I wrote previously that living alone was pretty nice. Right now though, I really do miss friends and family back home.
My room is a little too large and a little too quiet. It's strange when sometimes the only sound I hear are the ones I make, and even the sound of my stomach growling (it just did) sounds so loud and clear. Sure I like the freedom and the space to myself, and sure I like peace and quiet, but it does get a little too quiet in here. Little things like the sound of the television playing, of the hiss from the steam of the iron, of my bro talking a little too loud on Skype. Little things I have grown accustomed to in my life that now being missing feels a little off.
Outside my room is a stretch of corridor filled with acquaintances. It's kinda strange that all the people who live the closest to me and I see daily are not my family but people that I hardly know and merely engage in obligatory small talk with.
Friends back in Singapore are six hours ahead in time zone, which isn't too bad but I realise I feel like talking to people the most at night when everyone is asleep. It's also different, for as much as I try to keep up with what's going on, the fact of that matter is that you can't really do that.
So I guess, it started to feel a little too alone and quiet over here.
I think this feeling was accentuated recently as I come to realise increasingly how even the people whom I regard as friends here are not quite the people I can speak freely or be myself with. We are accelerated into a friendship because we are here together, but it does also mean that we can be very different people with very different personalities, lifestyles and world views.
So they know bits and pieces I guess. They know haribo me and chef me, but they don't for example know 5 year old me and I don't show it to them. Even the ones I had the most hope for, that I thought I could potentially develop a good friendship with where we can share honestly, seem ultimately to be quite different from me. We are just on different wavelengths and don't quite understand one another. It's a pity.
I don't know if I'm fully cut out to live overseas yet haha. I really do like living here, but it's just that there are a couple of things which are important to me that aren't that accessible from here I guess. If only Maastricht was just a few hours drive away from Singapore. Then I could head back once in awhile at least.
Speaking of important things that aren't accessible, food. The withdrawal symptoms have started.
Bak chor mee. Chicken rice. Duck rice. Roast meat noodle. Salted vegetable soup. Lotus root soup. All the chinese soups for that matter. Cai fan. Kway chap. Sambal anything but especially stingray. Dumpling and wanton noodle. Laksa. Ramen. Teh Peng. Milo Peng. Teh Cino. Syrup Limau. So many things. Gosh. I could go on further but my stomach is growling again.
The fried rice I've been having just doesn't taste as good. The quality of the rice for one is different. The rice I have always seems like a sticky clump rather than individual grains with their distinct nutty flavour.
I had my fair share of other cuisines. Being able to cook so many dishes I have not been able to do previously was great, but I guess at the end of the day I still miss my coffee shop food.
What else is there. Yes, holidaying. It's been great but I'm getting a little tired. I've traveled every weekend so far and it has been nice, but yes it's tiring.
I've also come to realise that perhaps I'm a little too overhyped for Europe, and I might actually like Asia a little more. Taiwan, Japan, and many other Asian countries which I really never even gave much of a thought about. I think after this trip I would be avoiding Europe for a little while. Seems that there is actually so much just nearby outside of Singapore that I have not experienced, and it would be a pity not to. It's funny because as we Asians travel to Europe and go to many places, the Europeans are telling us that even they who live in this area have not gone to the so many places we have. Meanwhile when they travel to Southeast Asia and even within Singapore, they tell us about all the fun they have had at various places they went and I realise that I've never been there before.
I do have a trip in Europe coming up real soon that I'm really hyped for though which is Norway, but I think I'll be taking a break for awhile after that.
It's also the people you go with I guess. Langkawi despite all the things that made it a shitfest was still pretty memorable with lots of positive points at the end of the day.
I feel like I'm travelling alone with other people around me mostly. I felt that so keenly in Oktoberfest.
Since we're on Oktoberfest. Yes Oktoberfest. Positives first. There was that really nice fair atmosphere with the rides that become so colourful in the night. The beer tents were cool, I'm quite fascinated by how elaborate it all is. The atmosphere in the beer tent was pretty fun and interesting at first too, with the rush to get tables, excited people cheering and singing and all. The fella repeatedly chugging his 1L beer and making marks on his arm on how many he can chug, that was pretty interesting, and fine too given that he holds his drink really well. On a whole I'll say the excitement was in the air and the atmosphere was great.
At the start of the day while everyone was still sober that is.
I'm not sure why drinking more, even at the cost of becoming drunk, is treated like a badge of honour. Related to that, I'm not sure why not being able to drink 1L of beer makes one a loser. Not that I'm offended by a half drunk comment from an angry drunk. The funny thing was the same person would say drink in moderation and don't push yourself if you really can't while sober.
I'm not sure why watching other people being drunk and tipsy is supposed to be funny. I mean, I get that they say or do legitimately amusing things sometimes, but how is an individual's loss of self control supposed to be encouraged and become a joke. Attached people flirting with others, people who can't walk straight and can't take care of themselves in a foreign land, and people who start behaving very liberally.
I'm not sure why getting tipsy yourself is supposed to be fun. It's about getting high isn't it. That somehow everything seems more fun when tipsy. I don't know but I like to have my fun sober.
The thing about all these behaviour is that it seems that being drunk somehow legitimises all sorts of behaviour that would otherwise ordinarily be not quite acceptable. Stealing, even if it is a minor petty theft of a fruit, is not okay in normal circumstances but is suddenly funny when the culprit is half drunk. I don't see why it should be like this. If it's not okay, being drunk shouldn't make it okay. It just means maybe you shouldn't be drunk.
I felt alot of things. A little irritated at how I was thrust the role of a babysitter. A little annoyed that despite looking out for people because I'm sober, I would be remembered as the one who can't drink. A little sad that this is supposed to be enjoyable in the eyes of people
Someone also implied to me that drunkenness is not okay, presumably because that's what is clearly stated in the Bible, but being tipsy is not technically being drunk so it's totally fine. I'm pretty sure that the Bible isn't against drunkenness for the sake of it, but that the loss of self control and behaving in less than edifying ways is a large part of it.
And if I were to say these things, I think people would be offended. That I'm being judgmental or something. Or that because no one actually got hammered and were all fine after a few hours, I'm overreacting. So I keep my mouth shut and walk at the back just making sure everything is alright, knowing that these views of mine will be not be taken well so let's just keep them to myself.
It's true though, and something I have to learn to manage better I guess. To be in this world but not of this world. To demonstrate love despite my disagreement.
I don't regret going to Oktoberfest though. I think it was a necessary experience. Besides, the campsite was pretty nice and I had a good amount of time to reflect and to pray.
I guess I'm done with writing for now. Despite being a rambling it's actually pretty organised I think heh.
Moving forward... I'm not sure. I feel like instead of increasingly growing closer to others as I spend time with them here, I am going to end up feeling increasingly alone. Not necessarily in the physical sense, perhaps we'll still be hanging around each other a fair bit, but in that emotional connection we share.
And that bothers me when I think about being the salt and light. Sometimes, I really don't know how to be one. I just feel like I don't really know how to connect with people unless they are of certain types that I am more comfortable with.
We'll see how it goes.