I just want to go to Singapore and have tea with you

crumbs from afar

crumbs from afar

Transnational connections are bittersweet. One of the only ways a friend of mine keeps in touch is through these weekly letters, so I’m saying hi to her here (Crystal can you PLEASE check your DMs and reply me). How have you been? What’s been happening since we last facetimed in December? I’m sorry I missed your wedding. Look at us trying to adult and make life work, telling ourselves we’ll catch up once a month over tele-wine. “I just want to go to Singapore and have tea with you ☹”, is precious miles out of the question.

I think of the friends I’ve made across the years, during my time spent abroad and incandescent travels. I miss different things about them, and perhaps I also miss who I was with them. My 20s seem so long ago, but each bright encounter is a stamp I can’t seem to rub off. As the years go by and we move on to different phases, jobs, even countries, I’ve never stopped being grateful that at one point in time, we were both there.  

I watched Past Lives the other day; it teased out the concept of In-yun, or 因缘 in the Chinese culture. I’m sure there are many equivalents across different cultures. Loosely translated in English, it’s a force that brings together two strangers who share an affinity. These moments are a privilege, made poignant by time. I knew you from a shared dinner table where we were matched by the waiter, from a lonely Christmas under an enormous tree, from a conversation exchange, from your couch. That piece of time now flows through our veins. I hope you’ll remember us, however fleeting we were.           

Special shoutout to one of our readers (hello Claire!) who reads us all the way from France, and sends her support from afar. Your encouragement never stops being unbelievable because it has travelled to be with us. To throw a ball and have it bounce back from the banks of the Seine is one kind of special. Here’s throwing that ray of light back. Tu nous touches.  

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