Friday, August 11, 2006

It's kind of a wonder for me that airports can be the source of so much joy and so much sorrow at the same time. Personally speaking, I don't quite like airports because I've said so many goodbyes - to people and to cities I've loved - there.

At the same time, being at the airport, if I'm the one leaving, is a great exhilaration, because I'm just so happy to be heading somewhere out of Singapore, and that there's something new and exciting waiting for me on the other side. And touching down at your destination? While I'm not usually one of those kiasu people rushing to get out, I usually find myself practically running towards immigration the moment I'm out of the airplane just because I'm so happy and excited to be where I am... most especially if that destination happens to be London, because the feeling of returning home is just so strong.

As I mentioned earlier, I do not like saying goodbye. I've not been to the airport to see anyone off since 1999, when my friends were leaving for university. And yet, yesterday night, I found myself at the airport seeing a very dear friend off, even though he'll be back in about six weeks or so. As I emerged from the Skytrain, walking rather nervously towards the departure gate where he and his family were waiting, I wondered if he knew how big a deal this was for me, going to the airport at 11 pm just to see him off given how much I dislike airport farewells. And I also wondered why it was so important to me that I go see him off.

And then it struck me. I was seeing him off because he means a lot to me. At the same time, I was seeing him off because I really want to exorcise myself of him, and that being there, watching him walk through the gates and out of my life (for the next six weeks at least), may be just what I need to let go once and for all.

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