Thursday, December 17, 2009

Episode 451: A Touch Of Nostalgia

Is it weird that having finished reading The Secret History, whose main characters play out events at a time in their lives that actually corresponds to mine, I instead find myself nostalgic for the two years I spent in RJC, before I even knew where I would be headed for university? Not that I ever had an ultra-charismatic Classics professor, nor did I indulge in ancient Greek bacchanals and murder people. Have you ever had that feeling that there are parts of life no one else will fully appreciate or understand unless they were the ones who shared it with you? In a warped way, that's the crux of this novel (and by extension, the two years it takes me back to). I already feel that way about my university years, and they're not even over yet. It's a curious admixture of relish and regret, and it's also, I think, why people who've lived abroad for any extended period of time never truly 'go home'. Some of us do, I guess, the ones who get homesick and are glad to exchange the awfulness of one weather for the mugginess of another. Me? I'm guilty of sentimentality, but buried so deep that usually I pretend it's not there. You know what? It's just occurred to me that I miss the UK more when I'm in Singapore than I miss Singapore when I'm in the UK. On some level, I think it has to do with which location dominates my pattern of life at this point. (Note to self: Don't come back at all next Christmas, even if it means holidaying in some random place by yourself.)

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