I will be returning to Singapore tomorrow after staying away for almost 70 days and many friends have asked me what I miss most back home.
I told them its the local food plus of course friends and my elderly mum.
Maybe I am getting old but I do cherish a slower pace of lifestyle and Singapore is sometimes just too fast paced for me.
Of course, what I hate most is the lack of humanity within our society - the lack of a human touch which no Kindness Movement campaign can resolve.
It’s the DNA of the country and many people have complained that Singapore lacks a soul and is only good for making money.
Our competitive nature has robbed us of any humanity and most work places now resemblance a war zone whereby you try to back stab each other in order to climb the corporate ladder.
You perform your best at work, try to return home to your shelter to regroup in the evening and get set for another day of battle at the office – always trying your best not to step on some sensitive important toes to maintain your next pay check.
There is no time for others who are weaker than you as they may pull you down if you slow down and try to provide them your shoulder.
At the train, you are thankful that you have pick out an empty seat and pretend to doze off as someone elderly ambles in front of you – looking around for a kind soul to offer him a seat.
You are just too tired to stand up in the peak morning rush to offer your seat and moreover, someone is sitting at the corner sheltered seat and if that person is not giving up his seat why should you?
You harden your heart and somehow it gets harder whenever the opportunity to be kind slips you by…
People rush by you as if you are invisible, nobody wants to press the lift door for you even though you are trying to get in from the outside and the shop assistants lack the basic courtesy to greet you even though you have bought something from them.
“Hi, I am here – do you see me? Can someone shows me some love and understanding around here?” You often ask when things are down and you have a bad day.
Often, you feel lonely even though you are in a large crowd…
You checked with John – your best friend - to try and fix up a dinner appointment so that you don’t feel so lonely on a Friday night but he is always out with his drinking pals.
Perhaps, John likes to be seen out with a group of successful executives than an ordinary purchasing clerk who could not afford to pay for all the drinks without feeling the pinch.
It took me almost a month the last time I returned home to adjust to our inhuman culture, hopefully this time round it will take lesser time…but I am glad that I have return home nevertheless.
However badly managed the country is, it is still home and where you feel most comfortable.
Though I have enjoyed Sydney every time I am here and will surely miss the great space and weather, it is still not my country.
I will never feel belonged here however grateful I am for the wonderful hospitality the country has shown me.