A Singapore Girl

Views of an entirely biased, local girl.


Once again I lie, wide awake, in the dead of night.

Once again I have forgotten—that I am safe, that I am loved.

Once again I relive hell.

I am a bullying survivor.

There are so many things I have left unsaid for hours, days, and years. It’s been seven years, in fact. I was fourteen when it started, and seventeen when it ended. Back then I’d always felt that I had grown up too fast and missed what should have been the best time of my life. The immature adolescence, the cool, relaxed breeze which is the transitioning of childhood to youth. But back then all I could think of was one thing– escape.

Bullying amongst children may seem little to adults, but for the victim it is utterly damaging. I pray no one ever has to experience what I have. The isolation, the crippling fear. Till this day I spend nights awake, crying till day breaks. I trust few (previously none) for fear that I may end up betrayed again. I am wary of people who want my companionship, and gossip terrifies me. Despite my poor memory, I can remember the faces of everyone who took part in the bullying; their names, actions, and amusement. It is a continual reminder me of the false truth that I am an unwanted, laughable existence.

I suppose the question I should first answer (more to myself than anyone else, as I remain my anonymity on this blog) is why now? Why speak now and not then? The answer is this– I am stronger now, and I am (slowly but surely) learning to trust others and move on. I have decided that it is time to face it. My past. I have spent years pretending that a chunk of my life never occurred, but now I feel it is time to be proud of who I am. A survivor. A flawed one, but one nonetheless.






Dark hours

It’s thirty-two minutes to midnight and the star-less Singapore sky is as black as soot. Some are out, some lie at home in bed, some sit by their laptops, either working, sleeping, or simply relishing the start of the one-week school holiday.

All I hear is the soft whirl of the ceiling fan as I think up an internal timed capsule message, one that will never be recorded in any form. Its contents are simple, yet as long-winded and dramatic as it can get. To save you the trouble of reading and myself the bother of typing it out, I’ll sum it up in a sentence; ‘what are you going to do with your life?’

I’m not sure how often a thought of this sort flashes by in the everyday person, as it tends to happen to me as soon as the darkness and quiet strikes. I have little aspirations, dreams, or even cares. To top it off, I am incapable, not to mention incredibly lazy. But hey, a girl can dream.

Now there’s always that poetic train of thought every person who’s ever written a corny piece of prose thinks. When ten year old me’s dream to become a professional rock climber was dashed (we don’t have many rock climbing areas in Singapore) twelve year old me decided with great determination to be a writer.

That dream was also quickly eliminated when she submitted what she thought to be the funniest joke ever fashioned to Reader’s Digest, only to have sent it to the wrong email address and never heard of again.

And following that dream came many others, mainly originating from the assorted television series my mother, sister, and I would watch together. They spanned from the common ones such as the fearsome lawyer, the brave fire fighter and policewoman, to uncommon ones for girls my age such as the whimsical toy and game developer.

…All in all, I have no idea what I’m doing.

Time is limited. I, like many others, have dreams and aspirations, and only so much of my life to dedicate it to.

While I’m still deciding what I want with my life, you can be certain that I plan to make a huge splash the second I have. Scratch that, I’ll be making a tsunami. I’ll make a current so big that by the time I’m old and grey, I can spend my days happily yelling at the little kids and forcing sleeping youth to give me their seats without a care or regret in the world.

Because some time in the future at a dark hour like this, I’d have accomplished something.

Mary Sues

Once upon a time in a land far, far, away lived a beautiful maiden named Mary Sue. With her perfectly sculpted features, long, flowing golden hair and charismatic personality, she was loved and pampered by all.

(She was also talented in many other areas such as sewing, knitting, cooking, poetry, writing, horse-back riding, etc, etc…)

However, despite being subjected to the affection of said ‘all’, evil in the form of either translation inconsistencies or misinterpretations of the meaning “all” sufficed, leading to the development of jealousy and rage in other, more human-like characters created specifically for plot movement.

And so an assortment of murderous plans would take place, from simple poisoned meals to witchcraft and wizardry—but not to worry, for Prince Charming (his name is not subject to change) was always there to rescue his lovely wife-to-be on a white horse. They lived happily ever after. The end.

Beauty is distorted. We grow up listening to tales of little princess Mary Sues— the charming, the eloquent, the useless females locked up in towers together with the outrageously handsome (not to mention rich) princes and their happily ever afters. What’s personality if you’re pretty anyway?

I have yet to come across a fairy tale in which an ugly lead had that happily ever after, an unfortunately realistic reflection of the way society perceives success today.

In nearly every one of those tales, the attractive prince falls in love with the attractive princess at first sight, and what does this really tell you about the personalities of both?

They’re utterly superficial.

And so are we, to tell these stories over and over at bedtimes everywhere.

I read an article today about four transsexuals in Malaysia who are challenging an Islamic law prohibiting men from conducting themselves as women. There you have a couple of individuals going against that fairy tale girl-sits-in-tower, boy-comes-to-save-her norm, and between a princess-perfect predictable tale and four men’s fight against a national law (in drag, no less!) which could change entire lives, I think my preferred reading option in obvious.

Homosexuality can be a difficult concept to accept. I barely understand it myself, but what interests me is not the introduction of homosexuality in Muslim countries, but the determination and lengths at which people will go to fight for their beliefs, something picture-perfect Mary Sue has never and will never have.

There is no prince Charming in our world. There is only you and your choices. You have to make that step of faith to venture outside your little tower.

Digression aside, good luck to those four and who knows? I might be telling the little neighborhood brats about ‘the tale of the four transsexuals’ one day when we’ve grown weary of our dull little fairy tales, if ever.

If all else fails, there’s always the original and delightfully gory Grimm series!


Imagine this scenario:

There you are, minding your own business as all of a sudden, out pops a person from seemingly nowhere. He’s dressed casually in a tee and slacks, and his hair juts out in strange places. But it is not the unkempt appearance that makes you wince. The second his eyes bore into yours, you know you’re in trouble.

“Hi,” he says as a forced smile forms on his face.

You gulp.

Seconds flash by as the two of you consider each other. You know exactly what he’s going to say, while he on the other hand is hopeful as he awaits your response. You don’t reply.

Finally, he breaks the ice quickly by asking the dreaded question. “Would you like to make a donation?”

Now at this point, if you’re as greedy and stingy as I am, the answer is obviously no. You’re left with a few choices as summed up below.

A)   You think: HELL NO, BITCH.

You say: “I’m sorry, I don’t have the money.”

B)   Thoughts are too mainstream for you, so you delve straight into the most refined and calculated answer imaginable.

You say: “Uh…No…” Before making your way out as quickly as possible.

C)   You think: Conspiracy! Money misappropriation! Fraud! Donations, the tool of demons from hell and root of all evil!

You say a billion things unrelated to the topic and storm off in self-righteous anger.

D)   You give the money.

(For the record, I went with D and am now two dollars down.)

I have always had difficulty understanding the methodology regarding the act of asking for donations. Based on my observation the technique seems to be the acquiring of a preferably isolated target, forced smiles, and the final extracting their change.

I don’t believe that there is a real need to go out to the streets to collect money for your cause. Anyone would give readily to something they feel is worth it. Standing there and requesting money from random strangers on the road will get you a little change from a few annoyed individuals, but not people who’ll ever bother otherwise.

I like donating to the societies meant for animals and kids with little backing. As a result of limited resources, pets are constantly being put down, and kids are being denied of education and water.

What people should be doing is reaching out to each person’s individual beliefs and adapting them to their causes which can be done by simply raising awareness. With the gathering of like-minded people, help (monetary or otherwise) will come naturally.

Until such a day arrives, however, I think I will continue to lose the few odd dollars.



That’s the only form of melody I can hear as I sit, freezing in the depths of my boss’s cubicle in the office. There’s another click, followed the sound of continuous rasps and lashes at the keyboard as employees rush to meet the next billion dollar commercial goal. This is the vicious cycle—or should I say sound that everyone hears worldwide as with yet another click, Singapore’s workaholic society continues, on and o—click.

That click is the very same sound those 98% of accountants surveyed hear as they spend sleepless nights at their offices, working overtime for nothing but the hopes of promotion, where they may get a nice zero added to the back of their cheques in bonuses only to be repaid with more sleepless nights or conversely, if they’re terribly unlucky and/or unproductive, nothing at all—but I guess that counts as a zero too.

You hear of many things about Singapore. The spick and span, beautifully polished floors, the low crime rates, the increasing levels of Xenophobia… But nothing says more about us than the sound of a mouse click. We’re spoilt, we’re rule-abiding, and we’re complete workaholics trapped in an endless race of rat chasing the cheese of success—only our cheese continues to grow bigger, along with our egos.

And with a click, the ‘elderly’ are getting fired as they become decreasingly relevant to our tech-savvy and younger generation.

With another click and a crushing defeat at the previous elections, even our government is starting to use social media. Oh lord.

My country has changed significantly from the time I was a kid, swinging about the monkey bars and climbing precariously on the edges of roofs as I narrowly avoided death (and more importantly my mother’s berating) each time. With the passing of my childhood has come the collapse of the 4-storey flat I used to live in (it turned into one of the mega 30-storey flats we see these days), and even the end of the little pond I used to catch tadpoles from. One can only wonder how many clicks in the form of email, contracts, and eventual signing it took to achieve this.

I don’t think many of us bother to look back to a past without the sound and convenience of that click, and realize just how much it has changed us—from the way we think, act, and live. This, I suppose, is the sound of most significance to me.



Hi, I’m Singaporean teenager who loves reading and commenting on current affairs (: I’ve grown tired and annoyed of the popular tabloid-ish political blogs in the country, and figured I’d make my own. Nice to meet you all!