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February 21, 2019

Snapshots in Time

The journeys we make are sometimes real, oftentimes illusory. The experiences, regardless, are enriching. Here, Sweet writers share their imaginary voyages to iconic destinations.

Giza in Egypt
It had been a great trip. As we left Giza, our professor mentioned the curse that struck anyone who removed something from a Pharaoh’s tomb. Radiation, bacteria or dumb coincidence — but the fact was, people had died.

Cue nervous laughter all around.

At the back of the bus, somebody coughed.

That night, we were all coughing.

This morning, I discovered the rock in my shoe.

- JOSHUA WONG

 

Mount Fuji in Japan
It’s 2039.

My husband and I have retired from our full-time jobs even though Singapore’s minimum retirement age is 70. It was 62 in 2019, but raised to 67 in 2022 and 70 in 2030.

We are still working on freelance projects, but the jobs landscape has changed drastically since we entered the workforce in the late 1990s.

We first visited Mount Fuji during our honeymoon in September 2003.

Our daughter was born three years later.

This is our second time here. And it’s autumn again.

- TAY HWEE PENG

Serengeti in Tanzania

My brother and I enjoy coming here.

It is about a day’s journey from home.

If you come at the right time, you can see the human creatures as they pass in jeeps, sometimes many at once.

They move slowly, almost as though they are watching us as much as we are watching them.

Father says they are dangerous, but all they shoot are photos.

- JOSHUA WONG

 

Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany
Kiddo: I want long long hair like her.

Me: Like who?

Kiddo: Like Rapunzel.

Me: Huh?

Kiddo (points to the tallest turret): There. She pretty. But why sad face?

Me (shrugs): Maybe her prince didn’t come to rescue her as promised.

Kiddo (covers face): She looking at you now, Mummy. She scary face now.

Me: ……

- GOH HWEE KOON

 

Louvre Museum in Paris, France
He didn’t buy me a diamond ring — I said I didn’t need it — but he bought me tickets to this iconic gem instead.

The Louvre.

Indeed it was money well spent as we admired the world-famous architecture of the museum and appreciated the history of this French monument.

We knew it was going to be a cliché but we did what everyone does — seek the Mona Lisa and peer from a distance, through a crowd many times larger than the painting, at her mysterious smile.

- MEREDITH WOO

 

Easter Island in Insular Chile
“Their noses are so big!” said my 10-year-old cousin. “I bet I could fit my whole fist in there.” “Please don’t say that,” I replied.

“That one is almost buried, look!” he exclaimed.

“He was punished for being naughty. But he has an eye out, so he can still watch the world,” I quipped.

“I wish I could watch the world after I die,” he said.

“So do I,” I added.

- JOSHUA WONG

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Part 2: Finding bliss in Pinglin

THE rural town of Pinglin in south-eastern New Taipei City is worth a day trip, especially if you’re aching to see more of Taiwan outside Taipei.

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