Pictorial History


Before I talk about other things in life (sorry other things have to make way first), TA DAH THESE ARE MY GRADUATION SHOOT PHOTOS!

WARNING: THIS IS AN EXTREMELY LONG POST.
REALLY DAMN LONG.
Come on, it's six years, what do you expect.
报章报导咩?



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This post will be a very graphic journey of my past few years, which I have to put a full stop to and move on. It's time to make ends meet, if not I may end up not having enough income to buy LiHo.

YES so I brought le bae Pearl to do photoshoot for me all over the island—it must have been really tiring for her to drag that heavy camera around in this extremely hot weather. 

Thanks bae, you’re the best.



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These places hold very special meaning to me in my formative years. Oh wait, am I allowed to use the word “formative” still? 这样老了 probably not right? Ok whatever, my point is these locations are important to me because I can never be who I am today without being there at some point in my life. I hope you get what I mean, because I think there is no other way I explain why I am so passionate about certain things in life/society than using these photos as examples.

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1. 圣母圣诞堂 Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

This 165-year-old church held special meaning to me because of this module in NUS regarding the Teochews of Singapore. It was amazing to know how passionate French priests in the 1850s managed to build a church that became the centre of the Hougang community for the next century.

It was pretty funny to imagine angmoh priests speaking Teochew and preaching to Chinese believers who still had the pigtail queue behind their heads in an attap hut they call a Church. More importantly, this project allowed to me to appreciate Catholic-education much better. The parish established at least 6 schools in the region, both English and Chinese schools. Catholic education really emphasised a lot on character-building, compared to conventional secular schools.

Quoted from my essay:

在1945年至1980年之间,位于后港的圣母圣诞堂通过教育和社区活动加强了后港区潮籍天主教徒地缘性的聚居特点。圣母圣诞堂属下的学校所提供的教育从某种程度上促进当地的教育水平,并带动新一波入教的风潮,使后港这个潮人为主的地方宗教性更强……教堂在这25年内,教友数量攀升,可归功于其在对后港区的教育和社区生活上扮演了举足轻重的角色。

This project really reinforced my conviction to continue pushing for heritage awareness in our little island-state. There has been a lot of emphasis on heritage in the city centre (like Chinatown, the Civic District, etc) but no one talks about our rural heritage. I guess it is not fair to assume that rural Singapore was tabula rasa simply because they have been cleared to give way to HDB estates or industrial estates.

History is not simply about “big history” like the World Wars or Merdeka; it’s also the stories of you and me. I am sure many people once lived in the rural areas—have we ever wondered what their lives were like? What were the difficulties they encountered when they have to leave? What were the sights and sounds significant to them at that time? 你我的回忆难道就随着推土机消失殆尽吗?

Kudos to the church, and definitely a big thank you for giving me that A for this essay. Teehee.

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2. 海星中学 Maris Stella High School

煌煌海星 圣母圣名
Yeah I am from Maris Stella, a Marist Brothers school. During my four years here I guess I was pretty rabak and gave the teachers a lot of problems? But then again if I didn’t give them problems none of them would have remembered me, so I think it is okay lah. After all I got study and went to a decent JC and university.

After taking that Teochew module (look at photo 1) I really appreciated the kind of education that raised me up as a Marist gentleman. The virtues I learnt that benefit me for life. I was never a good and pious Christian but at least I know what were the virtues that prevented me from going astray. As rabak as I can get on the surface, they are certain principles that we should adhere (religiously or as a Chinese) and I really believe that it was due to these virtues that helped me achieve what I have today.

勤勉忠勇 was a cool motto because it represented “manly” values. Don’t get me wrong, women also can be brave and loyal but what I meant was this motto was written in a way that makes a man aspire to become a good leader and gentleman. I am definitely still far from being perfect but this motto will always be a beacon for me.

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3. 水涵路 Tsuí-âm Lōo (read in Hokkien)

Alright. This is some random track that starts from Lorong Chuan and leads to Bishan MRT Depot. So what’s the big deal?

This project was the first major one after I chose to quit Architecture. Quitting Architecture course was really a leap of faith because I didn’t tell anyone before making the decision, not even the girlfriend at that time. During Orientation season in my second year, while I was busy clubbing with everyone at then Butterfactory I received an email from the Architecture department, telling us about our new project for the semester.

Eh bro. It’s two weeks before school ACTUALLY starts. Hello.

And that project wasn’t easy, it was asking to analyse some poem about water and make a pipe system that is within a parameter of 90cm x 90cm x 90cm. I don’t know why but projects like this really didn’t interest me at all. I entered Architecture course thinking that one day I could be engaging in heritage and architecture conservation but I guess I didn’t do my research properly. The lifestyle as an Architecture student wasn’t one that I enjoy at all, especially since I stay in Hall and hence has Hall commitments as well. My theory was also a lot better than construction of models itself and so as time goes by, looking at my shit grades, I had to make the decision to leave in my sophomore year.


Okay so back to this Tsuí-âm Lōo project. This module called Everyday Life of Chinese Singaporeans: Past and Present really required us to conduct interviews on people regarding the Chineseness of their lifestyle and the sites relevant to this lifestyle. I was fortunate enough to be able to contact Mr Lam Chun See, author of the book Good Morning Yesterday: Growing up in Singapore in the 1950s and 1960s. He really gave me a lot of guidance on this and I am eternally grateful; 林先生可以算是我在这一方面的启蒙老师。

And so this project forced us to make a video about the site relevant to the lifestyle we gathered:


My voice...... I hear already damn cringe hahahaha sorry got the TV narrator voice annot?

Of course it takes determination to do a project like this. I still remember driving to the project site Chuan Lane at 7.30am one morning and I was staring at the forest. Damn wet and scary.

"Should I go in? What if inside got dead bodies, I can't answer for myself?!"
“敢敢进啦,如果没有进去,then 没有拿 A,你会后悔的。如果进去了,还没有拿 A,毕竟深爱过尝试过嘛……”

So I went in. And yes bingo I found so many relics.
Thanks for another A, but more importantly, a more confident Yangs as he take on bigger challenges in the heritage/cultural scene in the years to come.

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4. Pusat Bahasa Kementerian Pendidikan

In case you didn't know yes your father me took Malay for O Levels. Hence I know a bit more about Malay culture and language compared to the usual ignorant Chinese kids.

AND YES THE NAME SYAMSUL CAME FROM HERE.


Cute annot? 2008.
Wow it's been ten years.

Legit. I think it was the most correct thing I have done in my life. I still remember my Malay classes at this MOE Language Centre in Bishan (back then there was only one centre) and life sucks then because class is from 4.30pm to 6.30pm. The Circle Line wasn't created yet so I always reach home at almost 8pm.

But I won't be hungry at all, because the snacks at the canteen stall was super easy to steal take. The atas Meiji ice-cream bars was...... readily available...... for free. Hmmm.

Okay nonsense aside, during these Malay classes I learnt not only the language itself, but more importantly virtues and folk wisdom, especially through proverbs known as peribahasa. They were very similar to Chinese idioms as both represent abstract ideas which carries a meaning. My favorite has always been:

Hutang emas boleh dibayar,
hutang budi dibawa mati.
金钱债可偿还,人情债一辈子。
(anyhow translate one, can understand lah hor)

This peribahasa holds deep meaning to me because I firmly believed in unity and social justice. Perhaps it's really Asian to always emphasise the importance of 义气 because I think this is something really lacking in the West. When society puts more emphasis on material life then I guess that's when ethics and courtesy becomes less valued.

这十几年来吾人受恩无数,要不是这么多人从旁给予协助,相信今日吾人的生活状态应该很难想象吧。新加坡的确是个机遇处处的都市,虽然说机遇是靠自己把握的,但是若是没有贵人,这些所谓的机遇说不定你都 access 不到。所以懂得知恩图报,才是对这个社会、这个国家最好的祝福。

I am someone who work based on human relationships so therefore I am willing to go out for people who has emotional value to me. Not financial value or what. Which is another reason perhaps I behave very differently from the typical insurance agents you see outside the MRT station or keep pestering you on the phone.

According to a Eusoffian friend I had afternoon tea with last week, her conclusion was:
Yangs is not the kind that keeps talking about it [insurance]. He is very organic about it.

Pushy for what. Also not like I am gonna quit in the next 3 years.
I'm staying for good, because I value the idea of 义.
So those who wanna poach me, don't bother trying.
Sebab hutang budi dibawa mati.


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5. 新传媒 MediaCorp

Talking about Singapore being a city of possibilities, I have to say that as NUS students we are really fortunate to be able to access a lot of facilities and be exposed to a lot more things. Of course fundamentally as a student you need to prepared to go out and actively seek for such opportunities. Always remember, OPPORTUNITIES DON'T COME TO YOU.
自己要的东西,自己要去争取。

I took this module called Chinese Media in Singapore during my second year in the Faculty of Arts and Social Science. It was a wonderful module because every lecture was a guest lecture, where the invited speaker came from the media industry, like UFM1003, MediaCorp Channel 8 News, Lianhe Wanbao, etc.

Well of course I did slightly worse than I expected (I expected A- but got a B+) because I have a shitty pairwork groupmate, which from then I learnt to NEVER TRUST ANYONE IN PROJECTS, because 自己要的东西,自己要去争取 hahahaha.

Okay I digressed. So one day during lecture the Channel 8 News team came and after I lecture I shamelessly asked if there were internship opportunities available there. The reply from the editor there was "Well we don't have, but since you are interested just come and we will take you as an intern lah".

The experience was fruitful. During the three month stint, I tried transcripting (pretty boring if you think about it, it's just typing out whatever people said), interviewing (really scary experience which I will share later), translating, etc. Whatever it is I think this internship gave me a pretty good understanding of what the editorial team for Mandarin news does.

Okay one day I was tasked to visit this particular commercial building because there has been rumours spreading for years that it will be torn down and redeveloped. So as a reporter we should go and talk to the merchants to find out how they feel.

Since the public is pretty familiar with the usual reporters on Channel 8, they decided to send me there first to 打头阵 because the owner of the commercial building (ehem cannot say) actually emailed in to say 不许采访 and got security guards on standby to make sure there were no cameramen and reporters in the building.

So there is this university kid wearing his Uniqlo turtleneck shirt and jeans walking aimlessly around the building. Inside every shop I would ask softly to the boss to ask for permission for interview. So at the fourth floor finally someone agreed.

“喂,XXX (reporter's name),找到了,马上赶来四楼。叫cameraman不要来,我们录音就好。”
“哇,小杨 (that's what they call me) 这样快!好马上来。”

So we recorded whatever we need to, the shop owner happened to be also a Yang, okay not relevant.
Just like any news on TV, you need video clips while the reporter does his narration. So we stood at the overhead bridge leading to the commercial building and did our camera shots.

Never go into the mall what, the security guard can only stand at the door and look at us.
News went live at 6.45pm that day.


MISSION SUCCESS.
Tadah my contribution to the news department! 

Okay actually there is another story but this one far more sensitive so I guess not lah. Not nice to share. Maybe when you see me face-to-face I would tell you. Hur.

So it sounds very fun and exciting indeed. Why I never join?

1. Starting pay like a bit low ah. Which wasn't really the concern but #justsaying. Pay should not be the primary concern if you have passion, which I did lah, but the next point really no go.

2. IRREGULAR WORKING HOURS. The internship was during summer vacation, so I had orientation and stuff going on. The issue arose when I need to plan for OG outing--I can't plan at all because I don't really know when I need to come to work. Okay lah the working hours quite short if you have a scheduled news (versus breaking news), you just need to book appointment with whoever you need to interview, spend a while working on the video, then you are done. So you could visit the appointment guy at 2.30pm, 3pm zao, 3.30pm reach office, 4pm record your voice, 5pm put subtitle, 5.30pm send to boss to vet, 6.30pm appear on news, 7pm 回家 and sleep! Sounds good right.

The PROBLEM is, you only get this two days before "show time". In other words, you don't really know when you are free until two days in advance? It's something the liberty-seeking me cannot agree to lah.

[Okay maybe the system wasn't really like that, but was what I was told and internalised.]

Then again, like I said, it was a fruitful experience. Certainly adds value to my resume and from then on every time I watch news, I appreciate all the hard work put in, just for that 1.30min clip.

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6. 咖啡山 Bukit Brown

OK it's the seventh month. And people always give me the WTF look when I told them I took pictures here. STOP JUDGING AND ALWAYS LISTEN TO EXPLANATIONS FIRST CAN.

Bukit Brown was one of the "revelation moments" I had during my army days, that I realised my passion gears towards unraveling little known local heritage. This hill was named after an angmoh with the surname Brown, and the Chinese just took Brown as 咖啡 (the colour of coffee, i.e. brown). The tombs here have been around since the Qing dynasty!

Every tombstone has story to share--religion, number of wives, Peranakan or sinkeh, socio-economic status, death time, political ideology, ancestry, etc. YES REALLY. ALL OF THESE SHIT ON ONE SINGLE STONE TABLET. How cool is that!

I visited Bukit Brown in my second year of army, just when the state announced its intentions to build roads here. I was quite amazed by what I saw because firstly it was something new to me and more importantly I realised that all these tombstones represented a Singapore story--a story which belonged to each individual and family, not as a state-directed narrative of "sleeping village to modernity".

Hence today. Global Studies. Religion and Ethnicity. Southeast Asia (esp 新马).
Now you know how significant this ulu place is to me?

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7. National Junior College

Wah this rabak school no go sia. 华文校名居然还是歪的,好像歪了很多年。华文不重要?

Okay lah I spent two rabak years (2008-2009) in this place. Quite boring to be honest, because I think at least 80% of the people here just study and do nothing else in life. I recently attended my NJC classmate's wedding and guess what, I am the ONLY NJC student there. Because rabak people generally has little friends there.

Last time we had a rumour going around, saying that your notes should not be left unattended.
BECAUSE PEOPLE WILL STEAL YOUR NOTES, NOT YOUR WALLET.

是真是假不重要,重点是大家都很 mug 林北真的吃不消。
Maybe that's why my A Level like shit lah. Hahaha.

Oh yes the boarding school damn rabak. Because people keep stealing my food in the fridge so I decided to reciprocate. Very bad lah hor but oh well.

And yeah I wasn't a very obedient student lah, I remember one day I go lecture in some house T-shirt (which wasn't allowed, you need to be in uniform or polo tee):

"Yang Sheng why are you not in uniform huhhhhhhh," said the lecturer in his whiny voice over the microphone, LT5.

Walking down the stairs into the LT, I replied “哦你不喜欢啊,OK 好我走” so I was about to turn around and leave the LT.

"Okay never mind never mind just come sit down 听课 huhhhhhhhh." Lecturer gave in. 

In retrospect, WTF was I even doing. Wait a minute, actually that's something I will do, even today. I just like to challenge authority in my own ways?



Actually didn't want to come here take photo one, it just happened that from Bukit Brown to NUS 有顺路经过这里 so might as well. Sorz.

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8. #NUSLife

#NUSLife 是什么鬼东西?不知道。
But my NUS experience was a rabak one. Super rabak, full of ups and downs.
I'm glad I am out of the system, but I am equally grateful for all the things I have experienced in NUS.

很显然没什么好说的,点到为止吧。

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9. 国大中文图书馆

This is the most important place in NUS if you want to score well in Singapore-related modules or want to learn about non-state directed narratives. Inside this place you can find entertainment magazines that predates 《i-周刊》, ancient school yearbooks (like 1959 Maris Stella High Yearbook), CC souvenir magazines, Malaysian UEC 10-Year-Series, 《好公民》 textbooks, and a lot more. It is really an archive about old Singapore when we had a FAR MORE vibrant civil society which was truly multicultural, organically. 

I learnt that being inclusive, is about being able to include everybody in their own ways.

It should never be forcing people to go through the same system, in the name of being inclusive.
Singaporean culture is like a fabric, made up of its component cultures.
If your notion of being "inclusive" is about placing one culture (or the language it is represented) over others, I don't see how Singaporean that can be. That is chauvinism.

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10. Faculty of Arts and Social Science

Well it is mandatory to take pictures here mah. I FASS graduate leh.
BUT REALLY THIS PLACE OFFERS SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES I CANNOT EMPHASISE FURTHER.

Be it internships, seminars, exchange trips, etc...... There is really room for everyone to improve.
And yes I will miss all the arguments I had with tutorial groupmates and my lecturers, in the name of academic freedom.

Truly an eye-opener because I used to be that myopic, civilly obedient person.
Now at least I know that we need to challenge our mindsets and keep asking why.
I was made to constantly think of new solutions to social issues.
Hence I am a financial consultant. (insert 广告)

So please stop complaining and seize your day.
Carpe Diem. 咖啡店. Whatever.

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11. Eusoff Hall


AMAZING SIX WONDERFUL YEARS OF SELF-DISCOVERY.

This is really a place where I nurtured and grew. Never in my life I would have expected myself to become the President of this place, moreover on its 60th anniversary.

真的非常非常珍惜在这个地方所有的一切。当然说实在的,这个地方也剥夺了我许多向外发展的机会和自由,但是向往群体生活的自己对此还是表示感激,正因为自己被锁在这个群体内,所以才能在体制内不断地自我提升。

面对今日勇于发声的自己,还是得这里所有的人事物由衷的表示感谢。

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12. Office of Student Affairs

Wah this place super rabak. 
Okay "rabak" is over-used in this blogpost but really SUPER RABAK.

Well first of all I guess I have to explain why this place is so important such that I need to take a photo here.

Two years ago there was this super huge saga where a certain tabloid (这种耸人听闻的懒叫八卦街边小报不值一提) reported lewd activities happening in our university. Well I don't think we can argue that they didn't happen, but the way the events were described were just crude. By using words like "incest" just shows an extremely weak understanding of the Chinese language. 哥 (or abang, simiarly in Bahasa Melayu) may not simply refer to an elder brother, it is a more intimate (I mean 亲切, pardon my poor choice of English) way of calling a man that you are close to.

Okay whatever, not important. So a bunch of us went through a Board of Inquiry and this super mega 互相告发 session where they got all the senior participants to gather in this lecture theatre and kena interview one-on-one by NUS staff.

The interview was done like a questionnaire so yeah it took us almost 2 hours to complete. The interviewer himself was like... "actually ah our time one the ragging very bad you know, nowadays you gus do one is nothing lah haha..."

So anyway I also kena charge lah. Then kena convicted 20 hours of CIP lor.
The CIP quite chill lah, go there 腌肉 切菜 搅咖喱 quite fun.
But the supervisor there was a bit.... rude....?
He was like,"Oh you guys are the bunch of horny people from NUS ah... hahaha...."
Please lah, more professional a bit can.

Oh yes and one more point I suddenly remember. So while we get charged, we were shown the things that people 告发 us about. Confidential, of course, but the handwriting and the contexts they wrote--come on lah it is so obvious who please.

I only have one thing to say to this girl that wrote about how she "disliked" the cheers and how I still continued the cheer.
Hello, we did the same cheer together.
By pushing away your responsibility, I can only hope that you can have a better life, next life.
Good luck, because I think the world is fair.
人在做,天在看。

Okay so through this entire saga, I have some things to share.

1. 其实我们也是受害者
是啦,媒体把我们抹黑到这样子,但是社会可否想过为什么我们的迎新营会这样?
When we were freshmen, this was exactly the same kind of nonsense that we went through. Yeah surely you can easily talk about "standing up for the right thing" lah blah blah blah, but please lah this is Singapore, we are not exactly trained to stand up for our rights...?

When I was a freshman, we were made to play games that were already quite bad. Like playing Captains' Ball with a raw chicken. Like blindfolding both the boy and the girl and making the girl shampoo the guy's hair. Like licking cream off someone else's abs.

Not finding excuses here. But before you self-proclaimed-purists point your fingers at others, think about the context we were in. Surely we should say no to peer pressure, but allow me to think of an analogy:

As a parent, do you like to give angpaos?
Really?
You like giving angpaos to stupid friends of your children who bring two not-very-fresh mandarin oranges?
Two oranges for $8? You like? So many children some more?

Don't like right.
Then why you give?
Because you Chinese?
Because other people father mother give so you must give?

Peer pressure always exists. Don't blame peer pressure.
Next time want to blame peer pressure, think about why you give angpao first.
Don't like to give, then 敢敢不要给, don't give in to peer pressure lah.

2. 很多人保护我 + 林北是好人
The amount of backlash I received was quite low as compared to other people.
I felt really really bad after the whole incident. During the "mandatory" counselling session that the Social Work Department offered us (it was really nice to volunteer to counsel us, but I guess each of us faced different needs?), the Professor actually gave me a one-on-one interview about why I feel so guilty about not receiving the same amount of punishment as them.

真的很自责啦,尤其是那些因为我拉拢才愿意参加本次迎新营的同学,他们 kena 的比我多很多啦。虽然他们行为不检,不过要不是因为我的因素,他们根本就不会出现在迎新营里,之后所有的惩罚(包括罚款、停学、禁止出国参加交换计划等等)也就不存在。

I mean, some of my friends really don't deserve as much? For myself, I knew that I was just extremely lucky that a lot of people protected me in one way or another and the stars were just nice aligned that when the saga occurred, so many charges could not be directed at me.

Whatever, that wasn't the point. What I wanted to say is I really had to thank whoever (singular and plural) for all the assistance rendered.

And I also need to thank myself for not being an asshole to the extent that people hate me and wish me die. Oh well.

3. Learning to think different perspectives
Like I mentioned earlier, FASS education really forced us to be able to think in multiple perspectives. It would have been common for people to generate mistrust towards the Administration.

But hey think about it, if you were the administration, what would you have done?
And anyway it is very Singaporean to have "knee-jerk reactions" lah, like what we say in Chinese, 矫枉过正, you know?
Nothing happen all diam-diam, something happen straightaway 杀鸡儆猴, that's our spirit isn't it?

So learn to emphathise. All these people sitting in the Office also got families to feed right.
Whole day scold them for what.
If you guys want the orientation experience to be better, then join the damned committee and make it better (and safer). PROVE YOURSELVES.

The initial experience of being the Eusoff Hall President was awkward, as I face the exact people who charged me on a pretty regular basis during meetings. 真的,西北尴尬。
Like I didn't really know how to position myself, and I think some of them also couldn't take the fact that the Hall elected this "criminal" as President.

But as time go by, I learnt to understand other perspectives.

1. Many detested the increased intervention of the Office in our orientations. I beg to differ.
In the past most of camps were in a state of 自生自灭 so if you have difficulties there is nobody you could turn to. Nowadays you have Staff Advisors, you could seek help from both the Office and the Faculty, isn't it better for you?

2. Many detested the fact that the "classic" cheers need to be amended. I beg to differ too.
Take my camp cheers as example (of which some were written by myself), many of them were 90% in one non-English language, and some were just...... heh heh you know. So being inclusive means having cheers where at least most people would be able to understand.

BUT THAT SAID, THIS IS NOT AN EXCUSE TOWARDS ENGLISH CHAUVINISM. #justsaying.

3. Many seniors refused to return to support the camps. This is truly a bad move. As seniors who went through the saga it is only right that we learnt our lesson and impart the right values to the next generation. After all, WE KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THE ISSUE WAS AND WHERE IS THE LINE. These kids don't.

A few of us chose to return because we felt that the camps need to be supported the right way. Some of us faced ridiculous remarks constantly:

“仙小妹妹是吗?”
“WTF酱老了还要做?”
“不要去那边 lupsup 咧……”
"Eh move on lah, now everything not fun already!"

I mean, whatever you say lah, 我们反正问心无愧,该做的也都做了,一切留给后代定断吧。
一味抵触和冲撞是没有正面意义的,我们应该做的是求同存异,将彼此优势最大化才对。

Before I end of this part of my blog post, thank you NUS and OSA for giving me the opportunity to learn much more about different expectations and how we should handle them positively.

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13. ENVY: 希望你以后不会后悔没选择我

Wah this place rabak. Have been there since 2017 November.
Memorable? 说不太上,不过这里的人龙蛇混杂,倒是不同的一番人生体验。
Have been going profusely till March, and I guess exams and essays swamped me in.

Now that it is closed..... Hmmmm.

Okay let me share some story.
So the first time I went to somewhere like this was 2008 (GUESS MY AGE!).
以前没有这样严的啦,看起来够老就可以了……
So I went to this lupsup Thai disco in the middle of the night with three people that I met online on this chatroom called mIRC: @bubblejoy, @queen and someone else I can't remember.

This is the old Marine Cove.
Second floor (above McDonald's), named Resort Live Band, is the DISCO. TEEHEE.
So we walked up the stairs... You see the white car on top, that's where the stairs are.
Got this dirty old sofa with a Thai man and a Thai woman groping each other.
Back then I thought gross lah, now like biasa~~~~ haha. So we went in.
Then I learnt 5-10 猜拳 and what a tower was. I learnt how to 吊花 and the 花 was very cheap, like $10 only. Nowadays minimum $50 wor...

And then there was this crazy dude who was drunk and took a jug of beer with a straw and forced the Thai emcee to drink it all before the music ends.

AND GUESS WHAT. THE EMCEE DID IT.
钱,真他妈的难赚。

So I went home at 3am, @bubblejoy lent me $10 (which I still haven't return) (and back then $10 enough to take cab home at night) and then I went home, smelling like cigarettes and all, took shower, and back to school. TADAH.

That was the humble beginnings of limpeh in the Singaporean nightscene.
Nothing like your NDP influencer video. #justsaying.


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14: 天福宫 Thian Hock Keng


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15. 粤海清庙 Yueh Hai Ching Temple


Chinese temples are very important to me because they played apart in my decision making towards quitting Architecture and moving in the cultural sphere.

Well as you may know, temples have an important role to play in Chinese culture, regardless of your actual religion. The desire to understand Chinese folk culture and religion became a major motivation in my selection of modules and essay topics.

That is also the reason why I chose to pick up dialects and watch getai. As a former Chinaman I think I speak better Hokkien than many Singaporeans, especially those in the universities.

Embrace your heritage, don't lose it.
If not you are like grass without roots.
Bahasa jiwa bangsa, you know? 
#akumelayu?

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16. 大东方大厦 Great Eastern Centre

This one?
My work place wor.
You don't know yet meh?

I have been here for about two years already, now finally on a full-time basis.
I work as a financial advisor.

Two things I need you to know:
1. For work/business related stuff, I will only call you using office phone.
Handphone is solely for private calls, like 喝酒、打麻将、吃饭、ENVY 之类的事情 OK?

2. Please don't doubt my character.
Because I get very offended when people do so.
Well my principles may differ from you but at least I try to be consistent about it.
If I say something I mean something.

So there was this girl that I haven't met for about two years. So I texted her and I asked how she was and stuff. Then she replied if I was trying to sell her insurance. And obviously I said no because if I did, I would have used the office phone. But she didn't believe lah.

I felt a little offended because I felt my integrity being questioned and so I really decided to not meet her for lunch anymore. But okay lah I felt bad lah 毕竟深爱过朋友一场 don't be so petty lah. And she took it as if because I go chance to sell her insurance so I didn't want to eat lunch with her anymore.

So we met for lunch but I honestly didn't really have the mood so I just ate damn little.

Okay now you know how principles are important to me?
I can be as rabak as whatever shit but ethics is important.
If you doubt my principles, then don't be my friend. Don't even bother being a client.

Okay enough angst.
I'm always thinking in your best interest.

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17. 国家图书馆 National Library, in particular, Ninth Storey

Wow the National Library in Bugis is really really important, especially the ninth storey where they store all the Chinese, Malay and Tamil books. For my projects and essays I would usually go there early in the morning and comb the shelves for all the books that I need. And then I would carry this mega high stack of books and go to the table to digest everything. 

If I am using Chinese books, to be honest I quite fast lah, usually by 2pm I can finish the whole stack and input all the relevant materials into the laptop already. If Malay...... Sorry but I really need time to digest so I will probably scan through briefly and photocopy all the pages that I need. Yes it is tedious work but that is how you get your A.

So what are the treasures you can find there?
HONESTLY EVERYTHING.
Some of the things relevant to me includes:

Advertisements can be symbols of modernity and progress.
Modernity should not be conflated with colonialism even though it is an eventual product of it.

This advertisement on agricultural fertilisers can generate three observations:
1. There were Chinese farmers in Malaya.
2. Look at the places which they delivered the fertilisers to and compare with today. No borders.
3. Observe the illustrations. Tropical fruits and the use of Malay in the company logo.

There you have, three potential topics to talk about.

Government posters and pamphlets were important too and many of them came in non-English languages,
so it is important to dig them out too in the National Library.

For one of my projects I had to compare the effects of the globalisation in two editions of Malay language textbooks
so I went to do my research using MOE syllabus.
It was all in Malay, super rabak for me, but I got an A.
#swee
I really love reading books since young. No joke, legit.
But mostly Chinese books lah, even Bible I also read Chinese one.
Because the language used in Asian languages (my judgment lah) seems to carry more emotions.

Oh well. Next time if I have kids I will force him/her to read a lot of books.
Chinese books.
Yeah English is banned in my household. Hahaha.
He can go school speak English what. 回家当然讲华语啦。
不然以后他回家 swag 啦 dab 啦 ship 啦 lit 啦林北全部听不懂?

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18. Robertson Bridge

Okay final location! This is one of the two bridges were we used to drink at before entering Zouk. The old Zouk, that is, at Jiak Kim Street.

Did you know that the old Zouk location was a conserved building because the entire Robertson Quay used to be godowns for the merchants downstream? That means the place we shake our head and puke and grind people is built about 100 years ago!

Okay anyway this place is where almost every camp finale night would be at last time. And I came here at least 50 times since I entered army. I made a lot of friends through the events organised here, and honestly this place brought many of us closer.

Back then there would be banglas who will spray water (to wash the floors, though I think it's an excuse) and we will have to run away and drink somewhere else. OH YES those were the days before the 10.30pm rule (#狗政府) and one more thing, the hot dog outside Zouk very nice. Legit. It's the angmoh kind which you can put your own toppings.

The Clarke Quay one, is just, different. Feels 就是不一样.

我们不一样!

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And long live the Republic of Singapore.
You have been kind, and will always be kind. 






Oh yes before I end off,
Here's a poem to all of you that appeared in my life during the past years:


《月下独酌》
DRINKING ALONE WITH THE MOON


by 李白 (erm he died because of alcohol)
(English translation found online)

花间一壶酒,独酌无相亲;
From a wine pot amidst the flowers,
I drink alone without partners.
举杯邀明月,对影成三人。
To invite the moon I raise my cup.
We're three, as my shadow shows up.
月既不解饮,影徒随我身;
Alas, the moon doesn't drink.
My shadow follows but doesn't think. 
暂伴月将影,行乐须及春。
 Still for now I have these friends,
To cheer me up until the spring ends.
我歌月徘徊,我舞影零乱;
I sing; the moon wanders.
I dance; the shadow scatters.
醒时同交欢,醉后各分散。
Awake, together we have fun.
Drunk, separately we're gone.
永结无情游,相期邈云汉。
Let's be boon companions forever.
Pledging, in heaven, we'll be together.  



Oh yes, the camp posts are not out yet.
But I busy making money lah, wait a while can.

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