Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Of Being a Nomad

"Such incessant and dramatic change to one's surroundings must have some effect on the Singaporean psyche. You could say it turns Singaporeans into a nation of nomads. Except that it is not the movement of the people that make it such, but the shifting of the land. Even if they stay put, the country moves around them, and Singaporeans find themselves eventually in a new place, clinging only to ghosts."- Lost at Home: A Nation's State of Geographical Confusion, Air-Conditioned Nation.

With the constant chugging and whirling of machinery from dawn to dusk (and oftentimes till midnight), the landscape ( in the broadest sense, including all manner of hardscape and built works) at Farrer Road has changed dramatically over the past year or so. Construction hoarding taken down overnight suddenly reveal reworked roads, redirected roads, relocated overhead bridges and new pedestrian paths. As the MRT construction progresses, each and every stage reveal new alterations ; the landscape stirred by an invisible stick once every month or so. However, the noise is as constant as a fly's buzz around one's head. To add to the cacophony, a steam roller rolled by the window sometime last month, in an attempt to flatten the rock garden behind the apartment and to replace it with a children's playground.

We think of moving. The thing is, everything else is moving around us.