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Looking Back on Today

Looking Back on Today

  • Culture
  • Life

Photographs: Alex Lim / Text: Rice 

We are not always welcome in the spaces we borrow.

Travel promises, to some extent, familiar moments clothed in the colours of a different world.
But we too, know the feeling of an outsider looking in. “You don’t belong here,” we want to say, “Please step away from the one I love.”
Is this hostility, pettiness, or simply vigilance—a need to protect?
It’s easier to understand this when witnessing something you know you’re not supposed to. You were not invited to share in this stranger’s melancholy.
Still, there are peace offerings. We are not allowed to participate but we are allowed to watch. That is a rare kind of pleasure.
There is a narrative out there that promises, if you live like a local, you will learn secrets, find hope, discover a new appreciation for humanity. Sometimes, that happens.
Other times, we’re just passing through.
We can only watch, and no one hears our need to make a connection. We are like each other, but we are not all chasing the same dream or fighting the same ghosts.


Alex Lim