A Rainy Day in Tiong Bahru

tiong bahru

This is a good day. It’s my last day in Singapore, and I want to fit in one more new neighborhood before I head home. The trendy Tiong Bahru seems like an obvious choice, since I know a café there that serves the breton pastry kouign amann, and I’d go literally anywhere for a sugary treat.

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Tiong Bahru is surprisingly sleepy on this hot rainy afternoon. Most of the restaurants are still closed, but luckily I find the café with the great kouign amann, and it’s open. The rain has only gotten heavier, but I sit outside under a large umbrella, listening to the sounds of a seemingly silent neighborhood.

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The rain smells different in the tropics. It’s a lush and rich rain, far removed from any dreary foggy day that I’m accustomed to. I’m still hungry after my French pastry, so I keep wandering the side streets, looking for signs of life, and the scent of food.

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I find my happiness at Tiong Bahru Hawker Center, once again eating under an umbrella, biting down on my lunch in tune with the raindrops hitting the pavement. The rain makes me feel safe, enveloped in its warm scent.

I keep walking once more after I finish my lunch. The rain seems to stall for a moment only to intensify again just seconds later. But the rain makes me feel safe. The rain doesn’t even touch me. Because this is a good day.

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