Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Monday, September 18, 2006
I think I have been reading off too many government websites. I just spend 5 hours reading government and police reports for my internship. The scary part was, I found it so fun I almost forgot to have lunch.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
The first time I stopped feeling like a teenager was: when instead of being mad at someone for doing something really immature, I caught myself thinking, she is only behaving like that because she is still young.
I will feel like an adult when I: learn how to pick fresh vegetables from the unfresh ones, and pass my driving test.
So it was all fun and good. Bob's medical friends are really friendly and nice, and I spend quite a bit of time with my IH med friends standing in line for alcohol.
By the end of the night, I was nowhere near high, but quite ready to go home. I went from "cherry- the- I- want- to- go- clubbing- every- night-till-I-spew-blood" to "cherry-the-I-just-want-to-sit-at-home-and-check-my-email" person. If I already feel too old to party at 22, I'm going to be playing bingo and coquette at the nursing home when I'm 26.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Today on my way home. I saw space man doing his thing on the corner of lonsdale and swanston. I saw drummer guy with his newly acquired snare drum and bottles. I saw a bearded man in tattered clothes calling out for change. And I saw two homeless guys talking to Big Issue Man at the dodgy KFC on swanston.
The shallow-pathetic-selfish-materialistic part of me thinks, how can they be happy? Growing up in a very materialistic asian country, I have came to associate happiness with a comfortable life. As much as my politically-correct answer to happiness is, love joy peace and harmony, and I would always tick the "happy and poor" box than the "rich but sad" box, I have a shallow conception of happiness. If everyone likes me, I am happy. If I am constantly doing something useful, I am happy. If I feel wanted and needed, I am happy. If I have something to do on Fridays, I am happy. If I am surrounded by people, I am happy. When I am with Bob, I am very happy. If I watch "The Devil Wears Prada" in the next week, I will be happy. If I get into honours next year, I will be happy. If the weather is warm and sunny, I am happy. When I eat something nice, I feel happy. If I wear something beautiful, I feel happy. When I find a pair of jeans that fit, I am happy. When I find pretty and comfortable shoes, I am happy. When I find a strapless bra that stays on while I jump up and down like a mad rocker, I am very happy. And trust me, my housemate and I were doing exactly that in Myers. In the fitting room of course.
But when I saw the three men laughing outside KFC, it hit me. That if I'm bankrupt.homeless.penniless.disfigured.limbless.status-less.pointless.meaningless. Will I still be happy?If happiness is what I have and what I do, then the yardstick for my happiness comes from how much society values what I have and what I do.
People always say they rather be happy and poor than rich and sad. But by poor, they always mean being where they are right now in the economic strata, and not moving up from it. Poor comes to mean comfortably poor. If poor meant being a limbless beggar, will we still choose the happy option?
I came to the conclusion that being happy meant being thankful. Because that is one of the things, besides your faith, that society can't take from you. If they take away your money, you have your family. If they take away your family, you have yourself. If they take away your limbs, you have your torso. If they take away your senses, you have your life. And if they take away your life, then we wouldn't even be having this conversation.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Yes, that's what happens when you chose to go camping in Wilson's Prom on an exceptionally cold weekend, and not figure out before hand how to get the sleeping bag zipper to work. Smart.
Still it was a pretty good trip. The highlight has to be the sunrise walk up Mt Oberon. It was 5:30am. Blue-grey darkness. The forest was still, and I was kicking myself for being there. The whole climb up I was so tired I was thinking morbid thoughts. What if I saw a dead body now? Would I a) sit next to it and rest? b) run down in the pretext of getting help? Then I thought about juice. And how nice it would be if there was boost juice at the top. And why i should open a boost juice stall at the top. And then I thought about bob. And then juice. And the dead body. And bob. And juice. Yeah you get the general idea.
But as I kept climbing, the forest slowly roused. The blue-greyness was tinged with warm yellow, and tress started rustling. The birds started chirping, one song at a time. There was a certain unexplainable energy about the forest, like a million soft alarm bells going off at the same time. There was such a sense of anticipation about it. And I felt like I was part of that tableau of morning ness.
The moment I stepped on the last rock at the summit, the sun exploded above the dense clouds, creating a harsh silhouette against the twisted landscape of trees. The misty sky was the exact same colour as the grey-blue sea, so no horizon could be seen. The waves, beach, sea, sky, rocks were a continuation of each other, making this just a small part of the larger earth.
Being up there, looking at this God-perfected image, was absolutely amazing. Every photo I took was only cheapening its beauty. The only thing that would make it better was Bob and a cup of juice.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
My recent conversation with a close girlfriend was about the differences between dating an Asian man and a Caucasian guy, ironic since I am doing an essay on the differences between the Asian and western press. Considering I have never seriously dated anyone non-Asian before or have any close white male friends, I have absolutely no expertise in that area. To me, I have never felt the impulse to date someone based on race. I absolutely adore my international friends but I also wouldn't mind if my life partner is so local that he can understand what I am saying when I'm muttering singlish in my sleep, and consider having Nasi Briyani and Assam Laksa for my wedding reception. And I am very much in love and happy with my Malaysian Chinese better half.
But that got me thinking, is there really a blinking difference between an Asian guy and a non-Asian guy? Considering about half my friends are dating people from another races:
Singaporean Chinese/White Aussie 3x,Chinese Singaporean/White French, Taiwanese/Brazilian, Chinese Singaporean/English, White English/Sri Lankan, Chinese Singaporean/White American, Chinese Singaporean/White Canadian, Japanese/White American, Vietnamese/White American, White Aussie/Chinese are just some examples
does race really matter when you are dating someone? Or are we just bounded by the stereotypes of people we see around us? The typical ones I have heard, which I think are all gross generalisations include: white guys are better in bed. White guys just want to get you in bed and then leave. Asian guys are all mummies’ boys. Asian guys are gentler and make better husbands. Asian men are weak. White men are violent and will get drunk and beat the shit out of you. White men who are dating Asian girls all have Asian fetish. Asian girls who date white guys are all SPGs (Sarong party girls: a Singaporean term for Asian girls who dig white men for their money and their supposed expertise in bed)
Well I have seen big strapping Asian men as much as I have seen white men that are geeky and total pansies. So are we just demonising the "other"? Or just thinking that the grass is greener on the other side? Is it just an exotic factor? I mean, it is kinda novel for a while to say, hi I'm dating a Persian-Swedish-Russian-Latino mixed blooded dude rather than I'm dating a fellow Singaporean who I met in school and we are going to apply for a HDB flat together? Do people consciously pick people of a certain race to prove a point? Like, if you are an Asian girl, pick an Asian dude to prove you are not an SPG. Or pick a white dude just to prove you are not the “Fobby/Cheena-chinese” sort?
Or does it really not matter at all? That race has absolutely nothing to do with the person as a whole, and none of the other person's cultural baggage is ever going to affect true love?
I went to Norsiah's kitchen again, for the second time in twenty-four hours.
Then I went to 7-11 and thought...hmm...let's get a pack of gum. Seriously, I thought that was the coolest thing I could be doing for the moment. I don't know why I did it, but I looked around, and then gingerly took a pack of gum and paid, with adrenalin rushing through me.
The minute I stepped out of the shop, a police car stopped right in front of me. And for a moment there, my heart stopped. I was about to turn and run with my pack of gum when I remembered, bloody hell, I'm in Australia. Not at the Malaysian causeway trying to smuggle in packets of gum.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
So exactly which part of my life does the government not control? Procreation is an individual choice, and never a duty. Maybe if they took a bit of human geography they will realise that an aging population is a problem ALL developing countries are facing. Modernisation is the best contraception. And it is not going to change. How about tackling it sensibly like creating a more viable pension scheme, increasing the retirement age, helping middle-aged retrenched people get a job, improving our age-care scheme etc.? Or start changing the working culture in Singapore into one that promotes family life, a.k.a children can see their parents before 6pm everyday, and couples don't work till 10pm, come home and pass out on the bed. What is not sensible: TV dramas 'highlighting the sorry plight of a childless old couple and the great problems faced by an ageing society'.
Soon they will increase the price of condoms, tell me how many times a year I should have sex and ask me to fill in the times I attempt procreation in a little brown book with the Singapore core values printed on the front page.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
"the destination Singapore wants to reach has been the progress and prosperity of the nation - a goal ingrained in the mind of every citizen from the moment he goes to school, when he has to recite the national pledge. The mass media as ally in the lofty aim of national upliftment: who can quarrel with that?"
Do all Singaporeans have the lofty aim of wanting Singapore to prosper as a Nation? Or do we want Singapore to prosper only so that we can prosper? What if Singapore wasn't a prosperous nation? Is that what happens when you have a nation build upon the ideals of prosperity and economic progress?
Singapore ranks 147th in the press freedom index. That's way below Arfganistan, Iraq and Palestine. In our category, we are the only developed country there. But no worries, at least the word freedom is not in our pledge. The U.S was founded on freedom, and with all the emphasis on the First Ammendment, they rank 44th.
I am taking a subject now that looks at Singapore from an outside point of view, and everyday I learn things that blow me away. Go read the Newspaper Printing and Presse Act, the Sedition Act and the Official Secrets Act. It says that if the newspaper doesn't cooperate with the government, its license will be revoked. Considering we only have ONE broadsheet newspaper in Singapore, then revoke how? We got no newspaper to read.