I’ve been in Singapore for three weeks now. Last night, just after sunset, I was out for a run, and thought about the thousands of other Europeans doing the same thing, running loops and circles around Singapore roads; for a moment I imagined us spinning the flywheel, building momentum, making things turn faster than some people born here might like them to, part of a long line of outsiders stirring things up and changing the psychic landscape. Being here makes it impossible to avoid thinking about who I am and who I’m not, and while I’m able to pretend to ignore difference when I’m the UK, here difference is the one thing everyone seems to have in common.
I may have just been dehydrated and imagining things, of course. The last few weeks have been busy, arranging visas and contracts, meeting teachers and game developers, learning my way around new transport routes and vowel sounds, remembering how tiring constant novelty can be. But I think I might be able to see everything settling down a bit more, and I’m looking forward to having more time to consider some of the things that have struck me since I arrived here: modernity, time and the spirit world, place and history, language, culture and power. These are all things I don’t understand and that seem especially present in everything right now.