Monday, November 28, 2005


I wanted to be all whiny and blog self-indulgently about how the last few days of convalenscing have done nothing for me but put more flesh on my ass. But then I decided, being so self-involved is just far too self-centred. Plus, there are other blog worthy things to talk about.


A family that's been camping out at my playground every fair night since Hari Raya started last month. At first, I just thought the kids were done with their exams and had great amounts of energy to expend at 11pm at night. Upon coming home very late one evening, I realised it wasn't just the kids running amok, there were adults in the playground as well, lying on the stone seats, possibly asleep. And the children, were unfolding and flattening large pieces of cardboard and laying them out to lie down on.


This isn't supposed to be happening in Singapore. Not when you have splashed on the headlines of the newspapers that growth rates are up and we're best in health care and what ever else. I guess it's easy to forget those smaller news items about how more should be done to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor and how the income of the poor just does not seem to be increasing at the same pace as the rich. My students always assume that this only happens in the US because they have ghettos and people of different and disadvantaged minority groups. Problem is we don't really have to venture that far to see such disparity. My playground the reality check.

Poverty and poor-ness. It seems all insensitive and callous to complain how broke we are when we're not the ones at the mercy of the 3 am downpours that are the rage of the early mornings these days. I think a lot of the time, we choose to ignore all that is around us. I know I do. My excuse is that I get upset when I think about it. But it doesn't mean the problem has disappeared when I don't think about it. But I think at the end of the day, it isn't so much because of how much it upsets me. It's more about what I don't want to see because it's something I'm not comfortable dealing with. Much like the commuters on the train who pretend to sleep when a pregnant or elderly person entres the train so that they don't have to give up their seat- by pushing it into the recesses of one's conscience, one then does not need to act in the socially desirable manner so expected of a gracious society.

It's our way of keeping the cognitive dissonance at bay.

But when it creeps into your backyard, it's something that can cause you to lie awake at night, staring at the ceiling, wondering what you can do and at the same time, be thankful that you're notthe one lying out there, staring at the open sky.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 00:12

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