7 Aug 2013

Red & White: Part 8

"...and then I was like, 'Cannot be so bad la', then he was like, 'Seriously! I hear already nearly made my ears bleed!' So he linked me to the video..."

Am I really no longer a "true" Singaporean?

"HAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh my god, I had the same reaction! I was like, 'Some people actually approved this???' It was so unbelievable!"

I was born in Singapore, and my citizenship is technically Singaporean, but I don't feel like I belong here as much as I did last time...

"...my mom asked me, 'Eh, they ran out of ideas for the chorus, is it? How come no words?' Then my dad said, 'Don't need words lah, nowadays these youngsters listen to all these pop songs, always got a lot of EH or WHOA or YEAH or UH, dunno meh? They think like that can get all the young kids to like the song mah.' And then..."

I only feel comfortable coming back here as more of a tourist, than as a child coming back home.

"...she was so pissed when she heard I didn't go and apply for the ticket balloting! I said, 'Come on, you always complain about the heat and the noise and the cheesy performances, and you spend 80% of the parade texting and surfing the web on your smartphone!' She replied, 'Aiyah, but every time they give out that Fun Pack, got all the free goodies leh! So many vouchers, can save money too!'"

It's so weird. Singapore's the place I came from, but I hesitate to call it my homeland.

"Then I said, 'Like that then why not just ask that friend to give to you? Every time he go NDP, he always complain that he don't get to use most of the vouchers, saying he never goes to that spa, or goes to that restaurant...' She replied, 'No lah no lah, I don't want to trouble my friend, don't want him to think I'm a cheapskate." Seriously!"

I wonder, am I part of the small minority that feels this way?

"So how has your life been there so far?"

Do I deserve to be called a Singaporean?

"...hello?"

"OH! Er sorry, just distracted."

"I guess that partly answers the question! Your work so stressful until your brain got partly messed up, is it?"

"Eh... it can be stressful at times, but it's the good kind of stress, the kind that motivates me to continue doing what I like there."

"Orh, but how come you don't want to do the same work here?" "Ya lor, it's not like Singapore don't have this kind of job."

"But those people who work here have to deal with less pay and less recognition. I'd feel really constrained if I stayed."

"Hmm. Then maybe you should be one of the first few to make a name in the job scene here. That way others wouldn't feel the need to move out to get more out of what they want mah." "Yeah, we need a few local pioneers to get things going here."

"Please, I don't think I'm powerful enough yet to take on such a big role!"

"We didn't say now, perhaps when you feel confident in your abilities and experience years later, you can come back and lead independently!"

"Yeah... maybe..."

"Ah quick quick quick, finish up the dinner, then we can walk around for a bit before we enter the club. I remember there's a Turkish ice-cream stall back there!" "Yeah, the ice-cream seller's really funny! He always plays around with the customer by pulling the ice-cream out of his reach..." "I saw a stall like that back in Chinatown, which was really weird..."

...

Will I ever come back to help out as a mover and shaker of Singapore?