I like that.
So when I followed a friend of mine who went to the same Primary school as I did to pick up her 4 year old son at his weekly reading class, I was very surprised when we, being surrounded by other parents outside the reading centre also waiting to pick their kids up heard her say, "Look at these people, working a 9 to 6 job, Mondays to Fridays working themselves crazy to bring home the bacon and then only to cramp their time sending kids to tuition and enrichment classes, bringing and putting up with in-laws during their weekends family day, then go back home to clean the house and start the cycle all over again the following Monday. After a few years, saved enough for a 5-room apartment or deliberate between that and having a third child. Then if choosing the latter, plan to get a foreign domestic helper and forgo the yearly planned trip to bring the family to Hong Kong Disneyland. Is that what we want in life?"
I followed her gaze towards all those waiting parents and subsequently pictured myself in this sort of life. To tell you the truth, I look forward to it. I want to marry Andy and have our own kids and work hard from Monday to Friday and if we are still in the same companies, look forward to meeting him for lunch just few blocks from our office buildings and bitch about work. I also look forward to spending the weekends with his family and mine, maybe bringing the kids to the pool for a dip or to the library to borrow some books followed by MacDonalds and ice-cream. Then maybe we can then bring everyone back and do the laundry while the kids watch TV or play with their grandparents and end the night with wild sex at a nearby budget hotel then come back home to our sleeping angels.
Then I looked at her and find it weird that she would be saying something like that too because she has not been through what these people around us did. For she married an expatriate who earns $11k a month; other than her marriage being screwed up with an over-bearing colonial-mindset Caucasian, and being looking out for a mixed-blood son, she never needed to worry about money (sort of), nor worry about whether she should want another child or buy a condo because she lives in a condo anyways.
So if this is the Singaporean dream, then I want to live it with the man of my dreams, our kids, dogs and cat in toil.
But when curiosity got the better of me and I went to google just what exactly is the Singaporean dream, I was kind of upset at what I found.
The writer on this website wrote about how vague the notion of the Singaporean dream is. To my surprise, his concept came first as all about the 5 Cs - condo, car, cash, credit card, country club membership and (career). On a side, the 5 Cs have been romantically oust by the 5 Bs which are - BMW, Bank, Boss, Billionaire and Bunglow. But since we all know it is virtually impossible to buy a car in Singapore now, let us all revert back to the 5 Cs.
It has never occurred to me that I would want another car. I mean I do and so does Andy but since my Dad has already given me his to drive, I am perfectly fine with driving an old Chevy till the COE ends and then think if I want to renew it.
I am also not into country club memberships because there is almost NOTHING to do at a country club other than networking which I am able to do at free conferences at Expo or Suntec. The facilities in country clubs these days are just swimming pools which Andy and I can access at the public pool just walking distance from my place. The jackpot rooms are also a waste of time and the machines are old and ancient. Lastly, the ktv rooms are filled with old people that I don't think people our age will feel comfortable in. Most importantly, we have tons of Safras around the country that can fill our thirst for these facilities.
As for condos and credit cards, they do not make any difference to me. If you throw a stone at anyone on the streets, you are bound to hit one with a credit card and the condos in Singapore these days look as plain as an HDB, not to mention way too small to make a house homely.
So there, screw the 5 Cs and let's go back to the article in the website. Since the writer does not really define the Singaporean dream as an ideal ethos, but more like a status chase, then I don't think it is a dream fit for all at all.
Then how about the other version of the Singaporean dream that my friend has painted out? Is it a dream that everyone of us wants?
I guess in the midst of defining that dream, we have to first define what is home- the country that we call home and what we want in that home of ours.
Just like how you want to decorate and renovate your apartment; do you like floral wallpaper? Or do you prefer off-white paint for the living room? Do you like mirrors along the walls of the dining area or would you want to adorn them with framed family pictures? All in all, you would want to be proud of this house, proud of the people who live in there and you are picky who you invite into your house because you wouldn't want to welcome a crook in and offer him tea.
As like how a child decorates her doll house or how a teenager personalises his iPhone's wallpaper, we all want to have a say in how our home looks like. If we would want pink walls, we hire a painter and tells him we want that particular shade. If we want puppies running about our gardens, we plant grass and beautiful plants in it. If we want our children to be happy individuals, we teach them values and joy in simply things and groom as well as guide them in the academics and morals such as introducing bonding time with our parents.
Hence, that should be the Singaporean dream- to be able to have the freedom to choose who and how we live our lives in a country without having anyone else to define it for us.
You hear that, G?