Lu-Hai Liang

thoughts from a freelance foreign correspondent

Archive for September 2019

Singapura

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Singapore’s UNESCO World Heritage listed Botanic Gardens. Image taken on a Fuji X70. All images: LHL

 

Initially, I was joyful to see the sunny dispositions

of Singaporeans

and their warm, unwavering, spotless streets.

It looked prosperous, clean, multicultural, industrious.

Excellent infrastructure, a well regarded greening policy, a much admired economy.

It took me a little while — a process of slow but inevitable discovery —

to see the unsunny side.

The darker, more complex reality.

 

Here follows a WhatsApp text conversation, over a period of a couple of weeks, between me and a Singaporean woman of similar age to me, whom I met while I stayed in Singapore. She is Chinese Singaporean, speaks Chinese and English, and works in a bank:

But i do really want to quit Goldman [Sachs]

Me: You should try my lifestyle.

I wish

the Asian perspectives have outgrown the desire of freedom

Im very Chinese

…several days later…

Money or freedom

Me: Is this a question?

Yeap

Me: Of course freedom. It’s priceless

You find the right spot

Freelance

Freedom

…a few days later..

Me: [I send her an article about a Singaporean couple who have quit their jobs, bought a van and are driving it around Europe, living on the road. Meanwhile, she has been reading my blog.]

I don’t have balls

I made bad choices

Me: Talk to me about them, over beer

As much as I support Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy

I don’t think I gave enough thought about what I really want who i really am

I’m just chasing the normality and what the expectations want me to be

Me: Sounds like an existential crisis *concerned emoji

If you have to rub it in

Yeah

Me: Did I cause this? Lol

Perhaps

Potentially

Me: Oh dear

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Written by Lu-Hai Liang

September 8, 2019 at 5:52 am