2016 in Review

Rather overdue since 55 days of 2017 have passed. Time flies when you’re not paying attention. 2016 was a little different- my first full year living in Singapore after five years away. A year full of travel, reconnecting, and rediscovering. Lots of old friends and new friends. Lots of old friends meeting new friends.

Here are 15 images that somewhat sum up last year.

Celebrating Pongal at home with my family, a first after 5 years.
Randomly stumbled upon Tiong Hoe Coffee in Queenstown, where Mr Tan has been roasting single origin coffee since the 60s. Learning more about Singapore’s coffee scene has been great, and I’m starting to grind and brew coffee at home much more.
It’s not so often all four of us are able to go on holiday together anymore — our trip to Kerala was a proper family vacation after a while. God’s own country is a well deserved title.
I explored different parts of Singapore, like Kampong Buangkok, pictured below. This is Singapore’s last kampung on the mainland. Will be interesting to see how long it lasts, and in what state. Enjoyed the paddlepop palette of this house.
I started indoor climbing, which has been really fun and fulfilling. And made me acutely aware of my total lack of upper body strength.
I made three trips to Madras this year, more than I had in the last five years. The photo below is classic Madras to me; the ice cream cart, the beach at dusk. On my second trip, I bought a book called Madras, Chennai, and the Self which was a lovely read, especially while there.
More and more art is appearing in Singapore, even Joan Cornella’s obscure and explicit comic strips. This was at a tiny gallery that opened recently in the east.
I made a long trip to the US, first to Chicago for Alumni Weekend. I then flew to San Diego where I saw Taar graduate and then we drove to Tucson (after a series of adventures) to visit Nitya. This was taken on top of Mt. Lemmon. AZ has landscapes like I’ve never seen before.
I bought a bike. A ~cool~ bike. Singapore isn’t particularly bike friendly, but we have a great set of bike paths along the Park Connector Network. I can essentially bike from my house into the city without spending any time on the road.
Somehow my friends managed to coordinate a trip to Bali over the summer. I hadn’t been in 14 years and was excited to see what the hype was about. Not quite the scenic beach shot I would have expected to post — but watching the way these monkeys interacted was fascinating.
I found friends who also love to eat, drink, and talk. Friends who shared their lives, families, birthdays, and holidays with me. And for that I am grateful. 2016 would’ve been pretty different without these two.
I spent a couple of weeks in the Rochor/Jalan Besar area assisting a Magnum Photography workshop. The iconic Rochor Center is being torn down to make room for a new expressway. The last residents have all moved out by now.
Somehow my old and dear friend that I hadn’t seen in years agreed to visit me. I recently read someone talk about how retracing daily habits is a way of kindling intimacy. Am inclined to agree, as that’s more or less how we spent the weekend. This was taken just outside BooksActually, an independent bookstore here I have visited many times now.
I watched my brother graduate twice last year: from high school, and then basic military training.
Old friends back to celebrate Christmas, New Years and such. Some traditions were a little different this year, but still great. Was told I was ruining their snapchats and to move out of the way, shortly after taking this picture.