7 Months of Perth

Lake Mongor

Losing both of our dogs in a span of 7 days was painful for all of us. We had been always confident that Chocolate would go at an older age than Tramp. What did we know? It was unexpected but not shocking to me. At some point in my earlier life, I learnt that life has a knack of toying with you. Being a pessimist helps reduce the impact of the blows that life inflicts on the sly. Not having the brightest expectations of life is useful if you were to be the last pillar to fall.

It was strange but comforting to see Sister Angela here in Perth. It came and went so quickly. Brother-in-law talked about pros-and-cons (more cons I assume) about Perth over dinner with Patrick. I never bother to listen and chose to play with my niece and nephew while minding an unusually cranky Albany. Family time was more important than opinions.

7 months on, I still struggle when someone asks me why did I choose to leave Singapore, which is a good place to be in many aspects. Leaving home had never been another one of my willful ideas. My only reason to be here is Jen. She wishes to be here. 

Am I having a better life here than Singapore? If I have to answer this in accordance of the average Singaporean point of view, no. I live in pain everyday. The location of pain depends on what kind of work I have been assigned to. I still can't clench my fist technically but I am almost immune to the pain by now. Splinters populated my finger tips, aches of random muscle groups plague me into the each weekend and the stiff neck problem that I brought from Singapore never go away. This, to my fellow countrymen, is hard life and thus I am worse off. As a trade off, I am spared the mental anguish and stress that work inflict on me right even into my sleep.

For my small family here, we are better off - even being cramped into a small room. Jen sleeps well at night despite the interruptions she had to endured to feed Albany. No husband will want his wife to go through year after year of Singapore audit life. If we had not decided to come to Perth some time back, Albany would not have existed today. For that alone, I am glad I relented to Jen's bold idea.

It does not matter what I have to go through. I remembered our wedding 2 years back. It was so simple that very few women in Singapore would accept. There were only 4 tables and my first van as the wedding car. That was what we could afford as well as managed, given only 1 month to make it all happen. When I was instructed to read my marriage vow, I chose the shortest verse on the list. I am never comfortable in public speaking, never mind that no one other than Jen was really listening. As such, I didn't manage to read it purely from the heart much as I wanted to.

Jen chose a long verse. The one which was the last of my choice. She looked at me when she recited it and meant every word she said, almost unable to finish it with tears welling in her eyes towards the end. At that moment, I knew I married a woman who loves me despite having nothing to my name nor a bright future to look forward to. If I die today, I die with many regrets such as not being able to watch Albany grow up. However having the fortune of marrying a woman who loves me more than I love her, I have not live life in vain. 

Making her happy is the least I could do.


  1. "It does not matter what I have to go through. I remembered our wedding 2 years back. It was so simple that very few women in Singapore would accept. There were only 4 tables and my first van as the wedding car. That was what we could afford as well as managed, given only 1 month to make it all happen. "

    (Readers, this is what makes the author kick-arse: keeping a clear perspective of what is important and classifying the rest as fat/waste/blubber. He's already got the right ingredient as a settler: goal-oriented perspectives)

  2. Hi Singaporeson,
    You are so fortunate to have Jen as your wife. Treasure her with all yr heart as she is a very good woman, a breed which is so rare these days .... to go through life with you through good times and bad. Never mind if you started life together with little, but good not to have a mountain of debts/loan to start off married life together. You have youth on yr side and with some luck and hard work in Australia,, you will be able to improve yr life in no time.
    I know audit life in Singapore is hard, but audit here in Australia in not so bad. My daughter works in audit in one the big four in Perth and it is not so bad. There are busy period which is seasonal, but there are also lull period where one can take a breather. But having said that, audit is not for those who cannot take that pressure and those without the passion to the job. However, I must say it has its economic return, other than going to the mine to work..

    May God blessed you, Jen and Albany.

    Singaporean lady in Perth

  3. I think Jen is also very fortunate to have you. You have fulfilled her dreams being in Perth. What abt your dreams .... u have any? No wife will want her husband struggling with daily occupational pains. Take care..

  4. Fren,
    Keep it up. Dont give up. How I wish I could be like you.

  5. Bravo!!!! By the way, it should be Lake Monger..with an "e" not "o".

  6. Keep at it and all the best! Your journey has and will continue to be an inspiration to many others!

    ~ Joelyn Alexandra

  7. Congrats Bro for reaching another milestone. There are many more to come :)

    It was nice to see you having a good chat with your sister over dinner. I can see the relationship is quite good.

    Your brother in law is not that keen on migration but there is nothing wrong with that. The way I look at it, it is just like he prefers to eat different food and at different places from me and you. You may love your laksa in Singapore but I might prefer the sashimi in Tokyo.

    I think the same can be said for your wedding. I also think the strength of the relationship is more important than the displays on wedding day and the final bill for the reception.

    I have attended a lavish weeding where the groom played a musical instrument and sang to the bride on his knees. What a beautiful performance.
    One year later, he left his wife and eloped abroad with another woman.

    I think you have something precious in Jen and, now, Albany so keep working hard on it.

    You will have a good life in Perth.

  8. I had seen and attended many many weddings back in spore but sad to know and even see at the end of the dinner, both bride, groom opening red packets counting money and most of the time one side parents sitting there standing by to chip in more $$$ just to pay for the not very fantastic food just consumed by their guests. You have to count yourself lucky if there is no issue about which ang pows goes to whos hands. Dont talk about debts to start paying immediately coming back from honeymoon.

    Im not saying all of them which some really was, are just wanting to show off. Some may be pressure from peers or parents or maybe its just the sporeans' culture. But cant people just do something different!!?? Do something that aren't traditional. I say this not because Im a kay angmo or adore them or trying to kick away the chinese cultures.

    Im saying this just to share that taking the first step to do something different from others is not easy task and nobody can persuade you to do it unless you yourself wanted to.... and badly. To be debts free.... to be living in a foreign land..... to see life.... to have a life!

    Of course you need support from a very important person who has to be your partner/spouse as you only have each other to rely on in a foreign land. It doesnt matter to me if you'r thinking Im saying friends still come in second.

    Its a blessing to marry someone like Jen who's not much bothered about surface display of wealth and she's also blessed to be married to you who supported her so much in many ways. I had never wholeheartly bought a present for my wife before :(

    Everyone will speak of their past with a laugh. Hard times will surely come to past and better ones are soon to come. I am very sure of this.

    Have a good day champ!

  9. v fast... 7mths liao!


  10. this brought tears to my eyes!

    - Jie Yin