ankysim

The Warrior

In Relationships, Resolutions on June 16, 2012 at 5:16 pm

The warrior is a new friend I met on a cruise recently.  Big, bold, totally New York, she was happy doing her own thing. She’d gone on the cruise on her own and had then been “adopted” by another family, and hung around with the cruising group.  Most of the time, she would do her own thing, and she didn’t share much about herself except when prompted, and then, she would say the most (to me) amazing revelations of a different type of life, which we do not see back home. Her candidness and her openness about herself, her body and her life was refreshing and I appreciated that about her.  There she was telling us perfect strangers that she’d had her stomach stapled. I wondered whether it was because she was non-Asian, that made her so open about herself. It was just a different upbringing and in the land of freedom, anyone can  really do what they please. It is their life after all.

It got me thinking about what we were like back home in conservative, face saving Asia.  Our lives are not our own. Neither are our thoughts, our demeanours and attitudes. They are all formed from a collective mindset and a cultural education that is so deep that we do not even realise it.

I remember a trip in HK some time back, and my Russian friend was with me.  He asked me to get a boob job. I immediately laughed it off and he said, why not? I said, it was too embarrassing and what would my friends think? He went, “Who cares that they think?” it got me thinking that he does have a point after all, in big bad Moscow where everyman fends for himself, where the world is really so big, that we do have to do our own thing. And I thought about being Singaporean and being so afraid of what others think.

I think it’s an Asian thing, but also very much a Singaporean thing. Here, we can’t go two steps without meeting someone we know. So much for living our own life.  In the bigger countries, I guess it is possible to have several identities across several states in one lifetime. Not so in Singapore, or is it just that we do not dare to try?

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