Tuesday, May 03, 2005

My Vision for Singapore…(The politically incorrect version, sort of)

I respect my “chauffeur” who actually is the bus driver that fetches me to work. And I enjoy the exchange with the guys at the seven-eleven convenient store near my home; I entertain the thought of working with them. The wide smile from the Indian lady at the bus stop wakes me up like a cup of coffee. These are people that I see almost every morning; faces with no name, yet we greet each other as if we have known each other for a lifetime. They have become part of my life.

I take the MRT train at times after work. Everybody seems to be in a hurry – typical Singaporean they are, pushing through the smallest gap they can find in the human wall blocking the train door; not waiting for the passengers to get off the train. All the time, I just stood behind and watched half in amusement. The yellow lines and arrows on the floor are just decorations for the platform. The air-con in the train is god-sent, given the humid weather. But it could be nicer if most of us standing have something to hold on, yet there are people leaning with their back on the vertical post, immune to those around.

I love the libraries: Kudos to the people at the National Library Board. It gives me great pleasure seeing the enthusiastic young with books under their arms. But there are some that scream their heads off while running through the door to the despair of the librarians. Some parents, determine to give their offspring an early start, led the baby – one moment whining or half-asleep – for a tour. Then, there are the school children going around in small groups, fooling and playing practical jokes. And you have the teenage "Romeo and Juliet", always deeply in love and whispering sweet nothingness into each other’s ears with occasional girlish giggling. What tips my tolerance scale is the use of handphones by some people. Our libraries have revolutionised beyond just being a place to borrow or read books.

What is my vision for Singapore? We may be strangers on the way to work, in the MRT Train and in the library, but we are living on the same island. Our lives are more connected than we think; such is the limit of our space. I would prefer more consideration and care just like in a big family.

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