Sunday, August 16, 2009

Would the real Me please stand up?

The sunrays filtered through the toilet window while I brushed my teeth this morning. First time this week, as it has been cloudy the past few days. At least it gave a bright start to a busy Sunday.

As I flipped through the Sunday papers while sipping my mug of heavenly Milo kosong, I came across an article which struck a chord inside of me. The young female author, like myself, was a student overseas and felt that the 'greener pastures on the other side' were illusions of a better future. 'Better' as in? 'Greener' as in? Illusions?

Yes, the Other country has public toilets that are user-friendly. The people there are more civic-minded and greet you with a 'How are you?' even when they do not know you while they walk their dog. The rubbish there do not end up in waterways and drains. The public transport system is efficient and affordable. Cars do not get taxed to end up being filtrated elsewhere.

That country is more heavenly than the Milo I am drinking now. But, somehow, something does not feel quite right about the place still. What more do I want?

Financial stability? Check. Tranquil and laidback lifestyle? Check. Friendly and helpful society? Check. Clean and safe public areas? Check. Taxpayers' money well-used? Check.

All valid boxes checked. So? Why the void? Is there something wrong with me? I mean, other than my not-so natural local English slang, there is nothing that tells me apart from Them. Or so I thought for a few years.

A squirrel gingerly runs across my living room to reach the apple basket atop the prayer table. I watch it run and ignore it enjoying its blissful meal. A squirrel knows its a squirrel. Do I know who I am?

I know I do not fit in the culture of the Other country. But, am I able to say that I fit in the culture of my own country?

Do I fit in? I think the better question is, do I accept my own culture? What culture is it anyway? Which bits of it do I want to accept and which bits do I not?

I am confused to the extent that I do not even know what I am writing about anymore. ARGH.....

I need to figure myself out before I think about what the future holds for me. I need to find my own illusion of a better world with greener pastures.

Hm, I wonder where that would be?

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