He replied, "Yeah it's my first time too." He hates the crowd, hates the blatant cliched couples crowding restaurants with insipid flowers, hates the whole occasion; but because I wanted to, he said "okay" to me.
I was really excited about Valentine's Day, such that not even his cancelling dinner due to some prayer thing he had to do could dampen my mood (usually such things tend to rain on my parade a little).
But guess what popped out of nowhere to ruin my night?
An SMS received at 6-something in the evening telling me that I had to go back to the office the next morning.
Unfortunately for all parties involved, I am an extremely single-minded person, and I am also an extremely emotional person. This means that I single-mindedly focus on one emotion until everything else fades away and then falls apart. What was supposed to be a happy day turned out...not so happy. And it wasn't because of his want of trying.
To say that I wasn't thrilled at all to see the SMS would be understating it. My parents received the first onslaught of my Black Face Attack; Wei Chuen was next in line. Things were okay at first - he came over, came up, gave my parents oranges, I made him take a picture with me at the piano (my mom took them and therefore they are blurred), we got into the cab and I was okay.
Then came the part where I had to QUEUE to get tickets that I BOOKED IN ADVANCE, at the TWO COUNTERS outside THE CATHAY. That pretty much derailed my previously-laudable efforts that maintaining a pleasant demeanour, and from then on I was just...moody. Lost in my own world of unwillingness and anger and irritation and sadness.
The couple seat was great and all, and he's very warm, and Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief is TONS better than the stupid Harry Potter movies; but after the movie ended I just couldn't snap out of it. An outburst in the middle of an empty street had me burying my face in his shoulder, and him having both arms around me, hugging me tight.
Moments like those are why I love him. I love him for all sorts of reasons, but moments like those - and the way he responded to my crap yesterday. I ruined our Valentine's Day because I couldn't deal with my emotions, and he held me tight and kissed me. He always insists that I wipe my gross snot on his shirt sleeve when I cry - the snot comes along with the activity, and um, the amount is rather copious - which is SO sweet.
I couldn't ask for a better boyfriend. I could ask for a better Valentine's Day, but it was my fault that I forgot him, and I love him for trying. I love him for doing it. I love him for letting himself become a cliche, just for me.
He gave me an "everlasting flower" (just like my cow!). I absolutely love it.
He also completely disregarded my command to him which I posted a few entries back to which I'm too lazy to link not to give me chocolates. He said it was the traditional Valentine's gift. Okay, I wouldn't know, but they're yummy so whatever. And he's sweet, so whatever. And I love him, so whatever.
Another thing I love? Chinese New Year.
All my relatives came to my house today while I was in the office. The initial plan was to have them come over for lunch and I was going to go in later so that I could at least be here when they got here, but in the end they decided to come after lunch. No way I could've been here then.
At two-something I called home to whine to my mom about having no lunch at fucking Raffles Place. My second uncle picked up. I could hear the commotion in the background.
And I actually felt sad.
I say that with some degree of surprise because I never really cared about them coming over before. In fact, some years I didn't want them to come over, and other years it was just something to deal with. But this year, missing out on it actually hurt. It was actually sad. My grandmother was in my house for the first time in a year or more and I wasn't here; all my relative were here and I wasn't here.
Chinese New Year is my favourite holiday ever. It means the world to me. The thought of it makes me happy, even though there's nothing much to do and it's the same thing every year, and I've stopped the spring cleaning thing a long time ago. But it's one of the few things that I can hold on to, that reminds me of the fact that I am a fucking Chinese person, that pulls me back to my roots. This matters to me a lot. It's wholly important; it's so important that I didn't want to go back to the office at all. It's so important that it's more important than a job.
The tragedy of the human condition sometimes manifests itself in the missing of the something that is precious to you when that has been taken away from you. At this moment I can't imagine why I didn't like my relatives coming over. At this moment, at the time of writing this, I wish I hadn't been in the office today. I'm not super close to my extended family, but they are still family; this is Chinese New Year; we are Chinese; and this is what we do.
It's killing me that I couldn't do it today. And so I vow to appreciate tomorrow, when we go to my grandma's place for lunch, then truck to my second aunt's place to sit around. It's what we do every year. The conversation is the same, the faces are familiar; but it's what we do. And it's only now that I realise how much it means to me, after it'd been taken away from me.
Can't fucking remember the last time I spent Chinese New Year in Taipei. Maybe it was before my mom shipped me here to learn English, which was basically...when I was six?
I'm going back next year no matter what. My grandparents aren't going to be around forever. And it's no longer enough to have a 20-second chat with them over the phone.
Anyway, yesterday was the same-old. My family was the last to reach the cemetery and I cut it short and went back to the car to wait 'cause the smoke was making me sick. Reached grandmother's place, had food, then I spent the rest of the time watching tennis, much to my doctor cousin's chagrin. He snatched the TV from me BUT I WRESTLED IT BACK by tugging on my mom's sleeve and pointing sadly at him, after which time my mom reprimanded my cousin for disrespecting his guest. BWAHAHAHA. (All in jest, obviously.)
Took pictures at my house for fun before we left. Posting this for fun becuse it's funny:
This is going to sound a bit weird, but I must say - I love the cemetery in the day. It's even better at 5, 6, when the sun is setting. It's one of the rare places in Singapore where you have a clear, unfettered view of the sky - no stupid boring skyscrapers obstructing your view, no HDB flats, no ugly condominiums; just the sky, the clouds, the trees.
And of course, the graves. Strangely, I feel a vague sense of calm when I'm there. It's...reassuring, kind of, though I'm not sure of what. Perhaps it's the reassurance that custom lives on in the face of "progress" and "modernity", or the reassurance that, in a way, you'd leave a mark, literally, in this world when you're gone. Whatever it is, I actually like it there. I enjoy the view. I enjoy the incredible sunset. And I enjoy the calm it inspires in me.
(Note: Referring to the Chinese one lah obviously.)
Of course, not saying anything about visiting at night. I think even I would be scared. HAHA.
In other matters, I echo the sentiments of many others who think that the pastor, whatever Tan, should have been arrested and charged. But I'm sure we've heard about this enough and I don't have anything new to add, so let me move on to this:
Ex-Malaysian on why he supports the PAP and is proud to be a Singaporean
I was a Malaysian and became a Singaporean in 2001.
I am intrigued by the unflattering comments and articles on your portal about the Singapore government and how the country is run.
Being an ex-Malaysian, I am able to compare and contrast my life in Malaysia and now, in Singapore.
I feel so safe and happy living in Singapore. I had a good education and hold a good job in Singapore which I will probably not have had if I remained in Malaysia. I worked hard for what I have achieved thus far in Singapore.
4 things I am so afraid of about living in Malaysia are:
a) High crime rate:
The police are not able to contain the crime and citizens feel unsafe. Their homes broken into, ladies are snatched of their handbags in broad daylight, kidnaps and thefts are frequent. You can read about them on Malaysia Today, Malaysian Insider and the likes.
b) Corrupted government and its agencies alike, from top to bottom:
You can't get anything done unless you pay a bribe. The public service is slow, inefficient and all you do is wait and wait.
c) Corrupted police who prey on innocent citizens:
They do not protect the citizens. Citizens are so scared of the police. Look at the almost 2,000 deaths in police custody and still counting. I read it from the news portal of Malaysia. Innocent citizens are locked up and beaten up for no apparent reasons, including Indonesians, China students and tourists.
d) Low education standards and admission to local Universities is not by merit:
You can see how/what the Malaysian cabinet ministers say daily and they almost contradict each other. They give the impression they are "fighting" against their own citizens daily.
I find the Singapore government clean, efficient, smart and with foresight and cares for the citizens. I am very happy living here and am proud to be a Singaporean. I feel safe to approach the Singapore police for help should the need arises and I feel confident that the police will help me. I can get things done from the public agencies in a systematic manner and there is law and order here.
It may be a good idea to ask those unhappy Singaporeans to live in Malaysia for a while to have a taste of what life is like over there. In fact, I posed this suggestion to a complaining taxi driver before and he said, "Of course, you cannot compare with Malaysia." and went silent thereafter.
On my business trips all over, I feel so "at ease" the moment I touched down at Changi Airport. I feel so at home. I will miss Singapore if I was away for a long while.
Siebel, a Singaporean who was an ex-Malaysian until 2001
The Temasek Review welcomes more such letters from PAP supporters and new citizens to add diversity to the range of views expressed on this site. You have the power to change our editorial content and stance. Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your article will be published in full prompting with absolutely no editing. If possible, we will appreciate you use your real name to add credibility to your contribution.
Am I the only one that read it and rolled eyes so hard they almost fell out of sockets (sorry to steal "your line" Tris)? Am I the only one that read it and had to forcibly stop myself from laughing out loud?
I'm sorry but WHAT AN INSIPID AND INSULTING LETTER. First, it's insulting by bringing nothing new to the "why Singapore is great" argument. Not only that, it doesn't add anything substantial; it doesn't make an intellectual point. All it does is repeat things that every fucking Singaporean, or every single person who's ever been to Singapore, already knows: Singapore is safe. The government is totally awesome. The police is not corrupt (corrupt, not corrupted, fucking hell). Great, great, great.
See, it's this "what else" that many people can't answer. I'm not denying that the things he said about how Singapore is safe and whatever are true, because they obviously are, and I won't at all deny that they are also things that I appreciate about this country. But what else? This inquiring mind would like to know WHAT ELSE?
To me, it's not enough to love Singapore and say that Singapore is awesome because Malaysia sucks. We all know that. We all know that Singapore is heaven compared to Burma. But are we seriously making these comparisons? Are we aspiring towards progress or aspiring to remain stagnant? Because if we were aiming for the former, it's time to reach a bit higher. I've said this before and I'm gonna say it again: It's fucking pointless juxtaposing ourselves with countries in the region that obviously worse-off. It's stupid, mindless, empty nationalistic masturbation. That is all it is.
And that is all this letter is.
Wait, this letter is also: badly-written, grammatically-incorrect, and in DIRE need of editing. Oh my god, I cannot believe TR actually wrote what they did in that note. Seriously? You're going to publish things like THAT? I'm sorry but your credibility has gone down even further in my eyes.
Temasek Review is an interesting alternate source of information, but it sure as hell isn't fair and balanced (as it claimed in "About Us"). I enjoy reading the articles because they're entertaining and most of the time they fit with my own admittedly very biased opinion on most matters. But that's about as far as it goes. In terms of objectivity, it's the flip side of the same coin as the Straits Times - except the Straits Times is published and this is not.
I can't decide which is more badly-written though. I'm inclining towards Straits Times. You know this dude that writes tennis articles? I CRINGE everytime I'm forced to read his writing, i.e. when he writes about Roger, and see all these fucking run-on sentences. A COMMA. DOES NOT. CONNECT. TWO. SEPARATE. FUCKING. SENTENCES. THANK YOU VERY FUCKING MUCH.
Who the HELL edits these things? I think I'd be able to do a much better job.
Lastly, I've been watching Season 1 of Boston Legal which Ruishan kindly lent me. To say that it's fucking melodramatic and sensational is probably putting it kindly. I didn't like the first episode - found the characters too caricature, the acting affected, the writing too clever for its own good. But I was sick and had nothing to do so I kept watching and now I wanna keep watching.
It's entertaining. It's occasionally realistic and good. But oh wow, some of the tactics they (Alan Shore lah basically) resort to are just mind-blowing - and I don't mean this in a good way at all. Maybe that's how they do things in America, which is a stretch of the imagination even on my part, but wow. Wow. WOW.
The Pupil is NOWHERE as well-written, well-acted, or even fucking well-researched (just to reiterate: burden of proof for civil cases? Balance of probabilities. Beyond reasonable doubt my fucking ass. This one even D-grader first-yearer would know) as Boston Legal; but as a legal drama, I appreciate it slightly more because it's not as sensational and over-the-top as Boston Legal. Of course that makes it less entertaining, but I like my legal dramas realistic. Occupational hazard perhaps, but there you go.
Lastly for real - went to the Sub Courts last Wednesday morning for a criminal matter that my boss assigned to me at my request. We went for a mention - Court 26. Have I talked about this already? Can't remember.
But anyway, it was a circus. Defendants went up one by one and had their charges read to them. Some were unrepresented.
I think if I ever stayed in this profession, I'd be much happier in the Sub Courts. It's where the heartland is. It's where the real people are. And it's where law is meant to be, in my very biased, and very humble opinion.