the tattooed sailor asked, glancing back in my direction.
I was surprised by the attention I was not expecting.
You think that a decade away would erase a memory and render you anonymous,
but here at the sailing club, time had almost stood still
faces that were still around had stayed exactly the same
and so had the ritual of waiting for the wind on the concrete benches by the shore.
I had never known his name, but the last memory I recalled of him, he was ancient and I was a young punk still in school. Now it felt like the young punk had grown up a little and the tattooed sailor had stayed the same age. If not aging is one of the perks of windsurfing, I'll take it!
He talked about sailing over the Chinese New Year, because he didn't have to visit anyone.
Normally I would be envious of such a delicious idea, especially since the wind seemed to be cooperating, but after 7 months of solo backpacking, I was beginning to see, that maybe the ordeal of balancing very fickle wind with serious commitments to family and friends was a good problem to have. One I'd rather have than not.
If only I had been that wise while I was in San Francisco.
"Don't try to enjoy your reunion dinner... " He said as I hurriedly bid my farewells around the concrete bench after my session and scuttled home to slice slivers of raw salmon for yu sheng, "Make sure you enjoy it!" Almost as if he understood the anxious thoughts that preoccupy this windsurfing obsessed mind more frequently than not. Nagging thoughts like "Am I wasting these conditions?" "I rigged up wrong and I don't know what it is!" "It's been so many years and I still can't nail a gybe and tack?" were all silenced by one strong motto here on the beach, "just go out there and have fun, what else are you going to do in Singapore right?"
No more pressure for loops or vulcans, just a heap of blokes sitting with beers on the beach making the best of the conditions. For all the famines of wind we get here, this end of east coast is still a special place, where I meet myself again - sometimes as the girl a decade ago trying to uphaul, and sometimes as the oddly placed adult who'd found herself back after the same amount of time, only this time a little more welcomed into the club of the ancients, finding out that even after Maui and Brazil, I still had so much to learn from them.
aloha Singapore... aloha..