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Monday, November 26, 2007
zhiway tells you a story at
Have been allowing many of my thoughts to wander much this holiday; swivelling myself into the world of what ifs and whatnots, dreaming passionately about a predetermined time span, the later play of a puppet show perhaps, or to round it up- the future. Premonitory! Some may exclaim to a being like my kind, constantly grounded in expectancy, rooted in audaciousness. Maybe there’s really hardly anything to dream about for this doomed anthropoid (doomed enough to render myself a non-being), left shattered in abject folly. Ha, but she perseveres (AUDACIOUS INDEED) through the musty, impervious (seemingly) membrane in a humble (irony! But I promise sincerity) ploy for her little share of ebullience- assuming she is deserving of it.
If you’d spare her for her felony, then you are born of pure sympathetic blood. Indeed.
Something is happening to the world now, this very minute, this exact moment. Nations worldwide are merging, borders are gradually fading. Competition is intensifying, uncertainty pervading.
WELL, the earth is shrinking, it’s shrinking! The periphery surrounding United States and Singapore has shrunk from half a year to one day, and the same goes for any other two random nations you pick on this planet. The real diameter of earth is not 7926.41 miles but 30 hours. After all, the true meaning in distance itself is it’s representation of the time span taken to overcome that distance, (like how distance is proportionate to time taken to travel through it). When the time needed to counter the distance decreases, then distance automatically does (who cares about its numerical value), does it not? For instance, to the wealthy with chaperones at their beck and call, Orchard Road is very near because it takes only 10 minutes by car. However to the peasant who coincidentally lives in the same area as the wealthy, Orchard road is not so near because he does not have enough money to take a bus, and takes 40 minutes to walk there. Who here then, bothers that Orchard Road is XXX kilometres away?
Also, the world too, though getting smaller, is getting increasingly convoluted. Perhaps it is the compactness in its size that leaves less room for the quagmire of decrepit and waste to be shunned off (where to, I do not know for sure. Mars maybe?). What can happen now? The waste is then stuck permanently in the very core of the planet gravity has sucked us on, serially annulling it, as it mixes with the beauty and purity God once created it with.
GLOBALISATION, have you not guessed what I was trying to get at. So, which shall it be; friend of foe?
No, I am not discussing this term here just because it has become the zeitgeist of our century, nor because it is the dominating word on every newsstand or bookshelf (statistics have shown that the number of books and articles with the word ‘global’ on it have increased from 13 between 1980 and 1984, to 600 in 1996, and still increasing). It is because I am genuinely concerned about this matter, more for its cons than pros, and perhaps caught in the deception that expressing my concern can alleviate the disappointment I feel with myself from worrying, yet not being able to do anything about it.
Pick up an object from say, IKEA and read its label. It says ‘Made in Philippines’. In he past, there would have been no doubt this claim. The global division of labour was so clearly classified back then into namely, the production of manufactured goods from industrialized countries and the provision of raw materials from non-industrialised countries. However at present, this simple flow has been meticulously thwarted. With the geographical relocation of industries and fragmentation of production processes, this flow has morphed into a highly complex kaleidoscopic structure. From here, we can infer that rapid developments in transport, communications that have taken place in the production process. This may seem highly beneficial on the surface, but wait a minute, technology comes with a price.
The labyrinth of trade routes have grown increasingly susceptible to manipulation. Crafty smugglers have remained prevalent, often snitching on the escalating tax rates imposed by each country, camouflaging drugs or the like alongside imports/exports. The complicated production process has created many a loophole, only to be filled in by even vicious intentions. Aside the smugglers, comes the bad guys (so many types of bad guys that a generalisation will be most appropriate). The bad guys that placed mercury in canned products poisoning thousands of innocents, that added diethylene glycol in our toothpastes (a deadly chemical that kills, google this for more details), rodent poisons in cat or dog food that took the lives of those adorable endearings. What can be worse than death? These dangers have crusaded to an ultimatum. What matters now is the magnitude of these dangers, which I definitely cannot guarantee for the future.
Then comes the global financial system, imperative or even mutually exclusive with the global division of labour. 24 hour transactions (imagine a million machines rigorously recording and displaying figures, another million beings stampeded on by accounts right this moment as I am busy inserting more letters onto my notebook whilst enjoying the night breeze and feasting on B&J’s Dublin mudslide HEAVENLY STUFF ) taking place in global transaction centres have been labelled as sources vulnerable to contagion; attested to by the financial crises of the East Asia and emerging market economies in the late 1990s, and perhaps greedy embezzlers; profit-minded nature of us humans. Look, we can’t even trust America now for accurate calculations of things like GDP, forget about the other minor transactions.
And this is only the start. Do not forget; the problems of industrialized countries pale into insignificance compared with those of the poorest countries, or otherwise known as Third World countries.
No, I am not ranting on poverty just to proclaim the devotion of my pledge as a member of ONEsingapore (http://www.onesingapore.org/). I’d like to remind myself, and the sympathetic soul out there who is reading this(refer to beginning of post), that we are one force. We are all human beings, and as much as we may disdain, we have to learn to co-exist with one another. Friedman has duly impressed me with his philosophy on neighbourhood effects (aka externalities for econs students) and it is pretty enthralling and even intimidating thinking of it. For instance, the level of your education affects another (I bet you didn’t think so) because by exalting yourself to a higher level of knowledge, you are inevitably contributing to society’s well being as a whole. And your contribution to society affects me, because it is a contribution to the surroundings confronting me. The more well educated society is, the better the environment for me to survive in. Get the gist? The list goes on; better educated society, more creative inventions which precedes better life for mankind, blahblah.. There is this intricate inexplicable connection linking every human being and his actions which so many of us are oblivious to.
So the point is, we ARE one force. While the ownership of Lamborghinis and Rolls Royces ascends over here, things aren’t looking nearly as good over there. Kofi Annan says Almost half the world's population lives on less than two dollars a day, yet even this statistic fails to capture the humiliation, powerlessness and brutal hardship that is the daily lot of the world's poor. Believe it, a child dies from extreme poverty every 3 seconds. THREE SECONDS that means hundreds of children have perished since I started typing this nonsensical piece. If this rich-poor disparity goes on, trust me, Mother Earth will really fall into shambles. And I don’t really like that idea.
Men are wretched, I once told a friend. We are astonishingly imperfect; our hunger for affluence is never satiated, yet we do not realise the thirst in us that has parched our oesophaguses. The thirst for righteousness. Where has humanity gone?
I just realised I digressed a horrible lot, maybe that’s why my GP essay grades are so abysmal. But back to the main point..
I just dream that in the hustle and bustle of this shrinking planet, I’d be able to marry an ugly, hot, romantic poet (does one even exist?) and we’d migrate to a place filled with butterfliesrainbowschocolatefountains. We will sigh at this shackled world whilst writing poems or the like, reading, playing the violin and drinking hunny. Oh, and eating B&Js.
Ok, back to reality I better stop dreaming. Goodnight.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Passing narrow walkways, whose atmosphere was filled with the aroma of 'dou-sa-bing' and humidity contributed by the sizzling hot taiwanese sausages barbecued in power charged receptacles, I finally arrived.
zhiway tells you a story at
The Place of the Old
Be it the rejuvenating derivation of the modern day dame, the metrosexual business man, the pubescent, curious little one that altogether coalesces into a tapestry of vibrancy, vigor and vitality; the intimate, unwritten nostalgia, though faded through time, still stirs. It is mild, sweet, and mellow; it lovingly cuddles your mood. The tranquility it exudes seemed to act as a firmly built domicile of the generations that have lived in its very territory; their tears, their suffering, their fate.
This street was not merely Pagoda Street. It was the home of the opium-smoking coolies, the lavish tailor, the thrifty Samsui Woman, the devoted Hawker; the common ground in which its residents drew fresh water from the wells by Bullock Carts. It was indeed, The Sir Stamford Raffles Plan.
The shop houses, with its protuberant windows interspersed with minute spaces, once dominated by the Parakeet fortune teller, Clog Makers, Letter Writers and even the Street Barbers; have been replaced by the Changing Times. I plod on, reveling in the epiphany, imagining myself walking on a five-foot way, subconsciously eavesdropping on the gossiping housewives and listening to the hearty cries of playing children.
Upon following the bend that leads to Eu Tong Sen Street, the scene immediately transforms. It is no longer surrounded by warmth and surreality, but violence, unrest and turmoil. Grenades flit across, descending to the ground with fulminated dissonances. A pandemonium takes place-men in dirty green canvas suits, while riding on tankers, fire incessant shots with their ammunitions, sending civilians running helter skelter in an attempt to escape their tragic fate. A lady in a sarong carries a crying baby close to her chest and scurries away barefooted. However she has reached an impasse; shelter was nowhere to be seen. The bullet hits the back of her neck as she falls to the ground- her hands still firmly embracing her child. A half-naked drunk coolie walks out to the street with a can of beer in his hand, yodelling to the tune of the China National Anthem. The tank gives no mercy; it accelerates through him. The can of beer flies from his grasp, blood oozes from his forehead; he lay motionless on the ground with a smile, as if still drunk in death.
In the midst of the convulsion, the Japanese Flag stands strong. It brazenly oscillates; confidently, proudly, mercilessly.
For a moment, the dark history seemed to come alive once again, instilling profound retrospect of a place that spelled the fate of so many.
On Temple Street, the soundtrack of a Beijing Opera blasts from a roadside hawker. It paints the picture of a stage, with a panelled platform and roof supported by wooden sticks, draped by colourful fabric whose seams are long enough to touch the ground. A huge crowd gathers, watching the performance attentively. The Chinese, though constrained by their poor living conditions, still strived to maintain the culture left behind by their predecessors, and the wayang was one of them.
I leave with content and satisfaction, taking with me a piece of the past.
Niu Che Shui- or Chinatown, as commonly known today, is not just a labyrinthine of concrete floors, nor an epitome of mere traditions and cultures. It holds a priceless position, one that can be never taken away; one that will never vanish with time.
Because it is, and will always be, an indispensable part of The Singapore History.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
zhiway tells you a story at
for the past 7200 minutes, i have been incessantly languishing in matyrdom, terribly lacerated by the harrowing, oppressing struggle i have been so vexatiously confronted with. upon it's consummation, what prevails can only be, if i am blessed- utter despondence. it was there, is going to be there, and will always be there. exams were never my thing; in the Fate hall, upheavals of shrieks, squeals of 'i missed half mark to A!', or worse, 'i missed half mark to get 100', leaves me inexorably clamshelling in the furthest corner either silently embracing my pass, or gradually fading away in the abyss of shame.
there's still Biology on Monday. Sigh, so much for dreaming, of dreaming of something above a U.
If only i could be like everyone else- the nominal is sufficient, 10 times more than sufficient in fact. just not in the gutter.
Friday, August 10, 2007
zhiway tells you a story at
2 hours of pooh therapy does do you some good after all, who bothers about the externalities and incurred costs and whatnots
was just daydreaming earlier on, and i had new inspirations!
in future, if i get married, and if i have kids after marriage, i am going to....
1) buy him/her a pooh suit like this
2) teach him/her music with a pooh keyboard like this!
3) teach him/her to drink from a pooh cup like this
4) teach him/her how to fly a kite with a pooh kite like this!
5) cuddle him/her to sleep while listening to a pooh musical box like this
6) buy him/her pooh clothing hooks like these!
7) buy him/her pooh bedroom slippers like these!
8) buy him/her pooh pampers like these!
9) buy him/her pooh socks like these!
10) teach him/he to play chess with a pooh chess set like this!
11) and if its a her, i'm going to buy her a pooh barbiedoll like this!
alright i shall stop. oh last one the most important one!
i'll have a pooh convention on his/her first birthday like this one (:
yay! i can't wait. hehe
Monday, August 06, 2007
A Tribute to MGS, a school that will always remain close to my heart
zhiway tells you a story at
I attended my secondary school's graduation ceremony last Wednesday, 25th of July. Upon stepping into the library (our reporting venue) in the morning, I was unanimously greeted by a rave of fanfare hullabaloos and delirious chatters; not directed at me though, but rather an attempt to relive the joys of engulfing one in the mgs school spirit, or perhaps, simply seizing the once in a lifetime opportunity of being able to make as much noise as they wanted in the library without mrs tan(aka sourfishface) coming after them with a feather duster. Though that setting was a familiar cry that seemed to echo from a much bitterly distanced locale, it didn’t cause me to winch. Maybe, I thought, sometimes, old things just don’t go away, and the conditionings that couples as well.
As I stepped into the ME LAU hall, I inexorably recollected, how I was once up there on stage, viewing the streams of multi coloured entities of all shapes and sizes, strutting elegantly with hints of nostalgic amusement pinpointing the young ones seated round; ha! I used to be one of them!. It wasn’t hard imagining myself amidst those entities one day, but somehow that is the way situations work; you can imagine all you like of yourself in your desired situation, however when time finally rivets you onto it, it just doesn’t seem as real as it is.
The founder day’s hymns never change; the speaker was yet another ACS alumnus. As I walked into the bamboo courtyard for the reception, it suddenly dawned on me that it would be the last time I’d ever walk into it as an mgs girl. What futuristic role, if existent, might I be playing the next time I walked into there? A stranger? An mgs teacher? A mother with a daughter in mgs? A cleaner? A speaker of one of those Sophia Blackmore lectures? I didn’t know, and probably wouldn’t in the conceivably blissful forthcoming days, as yet.
Sitting on the steps leading to the field, I was somehow transported to 4 years ago. I remembered Orientation; how we had to dip our faces into corn flour and play pass-the-polo-ring, how all of us kept covering our palms with flour and chasing after each other, squealing at our self-thought commendable achievement of being able to temporary imprint the flour onto our friend’s faces. 3 good years after that, 5cm taller, a half tone darker and perhaps a little less unruly, I was playing the same game at the very exact location as well. But this time, it was on ‘longest day’, the last official day of my stay in MGS before the O level examinations.
I was 12 going on 13, I recall, Terrible thirteen, as some may remember. No point combing the depths of a desolate memory that galvanizes none but inklings of remorse and forlorn. But they remember, as much as you hope to forget; they condemn, as much as you yearn for salvation. 2003 indeed; they all thought they sent me to the wrong school, and they blamed themselves for it.
The entailing 3 years however, spoke of stories of sanguine. As precipitous as circumstances then were, setbacks weren’t nearly as dejecting. All thanks to a wonderful and gracious Guide.
I remember MEP room 2, the rabbit-hole music students always found themselves comfortably ensconced in. The teachings of the once jet-black haired, outlandish hairstyled lady lives on in there, even till today. The red carpet fades day by day, the lemon air freshener smell pervades in the atmosphere, and the air con’s hushing sounds never decrescendos. The home of mgse, the holding room for every major performance I participated in. The room of one of the most memorable times in the course of my stay in mgs.
And yes, the auditorium, the inevitable thereafter location after MEP room 2.
I remember the having to perform the song writing competition for racial harmony up there in sec 1, singing, mind you, dressed a terribly oversized malay costume. The Chinese music band competition in sec 2, the witty national day rap, the numerous civics and moral education sessions, the weekly chapel sessions and how I slept through almost every sermon, the movie screenings and not forgetting every of my music performances up there. I remember the mechanics in which the control room worked on, the comfy cushion seats we all liked to sleep on, the pitch darkness of the audi when all lights were off, the fun we had draping ourselves with those huge, red curtains, the narrow walkway in the backstage, the staircase behind the backstage. I also remembered, how he was there, showing his silent support amidst the raving audience.
The list goes on, and on.
If I were to continue rambling about every inch of experience of every nook and corner in school, the list here might be just short of the combined surface area of alveoli in the lungs spread out. I believe memories truly lies in the sensitivities that marks them as anatomies of remembrances, not solely pallid blackwhite inky minuscules, so perhaps it is time to stop, to enable those epiphanies to linger on in its ironic twirl of bitterness and nostalgia.
Most of the crowd had dispersed by then, heaving bagfuls of camwhoring excitements and gelatinous residues cleaving their way through their intestines, leaving none but a crisp like atmosphere, enough to stir an indescribable peace in one. Walking through the pebbled walkway into the quadrangle of command, the sunrays seemed to be a spotlight, shining on me and tracing my path onto the emerging ascender. The wind blew, and I looked up; the school flag was as always in its exalted position, as if trying to boast of its self-contended significance, allowing it’s undulating motion to punctuate that notion.
As I plodded along the sheltered walkway with curious yet mild pangs of solitude starting to shroud me, an enormous sluice of enlightenment that flooded my entire train of thoughts momentarily overcame me. I then dismissively chuckled the short lived historic disillusion into an invisible bin; how could I have thought that way? It was then a relieving smile found its way across my exterior.
Once an MGS girl, always an MGS girl.
That quote rang like wedding bells in my head, prevailing with an echo whose amplitude never seemed to falter but struck a chord that reverberated for eternity. After 4 good years, I fully understood it, sincerely, deeply, and from my heart.
perhaps you aren't the best school around, nor the biggest or the richest, but you are and will be the only place that holds the memories and experiences of all aspects of myself one can ever find, a home of the real me, one which none other can replace. i thank you today, for being my roof of solace, fear, hopes, dreams, bliss and exuberance. may God bless and watch over you always, as you house the new generation of blessed progenies that will hopefully find for themselves a wonderful memory as i have.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
zhiway tells you a story at
Patience is indeed a virtue. I remember those times i felt confused, surprised, shocked and perhaps a little afraid. I hated to admit the way i felt; i didn't want to believe it. I didn't like to think trivial matters had to affect me, I didn't want to think they existed. No matter how much I engulfed myself in ignorance, there came a point of time that I knew that I could hide no longer. Repetition seemed to be your style of augmentation. You made surprises stepping stones to those answers i was looking for. It has not been very long, but enough to form significant mental clots in your mind. Though easily overcome by the will, without you God, that mustered strength could have never came about.
Yesterday God, I finally realised; I finally saw all those things as Your big plan. Those answers came crashing down at me all at once. The uncertainties, the manipulations... they finally made sense. However God, it wasn't so much those answers You have given me that I am so thankful for. Somehow deep inside, I feel You have even more to tell me, that there's even more for me to unravel.
What that brought me to tears inside was how You had been been by my side all along; how you so meticulously planned out each step and carved out this wonderful pathway for me these years. It is simply amazing; I feel myself a notch closer to understanding Your plan as one of an eternal timeframe. Even though I am just one of Your many children, You took effort to plan out even such small details of my life. Yes, perhaps that matter is insignificant, but God, Your care for me on even such insignificant things really touched me deep inside. You guided and are still guiding me through even the meagers (i don't what word to use here, they are not problems, nor setbacks, just experiences), and God today I proclaim to you with all my heart my trust in You to guide me through my entire journey of this beautiful life You've planned out for me.