Settling in

About a week after I got back, I started sneezing. A lot. Could've been the haze, could've been the cats, could've been the air.

Okay, could've been me.

The question that keeps popping up in conversations with friends is: "So, are you glad to be back?" Which suggests there is a reason not to be. London was, is great, and there are many things I miss about it. But there are many good reasons to be home in Singapore too. Slipping into Singlish as I asked the sales assistant for help at the duty-free shop at Changi Airport --- mmmmm. That first crackle of warmed-up roti prata as I tore into it with fork and spoon. Being surprised with that perfect dollop of homemade Peranakan-style sambal belachan.

It's not only about the food, of course, but food is a good kind of shorthand (not quite on the order of a metonym) for everything else that makes a place real and resonant.

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