Hello July

Hi, I’m fine, I just don’t feel like in a good place right now and with what’s happening around the world, I’m guessing I’m not alone. I’m gathering my thoughts for the next post and will talk to you again soon. Take care.

In control

This is the view from my flat. Sometimes, you can see birds fly past. Sometimes, there are stray cats. Sometimes, people walk past the stairs and if they are loud, you can hear them talk. There is a construction site nearby and these days, I hear the construction works from 9am to 5pm. I have to work with my noise-cancelling headphones but I still get distracted. There are construction works next to my old office. There are construction works along the nature trail close to my place. They are everywhere, it seems. In fact, they are a huge part of city life where I live and grew up. And as I grow older, my capacity to cope with these external stressors diminishes. And one day, it will become too overwhelming for me to cope.

In an increasingly hostile environment

In a world of never ceasing noise

I look out for a gentle whisper

softly whispering

please don’t lose control

What life gives you

When life gives you lemons

you make lemon slice

When life gives you apples

you make apple pies

When life gives you oranges

you make orange jaffa cakes

When life gives you blackcurrants

you make

what the

shit?!!

these aren’t blackcurrants!

When life gives you shit

you can llaugh and cry

😂

Oh

My

Llama!!

Sentimental Sunday

If I don’t see you this winter, I hope to see you in spring.

If I don’t see you in spring, there is still summer and fall.

Winter, spring, summer or fall.

We’ll meet again, in the season of love.

Wendy Whiteley’s Garden, Sydney

Smiley Sunday

Named the happiest animal on earth, the quokka was described by early Dutch explorer, Willem de Vlamingh, ‘as a kind of rat as big as a common cat’. It is a marsupial that is native to Australia, more specifically, Rottnest Island in Western Australia. Just google “quokka selfies” and you will see why they are so popular, even Thor himself cannot resist their cuteness.

Here’s to my WP friends because you are the best and you deserve better!

Card made in Australia by Squirrel Design Studio

The weekend purge

If coronavirus brings out the worst in people, people brings out the worst in me. When I heard my cat sneezed this morning, I wondered if I have come back with the virus from my trip on Wednesday and inadvertently spread it to her. My cat is a life savior. She saves my life and many others. If it weren’t for her, I would probably be out wandering the busy streets during this long Easter weekend, trying by any means to catch the virus, for I have no desire to live, and pass it on to the oblivious and complacent social gathering crowds. But I have a cat to take care of and her safety is my priority.

There are three things that make me go berserk when I’m at home because of their peace destroying abilities: drilling works, neighbours from upstairs, and neighbours from next door. Today, it is my next door neighbours. They own another unit on the ground floor. For a while, they used the unit next to my apartment as an Airbnb. People walked in and out with their luggages. Every time a new group of travellers moved in, I have to get used to a new rhythm: the time they woke up (I can hear the light switches, furniture shifting in the living room), the time they got out of the door, the time they got back from outside (it wasn’t uncommon for people to be back in the early hours of the night), the number of times the door opens and shuts until everyone got in or out. The door closes with a loud bang. And because of our close proximity, when the door shuts, it sends a vibration and physical jolt. For this reason, I put up a sign that reminds people to shut the door gently. Now if this happens a few times each day, with a few hours’ interval in between, that’s fine, it’s normal. But when the door opens and shuts more than a few times every hour and throughout the day, that’s testing my patience. I heard the neighbours have stopped renting it out as Airbnb for a while, but I’m not sure what they are now using the unit for and who is living inside. All I know is that the door has been opening and shutting continuously throughout today and I’m on the verge of cursing and screaming at the top of my lungs.

This photo is taken in my flat. My next door neighbour’s door is on the immediate right, next to the “Please close the door gently” notice.

NEVER THE TIME FOR COMPLACENCY

Singapore is effectively in a partial lockdown following a new spate of cases involving migrant construction workers living in crowded dormitories. People from South Asia made up the majority of the construction workforce and they help contribute to the economy of Singapore, doing the work that locals are not willing to do. I have my hats off to COVID-19 for it has been very effective in exposing the weaknesses of this society and the widening social inequalities between the haves and the have nots. Everywhere across the world, the plight of the homeless, elderly, disabled and other disadvantaged groups are being brought to the forefront. And before HK starts getting complacent, look out for the number of people gathering for the long Easter weekend holidays. Now is never the time for complacency. The pandemic should have taught us a lesson in humility. If not, I’m sorry, the human race doesn’t deserve to be rescued.

There is another aspect of coronavirus that demands my respect. It isn’t racist like us human beings. It does not discriminate. It doesn’t matter what is the colour of your skin, or your religion, rich or poor, young or old, it doesn’t discriminate. It is the system that discriminates, it is us who discriminates, not the virus. While the rest of the world is playing the finger pointing blame game, the virus is playing a game of domino chain reaction. And sadly, we still don’t realize how this planet and the lives of people inhabiting it are closely interconnected, and how we act or behave will have an impact on others. Instead we let fears and our self-interests dictate our actions and get the better of us.

Before we wish for life to return to normal, let’s not forget that it’s ‘normal’ that got us into trouble in the first place. How are we going to address the systemic inequalities and protect our vulnerable population? How are we to protect the environment and our wildlife? Have we shown remorse? Or do we think that we can shrug our shoulders as this is not of our own doing? How long would it take for us to fall back into old habits? How long would it take for history to repeat itself?

What about the prospect of a new normal? A world without discrimination and racism, less blaming and more reflection, less complacency and more humility. The pandemic is also a reminder of the importance of maintaining healthy habits such as a good personal hygiene, rest when unwell, providing flexibility and reasonable accommodation to those in need, respecting personal space and practicing social distancing in moderation.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the new normal I envision will materialize, at least not in my lifetime. And so before life returns to normal, let’s make humans suffer a little while longer. I have more respect for coronavirus than I have for people, and it is humans that I am in fear of. And to all the good-hearted people of this world, I’m sorry for the pain and inconveniences this pandemic has brought to you and your family.