the singapore dream | my dream (1)

Everyone has their dreams. Be it the beggar sitting by the roadside, the disabled selling Kleenex in the middle of the walkway, the housewife cooking dinner at this moment or the banker on his way to a luxury club after work.

In a fashion, these dreams are always similar. All these people dream of achieving something they deeply desired for and in the current state, happens to be what you call “the impossible.” The beggar dreams of the next meal he can buy with the amount of money he will get from begging. On some days, there may be enough for a good meal. On others, it might be so bad that he would have to skip them. Similarly, the housewife dreams of achieving her impossible dreams. Perhaps she may be married to an average salaried worker and she is discontent with the current situation. She may yearn for luxury good, that of what she cannot have. Or difficult to have unless the family strikes lottery.

And what does the banker yearn for, you ask? Well, after achieving material wealth what else could one ask for? Plenty it seems. When I was young, I always read in the newspapers about lawyers quitting their jobs to become teachers or something socially-motivated. Now I don’t read the state papers anymore.

My friends have some impossible dreams too it seems. There is one conversation that I remember very well.

“…You know, I dream of being a fisherman.”

“Eh?!A fisherman?!” I was of course, not paying attention to what he was saying. Repetition of the last word heard it seems, is always good enough to get you around conversations.

“…Yup. A fisherman. And not any fisherman at that. I want to be in fisherman in JAPAN!!!!” He punches the air decisively, as if he was really going to be a fisherman tomorrow.

“Why Japan?” Remember the repetition of the last word tactic?

“…because they are…and highly paid over there…” It seems my censoring skills were still working fully on that day. Basically, the gist of the conversation was about his dreams. He wanted to be either a fisherman in Japan or a lumberjack in the States.

Well, that actually sounded quite refreshing from the dreams that other people have told me. I haven’t been exactly “taught” to dream in any way but the standard Singaporean fashion. “Yosh! One must aim for the 5Cs!!” Headlines screaming 5Cs everywhere. And even my role mode (ex-role model if you want to be exact about it) dreams of the same thing.

“神啊 (it means God in Chinese), please let me strike it big this [insert choice of day for e.g. Saturday].” It seems to be the same thing he’s praying for repeatedly. All those murmurings that I heard from him at the altar when I was a few years old (yes I do still remember!). Same murmurings that I heard from him at the altar when I was ten, fifteen, twenty and so on. I bet I will still hear the same thing years on.

Now, before you get me wrong I must say that there’s nothing wrong with dreaming to strike it rich. I’m sure everyone does, right? But dreaming fervently to the point of relying on religion for everything seems pretty much absurd to me (first sign of Satanism here). And I would not be as irritated as I was if he wasn’t that reliant on prayers alone. You don’t see him doing anything to improve his situation, do you? He is just one of the thousands, no millions of salaried men out there working their sweat and blood for mediocrity. Still, I wouldn’t begrudge him the fact that he brought up the family on his own. He is afterall, the sole breadwinner.

But coming back to the topic, isn’t it almost everyone’s dream to earn big bucks and lead a comfortable life? I know everyone is for sure.

Since I was born, I was taught that money is important. I still distinctively remember this televised serial drama: one of its central themes was the importance of money. There was this extremely catchy tune that the protagonist sings about how money is not that important but without money everything is impossible. And everything that was important to me at that point in time cost money as well. My Super-Soaker costs money. Idol cards costs money. Ice-cream costs money. Erasers (used to play the flat eraser game) cost 10cents each as well (which was a mighty lot to a kid who gets 50cents a day).

Now after all that hammering how “how important money is” surely you will think likewise even if you don’t in the beginning, don’t you? From that moment on, we have become the products of society. I would like to think that I have a mind, a certain mind that is individualistic and that I can think on my moment.

But no.


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6 thoughts on “the singapore dream | my dream (1)

  1. I suppose you have to care about it in order to have alot of it but how important is it really? Money cannot buy you love or friendship. The best things in life or free and priceless.

    In american terms I am quite poor. I live in a dump in a not-so-great neighborhood. We only have one car,no garage,rent the crappy house we live in and have no money in the bank.We cannot even afford health insurance for me,nor can we afford the medicine I should be taking.

    Yet, I know it could be worse. I do not dream of money. I only dream of…well, that is not so easily said.

  2. Thanks for the recommendation Rhys. I’m choke-full with anime now. Caught up on all the old series: NGE, Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu, Hellsing OVA, Elfen Lied, One Piece, Code Geass and Sukou no Strain. Hahaha…

    Still in the midst of downloading Fate/Stay Night.

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