Accessible Retreats For Modern People With Feelings

You can find respite in Singapore (for free), if you know where to look
by Meghan Poh
AdviceAugust 6, 2019
Sometimes you just need to take a break from the rat race and the constant pursuit of something. Money? Success? Meaning? Try some loitering (at reasonable hours, of course, lest you get suspected of being a vagrant.) Promise it’ll be better than walking through malls after malls.
For Reconsidering The Idea That Things Are As Bad As They’ve Ever Been ⁠—
Bras Basah Complex at 8pm

What you’ll find: not-totally-in-sync seniors gyrating in a charming, slightly-off-beat dance routine. Jam to the soft Zumba music if you feel like it – no one’s going to really care. Walk into some still-lit secondhand book shops, where the paperback still reigns, despite everyone declaring it over. Mull over the possibility that, like many overly depressing predictions, maybe the world is not That Bleak all the time. There’s a quiet, comforting hum in the air.

For An Ego Boost⁠ —
Bishan Park Playground

Bright colours! Sand! Plus swings! Five swings! If the physical sensation doesn’t do it/you’re too shy to sit on them, it’s still a nice spot to reminisce. Just sit on the swings and don’t do anything but stare at the flowers in the grass. The Dutch call this “niksen” and apparently it’s the latest wellness craze. Wellness = shortcut to feeling young, right? If you’re feeling up for it, try the swings for sure. The physical lightness might just lift some of the ache in your chest – who am I kidding, it’s just damn fun lah.

For An Ego Check ⁠—
Macritchie Reservoir

Bonus: catch the sunrise or sunset. The light is altered and it changes the world and you along with it. That tiny yellow orb? Giant ball of gas that could slam into this world and kill everyone instantly before anyone even breathes at a nuclear code, yep. Humans are really tiny, huh. Before this morphs into existential horror, let’s also consider the fact that it is really nice to be alive right now and you can still grab a Sausage McMuffin after this and it’s all good.

For Disappointment with Politics and Humanity At Large ⁠—
The Nearest Void Decks

Wander around the void decks and you will eventually find a cat. If the cat is willing, pet it. You could also wait for a nice dog and an owner happy to let you say hi. (For every crappy human there is a cute cat and a sweet dog and very possibly a good human too.)

For Entering a Separate Dimension ⁠—
Golden Mile Complex

Walk in and out of the dim, long shadows, while the sparse windows into the outside world reveal broad daylight. What time is it, really? You’d never know inside here. Watch the neon signs playing CNY slogans. They haven’t moved since 2016. There are pairs of massage chairs here and there. Unless you know Thai, you can’t read the store signs. Try asking someone?

For Drowning Out Bad Thoughts in Your Head
An Intersection at Rush Hour

Before the light turns green, still every muscle of your body and breathe. The rest of the world rushes on. (Nothing happened. A comforting thought.)

Have a favourite secret spot not on this list? Let us know at [email protected]

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