Reader Request Week: My favourite place in the world

dio would like to know my favourite place in the world. Now there's a stumper.

What is a "favourite" place anyway? Is it a place that one finds most reassuring, feels safest in? The place where one has the most fun? Is it a question of beauty, rapture and zeal? Is it a question of home, or adventure? And what about the fact that I've been to only a handful of countries on this wide, wide world, so my decision would be based on a highly self-selected sample of places?

(The handful, for the record, radiating outwards from home: Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan (okay, just transiting through the airport at Taipei), Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Belgium, England, Holland (again, just the airport), Mexico (well, just Tijuana), Canada and the United States.)

Finally, what is a place? Is it a distinct moment in time, plucked from time's flow, when that place was experienced? Is it something as seemingly unchanging like a mountain range or an impeccably preserved historical monument? Is it a personal space like any number of places that have served as my bedroom over the years, or is it a public space, a public experience that can be replicated by anyone who ventures to that same place?

My favourite place in the world could be a humble white sand beach on a Malaysian island whose name I've long forgotten, over which hangs an undimmed canopy of stars. The waves off the South China Sea decide their own soundtrack, the sand's still warm from the daytime sun and the night seems to unwind into forever.

Or it could be the apartment where we live now, which, in my adult life, has been the place I've felt most permanently comfortable and safe in --- where all my stuff is (more or less) exactly where I want it to be and how I want it to be, where no one hustles me out of bed any earlier than I decide (sorry, Mom!), and where I can curl up and chill out any time I want to.

Or it could be the Charles Bridge at 7:30 am, the summer sunlight fierce on the bridge's wizened statues, the tourists mercifully absent. I take my time moseying --- is there a better summer word? --- from one figure to the next, not that I can remember any of their names now, and except for the odd street cleaner or old uncle out for a morning tipple, I've got the bridge all to myself.

Or it could be the breathless freedom of the mountain peaks just north of Vancouver, visible from just about everywhere in the city. I always say I could sit on a lawn in Vancouver and just watch the mountains, every day.

Or it could be that there could never be just one place for me, because I don't think any place could be everything, always.

Or maybe I'm just fickle that way.


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At 4/17/2006 10:34 pm , Blogger limegreenspyda said...

... as you also ownself say, you've got too many thoughts going on...

At 4/17/2006 10:37 pm , Blogger limegreenspyda said...

blog about your favourite food lah. or elaborate on your arrangements for your last meal(s). cliche, but at least it gets you thinking about yummy stuff!


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