Posted by: Corri van de Stege | September 24, 2014

Singapore, and it’s hot

I arrived in Singapore last Friday evening before the Grand Prix, for which I didn’t have tickets as I was completely unaware of this when I booked my flight to visit my son. Just as well, that I didn’t have tickets I mean: I was completely jet lagged and it has taken me a few days to get over the worst. It’s my fourth visit but I’ve never before had these sleepless nights…

Before I left England I finished the final draft (I hope) of ‘Notes on Anna’ and it’s now with a few beta readers. I’m really grateful for the offers by various people to read it – and scared, of course… There’s so much doubt now about the story, about how I’ve written it, about it being readable, etc.etc.  Better not think about it, better to immerse myself in reading the many novels that I want to read. For these few weeks i’m just not going to worry.

I felt very much in touch with the happy fellow I met today in one of the temples in Singapore, somewhere in the east coast area. He sits at the entrance of the Kuan Im Tng Temple in Tembeling Road. The temple is fully used by locals and offerings are made continuously, and there are of course the odd tourists.

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A few streets further down, you can admire some pre-war terraced houses in the Peranakan architectural style, beautifully preserved.

Previous years I spent lots of time in the centre of Singapore, the Harbour, the City, the Orchard Road and what have you. I decided to start on the east coast this time and have also visited Changi Village and the War museum. I am reading a few of the shortlisted Booker Prize authors and one of them is Richard Flanagan’s “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” which is about an Australian surgeon who was kept prisoner by the Japanese and put to work on the Burma railway line. For us, Europeans , it brings home this whole other history of the war in Asia, including in Singapore and the Japanese occupation and what it entailed for countries such as Singapore. So I stopped off at the museum just to remind myself.

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It is not a grandiose building but it has a wealth of recordings and personal accounts of what it was like, that time.

I’ll catch up on the book reviews some other time. i’m too busy travelling around and making the most of  this visit. Tomorrow we’ll go to Bali for a short week.

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Responses

  1. Happy travelling, Corri. You made me curious about “The Narrow Road to the Deep North”.

    • Bob, I’m sure you’ll like it – it’s dense and demanding but excellent writing. The story moves forward and backwards in time.

  2. Hope you have a lovely relaxing time in Bali. And that your readers give you helpful comments on your final draft. I’d be interested to hear more in due course.


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