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Writing about winter sunshine, peeling oranges

Orange peel

I had never thought I would be writing a post about winters. But in perpetually sunny-cloudy Singapore, you miss winters. I never really had cold winters early in my childhood, but there WAS a winter, we had four seasons.

In Singapore being under the scorching sun is not much fun at 30 degrees C almost throughout the year, t-shirt sticking to sweaty skin, with humidity playing all kinds of tricks. I see only the Europeans and Americans sunning themselves, the Asians mostly shirk the sun. This is a garden city of air-conditioners and chalky skin, I have seldom seen a Singaporean happy out of doors.

Reminds me of my childhood, when on winter afternoons, we would sun ourselves, playing around the women in the neighborhood who would be gathered on lawns, knitting, chatting, eating oranges.

I have a craving for those oranges, big, bright, knobbly, juicy, sweet. I remember trying to sleep off under bright sunlight, and how my world would turn an orange red when I closed my eyes, as if the oranges had somehow bled color, and now covered everything in a warm, hazy glow.

I miss that now, that animal-like enjoyment of the sun, the pleasure of warming one side of the body and then turning around to sun the other. There was something full-blooded about that experience, totally out of reach in pale, anemic Singapore.

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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9 Comments

  • Your post reminded me of the winter days (similar to yours, but perhaps colder) I spent during my childhood. And I even wrote a poem on it when we lived in Singapore because I missed those October to early February days. Little did I know that our next stop would be even hotter Chennai!Lovely post. Thanks Damyanti.

  • damyantig says:

    As always Jeques, you leave behind a beautiful comment.

    “The snow you hated maybe my first.”

    So true. I have yet to see my first snow.

    Thanks for dropping by again today, and may I say it is a pleasure to be so well understood:)

  • jeques says:

    It is strange how oranges conjure up thoughts of winter from you ~ but it did and it shows in this lovely writing.

    Well, you know that I’m from the Philippines and our country’s temperature is similar to yours but I love the summer sun as much as I love the snow.

    Funny that here in Chicago where you could experience treacherous winters, people hate the snow and its strange for them to know that I love it! They just don’t know how I dreamt of this as a child.

    I have this phrase repeated everytime I hear somebody cursing the snow:

    “The snow you hated maybe my first.”

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

  • damyantig says:

    Thanks for the compliment, Kat.

    I am not exactly unhappy here, but I do long for winter sunshine and oranges.

    You do get oranges here, smooth, Sunkist, but the supermarket somehow does not do it for me.

    Also, it is sunny out today, and the view from my window is absolutely gorgeous, but the sweaty sun here only makes me long for the shade.

    What wouldn’t I do for a sun-filled winter afternoon *sighs*

  • katcampbell says:

    I too would be unhappy in Singapore. I love to feel the sun on my face and at my back. This was a lovely post.

  • damyantig says:

    Darcknyt, you’d be very unhappy down here in Singapore!;)

  • damyantig says:

    Thanks, Indigo, and it is a pleasure to have you here:)

  • darcknyt says:

    Heat … humitidy … yuck. I hate ’em. Give me my cool climes and 4 distinct seasons. Where I am there are but two seasons — long cold season and shorter, but no less miserable, hot and humid season.

    Ugh. Balance; I need balance. I hate extremes.

  • indigobunting says:

    Yummy post.

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