Oceans Away

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My heart leapt when I saw this on the plane on the way to Osaka. 3 States in China I’ve always wanted to visit for a long, long time because of the significance they play in my favourite drama, 义海豪情. Not because they’re states mentioned in the show but because they are the exact states separating the main characters, the reason for the need of the phrase “但愿人长久,千里共婵娟”. It pulls at my heartstrings and it is so heartbreakingly sad, not just the storyline but because how the whole theme/idea of the show is so relatable to my life right now.

I’m extremely lucky to be flying every now and then; every month in fact and exploring the world; but living out of a suitcase and leaving loved ones behind, is painful. Goodbyes are painful. To have so much change every month is daunting, to sort out the things in your mind is totally another issue and not to mention, travelling is exhausting. There is a purpose for my every trip whether its work or holiday or missions or studies, and “但愿人长久,千里共婵娟” is really what keeps me grounded till today. It’s the hope of reuniting with my loved ones one day, to make them proud and be assured that we are really, sharing the view of the same moon every night.

Without this show, I would have never completed grasped this whole concept that assures and wows me so much.

That show has meant a lot to me for a very long time which explains how much sentimental value these places hold to me. Don’t you ever want to visit a place because of a movie or show? Like, The Hobbiton in New Zealand, or the set where the filmed your favourite fantasy show? Don’t ask me how can I miss a place I’ve never been to before, I probably have no idea as well.

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It has been so long since I’ve written, so here’s reality check. Went to Pulau Tekong a few days ago to send Kai Jie off for National Service like finally!!! I remembered being so excited the night before because I f i n a l l y get to go to the notorious “hell hole” Tekong to see what it’s really like. I have no brothers in the family so the idea of NS has always been distant and I’ve only heard stories that are passed from one mouth to the other. Seldom heard of first-hand stories, which got me so curious about the place to see what it’s really like.  When I was younger I wasn’t really interested in army/navy life as a whole and didn’t really bother to find out. To be honest, it wasn’t until recently when I turned 19 that I began more interested in army life because some of my church friends began enlisting and I wanted to know more about what they’re going through. I have even thought of joining SAF Volunteer Corps! I have no idea what produced such a change in me hahah. From a person lives in her own world and doesn’t even care about NS whatsoever (cos it doesn’t concern me), to a person who is genuinely interested in what my friends are doing and involved with.

I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m leaving, that I feel that I am going to miss out a lot of stuff within the next few years and there’s nothing I could do to compensate it. That I’m going to miss out on countless POPs of my friends, countless 21st birthday parties, countless ORDs etc. I’m going to miss out on retreats, Christmas celebrations, Chinese New Year visitations. Thinking about it makes me very sad so I shall stop here..nonetheless I’m super glad to be here to support Kai Jie in his rite of passage which is enlistment!! Hahah.

 

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We took a ferry to Tekong at about 11am in the morning! There’s something about the weather that day that made it unbearably hot and something about Tekong that drains my energy, I fell asleep on the bus ride home and KJ’s brother had to wake me up, so embarrassing…😅

His family was very nice tho!! Not to mention how tall everyone is omg. Finally knew where he got his height genes from. When we reached Tekong, we were separated from KJ for most of the time so I’m really glad his bro talked to me if not I would have died from awkwardness. ahhaha.

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Finally understood why my friends went into NS and became fatter. A friend once told me army food is actually very nutritious. Not to mention yummy too! We visited their bunks, it looked so clean!! For show only lah hahaha. I was questioning why this bunk looked so clean but why the bunks on my guy friends’ IGstory and snapchat look so dirty with uniforms all over the place. Then today Kai Jie texted me saying he have no time to bathe and usually the whole bunk would just febreeze and rewear uniform. HAHHA I KNOW WHY NOW. Visiting the bunks was a very enlightening experience because I finally get to see in real life what I have been seeing on my phone screen for the past year LOL.

I learnt a lot of things like how in NS you have no water heater (put me there and I can’t survive), and went to this newly opened gallery where we can see all the rifles used & such. This is so cool, I’ve always been a fan of war-related stuff so this kind of thing would amaze me la.

The ending part before we left the auditorium was kind of a breaking point for me. We sang the national anthem and I realised the last time I properly sang the national anthem was probably what, 16 years old in secondary school? It dawned upon me when I opened my mouth and sang, and realised how alien the lyrics felt to me. Maybe because I’m leaving the country that’s why I’m holding on to anything I can find sentimental value in. Then it really kicked in—as much as I complain about Singapore’s hot weather, small size, lack of places to visit which gets really boring after a while—gosh I’m going to really miss her.

In Tekong they really drill your loyalty and make sure your national pride is there. Everywhere I go I see a poster that reads something along the lines of, “If we cannot or won’t defend Singapore, no one else will.” And I guess kind of the few hours I’ve been there, I’m influenced. I told Yeeyen and she said, “It’s necessary what! Cos if you think about it, there’s nothing preventing them from defending Singapore except where their loyalty lies.” So I guess that made sense. I came back feeling more patriotic than before, and it is indeed a peculiar feeling.

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I met up with Julia @Plaza sing yesterday. Nothing much, just to pass her gifts and do catch ups here and there. We went into Build-a-bear because I saw it from afar and requested we go in. Not because I wanted to see/buy stuff, but because I was overcame by this huge wave of nostalgia from my childhood. I’m one of the few lucky children that owns a build-a-bear. It was really the trending thing when I was 9 y/o. Tbh stuffing, dressing and buying clothes for a bear really wasn’t cheap then. Totalled up to about $40+ if I’m not wrong and this amount may seem like nothing now but it is really, a huge sum to spend on something as unpractical as a soft toy.

Yet my parents did it for me. They do not always give in to my requests and persuasions, but this they did it for me. I remembered it was a bright sunny day at the Suntec outlet and upon getting my bear I felt so happy. I don’t even know how to describe that innocence now.

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I realised my parents do really love me and I’m not sure if anyone can understand the depths of their love except myself and God. Like they love me so much it hurts?? We do not have much but they have always been so generous with me since young. Huge amounts spent on tuition, GUZHENG (gawd this hobby/skill of mine cost A BOMB I took it for 10 years) and even minor things like build-a-bear. I’m so thankful and I’m overwhelmed with this sense of guilt immediately when I walked into the shop, I literally felt like crying. It has been a long time since I felt like this.

I just hope wherever my readers are, you’ll know that your parents love you. Although money can be used to show love, but love can never be measured in dollars.

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