I took a walk with Faith down the Marina Bay area a few days ago, and the place was packed with activity as part of the i light Marina Bay festival. All the installations were set up and eager student inventors waited for sunset to show the crowd the fruits of their labour, that the audience may be awed at their creativity and ingenuity. A short distance away, a group of fitness enthusiasts followed the lead of a yoga instructor, contorting their bodies as far as their tendons would allow. Our senses were tantalised by wafts of roast meats that emanated from the young chefs searing expensive wagyu at the temporary Pasarbella setup.
It was hard not to marvel at the smorgasbord laid out in the middle of the business district on a weekday night, but an odd sense of melancholy came over me.
Everything just felt so…cosmopolitan, so dynamic, so vibrant, manufactured, foreign, so…blah. We’re often reminded that Singapore needs to adapt to the winds of change, and I appreciate that we’ve been able to do that better than most, but I miss who we were before all this.
I miss the masak-masak and the visits to Emporium; I miss football at the void deck, or how neighbours used to be. Even now my childhood habitat of Rochor Centre is about to be demolished. I feel like I’ve had my roots erased, and all I have left are vague memories and a bunch of photographs.
Maybe every generation goes through this sense of loss; but can we survive seeing all our memories dissolve into nothingness at such unprecendented speed?