Friday, June 6, 2008

The "Singapore Dream" - not for me.

I saw this in Cyn's blog and I took the liberty to "repost" the article in mine because it is so fitting. Thank you for locating such an apt post.

The article below is written by Jocelyn, one of the co-writers of the essay behind the box-office hit and international award winning local movie - Singapore Dreaming, describing a very standard mundane "Singapore dream" in the first paragraph, which is painfully and acutely true to a T.

However, having lived in a few countries myself, I think I can say, the Singapore Dream is not peculiar only to us. Every developed nation has their entanglement of dreams. Their people have their own social trappings and standard rountines. Even in Sydney, its also a common struggle to work and buy a house and have kids. They too have their own Australian version of "Singapore dream", with the exception that they live in a less pressure cooker lifestyle than we do, without the average 10-12hours work days like we are use to. In HK, people too constantly fret about expensive housing and fullfilling a "personal ego" of outdoing each other in a better apartment or branded watch or lavish weddings.

Though agreeably, below are many of those reasons that I didnt want to get entrapped staying on in Singapore, into this same "Singapore dream" mould, at least not now, not before I have explored what I need to, seen what I want to, live how I like to. For now, I just want to be different, do something different, taste something different or I will forever be restless and resentful that I never got to. Yet no matter where you go, you will find that the world is like a pea pod, they are alike in many ways in a broad brush stroke.

Abstract of post

"You wake up everyday and work from Monday to Friday, and often, Saturday too. If you finish work early, you and your partner go to your parents’ place for dinner and see your child for a few hours. If you work late, you buy a packet of char kway teow noodles from the hawker centre but eat it at home because it’s too warm to eat there. You’re not crazy about the job but you know that if you keep at it, you can afford a car in 3 years’ time, and in 5 years’ time, buy a condo close to the primary school you want to send your kid to. Your conversations with people are either for the purpose of networking, work, or for familial obligations you cannot avoid. On weekends, you play golf with your friends at your country club or watch a movie with your partner. Once a year, you go on a ten day vacation to New York, London, or Paris, and when your children are big enough, Disneyland.

Alternatively, you wake up and you have no idea what is going to happen today, tomorrow, 6 months or a year later. Ironically, because of this uncertainty, all possibilities exist for you. You can be the Prime Minister of Singapore, you can make a movie, you can cook a meal you have never cooked before, eat at a place you have never eaten before, you can color your hair red, you can skip instead of walk, you can volunteer at the school you have always wanted to volunteer at, you can write a book, or you can have a baby even though you don’t have a maid. You have conversations with people who set your heart palpitating and your mind on fire. Your weekday is not so different from your weekend because everyday you are thinking, creating, and more important, imagining."

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