To Tokyo

by Chua Han Au

goodbye to the perplexing routes of the oh-so advanced and sophisticated subway lines

goodbye to the men who don seemingly stoic uniforms that are reflections of glorious harmony, which could otherwise be mistaken for reflections of tedious selves

goodbye to the ladies with rosy cheeks, that are certainly not a consequence of being abashed but simply caked with compelling beauty

goodbye to the fashionistas and extravagantly dressed foreigners and locals alike — where the wintry weather is the perfect platform for ostentatiousness

goodbye to the habits of civilisation and absolutely charming upbringing — where they whisper and utter in hushed voices within the subway cabin

goodbye to the restaurants that permit puffs which are otherwise prohibited in Singapore

goodbye to the exquisite and scrumptious uruchimai served every meal from Day One hitherto

goodbye to awkward hand gestures and moments when we feel verbally handicapped — stripped off of language — more memorably, in the pursuit of directions to Soup Stock Tokyo or to Maruzen Bookstore

goodbye to the chilly and dry winds that confiscate moisture from our beloved skin, leaving it to sheer dryness akin to that of the skin the snake has sloughed off

goodbye to the long and arduous hours of strenuous walking, yet fuelled by eventful sights and beautiful people

Adieu, lovely city of Japan.