Waiting for her for 8 years really changed how much patience I have. I realised today that I have little of that now.
Tank dah kosong.
I’ve been reunited with my Thinkpad after about 6 months or so and to be able to type on this machine that i’ve been using for almost 4 years is…comforting. Being able to type on this machine that has churned thousands of lines of blog entries and sourcecodes, there’s a certain amount of familiarity…a certain warmth with every key that I press - almost as if the keyboard recognises my fingers and rushes up to respond to it.
Gawd. How can I be having a sense of nostalgia over a machine?!
“Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country” - John F. Kennedy
That’s always the line that’s used to try to spur you to action. But that quote makes one assumption - that the country is a land you’re bounded to and so it is in your interest to better its condition
But does the same apply today when we live in a truly globalised world where air travel is cheap, safe and relatively quick compared to the ’60s. Not happy with the cost of living? Move to a cheaper country. Not happy with tax rates, move to somewhere with good rates.
So what incentive is there to ‘serve the nation’ when it seems like most politicians are in the pockets of self-serving corporations?
This is what i’ve been struggling with lately with regards to me being a Singaporean in Singapore Inc. I love my country. I love how clean, efficient and safe it is. But I wonder if the price the people are paying for it is too high. And if it is, I wonder if anybody’s bothered to fix it.
You see with comments from the founding leader of the nation criticising how Singaporeans are getting lazy and choosy over their jobs while at the same time allowing cost of living to go up, wages to stagnate and then praising the foreigners for helping build this nation, I can’t help but feel like a child with a parent who envies the neighbour’s kid. I feel disappointed that my leaders make almost every attempt to mollycoddle the neighbours while my every effort is never good enough.
It’s said that we’re choosy over the jobs we take because 3 out of 10 jobs have been left unfilled for months on end. But what sort of jobs are they? Surely we can’t just take any job after getting retrenched. If i have non-negotiable expenses of 2k to make a month, i sure cannot settle for a 1.2k paying job now, can i? It makes more sense to remain jobless and continue to hunt for a job.
It’s said that we’re not willing to put in as many extra hours than our foreign counterparts. But, and i don’t intend to whine, how can you expect me to live up to my duties as a son and husband, expect me to make babies for my country, live a healthy lifestyle(which includes a balanced one), constantly upgrade myself and still expect me to be at the office for 12 to 16 hours a day? Most of the foreigners are lucky in the sense that their families are back at home so there is no expectation for them to go back and spend time with kids or their partners.
Yet, despite all this 2nd-class treatment and mixed signals, I still feel that citizenship holds a purpose. Not one of economic purpose but a social one.
I think it goes back to the concept of ‘home’. It’s not just about safety in numbers - that in some way, regardless of how we may disagree with each other, we can rely on Singaporeans to rally together when a threat presents itself to our family. Just listen to stories of Singaporeans stranded overseas and how other Singaporeans help them out(when they can’t get easy access to our embassy). It’s about the roots to, and the creation of, a common memory across many generations of people. It’s about the stories one will tell to their kids and grandkids that they were part of the building of a nation and how things have changed in part because of what they did and how they pursued their dreams and that these kids too have a purpose beyond just their existence.
And yet I wonder, how many people think about the society they live in? I fear that many are so caught up with trying to make a living that all they have time for is to work aimlessly and endlessly to the point they suffer a disconnect from the people around them which makes building the true meaning of nationhood an uphill task. It’s no secret that many people today live in cramped HDB spaces and still have no idea who their next door neighbours are.
I am Singaporean and I wonder what stories I will tell to the next generation…
That food used to cost so much cheaper?
That people loved to complain back then too?
That everyone was apathetic?
That everyone aspired to migrate?
No. I can’t have that. I can’t be telling my children and the neighbours children and my nephews and nieces that. That I came from a generation who felt nothing and hence did nothing. That I came from a generation that expected to own a piece of the nation’s future but never did anything to earn that privilege other than talk and pay taxes.
There’s so much expectation for the country to engage her people…but perhaps…just perhaps her people should engage her. To teach her that times have changed and that we must respect each other if we are to build a future…not just for ourselves or for this country but for our children.
So that they may live in a better place than ours and so that they will have inspirational stories to hear that didn’t revolve around the heroes of World War II.
To all the people who took the unconventional path. The one that attracts weird stares, worried looks and lots people to think you’re a lost cause.
The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
“Knowledge with Wisdom, Wealth with Moral Fortitude.”
Thanks for the reminder Ed.
How do I know I’m obsessed over beancurd? I’m wishing I had a whole pot of it. You know that pot they scoop it out from? Yeah. That one.
And I’m entertaining thoughts of a swimming pool filled with beancurd and I’m swimming and eating my way through it.
Some people say that dreams are a manifestation of one’s sub conscious. Some say it’s a peek into the future.
But that dream I had about an eventuality…well…it just happened except I didn’t get to say goodbye. I didn’t get to tell him how I felt. I didn’t get to have our eyes meet so that he could see the pain and anguish that I harbour.
And yet, we will all cling to the belief that he will be safer wherever he will be going… For however long he will be there.
I dreamt of an eventual event today. Blue and red lights were flashing everywhere and I hugged him saying, “I know you’re scared. I’ve been told everything. Know that I miss you and that I love you.” And then I cried briefly while he looked at me filled with regret.
And then I woke up. And I see him happily talking to everyone…
The bits of the future that I know will happen, generally suck.
… I want to fuck him.
I’ve seen a couple of times these past few weeks of girls going to the movies or concerts and then going “I want to have XYZ’s children!” or something like that.
Irritates the hell out of me because you’re obviously attracted to fella either for his looks or some god-given talent but bearing his kid(s) wouldn’t guarantee a cute kid or produce that cool guitar star that you saw on stage. In fact, by virtue of that guys wealth, the kid is quite possibly going to be an irritating brat that’s only averagely cute and wants no part of his dad’s career(except the money). The only thing that you can quite accurately predict is the act of making that kid… Which, if you didn’t know, is called having sex… Or fucking.
So stop trying to be all dainty about it. Do you really want to be a mother? Doesn’t sound so sexy anymore does it?
Why is it that some people demand so much respect? I always thought a large part of that should be earned…