Yoke Clara Yansim weaves in her wonderful words and photos in this ode to Singapore.
When I first moved to Singapore when I was fourteen years old, I was constantly overwhelmed by how fast-paced everything was.
I remember how I was struck by how quickly people were walking in the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) stations, especially during rush hour.
School was stressful with assignment after assignment, test after test.
The education system in Singapore is one of the best in the world, after all.
I did not like living here then.
Fortunately for me, there were many kind people who helped me get settled along the way – they tried very hard to make Singapore feel like my second home.
Now, I see that Singapore is so much more than what I had perceived six years ago.
I have come to adapt and appreciate the work ethic and efficiency that are so valued in Singapore.
The orderliness, the cleanliness and the safety of the city-state are some of the best things about Singapore – everyone knows that.
The city is also enriched by the diversity of traditions, languages and food of the different cultures present in Singapore.
Most of all, I love the quieter side of Singapore.
I love watching people enjoying their afternoon strolls around the neighbourhood and having meals together in the local coffeeshops and hawker centres.
I love seeing people sitting at the void decks reading newspapers and socialising.
Unfortunately with the current coronavirus situation, many of these activities are no longer possible.
Common areas are closed off to the public, and tables and chairs at the coffeeshops kept away to prevent people from gathering unnecessarily (and illegally).
But given what I know about Singaporeans, they will bounce back from this crisis.
They are resilient. They are hardworking.
Life may never be the same again, but we have hope.
Yoke Clara Yansim an Indonesian student currently studying International Relations in Singapore. She is also a deputy editor for her university’s student publication. Yoke finds comfort in taking photos of the ordinary life around her. Check out more of her beautiful work on Tumblr and her website.