There is definitely something about living in Singapore for an extended period of time and with no clear end point in sight that makes me go a litle bit crazy. By 'crazy', what I really mean is that it bores the life out of me. Life becomes routine once more with nary an excitement, and I miss Europe with a pang. It's just boring how predictable everything - people, places, events - is, even if I don't really have a sound basis for saying this. I just want to get away, to see the world, to live, instead of trudging through an indifferent existence that makes me feel emptier than I should. It's a load of first world problems, what I am describing, and therefore, objectively speaking, a load of crap; but honestly, I am so unbelievably bored. I am so bored that I almost booked a trip to Penang for the Labour Day weekend until I saw how ridiculously expensive the flights are, just to get out of Singapore.
I really hope the PhD comes through. I honestly cannot imagine spending an additional year here. It's simply too numbingly comfortable and, therefore, dull. I miss meeting new people, having intellectual conversations, trying to guess a person's country of origin from his accent (I am now able to distinguish between the major Western European countries). I don't even know what I'm doing these days. I'm tired of the provincial smallness of this country.
I am quite aware that I will never experience the melting pot of cultures that I experienced during my Masters ever again. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience but so exhilarating that I constantly find myself nostalgic for it, especially when nothing much is happening in my life at present. I don't know if I can adequately put into words the eye-opening nature of meeting and talking to people from all over the world and making friends with some of them.
The truth is, too, that I miss the cultural aspect of it as much as the intellectual one. I really miss having a good intellectual conversation about, inter alia, the philosophical foundations of human rights or the supposed superiority of liberal democracy (which was a position I took but I'm questioning it now) or even just about how bloody confusing Hegel is, and what is the real harm in virtual child pornography. I find an unintellectual life deeply unfulfilling...which is why I need to do the PhD. I can't believe that I still haven't heard from the LSE. This is really killing me.
On another note, I didn't think this was possible, but I am getting a bit tired of playing tennis. Sometimes I’m too tired and lazy to go for an after-work session, but force myself to because it’s not nice to cancel at the last minute and because the relevant authority does not issue refunds. When I’m not in the mood, though, the tennis is pretty awful, like it was last Thursday. That said, I really dislike playing at the courts at Bukit Timah Campus; I swear that the ball skids through the court half the time which fucks up my normal timing, which makes it even more frustrating than it already is. I prefer the courts at St Wilfrid, where I play with Adrian (or rather, he plays with me) once every two or three weeks.
It’s actually not so bad when I’m concentrating on achieving something. On Saturday, it was keeping the shots consistent. Towards the end I was hitting the ball quite well, until my string broke and I had to use my new racquet, which is strung with significantly harder strings than the broken one. It didn’t go that well then, but it was the last 5 minutes so there wasn’t enough time for me to get upset at myself.
Like Adrian said though, I need to find an objective every time I play instead of simply hitting the ball back and forth. It’s a bit difficult to maintain the motivation and interest when I don’t feel like I’m getting any better, and have no reason to believe that I will. Besides, Nike and Adidas have been producing boring and uninspiring outfits for the last two years, so I have been buying less outfits, which means that 50% of my motivation for playing tennis is gone. (For the avoidance of doubt, I am being facetious…mostly.) These days I’m playing tennis to maintain my weight, which I guess is a better objective than nothing. Still, swimming is the superior exercise when it comes to weight loss.
I need to lose two kilos. I need to swim more. I need to find the energy to swim laps after work, somehow. Ugh.
My cousin is moving to the US on Tuesday. We had a farewell lunch for her at my uncle’s house. It would be nice to visit her considering I’ve never been to the US, but it’s so fucking far away. If I make it back to the UK, I will probably try and visit during the summer (I’m not going anywhere near Boston in the winter), and if I get my diving licence by then, I’d try and convince her to go to the Caribbean on a diving trip! Yay!