Monday, August 06, 2012

A nobody speaks

I noticed that my blog received a flush of visitors referred from asingaporeanson's blog entry "Wayang Papaya". Asingaporeanson had generously lumped me with the big names of Singapore's blogosphere like Mr Brown, Lucky Tan, Yawning Bread, et al. He even considered me one of the many "highly educated professionals in the medical field".

Eeerrmm, I thought I had better clarify before anyone gets any grand ideas about who I am.



[Winking Doll's reply on asingaporeanson's blog entry dated 7 August 2012 08:29]

Hi asingaporeanson,

> "Winkingdoll? Toothfully yours? Lohandbehold? The last 3 being highly educated professionals in the medical field."

No lah, you've overestimated me [您过奖了]. I am just a nobody. An ordinary Singaporean who switched career to become a nurse.

To borrow some words from the infamous Wee Shu Min...

I am one of those "old ppl (ie, 40 and above) [who] fear for their jobs". My fear was (and is still) so great that it drove me to emigrate.

I came from "the sadder class", "the neighborhood poor". I know well enough to accept "my lot in life" that I should be grateful to have 3 meals/day (not restaurant nor food-court nor hawker-centre ones), a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and "affordable" healthcare that hopefully does not mis-diagnose me again!

Yet, given the trends in PAP-driven policies since the millennium, I felt that even my simple retirement plan (in Singapore) for 3 basic meals/day, a roof over my head, simple clothes, "affordable" healthcare is at risk.

While I have never written to the Straits Times Forum, my recent simple feedback on a minister's Facebook page was quietly removed. No, I did not use any cuss words nor call anyone names. Between my feedback and its removal was a (rather ugly) behind-the-scene Facebook discussion on an ex-schoolmate's Facebook wall, which aimed to connect alumni from the same school brand (of which the minister was from). Perhaps my simple feedback was written off as "incensed diatribe"?

I accept that perhaps I am "not good enough" for Singapore, so "life [in Singapore] will kick you [me] in the balls". Oh yes, I have no balls to face being kicked, that's why I left. I did not "go be friggin communist", but I did "go be friggin centralist" (i.e. Canadian politics is pretty much middle-of-the-road). That said, I am still observing, still watching with my eyes-wide-open before I make my final decision in a few years time.

As things stand now, in Singapore, I would be considered by an "elite, one of the sinners who will inherit the country and run his [my] stock to the gutter" as "one of many wretched, undermotivated, overassuming leeches in our country". In Canada, despite my current preference "to be unemployed" and previous part-time job "as a sales assistant", I and my stock are never considered "losers". You see, it is NOT the same everywhere, this “far too survival of fittest” society exists mainly in 3rd-world countries, USA and Singapore. USA has crashed. Will Singapore be next?

To repeat my main point, Asingaporeanson, you've overestimated me [您过奖了]. I am just a nobody.

Best Regards, WD.


I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us — don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

- By Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)


  1. Hi Winking Doll,

    Lovely reminder about the frogs and bogs, through Emily Dickinson's poem.

    From what I learnt, Emily was so private in life, that only because her sister Lavinia so rudely disobeyed her final wishes, did her marvellous poems ever get published, and she became posthumously famous (all this from Wikipedia, what! ;-) ).

    However awkward you might feel about the sudden rush in blog hits due to -asingaporeanson's- mention, I feel it's his honest regard for what you do(/blog/write) that he did so.

    It's like being humble.
    One cannot claim to be humble, because then one sounds proud.
    Yet when others genuinely call one humble, one has to protest (humility is tricky, yeah?).

    If it makes you feel any better, folks like you and -asingaporeanson- and LIFT at least honestly speak from your real life.
    I can't even do it on my blog.
    While it is a place where I actually share my deepest thoughts and imaginations, it is also an alienating place, except for those who truly understand me.
    Not a place for blog hits, or for my vision to make a sustainable income out of.

    And that's why I enjoy commenting on the posts of other blogs I appreciate.
    I can be more of my daily self, and yet I know I come across as damned big-mouth and philosopical, as well as an attention(/word) hog.
    So be it.
    At least I'm not pretending to be a spot-changing leopard.

    So continue having fun blogging!
    I believe bloggers know, the day it stops being enjoyable, that day they'd stop.
    Or commenting, for that matter.

    1. Hi Alan,

      Thanks for visiting and your comments.

      As usual, your comments are reflective and you share your real-life stories through them. Based on your comments, I think that you too have many a story to tell from your real life -- what life is really like in Singapore now for a man and his family (son with challenges); and what life in Singapore was like growing up in a single parent family.

      Thanks again for visiting. Keep the comments coming.

      Cheers, WD.

  2. Hi Winking Doll,

    Thank you very much too, for your encouragement in return.
    I'm grateful that I'm able to share through comments: somehow the assertion-response process of blog post and comments works really fine for me.

    I like to see family challenge as holistic, so it's not just an older boy with growing up challenges.
    Possibly unknown to others until now, because maybe no one thought to ask, there're also the challenges of:
    - never taking my wife for granted, and encouraging her never to let family life dull her potential for a bright future;
    - a 'normal' younger boy who is relatively far more mischievous, daring and stubborn than his older kor-kor ever was;
    - not taking for granted our latest maid, who is working into her 5th year with us, as a widow providing for her daughters back in the Philippines.

    In fact, I'm amused and also alarmed with the growing realisation that it's more hazardous to raise a 'normal' kid (as in, it's normal for kids to be naughty)! Honest! ;-P
    While our older one struggles socially and publicly, at least we'd not fear for him rushing across a busy road!
    Or, forbid, enjoying defusing bombs and demolition work! (*Argh!!!*)
    Scary to be 'typical', no?

    I'll visit when I can, and comment when I should.
    Honestly, I do still think about the newsgroup forums and the blogs I've stopped commenting atsince (so far, they're all mostly American ones).
    I sometimes wish I was inhuman, that I was actually the World Wide Web, so that I could interact all the time with everyone I could!
    Greedy and garrulous, huh?!

    1. > I sometimes wish I was inhuman, that I was actually...

      Haha, Alan, I am glad to know that I'm not the only one who sometimes wish to be non-human. Non-human stuff that I've ever wish to be (some during childhood, some during adulthood) includes:

      1. Chicken, duck, dog, cat, etc - to be able to talk to those animals to learn about their lives
      2. Swan - to fly all over the world
      3. Fish - to swim the seven seas
      4. A dandelion seed - floating about, eaves-dropping on others' lives and thoughts
      5. Rays of sunlight - to dance around making fancy shadows. I think it came from the many hours observing rays of sunshine and the dancing shadows from the Chinatown air-well.
      6. Wind/breeze - to caress the trees, to tango with the rivers/seas, to bring cheer to the children, (as a jet of warm air) to warm up the hearts of the homeless poor

      Yeah, such is the blessing of imagination :-)

      p.s. I think that every child is unique and poses unique challenges to his/her parent(s) -- regardless if he/she is "challenged", "normal", or "super-smart". I doubt my parents (especially my mother) had an easy time with me.

  3. I think that's beautiful and natural as a child, wanting to be different animals, a plant, and even nature.

    Some might say you wanted to be a druid, a priestess of nature, taking the form of wild creatures, communing and at one with nature.

    When I was young, I wanted to be an astronomer or astronaut, and confused both terms.
    I liked the unknown expanses of space, and imagined myself some kind of superhuman in some kind of spaceship,going to other worlds.
    At the same time, I also imagined myself in many places on Earth.

    In secondary school, I fell in love with the fantasy of Dungeons and Dragons, and imagined myself some kind of cleric (priest), guarding the rear of the party, smiting naughty creatures, and saving the lives of my fellows and healing their wounds.

    These days, I prefer the archetype or totem of the sage.
    No, not the stuffy, absent-minded, ivory-tower know-it-all kind.
    More like the harmless uncle going around the neighbourhood, dispensing free sensible advice and helping out a little here, a little there.

    It is sad that these post-modern days, too many people fancy themselves as gods, quarrelsome, prideful and ungrateful, unappreciative of the beautiful little things in life.