What makes us Weekids

Uncategorized

Before I became a Weekid, I didn’t expect that Weekids are actually unique to the rest of NTU. As a Weekid, I do find that fellow Weekids get me, and it’s actually not as easy to communicate with some non-Weekids as a result. I sometimes find myself being surprised at how non-Weekids do things differently from us. During exchange, I wished I could work with Singaporeans but now that I’m back in NTU, I wish I could work with Weekids, not people from different faculties because we aren’t on the same page. Are we even on the same chapter or same book…? And so, let me tell you what makes us Weekids. (I’m just gonna include the points that are more relatable to me and some Weekids. Of course being instafamous and super pretty is one but it’s not applicable to me.)

  1. We work on Macs
    Macintosh. We have complete faith in Macintosh. It’s a total bummer if you’re the only one in the group without a Mac. How to airdrop you stuff? Omg, once someone asked me what is airdrop so I said can you search it in the finder? You’ll be able to find it. Guess what he typed? Add drop. Oh dear. Facepalm.
  2. When we have a meeting, we have a meeting with laptops
    I can’t believe it. Recently, I had a few meetings with non-Weekids and nobody in the group brought their laptops. Isn’t it self-explanatory? I thought since we are in Uni, we should always bring laptops to meetings. And it’s not just me because when I had meetings with Weekids, everyone brought their laptops. After the encounter with a group of people with no laptops, I said to my Weekid friends: “Wow, everyone brought laptops!” And they said: “Yeah, it’s a meeting. Aren’t we supposed to bring laptops?” It’s just ingrained in us Weekids and I wish other people can do the same.
  3. We speak English
    Yes please, English all the way. English is our lingua franca so I don’t think it’s very professional if we use our mother tongue during our discussions. During JC, I was quite annoyed when people deliberately spoke in Chinese in a group where there were non-Chinese. I’m glad it doesn’t really happen here in WKWSCI.
  4. We watch film
    I think the average Weekid watches more film than the average NTU student. Our assignment for the week can be watching films but that’s sometimes also for a film review, etc. Weekids also generally attend film events and festivals so it’s actually super hard for me to ask non-Weekids to go to the movies, much less to a film festival. Sometimes when they ask me about a film, I half want to give up because I sometimes feel like they’re just being courteous by asking, and they aren’t actually interested in the answer at all
  5. We use Telegram
    Whatsapp is so last century. Why do people still use Whatsapp? If you have any Weekid friend, your convo’s gonna be on Tele.
  6. No such thing as wearing shorts, slippers, no make-up to lecture
    Weekids love to dress up. Weekids generally look quite good also because of their wardrobe and their nice makeup. I personally don’t understand why some people actually wear slippers to class. There was a student who wore shorts and slippers for a presentation outside of WKW. I was quite shocked by that.
  7. We can totally trust a fellow Weekid to take a photo
    Weekids usually take really nice photos. When I bump into Weekids during events, I usually just approach them to help take a photo because it’s gonna turn out FINEEEEEEEEE.
  8. Once in a blue moon, we spot a male Weekid
    The male:female ratio is something like 1:7? In my FYP class of around 20-25, I think there are 3 guys only. It’s usually like that for every other class. Hahaha.
  9. We don’t do finals, just lots of videos during the sem
    We never have 70% finals. I think this is really good. You should work hard throughout the sem, not only during the exam period and I think this is the beauty of our mods! The tough projects are during the sem. We work hard during the sem, and we can end exactly on Week 13! Yayyyyyy!!!
  10. Almost every Weekid can be a model (sadly, I’m the exception)
    Yeah, most Weekids look really good and not to mention, many are also multi-talented. Pick any random Weekid and you realise they sing, dance, DJ, and are on the Dean’s List.

On class disparity in Singapore

Uncategorized

I just watched Regardless of Class by Channel NewsAsia a few days ago. A few years ago, I watched Regardless of Race, also by CNA and I remember being quite impacted by it. And now, it’s the talk about class division in Singapore. As I am entering the workforce, and as I meet more people of varying backgrounds, I can start to see the class disparity in Singapore and as I am from the middle income, I am beginning to worry about my future, and whether I can survive in Singapore.

What makes me middle income then? I believe I am middle income as I live in a 4-room HDB, I scrimp and save but sometimes indulge in vacations and good food. My friends seem to also be from middle-income backgrounds as well. But actually, it’s not easy to tell if they happen to be from the low/ high-income backgrounds. So I just assume that my friends are like me – middle-income.

One interesting comparison the show raised was that the low/middle income believe that hard work, education and knowing the right people were some of the main factors attributing to one’s success. On the other hand, the high-income folks believe that ability, knowing the right people and hard work are the main factors that contribute to one’s success. Education is not one of the top three factors for them. This is an endless cycle that’s gonna make the rich richer and the poor poorer. I didn’t think it was a serious problem until now, as I realise I take on the role of a middle-income citizen, that I begin to feel the impact of this.

It is so difficult to live in Singapore. I guess it is probably challenging to live anywhere else too. I feel kind of trapped, unsure of where I should head to or do. I have discovered my interests: sport, yoga, film, travel, education, children, art, museums, curation, marketing. But can I fulfill them in Singapore? How can I be a yoga teacher if I don’t have the money to pay for the training, or to pay for a studio? And if I want to be an educator, do I have to go through a teacher training programme which I feel isn’t right for our children? There is so much I want to do but because I don’t have the financial capabilities to do so, I am stuck here, left to do what I should do for survival. As I take on projects that I am interested in but don’t pay me, I feel stuck again. Should I continue with the projects, or should I invest my time in something that pays me financially? I get that experience helps but time is ticking and I need $1m to buy a flat. How can I feel assured when the government will hold on to a large part of my salary until I retire, and the thing is, they define my retirement age…? This is not fair. Shouldn’t I choose to live my life? Why are you controlling my salary, why are you forbidding me to use my salary and why do I have to work until I die? I feel that life is full of worries, especially in Singapore. One can never feel content here. Money is a big worry here. House comes first, marriage comes second, love comes third. What is this, Singapore? What have you made us? We are just economic tools. I’m starting to feel worried about my children’s fate. I do not want them to have to face the same worries as me. I want them to be happy and free. And Singapore is not the right place. Sure, Singapore is safe, it has a rich culture, and it has everything but I feel so empty, Singapore. To quote Tan Pin Pin, the way we are being conditioned has caused Singapore to lose so many great filmmakers. I believe I could have achieved so much more. But you, Singapore, are the one who shut down my ideas, shut me up, and made me just another model Singaporean. Can my fellow middle-class folks relate to me?

I have recently interacted with some people who are obviously from the higher income. Looking at their educational background and their lifestyles, I can’t help but be envious of them. They can do what they want, with an unending supply of money at their disposal. But I also realise that they do feel a sense of emptiness as well. They do have their own problems too. And I appreciate the dialogue I share with them. I feel that it’s really important to mix around with people out of your usual circle of friends, through events or interest groups. It’s so refreshing to learn more about them. So I’m trying to appreciate what I have. Although it’s not easy being a middle-income citizen, it’s probably easier than being a low-income citizen, and being a Singaporean, I definitely have it easier than many people in the world. So I should be thankful but I should continue to reflect on what is actually best for myself, and not blindly follow what the Singapore Government tells us is best for us.

15.01.1918 • 12.04.2018

Uncategorized

At 9.55am yesterday, my A Tai took her final breath. And I was there to witness that.

A Tai lived her life illness-free and she could walk, cook and remember so many people. It was only until she fell 4 years ago that she required some help. A few months ago, due to some unforeseen circumstances in our family, we decided that it was best that she move over to live with us. There was a bit of fear and uncertainty especially because we will not only have A Tai, but also a domestic helper living with us, whom I have always dreaded. But guess what, the past two months living with A Tai was so beautiful. I’m just so blessed that God had this planned. Am I selfish to say that I’m so happy I got to spend her final days together with her? But there are her other relatives who have lived with her for most of their lives, and in the end, she took her last breath with me, whom only spent several weekends with her for the past 21 years.

There are so many beautiful moments created with her. I love how I would say hi to her when woke up, or returned home – if she was still up. And sometimes she will ask if I am Shi Pin (I’m actually Shi Ying idk why she always calls me Shi Pin), then she will ask lots of other questions. Most commonly asked question is where is mummy. Even at 1+am on some nights, her mind is so active. She would even ask us to keep the main doors open and all the lights on. We would then keep telling her that we can’t, it’s not safe! Many people came to visit her during her stay too. And she remembers us all. Often she would ask where this place is. I guess she misses home. We also let her try ice cream. I loved her reaction when she winces. She said “an leng” (too cold) but we still gave her more anyway ❤️ and we brought her for a tour around the house. I put my Elmo at the entrance of my room to welcome her. She stopped at my room on her way to mummy’s and she was just observing Elmo. I brought Elmo close to her and she asked who Elmo was and frankly, was disgusted. 😂💕 I made a stuffed toy for her back in 2013 for her after she just fell. She didn’t like it though 😂 I love you A Tai. And again, once she arrived at mummy’s room, she saw her reflection and this time she went out to reach for it, shocked. She even asked who that was and when we told her that was her, she was so sad and kept saying how old she was. She sat on mummy’s bed in disbelief. We let her watch some TV then she ended up sleeping with mummy that night ☺️ I’m sure mummy must miss that moment so much. We also brought her for a walk. She kept saying “Hello”. Very cute. The walk was a little tough because the floors were very bumpy and she wasn’t too comfortable with that.

I keep thinking about how she always made fagao for us every time we visited. So huge ones. It takes a lot of effort to make them. And I remember the times when we arrived and she would stand up and walk over to us. And when I hugged her frail body, she was always so sad to see us leave. She was really nice to us. She remembered all our birthdays and gave us red packets every year. I’m so glad I didn’t get tempted to leave for a Switzerland trip this CNY. I got to spend a last CNY with A Tai.

So on Tuesday, we brought her to the doctors. They gave lots of meds and said it was ok to give her sleeping pills. Wednesday night was the first time she took those pills. Prolly it was too much for her to handle. On Thursday morning, she had some bread, followed by antibiotics. Some liquids came out of her mouth. She was motionless. She was gasping for air for a bit. I called the ambulance. After a few minutes, she stopped breathing.

I have to say the medics are too slow and inefficient. He didn’t know what he was doing. He asked us to put a Tai on the floor. And he took so long just to get started. Aunty and I were actually shouting at him to hurry up. By that time a Tai already passed away. And I have to add that the ambulance took too long to come. Then another lady from the medics came. She even told us not to put a Tai on the floor. Alright SCDF, get your sh*t together. Can you guys communicate the correct process with one another?

So… I called mummy, aunt and finally JJ who took too long to pick her phone to tell them the news.

Medics got me to give statements. The police took over. I gave my statement too.

[this was when Aunty and I realised Ambrose was still sleeping…….. can’t believe it. Then I woke him up.]

The police was also quite unprofessional?! They actually left before the doctor came to certify her death together with a tai’s IC?! What the… so we called them and asked them to bring the IC back. That took nearly an hour. And the worst part has got to be the doctor. He took close to two hours to come and even kept whining on and on. Let’s not care about him. I already expressed my disgust to him. His behaviour was highly inappropriate.

In the meantime, a few family members came. Some behaved appropriately, some really didn’t. We then took out all her clothes and cut holes in her pockets. Hmm, never knew about this tradition. I proceeded to the police station to arrange for her death certificate. Well, the police was also quite inefficient yet again…. they took a long time to figure out what my relationship to a tai was. They put me as a Great Grandmother at first. Then they realised I’m actually her Great Granddaughter (ok thanks guys for taking 20 mins to realise that I’m not my great grandmother’s Great Grandmother). Then they realised their system didn’t have a Great Granddaughter option but they already listed me as a Great Grandmother?! Aiya basically they put me as “others” eventually. Grand Uncle 1 and I went to Tampines afterwards. Wow, everything was set up nicely at the wake already. They prepared her photo. I’m actually very surprised that they could do such a high res one with a Low res photo. A tai looks beautiful in the photo. So we basically bowed to her, walked round her casket, said our last words to her. Oh my, she was so beautiful. ❤️ she was pretty small though. We put her clothes around her. There was cotton placed around her followed by sandal wood and some circular burning essence thing. Felt so united at that moment. A very cosy and small family we have but it’s ok. Errr also realised a tai was also divorced?! I thought my Great Grandfather was just badass and died… lol so seriously we have 3 generations of divorcees. Good luck Adora.

The funeral procession will take place on Monday. So for these five days we will basically head to Tampines. Sometimes we will camp overnight. Thank you to my friends at the Film Society who are just so caring and understanding 💕 I am given time off to be with A Tai at this final stage with her. But I will also try to do some work if I can when I’m home.

This is the first time my family is experiencing a close family member’s death. Aren’t we just so blessed? Most people I know have already been to multiple funerals and it’s actually a blessing that all of us are not sure what to do at all because we’ve had no close family member leaving us before.

A Tai left us peacefully. It was truly time for her to leave to a better place. I love you A Tai. Hope to see you during my next life 🙂 what is life, really? For me, it took me a few years to realise I was actually “alive” and that people had feelings… 😝 okay, I better wake mummy up. It’s 9.19am and we gotta head off to Tampines soon. God bless A Tai and my family. 😌✨❤️

I’m planning on leaving

Uncategorized

For most of my time in Singapore, I’ve not truly been satisfied nor truly happy.

I find comfort in my travels, and I was my happiest last year during my long escape from Singapore. It is so easy to be unhappy in Singapore. Most people are rude – Singaporeans and foreign workers alike. I long for my return to England, not another 6 months but for good. There’s so much I like about Singapore – food, accessibility, family – but is it worth being unhappy to stick in my comfort zone?

I was much more polite and smiley overseas, but that seemed to only be the case because amid all the darkness in London are lovely individuals who were often kind to me.

And regarding setting up a family, maybe it’s because I don’t find it realistic to do so here. Why would I want a partner who is Singaporean-unhappy? Why would I want my child to suffer?

I am slowly feeling tired of this place. More recently, the government is imposing more laws to tighten our press freedom. Seriously, stop it. As a communication studies undergraduate, I cannot accept this. This is absurd. We are ranked (#151) closer to North Korea (#180) than Uganda (#112), Afghanistan (#120) or Ghana (#26) in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index.

I am considering places to move to after my graduation. I can work at film festivals, museums, etc. I’m also super open to taking up a master’s degree if it’s sponsored hehe. Recently, I have been applying to a number of overseas trips. While I do want to learn more skills from their programmes, it is also important for me to gain exposure to different countries to find out if any of these countries are actually suitable for me to move to.

Some places on my list now:

  1. United Kingdom (England, Scotland)
  2. Canada
  3. Australia
  4. New Zealand
  5. Denmark
  6. Sweden
  7. Finland

London is no.1 on my list haha but quite ex and I need to do more research first!!!
for nos. 5-7 they are extremely appealing but the tax ah… really too high already.

I do like Singapore for many aspects but unfortunately, I’ve been suppressed and stifled here for too long, and I’ve decided it’s truly time for me to leave.

A trip to the museum

Uncategorized

Hi! 🙂

Yesterday was a relaxing Sunday. I headed for Yoga in the morning at Lululemon. I was sooooo early (30/40 min!) but I was waiting at the wrong Lulu store so I ended up being late hahaha.

Decided to head to ArtScience Museum spontaneously. Took in the sights, felt like some cool person in my activewear and yoga mat slung across my body. I was there for Art from the Streets. I was very attracted by Banksy and graffiti. The curator Magda Danysz seems really impressive. She has her own international galleries so some of her works are actually in this exhibit.

IMG_0549

We started the exhibit with Seen and Blade. They started graffiti in their teens. I think one of them did graffiti on 5,000 New York subway trains like it really brought vibrance to the city. Wow… wait, it’s allowed? Ok they are truly liberal hahaha.

IMG_0516

Banksy’s. I remember heading to Damien Hirst’s exhibit in London @ Newport Street. Saw so many of Banksy’s works in a tunnel! My memories at Vault Festival are very vivid too. I entered a dilapidated tunnel, wondering if I was going to the right place. I was. It’s just one of the most unbelievable experiences ever. Seeing people making art, looking up to a masterpiece ~5 metres above me, throughout the tunnel. Wow. Such a great time to be alive, what a beautiful place to be. I wish I could surround myself with such greatness. Shall I? I have thoughts of leaving Singapore and being a nomad.

This piece was done onsite by Sheryo & Yok. This is actually inspiring to me. I watched a series of videos of them heading to different countries to paint. This reminds me of FACES PLACES, which I will be watching soon at Arts House. Basically hipster JR (which appeared on Timmy’s ig today mmmmmm) and FNW-pro Agnes Varda go around France and paint huge murals. Cool. Just look at them. They are the sweetest bunch ❤

Related image

I saw a couple of dancers there too 😀

IMG_0520

And here are a few others that I enjoyed.

 

So there was a mural area for us too. This is my message for the Instagram-whores. Triggered after watching Ingrid Goes West.

IMG_0546IMG_0543

xx
Till then!

My Great-grandma

Uncategorized

IMG_7942

I’m truly blessed to be 21 and have my great-grandma by my side. Honestly, I am very lucky as I have never lost a single loved one throughout my 21 years. Great-grandma is getting increasingly fragile each time I visit her. She still recognises us but she moans at how painful and purposeless it is for her to stay alive at a ripe old age. But I’m glad she’s able to live such a long life. ❤ She’s a nice great-grandma. Looking forward to seeing her after my Taiwan trip again. 🙂

A Tai singing:

*It’s damn emotional

IMG_7944