Coming Home

“I had arrived. I’d done it. It seemed like such a small thing and such a tremendous thing at once, like a secret I’d always tell myself, though I didn’t know the meaning of it just yet.”


– Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

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Stratford-upon-Avon – Shakespeare’s Birthplace

i flew
back to london, back to heathrow
how familiar a place. i feel somewhat nostalgic
flight to london:
On the plane, I opted for chicken rice instead of the beef-western-style, obviously, because i was going to be away from singapore food for 2 months and I love singapore Asian food, as I’ve found out from exchange
There is something very endearing about flying above the cityscapes, seeing the range of coloured cartographic patterns below. The meandering river that connects places to places, the roads that links destinations to another. (Why are some squares bright green and others darker in colour?)
The two ladies next to me were from South Africa. I thought about Coetzee’s Disgrace that we discussed during our Jc lit days and asked them about it – the gated communities, the shootings at the farms, the (transferred) anger of the past, the white’s perspectives. History and its irretrievable past. Why can’t they just let go? I could hear the frustration in their voices. The desire to migrate. When will this ever be resolved, and how? We pondered. I drew parallels with the Holocaust (is that a fair comparison – why or why not? Something worth thinking about when my mind has more sleep), by which the deeds of the past have somewhat seem to be a chapter closed. What makes this different, why does it seem hard(er) for this case to forgive the past generation’s deeds? What can be done to achieve ‘true’ justice – and what is it?
Upon landing in London I couldn’t help but feel a surge of joy at that familiarity in heathrow. I do miss the uk! Most certainly, I suppose what I miss is all that the uk symbolized – that freedom that I had in that one semester, that semester I first stepped in, more ignorant and naive. Two years on I can honestly say I’ve grown so, so much from that point, and it was in this place that it first began.
How lucky I am – to have witnessed London in autumn and winter on exchange, and now London in spring, and when I’m back in less than 2 months’ time, summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frankly, I was surprised such a large segment of the church was dedicated to Shakespeare’s grave, and his wife, and his family (his siblings, his parents). A figure so influential the rest of the family gets such attention as well.

 

I walked for a short distance to get to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. It was here I wrote:

Along the way the flower petals fell as the gentle breeze blew
The clouds started to part to reveal the azure blue sky
As I walked along the grassy blades waving with the wind, I felt happy

 

 

So this is how it feels, this was how it felt, this is how it feels – to me, this was one of the best feelings. Wrapping solitude around myself like a comfortable blanket and soaking in the surroundings on a beautiful day.

 

 

Cottage. So adorable looking. Enid Blyton!
It actually creeped me out a little that the first visitors to the museum were from the 1800s, and they had this guestbook where they signed their names and countries. The guestbook is now a museum piece. It occurred to me that the first visitors, and hundreds and thousands of batches of tourists later, I am here. And these past tourists who were once here like I am now are, well, long dead and gone. And I too will be.

So vain, travel alone still take solo shots. Hahahaha. I am surprised at how short my fringe was when i first started this trip. (This is Week 6 Me speaking)