We'll be home for August
The last time J and I took a holiday away from our island was October 2003, Tokyo. In travel-mad Singapore, that must seem like a century ago.
So having talking about a much-needed break for the past year, we finally decided on the fortnight after National Day. Of course, that would be just about the worst possible time to go to either of the two cities we've been planning to visit.
1. Taipei, Taiwan
All those late night Jacky Wu variety shows did it. Of course, scores of talented Taiwanese directors and singers (pop, indie, boyband whatever) have fuelled the Taipei daydream for the past few years: a cheaper version of Tokyo that is equally mad, good food, fantastic bookstores...and that cafe where Sandee Chen supposedly still plays at. Plus friendly people we could at least strike up conversations with.
Earlier this year, what stopped us from going were those Chinese missiles, poised to discipline that defiant Farmosa of fast talking Jacky-Wus. But what about August? August is when Taiwan is terrorised by a different power - the nagging humidity and the assault of typhoons. No wonder the Taiwanese are a toughened, chair-throwing, fist-raising lot.
2. Japan - mostly Tokyo
A more expensive option, but we had such a great time wandering all around Tokyo two years ago, we thought we should go again. But in August, Typhoon Xian Sheng would also be testing the resilience and preparedness of the Japanese. What more, that August fortnight coincided with the o-bon festival - a little like our hungry ghost festival - when Japan would be just as crazy with domestic travellers as the "golden week" in Spring.
So friends, if you have any good holiday alternatives, please let us know. Otherwise, remember to call us for drinks or a meal - we'll be home for August, and like the rest of our country(wo)men, sheltered from the storms and winds of this world.