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.


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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