fast-paced action sequences and the happy ending. The Guardian has a hilarious take on the book though, right here. Got to love John Crace's digested reads...

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