Like Nothing Happened

So election was yesterday and today it feels to me like nothing happened. It's like a same old Saturday. Nothing does change, the ruling party won majority and they actually did much better than the last election. That was surprising to me. What does this mean? So after all the talk about too many foreigners here in Singapore, Singaporeans are okay with it? The whole CPF issue thingy is not an issue for them? For those who are not familiar with the term, CPF is what I call simply as retirement fund. Singaporeans and permanent residents here have 20% of their salary transferred to CPF automatically compulsorily and they also receive an additional 15% contribution from their employers. The government have been putting a lot of restriction on when and how you can take out this money and this has been highlighted a lot by the opposition parties. If I'm a citizen of this country, this would be the issue that matters the most, but yeah the ruling party won and garnered more support, so I don't know what's in the mind of Singaporeans. Their win is expected but the higher support was something that I didn't expect. Still, perhaps what's more surprising for me than the result is the fact that the parties' posters and such haven't been taken down yet, 2 days after end of campaign. Singapore is usually fast in cleaning up and yet they're still here. That is shocking.

So as the title of the post says, it's like nothing happened and in a way it's right. Mom texted me asking how it went because it didn't make the news in Indonesia. It's rather sad I have to say, it's like it doesn't matter. As I took my bus to Orchard today and I saw the posters for the F1 race next week which has been around for a long time, I thought of how Singapore now will get busy dealing with this. It's ironic that these posters have been there longer than the posters from the elections. It's like this kinda thing is more important to Singapore than choosing its government. It makes me think that sometime these are always the more important things in Singapore. The hungry ghost festival is not over yet and the shops have been busy promoting their moon cakes. It's like when Christmas is over, there are many malls that quickly change their decoration for Chinese New Year. It's rather frightening. It's always about making more and more money and not about slowing down and trying to just experience things.

Anyway, enough about Singapore. Today after class, I thought about how the weekend is ending and a new week is starting. I started to feel awful just thinking about it. Last year my dad told me not to travel far this year because based on the Chinese horoscope, this is not a good year for me. So they were rather dismayed when I disobeyed them and went the furthest I've been anywhere, America. Today I thought about how that trip was the best time I had this year and how I actually was safer there physically mentally than the days I've been spending here. These past few months, I've been dealing with one sickness after another. I still have a lot of wrong things with my body, it's like my body is collapsing from the inside :( I like to think they cells inside of me just cannot take all the shittyness I've been having, It's one shitty thing after another, one pressure after another, one shitty people after another. I have had a lot of hatred brewing inside of me and I know it's unkind, but I can't help it. I think of why can't things just go my way, be easier for me, and then when I prayed yesterday at the temple, the thought came that perhaps God has ward off worse things coming my way and though right now things may seem like they're just one shit after another, perhaps I've actually been getting the easier things. I don't know. I want to get out of this alright and I'll be damn pissed if after all this I found myself being burned. As I wrote that, the Indonesian word "ikhlas" came. It's the word which I can't find the equivalent in English. When Indonesian kids are taught this word, we're taught that when we do good things to other people, we should do it without expecting anything in return, to be ikhlas. Right now, I'm definitely not in that state of mind. So basically peeps, how am I doing? I'm not doing well mentally and physically and I just want people to get away from me.

On a nicer story, I started to watch Sense8 and how I love it so much. When I first watched it, I got this LOST vibe on it, another TV series that I like. I've only half way of season 1 and already I feel sad that this will be over soon and I have to wait long for the new season. It'll be like the big void I had when I finished watching The Following. Sense8 is really interesting and I'm adequately unable to explain what it's about. From what I have learned so far, it's about these 8 people across the world who could feel what the other are feeling and tap to each other's ability. If I have one thing that I would like to have preferred is for the characters to use their own languages, instead of English being used throughout in countries like Germany, India, and Mexico. However I guess it's because the writers are unable to to write in these local languages and if they hand it over to the translators, the nuances may be lost. It's really good peeps, do watch it if you have access to it. I also went to the cinema yesterday and I watched Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. It's really good. It's not a blockbuster or anything but movies like this are really worth watching. It has a nice sad story and it's very meaningful. I like it a lot.

:) eKa @ 5:02:00 PM • 0 comments

Medical Woes Continue

So in the last post I wrote about the health problem I had or still have, I'm not sure. I didn't go to the doctor because Dr. Edmund is away. He's away for quite a long time which I think is good for him to do because he works everyday, day and evening, so I did wonder how his family is taking it. The clinic is actually open for people to get medication, but it doesn't open in the evening and weekend while he's away, so I couldn't get the same medication as before. I'm also not sure if I can get the same medication without prescription. So anyway, I tried to medicate myself with one of the medication I still had from last time and I prayed a lot and I also tried to take it easy. So far it seemed to work and the pain is kinda disappearing. I was very surprised it worked and I thank God a lot. However, unfortunate things keep befalling on me. It's been 3 days now that my right eye got red. It actually doesn't hurt, it's not itchy, and I don't get teary and I didn't even realize I was having a red eye. Only when I so happened to look at myself in the mirror that I saw it's red. It's only the right one but then I think last night I saw my left one was getting a tinge of red vein too. I put eye drop, but it wasn't getting better :( It look better today maybe because I decided to ditch the contact lens, but I don't know if by evening it will get worse as what happened yesterday. I haven't seen the doctor about it and of course I googled. It seems as long as I'm not experiencing loss of vision or major headache, I'm fine. I did get a headache these past 2 days, but I think it's more because I'm stressed out about it. I am seriously stressed out. The past 2 nights before I went to sleep, I was thinking what if something is really wrong with my brain, what if I don't wake up, what if I wake up but something really bad happens to me. I'm seriously stressed out. So in the mornings when I woke up and I was fine, I really thank God. I also thank God that I managed to sleep. You know I think I have been so stressed out with things in my life and seriously I am so tired that my body is breaking down. Unfortunately I still need to march forward :( For now, I really really hope that my eyes will be okay and nothing bad comes to me again :(

With me being this battered, I'm really looking forward for the public holiday due to election day next Friday. It's election season in Singapore which took me by surprise. I have been living here for 15 years so by right I should have witnessed a few elections. I don't remember any of that except for the last election in 2011 because I actually know one of the candidates personally. I began to wonder why I don't have recollection of previous elections, then I realized it's because last time it's very common for Singaporeans to not have the chance to vote because there was only 1 party, the ruling party PAP, who registered their candidates. In fact if I'm not mistaken, this year would be the first time all Singaporeans get to vote since many many years. I do congratulate Singapore for that. Election in Singapore is quite a strange thing, at least for me. I don't know if I'm gonna get in trouble for writing all this, but hey I'm an Indonesian, I'm used to the rights of having an opinion and voicing my opinion. For me, election in Singapore is not very fair. I was surprised that there's election this year that I have to google about this. In Indonesia, election is held once in every 5 years. We had election last year and we can be sure to have one in 2019. In Singapore, the parliament get to sit a maximum of 5 years in a term, with that "maximum" wording there it gives the prime minister the chance to dissolve the parliament before 5 years and he chose to do it really fast this year. The last election in Singapore was in May 2011 (I was in vacation in France that time, happy time and also Osama Bin Laden was killed around the same time), so I thought the next election was to be in 2016, but no, it's now. The prime minister is in the ruling party, so I feel him choosing when to hold election kinda gives his party an insider knowledge and so a head start. Then in Singapore like also in many places, there are boundaries of where people vote. In Indonesia, it's provinces. The point is in Indonesia, it doesn't get changed every election. In Singapore, it could get changed when election comes. Again I feel this is a very strange thing and this gives more advantages to the ruling party. Then perhaps the thing that I feel is so unfair is the media. TV and radios here in Singapore are hold by 1 company and they're very pro-government, I even feel they're the government mouth piece sometime. So in Singapore, party couldn't put their campaign in the media, so there wouldn't be clip or such on tv from the party asking people to vote. However, all this time, even before the SG50 celebration and the national day rally, there have been many clips about the progress of Singapore and clips from the rally in which the prime minister was giving a speech about the progress his government has made and what they will do in the future. I think of this as veiled campaigning and it's unfair when the other party couldn't use the media as much. One time there was a debate, well I can't really call it a debate, it would be good though if there's an actual debate happening, so anyway there was this talk or discussion with representatives from the different parties on TV and while each opposition party could only have 1 representative, the ruling party sent 2 people. Seriously, I think it's unfair. There was improvement though, a slight one. In the last election, the parties were given time to talk about their parties on TV, but the time given was not the same. Somehow they found it fair and logical for the ruling party who had the most candidates to get more time than the party with not as many candidates. This year, it seemed everyone got the same time. I realize that the media can be bias, like in Indonesia, the media are bias because their owners have political aspiration, but I feel like when there's only 1 option that all Singaporeans have access to, then it shouldn't be so one sided.

Campaigning itself is a very short affair here in Singapore, just over 1 week. When I saw the posters being put up, I thought it's so underwhelming. I know they have size restriction or so, but they're just not cool at all. It's kinda disappointing seeing it, but perhaps for the fatigue and annoyed Indonesians, like my mom, this could be a welcome change, a fast and cheap campaign. The poster of the prime minister is everywhere which again I found it to be rather weird, but I guess they have more money so they could afford it. They chose a good picture of him for the poster though because he looks kinda handsome, so good job for whoever chose that. There's a rally from the opposition party near my place tonight. I do want to see what it's like, but I'm too lazy, too tired, and not that healthy. As a foreigner, I do get nervous when all the oppositions talk about there's too many foreigners here in Singapore. A sentiment I share actually, I do feel that way too which made my Singaporean friends said I have become like a Singaporean. However in the grand scheme of thing, I am still a foreigner, so all this talk about making it more difficult for foreigner to be here makes me nervous. I don't know how the election result will be. I disagree when one of the minister said that Singaporeans should put the ruling party to fill all the 89 seats in the parliament. Again maybe it's the Indonesian in me, but no I don't think that's how it should be. I think Singapore needs different voices in its government. This though does make me think, is it because I'm an Indonesian, I think that way? Since 1998, we're more used to a more diverse political landscape. It doesn't work perfectly for our country, but I think we love it and it's hard fought so we should appreciate it. The ruling party here in Singapore may think what works in other countries doesn't necessarily fit them which in a way is a valid point because there are other countries who feel the same, for example: China obviously doesn't agree the type of democracy and political rights America has is correct for their country. At the end of the day, the people are the one who can make the change and Singaporeans have to choose how they want to move forward.

Still on election, I just watched the election guide yesterday on TV and I was surprised with a few thing. First you can't take a picture inside polling station. What?!? How about all those people who want to post pictures of them voting in Facebook? I seriously wonder why the government disallows this. Then you can't bring children inside polling station. Disappointing, because I feel it's good to let children learn early about their rights as citizens. Even more disappointing is how votes are counted. Again as Indonesian, we're quite blessed with our transparent process, a process which went even better last year with people volunteering in the Internet to make sure it's all correct all the way. You see in Indonesia, we are used to having the chance to witness our votes being counted on the spot. When voting is closed, everyone can just go to the polling station again and watch the paper being opened one by one, checked, and counted. It's open, in front of everyone. It's actually a good chance for the community to come together too. In Singapore it's not the case. The votes are carried to a place where they are counted and only selective people are allowed in. I think even the media has to wait outside. I wonder if there's any recording of this. Singaporeans don't seem to mind the process, but seriously I'm just happy it's not like this in Indonesia. Curious, I'm really am curious what the result will be like. We'll find out next weekend. Okay, will I get in trouble for writing all that? Well if I get deported, I just take it as it's time to leave :P

On other news. A few days ago I got this email asking me if want to write about an art exhibition in New York. I googled the person emailing me and it seemed he's an intern for this company, Fueled Collective which seems to provide both gallery space and an open office for collaboration among people. The open office thing is not really accurate to describe what I think they do. I heard about this kinda place in Jakarta, but not sure if it exists in Singapore. It's like this place where start ups or perhaps individual can rent, maybe daily, maybe weekly or monthly, to do their business, but it's not just about the space. It's about networking with other people in the space because perhaps there's opportunity to collaborate and such. So one needs to be open in using the space. Anyway, I don't know how this intern managed to get to my blog, but he thought since I wrote about arts, I would be interested to write about this art exhibition which I'm sorry I couldn't recall because I accidentally deleted his email. One time I also got this request from someone in France it seems to put a link on my blog to an art site. I don't do these things because seriously I don't think people read my blog, so I think it's pointless to do so, but I guess it's kinda cool to be considered and asked. At the very least, the person thought my writing was okay enough?

Moving on, I finished reading my 6th book of the year The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, so we have completed the yearly goal even if we don't count Le Petit Prince which you can actually finish in day. High five everyone :) So here are what I have read so far:
  1. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
  2. Le Petit Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  3. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
  4. All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr
  5. The Martian - Andy Weir
  6. The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
I don't enjoy The Ocean at the End of the Lane, I'm sorry. This is the first Neil Gaiman's book I read and I didn't like it much. I still think he's an excellent story teller because when I watched Stardust, I thought that was so great, well perhaps the book would be better. I remember watching Coraline on the plane during my first Italian trip. In Italian, it's called Coraline e La Porta Magica (Coraline and The Magic Door). I also didn't enjoy that one much. I guess Neil Gaiman is not always a hit with me. Anyways, I was thinking of reading Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman next, but when I went to Kinokuniya, the versions are still in the big hard cover kind, so I didn't buy it. Instead I am now reading Laila Lalami's The Moor's Account which was nominated for Pulitzer prize this year but lost to Anthony Doerr'sAll the Light We Cannot See. I wrote before of how all the Pulitzer winners I read so far are very vivid and detail in the description of events and people, well this one is too. So far I am loving it and I think that's the thing with The Ocean at the End of the Lane for me, I didn't find it vivid enough or detailed enough, it's not drawing me deep into the story. That being said I will be interested to read more about the old Hempstock family in the book. Anyway, that's about it peeps. As I said, looking forward for the day off next Friday. As always, I hope you guys have glorious days ahead. Ciao!

:) eKa @ 8:14:00 PM • 0 comments