These blind PAP haters are just as bad as the blind PAP supporters. People like Han banging on about how the government is stealing our money and, incredibly, how Lee Kuan Yew is a traitor who should die already are merely the flip side of people who bang on about how we should all be grateful to the government for giving us what we have today, yada yada yada (some arguments are just too stupid to rehash; I don't want to waste my brain cells processing them). It is testament to the strength of my belief in the freedom of speech that I do not resort to saying that they should all just shut the fuck up, even though I do wish they would; but it is also testament to the power of free speech that, by allowing these imbeciles to speak whatever crap is in their feeble minds, it becomes clearer what the real arguments are, and how they should be made. Namely: disrupting a charity event for disabled childern is not a good way to get your point across, and neither is swearing at a minister.
When will these clowns grow up?
I am back in Singapore. The weather is oppressive and mean; attempting to sleep at night is a harrowing experience because I am having problems falling asleep; and I am amazed by my own new-found patience and equanimity when it comes to taking public transport (that said, I did just complain to Wouter that I feel diminished as a person everytime I have to take the MRT, but I was just bitching as usual). I met Rui at her office for 20 minutes today in between her meeting and call; felt so good to see a friend after so long, even if it was just for a short while.
I continue to have a love-hate relationship with this country. The hate always has an edge, blunted merely by the love I have for my family, friends, and the food. I consider it a rather unfortunate circumstance of luck that I was born here and that I spent most of my life here. Don't get me wrong, I am infinitely thankful that I was born in Singapore and not Iran or some African country or China, places with more aggravating problems; but all the same, Singapore is a burden that I can never fully escape. It's not so much about Singapore as a state or a country, but it's more like this: if I were to renounce my citizenship and become a Dutch citizen, for instance, I would continue to be tied to Singapore...because it is still home, whether I like it or not.
Curiously, despite all my issues with my country, I think the only realistic situation in which I would give up my citizenship would be if I'd undergone some serious head trauma and recovered from it a completely different person. For better or for worse, Singapore is an integral part of my identity. I cannot be without it, even as I dislike it.
I just wish things could be better. I wish people were less stressed out, less petty, more polite and considerate; that working hours were shorter across the board and that people actually cared about hairdressers and waiters who work ridiculous 10-hour work days with a measly one day off a week; and that we stopped becoming so damn xenophobic and be less narrow-minded and inward-looking. I feel like Singapore is a village that has fooled itself into thinking it's a truly, meaningfully cosmopolitan city because it looks like one. I don't really think it is. I think there is so much about Singapore that is manufactured that we compensate for the lack of history and culture by shouting extra hard about a vague sense of pride at being Singaporean, whatever that means. Singapore is almost like Julian Barnes's England, England, perhaps without the farce (though the political scene is pretty farcical).
I don't like the manufactured glitz and glamour of the likes of Marina Bay Sands, and at the same time, I dislike the numbing dullness and sameness of the heartland and its ubiquitous malls. The overt planning is so palpable in almost every inch of this island that so little about it feels authentic. We are crammed into concrete buildings, squashed into boxes we pass off as apartments, jammed into the MRT, and it's simply too hot to go outside for a stroll in the park or along the river. The lack of political freedom is reflected in the lack of physical freedom...and it's so hard for me to come back to this when I have experienced life with so much more freedom than what Singapore has to offer.
I don't know. I feel like I'm perennially unhappy. Maybe my first boyfriend was right when he said that I thought too much...ten again, coming from someone who barely thought at all...and what would I be without my brain? Absolutely nothing.
Going to bed.