chao espana; c’est la vie.

Wish I could say that Spain and Morocco changed my life, even just a little. But it didn’t. Nevertheless, the streets of Espana were very pretty and they made me wish I could build a home there. Morocco was exotic and different and I loved the trinkets, winking in the dazzling sun as the dusty souks left their imprints layer after layer. 

From ‘gracias’ to ‘merci’, from ‘si’ to ‘oui’, and back. And now that I’m back, I’m lost. Suddenly, after 25 days, I will be looking forward to days with less agenda, less surprises, and less visual poetry. No more sunny blue skies and puffy white clouds without the sweltering heat. No more of that strange tongue that I’m not privy to, that somehow gives me that feeling of extravagance, that I’m less average. But I’m trading those in for long-time favourite food fare and comforting cultural assimilation and I don’t know if that’s a fair exchange. now.

I am left without a doubt that I am Singaporean through and through. That a life as a whimsical globe-trotter with the barest security can never be mine. Not only because I have too much to shoulder but also, when all is said and done, I can never find the courage to leave everything behind. Especially stability. How Singaporean. And right here, I am going to blame that on socialization.

When we checked into our hostel at Seville (Samay Hostels), I saw a recruitment notice. One of those that asked self-congratulatory questions like are you fun and friendly?, rhetorics like do you want to live in Seville and meet different people?, then join us at Samay Hostels! And I was excited; I spent the shower fantasizing about how I’d send in a CV and then pack my bags and live in Seville. Earn a pittance and blow it on inspiring jaunts across the world. I went that close before my dreams were dashed in a sobering conversation about work, responsibilities and family over dinner that night. Filial piety is a ball and chain on our wanderlusty feet.

Money isn’t everything. In my haughty self-righteousness, I want to denounce the virtue of money. But I cannot escape the fact that to be free, I need the lousy money. And because I need the lousy money to buy a quality retirement for my parents and my own escape route, I cannot shirk the responsibilities that will most probably chain me here. It’s not so bad, really. Just disillusionment; less idealism and more down-to-earthiness.

And so why have I decided to stay on for honours after a supposed grad trip? Maybe I really don’t know. I just need more time…to make it good. I have a plan, I think. Coupled with the recession, I think it makes for a sensible escapism. Which, if you strip it all down, might not be all bad. So, back to school I go.

Look at that, post-“grad” trip emoness. Maybe recounting will be happier, maybe tomorrow.


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