Friday, October 24, 2014

Singapore- we constraint our choices.

One of the contradiction in my life is that I do love Singapore, and the safe, comfortable environment it has provided me, BUT yet, I cannot wait to get out of Singapore, because of its sheer limitations.

As a city, Singapore is wonderful, everything works like clockwork, efficiently and safe.

But as a country, I crave for the mountains, the valleys, the large open space, the numerous points to visit, to work, to breathe.
I am not a hardcore outdoor person, in fact, I love lazing around in my home all weekends. But the lack of a countryside.... it bums me.

And one hope I have, is that I can migrate and let my kids grow up in a large country. Something that I had made up my mind when I was in Secondary school.
You see, as a secondary three student, I love Geography. It helps that I can score well in exams (another characteristic of Singaporeans, we deprive pleasure from scoring well in academic results), but there is sooo much more in geography.

I mean, look at these clouds, aren't they the most beautiful things?


The clouds formations....


the rocks, the volcano...


And then on some points, while I gear up for O'levels Geography, I realised the uncomfortable truth. There is no career for anyone in geography, in Singapore. The only way a degree in Geography that can pay itself is via teaching careers, maybe in secondary school, or a position in university (even so, only 1 Singapore university- NUS, has a geography department). And even so, the university position is on HUMAN geography, on how space can become a place, with humans' ideals and interactions.

Physical geography does not pay in Singapore because we do not have physical space.

Even if I excel in Geography in O levels and A levels (which I did), there is simply no proper physical geography course in NUS. While I was doing my economics degree (very practical, very singaporean, sue me) I took a few modules in Geography, and there were all human geography. No surprise here, where were we going to observe the rocks or clouds?

And the 16yo Sec 4 me, thinks.. what if I want to do oceanology? What if I like to study marine life? (I kid you not, when I was aged 16, I explored other careers, I knew I did not want to live in an office for 2/3 of my life. Of course when I graduated from university, I was brainwashed and lured to the financial industry. Sue me)

And what if I want to do theoretical physics? I was studying chemistry and physics at that time, and I realise research work (which is probably boring to the max) can be something I love to explore... extremely academic works, that probably has no practical value...
I forgot who was the Education Minister at that time, or where did I get the vibes, but I realised, at the tiny age of 16yo, that all these interesting, mind boggling careers would never get fulfilled in Singapore.

And I told myself, I want my children to grow up someplace where no matter what they want to purse, no matter what their talents are, they have an university, a workshop, or somewhere that they can learn and excel.


Just saying.

What if I want to be an astronaut? Or something related to space, I don't have to go to space, I can study it, like astronomy. I can peer at the stars, do my research and live happily.

Only I can't because my country only churns out bankers and engineers.

And this is why, at my age, before I churn out my kids, I am considering abandoning my whole life here for a much more difficult, a much more tough life in some other large countries.
Would I be more tired? yes.
would i be poorer? yes.
would i be more confused? yes.

would i be happier? I have no idea.



Singapore, you are terrific, but you are just too small.

2 comments:

Mark Wong said...

chill bro, luckily we have the internet. Escape there.

Cherub said...

internet can't beat "live".
though maybe with ULTRA-HD... one day, Virtual reality will be as real as "live".

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