Yesterday I went to my favorite place in the whole world: the third floor of the Queensway Shopping Center in Singapore. Those who know me are aware that I avoid shopping malls like the plague, in fact, I only enter ION with my husband because I'm convinced it's been especially designed for me to walk in and never walk out again. And if we go to Takashimaya, he goes shopping and I wait for him in Kinokuniya bookstore. So why the Queensway Shopping Center?
I go there about once a year to get invitations printed out and there is something surreal about those people working the printers. Most of the time they don't know what I'm asking for. Though I've been there at least 10 times they never recognize me and in the past they have even denied that I've been there. It's like stepping into the Twilight Zone. So why do I go back? First of all, I am a creature of habit and I resist change at all costs. But also for sentimental reasons. In fact, it's like a walk down memory lane. Four years ago, when I first arrived in Singapore, I was finishing my dissertation from the University of Sydney. In what were some of the hairiest hours of my academic life, the 'layout' team and printers held my 'future' in their hands as they printed out the hard copies that I would then need to submit and mail to the board back at the university. Bated breath doesn't even begin to describe my feverish state at the time. So now when I go back to print whimsical birthday cards for my kids, no matter how many glitches or how many times I can't understand their pronunciation of the word: 'layout', it's really a walk in the park!