Hello again from Singapore! Clara and I just flew in for a working holiday, and I insisted on dragging her to this local institution at Changi Airport once we landed at midnight. Which I appreciated, given she likely just wanted to go to the hotel and collapse rather than trundling around wheelie bags, even if it was partly through the Jewel.

Before my mum got really sick, we had a few little traditions when I was in primary school here. In no particular order, they were mini golf on Sentosa if I got good grades, trips to Coffee Bean in Paragon for medicinal keeki after her chemo, and weekly trips to Swensen’s.

But perhaps surprisingly, we didn’t opt for banana splits or their famous milkshakes; like all delightfully classy people we both had a savoury tooth. Instead we always ordered this conical tower of chips and their unreasonably addictive sauces in this elevated contraption. We made an entire tea ceremony out of choosing which order the sauces would be eaten, how we’d get those last problematic chips out of the bottom, and regularly rotating to prevent accidental spills. Naturally while telling terrible jokes and pontificating on the state of the universe.

It’s been many years since, and I’ll never be able to share them with her ever again. But it was a joy to see Swensen’s still serving them, and being able to share them with Clara now. I liked to think Debra was sitting there next to us in spirit. ♡