After being off the ice for six months (he says this doesn't count as skating), Jeff finally got to skate this past weekend at Kallang Ice World. Before moving here, Jeff made sure there would be somewhere for him to skate. He even brought his own ice skates with him.
Hanging out at the rink (I hesitate to call it an actual rink because it's about half the size of a normal hockey rink) brought back a flood of fond memories. The smell of the cold, artificially cooled air. The whirring sounds of the Zamboni as it smooths the ice. The harsh fluorescent lights reflecting off the wet, white surface of the rink. The goosebumps on my arms and legs. For a while there, I really forgot I was in Singapore.
Then I noticed the Zamboni driver had no idea what he was doing as he drove around haphazardly on the ice (in flip flops, no less), not really smoothing the ice but just pushing the melted slush around. Instead of my usual hockey-wife-sitting-in-the-bleachers ensemble of coat, gloves, scarf, hat, blanket and hot chocolate, I was shivering in shorts and a tank top. Also missing was the distinct hockey smell that permeates all the rinks back home. A smell so pungent that I demanded Jeff air out his stinky hockey equipment in the corner of the guest room so that I could breathe and the dogs wouldn't get territorial. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually miss that smell.
The reason for Jeff's return to the ice is not merely nostalgia. Some members of his adult league hockey team back in San Jose entered the World Pond Hockey Championship in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick this February. They told Jeff he should enter a team as a Singaporean contingent, so he did. And they got accepted. He's skating a few times a week now for practice. If you see a tall guy skating circles around everyone else on the ice at Kallang, that's Jeff. You should say hello!