Heard and Seen

Eleven kilometres in a nature reserve,
Drone of crickets
Overlaid with bird calls.
Rustling leaves
And a glimpse
Of a scampering squirrel
And a startled monitor lizard

There was also distant traffic
The sound of piling
And tractors.
And voices,
German, Filipino, Chinese
An enquiring mother
"Do you need a drink of water?"

A maintenance vehicle with two workers
Squeezes past me,
The first I've seen in years on this path.

A jet plane flies overhead, unseen.
Then another minutes later.
A Chinook shatters the peace.
"What's that sound?" A curious boy
Asks his mother who didn't have the answer.
Another Chinook passes,
or maybe it's the same one returning.

My steps crunch on gravel
And squish in the mud.
My walk ends
And six fighter jets
Scream overhead.

As I walked through MacRitchie Nature Reserve a few days back, I focused especially on what I could hear. The crickets were particularly loud and persistent, I thought. Or maybe I was just paying more attention.

New Patterns

The weekend before eating out was allowed, the roads were very busy with cars, and cyclists. I wonder what that was about. Everyone seemed so busy. But the neighbourhood was quiet as I took my walk.

I think so much has changed since Covid began, 17 months ago. The government is saying city design would have to adjust, hinting some changes are coming. Details on what these changes would be are vague right now. Meanwhile, government housing flats have been delayed up to 9 months. Some family members have to adjust their expectations on when their new flats would be ready.

My office is under-utilised, there are only a handful of people on the whole floor when I do go in. Working from home, I’m very dependent on home broadband, and getting used to how it cuts out for a few seconds several times a day… I just wait for it to reconnect, and hope I haven’t missed too much of the online meeting. Usually it’s ok.

So this week, we can dine out in groups of two. I may arrange some coffee meetings, keeping my fingers crossed, and taking small calculated risks.

Silver Lining

Whilst we cannot eat out during this Phase, we can do almost everything else. We can shop, go to the market, visit a hair salon or the cinema. This time round, restrictions have also been applied to children because of a spate of infections affecting children who had attended tuition class. So activities for children have also been curtailed for 4 weeks.

What this means is that despite the ongoing school holidays, tourist attractions have been sparsely attended, which makes everything a little more pleasant. So this is the best time to enjoy attractions which are usually chock-a-block with crowds. One can enjoy the sights and take photographs without worrying about somebody being in the way.

This not-so-little Kei-Chan sculpture by Yayoi Kusuma was donated by a generous art collector earlier this year. Usually, she is surrounded by a picture seekers.