Tuesday, August 20, 2013

my singapore always and forever;


i've been super random lately and yesterday i watched a singapore drama 96°C 咖啡.
i've been wanting to watch that drama for awhile and finally got down to it. i absolutely love the theme song and i cried quite a bit watching the drama so i must say it was pretty good haha. but i was definitely disappointed in the ending cause i hate endings that just leave you hanging. 

anyway, watching a singapore drama after such a long time made me really miss singapore. 
watching singapore dramas always reminds me of my childhood days. my sisters and i would always gather round the television to watch the 7pm family drama and then the 9pm family drama with my grandmother. and then as soon as the 9pm drama ended at 10pm, we would be promptly chased to bed. 
and when we were younger, sometimes we would not even be allowed to watch the 9pm drama because bedtime was 9pm or 9:30 p.m. 
our younger days also meant getting home from school earlier and so in the afternoons, we would enjoy watching the 3:30 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. drama with my grandmother, eating the snacks that she would prepare for us for afternoon teatime (if watching the 3:30 p.m. drama). 
it was really a time of bonding for us as we watched and discussed these family dramas that would always emphasize the importance of family and the values we are taught in a family.

and then we grew older and soon began to have school till at least 5pm and then dance/band practices till late at night, often arriving home just as they were showing the closing credits for the 9pm drama.
that bonding time was robbed from us because of the stressful education system. 
but nonetheless, i still love my childhood because it is full of memories of time spent with my grandmother. coming home to homecooked lunch and her always asking us if we wanted to shower first or eat first.
she cooked all our meals for us everyday without a single complaint. and on days when she didn't cook rice with dishes, she would cook us our favorite instant noodles with luncheon meat and an egg or her yummylicious fried rice. and on those days, she would always apologize that she didn't have anything fancy prepared. 
my sisters and i grew up with the habit of always having a yummy soup to go along with our rice and dishes. we would happily drench our rice bowls with soup and ate our meals that way each time. 

i guess what i'm trying to say is i miss my ah po.
i have dreams about her all the time and all i feel each time after i wake up is a sense of emptiness and also disbelief that she is gone. i thought this would get better with time but i don't think it ever will.
sometimes i feel like my sister and i still talk about her like she's still here and like we will see her when we visit singapore next. 

anyway, besides triggering my childhood memories, looking at the scenes of my singapore also triggered a lot of thoughts in my mind.
recently, i had a conversation over whatsapp with my friday clique. three of them who are currently still residing in singapore talked about how they would never choose to live in singapore if not for family and friends there. 
it made me really sad because to them, the fact that they were born and raised in singapore doesn't mean as much to them as it means to me. 

people always think that living overseas is the way to have a good life. and i know that a lot of people think that i live and work overseas because i seek that "better life." i know that people think that i don't ever want to go back to singapore. 
however, contrary to what everyone thinks, i actually do want to go back eventually. 
living overseas, you never really feel like you're at home. 
you miss your family and friends all the time even though they think you're having the best time of your life being away from home.
i want my children to be able to experience the same kind of childhood that i had - cycling/swimming with friends who live in your same condo block, walking with your grandmother across the street to the little mart to grab a loaf of bread (and a little treat for yourself), going out as a family to the reservoir on a sunday night to relax and then stopping by the old school bakery that sells the best kind of traditional breads (versus the atas bakery chains all over town), etc.
singapore has a rich and unique culture that i want my children to experience and grow to appreciate and not just know through brief vacations back home. 

and i've honestly been confused lately about where i should be now.
i love my job here but i think about singapore ALL the time. and so i'm torn.
plus i'm worried that going home for good now is not the right time or that it might taint my perfect memory that i have of my singapore. 
i also have this constant anxiety and fear about being so far away from my parents.
this past april when i had to rush home to see my grandmother, that sinking feeling of it taking two days to fly home really sucked, especially when i was rushing for time. 
i think i'm just homesick but honestly, i just want to say that there are so many things i love about singapore and that it will always always be my #1 home!
we used to take neoprints all the time when we were in school // i even miss grocery shopping at ntuc hahaha
there was always something magical about vivo city since it's right by the waters // shophouses at tanjong pagar
although we don't have winter in singapore at christmas time, orchard road is always magical for me at christmas time when we have all the christmas lights up
seeing how singapore is an island, i seriously loved how an escape to the beachside is just a monorail ride away
neighborhood playgrounds
the essence of childhood - playing silly games like these at any grassy area around neighborhood void decks
shopping and scenery
karaoke all we want
school uniforms, school grounds, school friends, exams, education system
i love always being able to stop in the heart of downtown to get an old fashioned ice cream from the ice cream uncles
chinatown all decked out during chinese new year
upper peirce reservoir where my family would sit and read on sunday evenings or stand by the waters and throw rocks into the water, trying to make ripples
traditional bakeries where you can find your childhood favorites freshly baked and warm
singapore airport is my favorite. even though it holds painful memories of my many departures, it is also always the first place that welcomes me home each time.
i also miss having all my cousins so close together and all our family gatherings. 
singapore's stunning skyline

okay, i'll get off my soapbox now and go watch another singapore drama and reminisce by myself now haha.
i hope we all get a chance to think about our childhood and pick out our favorite memories from it.
i think it will give us a greater appreciation for the place in which we were born and raised and learn not to complain so much but count our blessings. 


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