Vulnerability, Figs & The Five Longest Rivers In The World


On my last day — today — I looked up at the sky before a gargantuan, dark and menacing cumulonimbus cloud rolled in, ‘Papa, the sky looks especially like a watercolour painting today.’ ‘It’s made of water, You know,’ Dad did a little wink and we surrendered to the belly-laugh building inside us. The sky was blotchy but the blotches were soft around the edges… the last morning sky I’ll see before I leave.

On my second last day — yesterday — Miriam and I searched for each other along the canal behind my place (I knew I found her when I saw someone with an Asian conical hat, fanning herself), had crunchy homemade acai bowls that made our lips purple and blue while we watched a Vegetarian challenge on Masterchef, and hiked the Bukit Batok Nature Park Walking Trail, where we laughed at ‘pregnant trees’bird– and rooster-watched, strolled under beautiful fern that reminded me of the silver fern I saw in Tiritiri Matangi, and squealed over figs that fell on the ground all around us.

Miriam shared with me the importance of being vulnerable, how it is a key ingredient in a trusting friendship/ relationship, how it is often seen as a weakness, but it’s actually a strength, and how vulnerability = authenticity. Vulnerability is a part of connecting with and understanding someone, and if we keep ourselves walled up there’s no opportunity for a meeting of the minds and hearts.

I had dinner at Miriam’s yesterday evening — freshly steamed cauliflower, smoky baked tau kwa (i.e. firm tofu), a deliciously tangy tomato-brinjal dish, brown rice and delightful watercress soup to complement and drizzle over everything — and ended the night with 3 competitive rounds of Categories (while we shared strawberries and pineapple for dessert) — Hornbill! Huáng Hé! Hot pink! — during which we had a huge laughing fit over Miriam’s Dad’s suggestion to include ‘The Five Longest Rivers In The World’ as a category — when we have twenty-six letters in the alphabet!

Just in case You were wondering, these are the five longest rivers in the world:

  1. The Nile River in Africa (running through 10 countries, 6650km)
  2. The Amazon in South America (running through 6 countries, 6400km)
  3. The Yangtze River in China (6300km)
  4. The Mississippi/Missouri River in the US (6275km)
  5. The Yenisei/ Angara/ Selenga River in Russia/ Mongolia (5539km)

Let me interrupt this post for a bit: I’m listening to Grouplove’s Let Me In. It’s so quirky, and I love it. The song reminds me of the time Miriam and I sat on the TFIOS bench in Amsterdam and laughed for no rhyme or reason. We were just… happy. Happiness is such a comforting emotion to have pulsating through Your veins.

Yesterday was a great way to say ‘Goodbye’ ‘See You Again’ to such a dear friend. I’m about 8 hours away from my flight’s departure. I’ll leave You with one of my favourite van Gogh quotes just because Miriam loves van Gogh so much. 🙂

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.” — Vincent van Gogh

All shots from my second last day!

P.s. Did You know that the leaves of a fern are called ‘fronds’?
P.p.s. Breadfruit resembles the fruit on a pong pong tree.
P.p.p.s. The HSBC Treetop Walk is closed on Mondays. We found out just as we were about to set off for it…
P.p.p.p.s. Miriam’s chocolate granola is really the best.


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