Thursday, 20 November 2008

Malaysia and Singapore

October this year was spent in Malaysia and Singapore. The last time I was there was in 2006, just before moving to England, so it was good to go back.

I saw my nephew Zach in Singapore for the first time.

And of course, I got to taste some delicious local Asian dishes :)

I had forgotten how humid the weather can get in Malaysia. Sweat didn’t seem to dry, and there was always a thin layer of moisture on my skin. One afternoon, I photographed a butterfly in the garden and looking at the photo later, I saw how vastly different it was from the one I photographed in Belgium... less furry and really thin. Guess the heat and humidity get to the butterflies as well :) I wasn’t used to it at first but just a couple of weeks later and I hardly noticed it anymore.

Maybe it’s just me, but after the hustle and bustle of London, life in Malaysia somehow seems simpler. And I mean that in a good way. I didn’t go to all the tourist attractions during this visit (except for the Twin Towers), instead I spent my time just taking in the normal sights of everyday life, both the old and the new.

And taking strolls at night in the village I was staying, I sometimes pass old timber houses where time seems to have stood still. I like looking in through the open doors and windows as I walk past, catching a glimpse of what life is like for these families.

Singapore, on the other hand, didn’t seem to have any old timber houses. In fact, Singapore didn’t seem to have anything old at all! Everything seemed new-ish, new cars on the road, new buildings and apartment blocks. I’m sure there must be old houses located in some corner of this small country but they’ve managed to hide them well. Once again, I didn’t go to any of the tourist attractions since I’ve been to a lot of them just 2 years back when I was here, although I did go to the Singapore Biennale 2008, a showcase of contemporary art by artists from around the world.

One month passed in the blink of an eye, as it often does when you’re having a relaxing, carefree time. And now, more than a month later – I’m back in Sydney, Australia.

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