Tuesday, August 12, 2014

This Is Home, Truly

(I did not wear any red shirt for National Day this year, very sad and very guilty about it, so I'm gonna put photos of me in red throughout this blog post. Please appreciate, I took really long to find these photos lol. I hardly wear red.)

I know I don't look like someone who is super patriotic or anything but the truth is, I really love Singapore a lot, despite all the complaints people have about her. Maybe it's because I was born in Malaysia and had lived there for quite some time before moving to Singapore permanently and became a citizen here. The environment in Singapore and Malaysia is completely different and I really prefer Singapore's a lot more. 

My family has an apartment in Malaysia. We've encountered numerous burglary, water pipe problems, car smashing incidents and whatever. Opposite our apartment was a big grass patch where our old neighbour used to rear cows (our house is in JB, and yes I know right…cows). I also have a kampung at the far end of Malaysia (Pengkalan Hulu, don't think anybody know that place) which I still visit once a year but I haven't been there in 2 years. We go swimming in rivers while my uncle held onto a rifle to stand guard and make sure there isn't any water snakes. We fit 4 people on a motor bike and ride around the village, get into accidents, fell off the bikes, get chased by turkeys, steal chicken eggs, annoy our mental neighbour.

It was unsafe and even though I was too young to understand, I look back now and I know for sure I never want to go back to living in Malaysia permanently. I am not trying to make Malaysia seem like a bad place to live in, it's just that as compared to Singapore, I would choose Singapore hands-down. And I don't get why people complain so much about living here. 

Whenever I go overseas, I fear for my own safety, I hold my purses tightly, afraid to walk alone in dark alleys, afraid that housekeeping in the hotel might steal stuffs from my luggage. I don't know, is it just me? I feel that things like this are really less prone to happen in Singapore. We can literally live with our doors unlocked and nothing will happen. Having said this, I wish to clarify that I am not someone who has never encountered unfortunate incidents in SG. I have, and I am saying that SG is still a wonderful place to live in. 

People talk about SG's education system, how even degree holders can't get jobs. And my reaction was, you can't just be smart to fit to hold high positions!!! You definitely need more than that, any talents, any charisma, connections or what not. You are too naive to actually think that having a degree will secure your future. I would say that it is the first step to securing your future, but it is never a guarantee. I also understand that we, Singaporeans, study our asses off and some people think that that's fucked up like we spend so much time in school and when we go home, we have so much work to complete. I actually think that studying is a big part of my childhood, and I think that it doesn't affect my happiness. I enjoy studying. I am not a nerd or anything, but studying is actually really fun. You study with your friends, you find out the best way for you to study, you learn a lot at the same time. I still remember how I used to study for O'levels with my Sec School friends in RP, how we stayed overnight to study, the lessons we had in class. Those were all good memories. I know there was a point in time we were all stressed out about studies till we cried and all, but we all got through that. In future, we are gonna get so stressed out over work we'll cry, and we'll know that we can get through that. 

Then people complain about everything being so bloody expensive in Singapore, which I agree. But I am willing to pay this much for everything, to get better pay and better standard of living. It all cancels out eventually. Whatever you're paying for now, you get back the benefits of it. You just never realize that because you're so used to having the benefits all around you. Electricity, portable water, pavements, shelters, street lamps. Sometimes we just need to stop, look around, and really appreciate our country. Singapore is amazing.

Of course I have no rights to say that SG is the BEST place to live in, simply cos I've never lived in all the countries in the world before. All I'm saying is that we really should stop complaining for once and appreciate all the good things SG has to offer instead of comparing what we don't have to countries that have more. There is no perfect country to live in, like how there is no perfect human in the world. No country can even achieve the 4 macroeconomic goals at the same time. If you're always gonna be bitter about what a horrible country you're living in, you're wasting your time being unhappy when you can be grateful and contented. 

Throwback to National Day last year with these girls and favourite GP teacher. My last NDP celebration in school :'(

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