The 3-Day 2-Night Trip Was Nice! Part 2

Hello! It’s me again! Did you watch MY trailer yet? Is my acting good? They told me they are thinking of cutting another trailer…I told them not to make me look so annoying this time round… Am I that annoying?

Oh, where was I? Oh yeah, let me continue with my recent 3D2N tour of Singapore – MY country!

The 2nd Day started early. We went to Kusu Island, somewhere south of Singapore. It’s been ages since I’ve been there. I remember tons of people would make their journey there every year to offer prayers to the Gods, but I think it’s only during a specific period, late September maybe? Fortunately we went there during the off period. And it was really quiet. I thought we were dumped on some island, because there was practically no one there except for our tour group, plus a huge family who practically occupied the whole beach area. They put up tents, and mats on the grass. The whole atmosphere was like a village! So very nice! How I wish I have a big family like them. So many kids running and playing on the beach, so many friends to chat with while sitting on the mats, so carefree with nothing to do and worry about.

Okay. Back to the tour. Kusu Island’s wishing well is still there, and I immediately wished for blessings for my good son and his family in Australia. Good health for him and my dear grandchildren. I wonder how old they are now…. It must really be hard for my son to work overseas and take care of his family at the same time. I told him so many times to come home and work. But he said it’s better working overseas

That is not true! How can it be better overseas I asked him. The Singapore government takes good care of us Singaporeans. They make sure every Singaporean gets the opportunity to have a good life. They provide us locals with good and systematic education, and equal entry opportunities to the universities. They also pick foreign students, give them scholarships, let them do the same for free.

The government also provides cheap, heavily subsidized and affordable HDB housing for Singaporeans, so cheap that Ah-Yoke tells me over 10,000 people would pay $10 each to apply for just a handful of HDB flats, every time. She says that’s why HDB can afford to give discount for every flat buyer, because $10 from each applicant each time would amount to more than $100,000. Wow! So nice of HBD to do that, isn’t it?

IT is so good and easy to be Singaporean, that EVERYONE is, and can be a Singaporean now. Ah-Yoke says there is a Croatian (don’t know what that is, I think it’s another word for Ang Moh) living in a condominium in her neighborhood, and he is Singaporean, with a pink identification card. That is so interesting!

Ah-Yoke told me it is very common now. She says Singapore is a global city and the government is encouraging others to be Singaporeans. Our population needs to grow. That is good. A bigger population of Singaporeans is always good, isn’t it? I said to Ah-Yoke, with all the new Singaporeans, especially the males, we will have more people protecting the country too, just like how my son went to the Army for National Service when he turned 18. He is Singaporean too, it’s his duty. I’m so proud of my son. And I’m sure the parents of these new male citizens will feel the same too.

But Ah-Yoke also told me most of these new male citizens are way too old for National Service. Aiyah, what a waste! They should become Singaporeans earlier! So stupid of them! I heard National service is fun. So fun that Singaporean men look forward every year to go back for Reservist, some In-Camp Training (don’t know what they call it now). And the Singapore men have to do that for about 10 years (some even 13 years!) after their 2-year full-time obligation. So exciting!

I heard each year they will go back for up to 2 weeks (sometimes 3 weeks). Sounds fun! They get a break from working in the urban jungle, and go relax in the green green jungles. My son says he dislikes going back for Reservist when he was still in Singapore. I ask him why? He says every time he has to go away, his workload piles up, and his foreign boss gets mad. I ask him, aren’t there anyone else in the company who can help him with the work while he is away?

He told me: “Yeah sure, those guys who don’t have to go for Reservist.”

Really? I thought ALL MEN in Singapore have to go for Reservist? I thought ALL SINGAPOREANS with a pink IC have to? Regardless race or religion? Regardless whether they are born and bred here, or the NEW citizens? Aiyah! That is not very nice to the new Singaporean males, isn’t it? They won’t get the chance to play with guns, and wear military uniforms. What a pity! Everybody must be given the same chance, don’t you think so?

My son didn’t say anything. He doesn’t want to talk about the government. He says no point, because they will always say they are right.

He says I won’t understand. Aiyah, never mind then. I am too old to bother anyways. As long as I have local TV drama to watch, why bother with so much about the government?

The government are such good people! They also create jobs for everyone, even for senior citizens like myself, I told my son. How many other countries would encourage us senior citizens to work longer, and work and work and work again? So nice of them to create jobs like food court cleaners for us, and…..

…AND many many other jobs!

A good number of us senior citizens are even self-employed! We have soda can collectors, cardboard box collectors etc. The soda can collectors go around in their trolleys or bicycles, and they go through the numerous trash bins for cans. The cardboard box collectors hang around shops and wait for the shopkeepers to dispose unwanted boxes. After that, they will try to sell these collectibles for a few cents. I think these 2 jobs are the most popular ones because I have seen many of them around in my neighborhood, and other neighborhoods too. Must be very competitive!

The government always takes care of us senior citizens. They keep giving us money every year. This year I received $120 from them to spend, for free! So nice of them! I’m still thinking of how to spend the money! Ah-Yoke says we should go try the new Singapore Flyer, some giant turning wheel she said, ONLY $30 per person. She also said a BIG group of us can squeeze into each car, so we can take beautiful pictures altogether. Good! And after that I would still have $90 left for the year! So what is not good about coming home to Singapore?

The government says they will always take care of Singaporeans FIRST. That’s why I told my son he doesn’t have to worry about work here, jobs are always available, right? So many that even everyone else is coming here to work. My son can easily walk into any company and get the top jobs. Moreover he has experience working with foreigners, so he can easily communicate with the many foreign bosses who are already here in Singapore! But my son says he earns more in Australia. Really? Ah-Yoke told me Singaporeans here earn a lot too! The bankers, the executives, the lawyers, the government ministers.

See? So I tell my son all the time. Why not come home and work? The government will surely take care of true blue Singaporeans. Especially so if you are good in sports. I was watching a lot of TV during the month of August, some big sports event. I think the 3 Ping-Pong Singapore girls won something, right? Wow, so clever these Singapore born Girls! So good in sports! But I find it very difficult to remember their names. Don’t they have dialect names like all of us Singaporean Chinese do, like Lee Kah Hwee or Wong Ah-Yoke?

If only my stupid and useless daughter is as good as them in sports! Unlike these Singapore Ping-Pong girls, my useless daughter only knows how to speak English. I am so disappointed with her. If she was good in sports, she wouldn’t have to run off to Canada with that stupid Caucasian husband of hers!

KUSU ISLAND. Ah…. the temple’s still there. And everything looks clean and green. The beaches are cleaner than Sentosa’s Palawan Beach. I could tell because the children from the big family were enjoying themselves so much. They were even cleaning themselves with bars of soap with the sea water when they were done with their games. Kusu Island is really a nice place to visit for a day away from the city. They even have a hawker centre there, but I didn’t get the chance to check out the stalls because we had to catch the ferry back to Singapore. The China girl tour guide who was with us that day was rushing us. So annoying! She was saying something in Mandarin I think…but half of the time I didn’t understand what she was going on about.

Ah-Yoke passed me some photos she took of the island.

Eh? How come she didn’t take a photo of the hawker centre? Stupid. Also, the lady is the tour guide I was talking about. All she did was stand around doing nothing! Annoying!

It was HOT as usual that day. When we got back to Singapore, we headed straight back to the hotel, but it took a long time because we were stuck in a jam right outside the Marina South Ferry Terminal. I don’t know why, but I heard Ah-Yoke’s husband complaining about the trucks, cement mixers, lorries and construction in the area.

I thought we were going to have some nice dinner at the hotel, but the stupid tour guide bought us to the nearby Kopi Tiam food court. I was so disappointed, but Ah-Yoke told me to just enjoy the food there. At least they have Dim Sum, Fish Ball Noodles, Japanese, Korean, Chicken Rice etc….all the usual stuff that you can find in any other food court in Singapore.

Okay, my fingers are numb now. Come back soon to read more okay? Thank you to you!

– 陈嫂

~ by madamchan on November 2, 2008.

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