Singapore’s Final Goodbye (and 10 Notable Articles about Lee Kuan Yew)

It’s been a week since Singapore learned that its founding father had passed away at the age of 91. This was my first experience with loss.

And while there were tears, outpouring of love and respect, and back-to-back documentaries of the man who built this nation, there were also many eloquent articles that surfaced all over the Web as Singaporeans begin to emerge from their shell of apathy to reexamine what it means to be Singaporean and reassess their view of their first Prime Minister.

Here are 10 notable articles that struck a chord with me:

1. Calvin Cheng’s defence of the Singaporean model of governance

2. Bertha Henson’s candid account of her encounters with Mr Lee

3. Lili Tan’s pensive musing on death and how it unites the living

4. Deborah Tan’s heartfelt letter to Mr Lee that made me cry

5. Steph Leong’s well-researched article on Mr Lee and his policies

6. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s interview with Today newspaper, in which he shared insights on the man we all thought we knew

7. Jaime Ee’s reflections on the surge of patriotic fervour that has arisen these past few days in the wake of Mr Lee’s passing

8. A taxi driver’s informal tribute to Mr Lee, as recounted by Tiffany Joyce Lim

9. Sahana Singh’s comparison of the Western ideal of personal freedom versus the Asian notion of community before self, and argues how much better off we are for sacrificing some personal freedom for the greater good.

10. A reflection on the past week of mourning that perfectly encapsulates all the reasons for our profound sorrow at Mr Lee’s passing.

And here were some of the ways we immortalised him,

At the Istana:

On the way to pay our last respects to him:

photo by Chen Zhirong

At community centres all over the country:

At the National Library:

And the ways the outside world honoured him,

In Time magazine:

In the words of foreign dignitaries,

And their physical presence:

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton
The Bhutan king
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Sultan of Brunei

And finally, this video that shows just how larger than life, yet human, Mr Lee Kuan Yew was (please get your tissues ready):

Yesterday, we sent Mr Lee off on his final journey.

Throngs of people gathered around the Parliament House and lined the funeral procession route to send Mr Lee off. Even the clouds hung low that day, and the downpour marked the climactic end to a great legacy. People wept for him, as did the skies.

I will never forget the day I waved my flag in the pouring rain and caught my first and only glimpse of Mr Lee, the day I broke down in public with my fellow Singaporeans as I whispered a word of thanks that I hoped he could hear.

At 4:35PM, we bowed our heads for a minute of silence, saying our final goodbye to the man who changed all our lives for the better.

Words can’t express how much gratitude, respect, and love I have for this man who was iron-willed enough to do what needed to be done to bring a tumultuous fledgling nation to its current state; who was never complacent and always sought ways to improve; who took no bullshit from detractors and opponents, but was always kind and protective of us, the citizens; who was so devoted to his country so much he made it his lifelong project and saw it through till his final days.

So we’ve lost him at last. Indomitable as he seemed, he was, after all, human, and no man – no matter how noble or gifted – can live forever. But perhaps we should also be thankful that we had lived in a time when a great, fearless leader by the name of Lee Kuan Yew was around to pave the way for us to venture another step forward.

Rest now, Mr Lee. We will continue writing the Singapore story for you. You will live forever in the hearts of your people, and be dearly missed.

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Remembering Mr Lee Kuan Yew

I woke up yesterday morning to the news of Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s death. My first thought was, what now? What is to become of the country that he built from scratch without his guidance, leadership, intellect, and foresight? Will we have the tenacity, loyalty, and enough love for the country to go on and ensure his life’s work does not go to waste?

As I went about my morning, everything became magnified. Every privilege and luxury that I – and many of us – have come to take for granted: clean streets and running water and skyscrapers and an elaborate transport system and a cushy office job to go to. As the founding father of Singapore, Mr Lee devoted his life to the country and was always fearless in his ways, his opinions, his policies, and took shrewdly calculated risks (remember the casino debacle?) that paid off in the end. He did whatever he could to put us in the global arena, and had a profound love and sense of responsibility to the country and its people.

Whatever your grouse with him might be, however much you may resent him for his iron-fisted autocratic ways, you can’t deny that he was whip-smart and had the foresight and steeliness that was required to pull Singapore out of a backwater slum to the teeming metropolitan city that it is today.

He did whatever he could to the best of his abilities, broke boundaries, and was a hero of his time. Whatever faults you find with him, he did what was needed, risking resentment from the people with his harsh policies for the good of the country, the bigger picture that the common man was as yet unable to see.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/lee-kuan-yew--thoughts-and-sayings-135540680.html

Yes, times are a-changing and what the people expect of their servant leaders are different. I don’t deny that Mr Lee’s rule probably won’t sit well with many people of my generation, the post-war generation that has never experienced the hardships of war or the early days of independence, when we had basically nothing and no support from anyone else.

But as he said, he did what he deemed best for Singapore in the sociopolitical environment of his time, and he raised our annual per capita income from $500 to $55,000 in the 50 years he was involved in the governance of Singapore, no mean feat given that Singapore was just a tiny island with hardly any natural resources at the mercy of our neighbours.

I don’t claim to have in-depth knowledge of Singapore politics; nor am I able to articulate as well as others who have written beautiful, moving tributes to the late Mr Lee. Up till now, this post is a mess of sentimentality and emotion. But I’d just like to express my immense gratitude to the grandfather who, while sometimes stern and assertive in his opinions and beliefs, always had our best interests at heart.

I want to promise him that Singapore will be fine, that we will have the grace and courage to move forward as a united civilisation that looks far beyond our own petty, selfish needs and do what is best for our country. But I dare not. For his tenacity, vision, drive, and deep sense of responsibility and love for his people and country are unparalleled.

There is none like him, and there will never be. Love him or loathe him, he had poured his life and soul into his country. He makes us proud to be Singaporeans, for all its triumphs and failings. He was a giant amongst men, a hero who fought hard for his people and his convictions, and simply a man who loved his family and his country. He was a visionary whose ideas weren’t always accepted by the people during his rule, and will always be remembered as one of the greats of modern history.

Singapore was incredibly lucky to have him as her leader, and I really, really hope that we can sustain his legacy and continue to make Singapore a country that we can be proud of for many years to come.

Be at peace, Mr Lee. While we mourn your passing, we also celebrate your achievements, and are forever indebted to you for all that we now possess.

Excuse me, what just happened?

So I woke up to a bunch of text messages asking me if I’d lived through the riot that broke out in my area last night.

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Apparently, a bus driver had run down a Bangladeshi worker around 9.23 p.m. last night and killed him. Then a mob of 400-odd people went batshit crazy and started flipping over police cars and burning an ambulance and slugging it out with the policemen who arrived at the scene. Ghurka soldiers had to be deployed to break up the riot. It was nuts.

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Get the full story here and here.

I went home around 10 p.m. last night, after meeting up with the gang, and didn’t notice anything amiss except that there seemed to be more people in my area, which is near to where the furore broke out. I just scowled at everyone on my way home, as I usually do, in case they try anything funny. It’s just something you cultivate after twenty years of living in an area swarmed with male labourer workers.

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That’s some scary shit right there – the riot, not my death stare (or Diana Agron’s).

Honestly, though, after hearing what my dad told me about these foreign labourers and their partying ways, a part of me isn’t surprised something like this happened. It was some time around Deepavali, and the place gets really rowdy on public holidays – the roads are deadlocked with foreign workers partying and shit. My dad was sending his female colleague home and had to drive through the Little India stretch. This bunch of drunk foreign workers just leaped in front of his car and started doing this lewd dance.

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My dad locked the car doors and barrelled through. Good thing they had the bird sense to get out of the way.

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Let me just state that I am not against foreign workers in general, and their nationality isn’t the point of contention here. It’s their behaviour that pisses me off.

Maybe it’s all the pent-up rage against us, the locals, or the government and their rules, or their shitty lives in general that made them act out like that. And I know there are honest, non-trouble making foreign workers out there who helped to clean up the place after the riot and that I shouldn’t condemn the entire forest because of a few trees blah blah blah. But come on, they went nuts in a country that hasn’t gone nuts since the 1960s. They set stuff on fire and killed someone (a man was crushed under the bus) and injured our local police. Call me small-town, but this kind of violence just isn’t the norm in Singapore.

I’m not going to let up on my death stare, though. And I really hope no one was hurt too badly, especially the policemen, firefighters and innocent civilians. The press must be having a field day with this, as are the various ministry departments. I guess we know what’s going to come up as a bone of contention at the next election.

The 9 Paradoxes of Patriotism in Singapore

A post by Jack Sim on The Online Citizen that I feel makes some good points (though there are also some I disagree with):

The 9 Paradoxes of Patriotism in Singapore

It’s election time, a time for review and reflections.

I’m 54 but had only voted once before due to the walkover nature of our politics.

This time, opposition candidates will challenge almost every constituency.

Our political maturity has entered a new phase, but what does Singaporeans really want?

After all, Singapore is much appreciated by foreigners who are fed-up with their own countries and found it better here with jobs, safety, low taxes, and an almost predictable growth path.

Here are 9 Paradoxes that the government must grasp with our new political reality:

1. The more attractive Singapore is in attracting massive droves of foreigners, the more unattractive it is for locals. It feels like a crowded 6-Stars Hotel where people come and go. There is no distinction between treatment of citizens and foreigner. This creates an ‘unloved’ feeling among locals when the government’s emphasis that foreign talents are better than local becomes demoralizing. Singaporeans wonder what is the use of chalking up economic numbers by importing so many foreigners? Singapore and Singaporeans becomes two very different words.

2. The more government focuses on the Economic Growth Model; the less they focus on our Soul. The building of two casinos shows clearly the trade-off between increasing jobs (largely jobs for foreigner labor) and increasing the misery of gambling, broken families and hardship. The pursuit for economic growth model won over the soul here. It is even worse since the casino is located directly in the heart of the banking and civic district, instead of a further location or off-shore island.

3. The more the government focus on meritocracy (defined as good academic results), the more they made people think the same way. Creativity suffers when kids has no opinion of their own. Schools and parents improves academic excellence by getting kids to read and memorize past 10 years exams questions and model answers and regurgitate them well during exams. In addition, schools hold special sessions to train both parents and kids on “Exam Techniques” so as to score better marks for the glory of the school’s ranking. Whoever has the best conformist’s memory wins top marks. This cultivates the habit of looking the “the right or approved answers”.

Our educational system has thus transformed into a “Marks-Factory”. These kids grow up as deteriorated adults unable to have an opinion of their own, always looking for leadership by others.

4.The richer we are in our pockets, the poorer we become in our soul. In our rush for an ostentatious life-style, we’ve neglected the social need for nurturing soft-skills like love, acceptance, empathy, compassion, listening, harmonizing, and a Can-Do Spirit of Enterprise. This has led us into a culture of high conformism and extremely selfish safety needs. To build resilience in people as a nation, we need to first nurture strong value systems and a sense of community that comes from within our hearts and not prescribed by orders.

5. The more the government reminds the voters that “You are vulnerable but luckily you have good government”, the more dependency and expectation they create that the government will solve all problems. Naturally, disappointment is larger when expectation is raised high through the creation of such a dependency relationship.

6. The more Singaporeans are educated, the more they want to contribute in their own way in nation building. Yet, the prescriptive culture of the government does not offer effective channels for innovative ideas to get through. In the process, a great misunderstanding occurs when government sees innovators as troublemakers who are unappreciative of what the good government has done for them. The truth is most Singaporeans do appreciate the prosperity achieved, but they want to play a more active role in building their nation, not merely a passive recipient of goodies. Yet, the current government-supported channels are seen more blockers than listeners. By disallowing active citizenry and rejecting their diverse views, the government alienates the moderates and patriots at mutual detriment.

7. The more the government celebrates the foreign talents; the less they appreciate or notice our homegrown talents. These local talents are actually very much appreciated by foreign countries while we’re are so busy trying to attract foreign talents from abroad. The old adage that “prophets are not appreciated at home” is true everywhere but Singapore should a review this thinking so that good citizens can have their natural place in our society doing their best for the social good.

8. The more efficient the Government, the more they stifle innovation. Our current state of bureaucracy rewards people who make zero mistakes rather than those who made innovations (which requires some trial and errors).

“Get it right the first time” is a good quality control mechanism that is suitable for factory floor but totally detrimental to the promotion of innovative culture.

Innovation culture’s mantra should be “Dream it and do it till you get it”.

We need to re-design incentives to transform bureaucrats from rules-based workers into mission-driven people, unclogging the bureaucratic process and help our diverse range of talents flourish in ways most desired by society at large. An inclusive approach will bring out thought leadership beyond the narrow scholarly circles.

9. The final paradox is that while the people trust the government, the government does not trust the people. Absolute power in the past has also created a sense of arrogance in the bureaucrats and Members of Parliament. A recent message by the Prime Minister reminding his MPs they are servants and not masters is a sign of change that is so much needed. This new message will take many years to evolve into a culture in the government if the message succeeded in trickling down through the ranks.

The ruling party has every chance to listen and engage the people constructively to build a nation together. But they’ve chosen to go it alone.

There is a sense of “Statelessness” in many patriots here. These are ordinary thoughtful citizens do not want to enter the complicated political arena. They just want to contribute to make their country better. They are not content with being treated like a customer. They want to be embraced like a citizen, a nation-builder and a healer of social gaps. They are constructive if the government engages them constructively.

I generally do not like to discuss touchy topics like politics or religion on my blog, but in light of the recent General Elections, I feel the need to get my point out.

I don’t claim to know a lot about Singapore’s political history or its current state. But I know that I am one of its citizen who will come to inherit the nation as it is now. If given the opportunity, I’d love to vote, but as it is, I’m still one year short of the age to vote.

I’m pretty clear on who I support, and given the calibre of our leaders – their experience and wisdom – it is near implausible that I will swing over to any other parties. Unfortunately, what gets me riled up about Singapore politics is the fact that I am unable to make others see my point. They believe what they choose to – nothing wrong with that, of course, but a lot of voters seem to vote with their hearts and not their minds. Some get carried away with emotions and get lulled by promises and pretty words, and some oppose for the sake of opposing. Why must we be ruled by the same part for almost fifty years, they think. It’s time for change. But when you ask them what they want to change, they draw a blank. Change lor! they declare.

Because to them, the government owes them a living. The government is not taking care of us. They bring in foreigners to snatch away our rice bowls, they give opportunities to foreign students so that locals have to go overseas. The thing is, Singapore has always been competitive. It’s always been a Darwinian society that seeks to preserve the best, so that with competition each of us will strive to work harder and improve on the whole as a society. It’s brutal, yes, but that’s how we managed to rise from a Third World slumop to a First World nation in those fifty years. The fact is, no one owes us a living, much less the government.

Another point raised by naysayers is the salaries drawn by the ministers. According to them, the ministers collect their fat paychecks and tell people to improve productivity so that our GDP can increase and then they can collect fatter paychecks. This actually brings me back to the preceding argument, where the number of opportunities available to us should be directly. I’m aware that since I haven’t started working I can hardly talk like I know how the common worker is struggling. But Singapore is irrefutably a meritocratic society. Maybe wages aren’t keeping up with the cost of living, and the Singapore government is slower to address this problem of the widening income gap. The middle class is understandably frustrated. But with the amount of crap that the Singapore government has to deal with – along with ungrateful citizens who keep complaining about ministerial pay and expect regular handouts – I’d say they’re entitled to the pay they earn. And my dad raised a point: if they are paid peanuts (and I’m not referring to $60k), there will be a heck lot of corruption going on, as in the case of our neighbouring country.

I defend the ruling party, but that’s not to say, of course, that it is completely free of errors. GE 2011 has shown that more people want their voices heard, and are frustrated that no one is responding to their feedback. The ruling party can stand to make some changes, and bring themselves closer to the ground, in order to win the hearts of the people again, but to lambast their efficacy as the government just because you’re worried you can’t buy a house or that your bowl of noodles is now $5 when it used to be $3 is to overlook the big picture and zero in on the personal details. We chose our leaders because we want Singapore to progress as a nation, not for personal development. If everyone thinks that way, we’re going to live in Singapore, Inc. with no true spirit, and a very diverse and polarised population.

I came across this comment on a forum, and I’d like to say that I completely agree with what is said:

Yingxin89:

Are u guys not agreeing that our MPs and minsters are probably the most educated and knowledgeable group in Singapore? If not, how could they lead us? And living in ur own world, you do not see that many of our entrepreneur friends and property agents and re misers are earning 70k-120k per month. I do not see why 15k for an mp or 120-200k for our country’s minister could be overpriced. With their knowledge and abilities, they could be earning much more. Please do not be narrow minded into thinking everyone should earn the same to be fair. We are not communists. They deserve what they deserve.

And you say that housing is not affordable. Why is it that i don’t see people crowding on the streets with cardboards? Why is everyone complaining about every single thing that doesn’t even concern them?

Do you not have a home? Do you not have a job? Are your children not getting good education in a conducive environment? Is your neighbourhood inaccessible or dimmed with little or no streetlights? Is your living environment filled with rats and thugs? the answer is no.

We Singaporeans are living in such an awesome condition and environment and yet we complain about small insignificant things that are propaganda from another opposing team. I do not understand what aroused their unrighteousness for problems that are not even theirs to believe with.

Lastly, I love MM Lee and his robustness. If not for him, we wouldn’t be where we are now. If not for sweeping thugs, secret societies, gangs, communists, marxists off the streets in the then Singapore with no foundation nor proper education for most. We would not be a democratic nation as we are now. Not to mention a prosperous first world country.

There are tough decisions to be made in tough times. And if we don’t see the big picture. We will never progress. And if you are complaining about ur own life, DO something about it. Stop relying and blaming the government for everything. No one owes u a living.

Word!

Due to a request to post up my mypaper NDP 09 essay, here it is:

My Most Memorable National Day

At the age of ten, I had no concept of what National Day was about, much less why it called for such a major celebration every year. I just loved belting out Stand Up for Singapore with my entire class, red-shirted and with our arms around each other. But that year, it turned out, I was about to learn what a national identity was, and why everyone wanted to claim it.

I was still a wide-eyed child then, a bumbling primary school kid just eager to go on a field-trip with my friends. An entire day without school? Plus, excursion buses and clappers from the goodie bag? Sign me on.

So, blithely, my friends and I trawled through our goodie bags, had fun with the clappers and finished the food we brought within the first couple of hours we were there. There was the video montage of Singapore’s history, the arrival of the President’s motorcade that had all of us craning our necks for a better look, the impressively flawless military parade and flypast, and aesthetic performances that leapt to life with vibrancy and vivacity, a glorious display of colours and movement.

I was enraptured. But little did I know that the climax lay in the finale. By then, the skylight had dimmed. Twilight soon settled in. There was magic in the air that night. Everyone was on their feet as they sang a medley of national songs, boldly waving their miniature flags. Meanwhile, the first fireworks shot into the sky and burst into a starry shower of colours. Our voices were loud and our love strong.

My little heart was bursting with pride. I was honoured to have been there, to be Singaporean. Because it isn’t just about clappers or wearing a red shirt. It is about belonging.

Lots to update today. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Blogger has gone nuts. I can’t upload pictures because the toolbar is gone. So for now, you’re subjected to my wordy rambling.

1. My dad and I went to watch NDP 09 on Sunday! This year, it was held at Marina Bay, which, I must say, is a vast improvement from NDPs at the Stadium. It was next to the sea, so it was much more cooling and airy. They had nicer seats too, more spacious, and there was a nicer view of Shenton Way and Fullerton Hotel.

I wasn’t expected to be wowed by the military display, to be honest. It all seems a little braggy, to showcase all your military might at one event. But now, at the hormonal age of 18, I find that army guys – and seamen, and pilots, and policemen, and practically any guy in a well-starched uniform – are hot. Artillery and ammunition don’t hold my interest at all. The last time I watched it, I thought the parade was rather boring, because all they did was march around.

But, like I said, it was a lot more captivating this time around, maybe because I find that the uniforms look better on guys as I grow older (wink). All in all, it was an impressive display. And those boys are HOT. Wow, so that’s where all the cute guys are hiding: in camp! All tanned and toned….

Moving on.

The spirit at Marina Bay was amazing. All through the Parade (and the one hour plus of waiting beforehand), I was close to tears and could cry at the drop of a hat. I just felt so proud to be there, to be Singaporean, amongst my own people, hearing pockets of conversation (littered with Singlish) around me. We were a sea of red, displaying national pride, rooting through our funpacks and exclaiming, “Wah! Got Khong Guan biscuits! And NeWater!” Me? I had fun waving the flag and watching it ripple in the late afternoon breeze, while my dad went shutter-crazy.

They played some National Day clips made by students. You know, the one where the bunch of kids are supposed to create an art-piece about National Day, and this special little boy made a collage of a hand, which the teacher initially didn’t understand, until she looked in the mirror and realised it was a fist over her heart. Yeah, along with that were others. One was where this NS boy was tearing parking coupons in the car with his dad.

“Time? 2.21.”

“2.30,” said his dad.

The boy points at the carpark attendance, upon which his father gets out of the car and squabbles with the ‘auntie’. And then he launched into his rendition of the pledge with regard to the coupon-parking system. And let me tell you, 2700 people laughing is really infectious.

Another clip was where they asked kids what their aspirations were. There were the usual: lawyer, doctor, pilot, nurse, teacher, etc. And then this last boy was like, “When I grow up, I want to be the president of Singapore.” And this bunch of aunties behind me went, “Wahhhh.” I wonder how our leaders felt when they watched that. Hopeful? Assured?

Somehow, I teared up at that. Because it’s promising, knowing how many youths out there love their country, and understand how much it has done for them. The country doesn’t owe us a living, but it has given most of us Gen Y a comfortable life, thus far. It’s just gratifying, knowing there are people my age out there who realise that, and know where their loyalties lie. And are proud of that. Like a journalist said in the Monday paper (Home section), patriotism is not uncool. Why should we be ashamed of what we root for? I love Singapore, and I’m not ashamed to proclaim it.

And watching those boys in the parade made me proud of them too, especially of those who constantly put their lives on the line to protect us, to protect our country, and the ones they love. They deserve our respect. Because they are driven to do that, why?

Following that was a clip of Singaporeans (students, etc) abroad, wishing Singapore a happy Independence Day. I teared up because they still call Singapore home. Those people who set their alarm clocks and woke up especially for the Pledge Moment, those people who picked up the phone so they could recite the pledge with their family at 8.22pm, those families that congregated on that day to place their hands over their hearts and meant what they said. They make me proud of them. Like they say, you can take the person out of Singapore, but you can never take the Singaporean out of the person. No point denying who we really are, Chinese, Singaporean… We are what we are, and nothing we do can change that; so we might as well embrace it. And be proud of our identity.

It was an honour being at NDP 09. I’d like to thank mypaper for giving me and my dad a chance to be there to celebrate our nation’s 44 years of freedom, equality, justice and success. May Singapore continue to prosper in the years ahead, and be blessed with a non-corrupt, forward-looking government, as well as informed individuals who make the right decision in voting. Happy 44th Independence Day.

2. My entire family (well, apart from a few members, who were busy) came down on Saturday. And just looking at my cousin, Jasmine, made me feel bad about myself all over again. I think I’ve mentioned before how, since we were young, she’s always been prettier and more outgoing than me, and all my aunts love her. She’s in SMU now, taking a major in Accountancy. And she’s just as pretty, just as confident, meshes just as well with my aunts, etc. I don’t know why I’m bringing this up. Never mind. Moving on.

3. Went to the Bird Park with daddy on Monday, since there was this 1-for-1 promotion. I’ve always preferred the zoo to the Bird Park, if only because it is bigger, and offers more attractions. Birds are more boring than animals, in my humble opinion. The only ones worth seeing are the raptors and Birds of Paradise. And even then, they were all trapped in cages with grills so thick you can barely see anything. In the zoo, there are pumas and leopards and snakes and meerkats and tigers and HORSES! Lovely, graceful, beautiful, friendly horses. But it was still a good day, all in all. Dad and I later met his friend (they’ve been friends since secondary school) for steamboat dinner at Beach Road (YUM). And that concludes Monday.

4. Just came back from school. Lecture at 10 am, was slightly late for it, because a) jam in Orchard Rd, where my dad had to pass by on his way to work (he drops me off at Tiong Bahru Station, which is near his office at Havelock Rd), and b) I got off the bus at the wrong stop, and had to wait for the next bus. Thankfully, this senior directed me to LT 11, and when he found out I was a freshie, he said, ‘Welcome to NUS.’ Which was nice. Some seniors are lame enough to screw with you and direct you to the other end of where you’re supposed to go.

So my very first lecture for this semester is Nature of Language, taught by this Japanese lecturer, Mie Hiramoto, who grew up in the city of Hiroshima, which explained why she was super-paranoid and went through the Civil Defence Emergency booklet with us for 15 minutes. Another half an hour was spent highlighting the bone of contention, punctuality. And another 15 minutes on administrative stuff, like grading, plagiarism, etc. We only began our lecture 1 hour later. It was all phonemes and morphemes. We skimmed through what we were about to learn. It is the first lecture of the semester, after all.

5. Went for my swim straight after I came back home. Saw the cute guy, and another one. I wonder how old they are. They seem perhaps a year older than me, but don’t they have school or something? Anyway, why am I complaining? Thank you for being there today, eye candies!

Tomorrow’s lecture will be Cultural Studies, which, hopefully, will be less dry than today’s. Right now, I’m dying to have an orange.