With the help of four classic movies—and not a single one with guns in them—a good book, my Crostics puzzle and some welcome sleep, the 17 hour flight to Singapore was painless. Arriving at the airport, I went straight to Immigration, didn’t have to tell them why I was there, walked up to the baggage carousel just as my bags came out, walked out to the guest greeting area just as my host arrived. An auspicious beginning.
I had left San Francisco at 10:30 am on Thursday and crossing the date line, arrive at 9:00 pm on Friday. Just in time for —sleep! Well, some, at any rate. A brief 2 am awakening and then up for good at 5 am and now 8 am and about to trot off for my day of teaching. Feeling somewhat embodied, but know come midday, some jet-lag wave will wash over me big time. But on I will teach and no one will notice but me.
And so here I sit outside at my buffet breakfast. Sun just flooding the patio and a cool breeze, bells ringing at the nearby Indian temple. Reminding myself to show some restraint— the dizzying and tempting choices of buffet breakfasts, magnified here by the addition of Indian, Malaysian and Chinese possibilities, are not very happy choices for this fellow who wants to taste it all. And then pays the price on the bathroom scale a couple of weeks later. That delicious and maddening tension of being content with single choices and craving multiple choices, be it food, sex or music. Well, music the easiest with the least consequences.
I have my mask poised as needed, will probably forego starting workshops with holding hands in a circle and will be a bit more cautious in the hopes of dodging the coronavirus, but hope to not let fear run the day. I don’t want to be too casual about “when it’s my time, it’s my time,” but there is probably more than a grain of truth in that, like the angel who pulled me back from running a red light last week. So many ways things can go wrong, one just does what one can.
And what I can do today is to help some music teachers figure out a more child-friendly, musical and connected way to bring jazz to their students. And that I will do.
Welcome, February and welcome back, Singapore!