Words Batul S.
Photograph Alifiya M.
I live in sunny Singapore. On this tiny island home, we are blessed with summer heat and blooming flowers for the better part of the year. But towards the end of our yearly tour ‘round the sun, we welcome the monsoon – a much needed respite from the scorching heat and humidity that can melt the human spirit. Temperatures drop a wee bit and the sun appears to be just a little dimmer. We replace our sun hats with umbrellas as we anticipate two months of near-continuous precipitation.
This monsoon, however, things were ever so slightly different, and it was a momentous time for all of us. There was palpable excitement in the air. Something noteworthy was finally happening in our mostly-under-the-radar country. Temperatures dipped to a whopping 20 degrees celsius. Now, all you temperate dwellers scoffing with condescension – I get it. This is less than nothing compared to the sub-zero icy tundras you experience every winter. But to us, this was basically the coming of the next ice age. Santa was coming to a town he had never visited before. Maybe we were finally getting the white christmas we only saw in the movies? We were certainly behaving like we were.
It was time to dig out and dust off our rarely and barely used winter wear. Mixing and matching our sweaters and scarves. Heading to the nearest Uniqlo outlet to buy a hoodie just because. Letting the air-conditioning unit take a well-deserved break for once. And the best part? Actually using the built-in weather app on our phone to check the temperatures for the day. A move unheard of in Singapore till now. We were going to squeeze this ‘winter’ for all its worth.
And indeed, squeeze we did. Only because our little winter wonderland was forecasted to last a week at the most. As the temperatures started to rise point by point, our delight dropped day by day. The sun was returning from her holiday and it was time to embrace the heat again. For some of us, this will be the year where we appreciate the sunlight a little more. All we can hope for is a merciful summer, till the next monsoon makes its highly-anticipated return.