When my German niece, Nat, was here in July, I asked her which part of her trip to Singapore she had enjoyed the most. I had wanted her to reflect so as to help her write her journal, her homework which I had put to her. She had visited many places – Night Safari, Universal Studio; experienced NDP and generally basked in the attention that was showered on her. So what was her answer?
‘I like most the time I spent on the flight coming to Singapore,’ she replied.
‘Why? Because of all the in-flight entertainment?’ I asked, puzzled, knowing full well that her flight on Lufthansa did not have individual screen.
She tried to articulate her thoughts – the anticipation of seeing everyone she loves here, the weather, the food…
‘I wish we could have skipped Hamburg and just come here earlier. And I hate most is the flight going home,’ she sighed.
Last week while watching PM’s rally on TV, PM Lee mentioned about an Indian PR who returns home to India annually. On one such trip when he touched down at Changi Airport, he suddenly felt he was home. Singapore felt like home instead of India. He then decided to become a Singaporean.
Ivan turned to me, his tone ironic and perhaps with a little regret, Nat is the opposite of him.
Nat had been practising singing Home in Germany, a song she had learned while attending NDP. I wonder where she feels she is home.