Stephen's Story

I had never mentioned him. The name just popped out from nowhere. Who is this guy? I'm still getting to know him. It was barely a week since we met during the BBQ at Lake Monger. A week on, he played a crucial role in shifting our home. Surreal. I don't normally warm up to new people fast, always been like that my entire life. I think that hasn't change. There were quite a number of people who contacted me since the blog exists but I wasn't able to create possible friendships with many of them.

I am a cold person and my first (2nd, 3rd and 4th) reaction towards strangers are usually evasive. It is never my intention to be rude, it's just the way I have always been. I have a knack of detecting people with an agenda to come closer, probably conditioned through naivety during the earlier years. But I'm not immune to the sincerity of people. The group of people in my social circle happens to be the same kind of people. Proactive, warm and initiative.

Stephen and his wife, Joni are another of the kind, which is welcoming of course. Stephen is in his 40s. I am wise enough not to reveal his wife's age if I want to be invited for another meal at their cosy cottage. However, both of them look like they are in their early 30s. It's quite puzzling to know people who don't look their age here. Alvin and Patrick look way younger than their age as well. Wonder what sick tonic they have been using.

Anyway, I couldn't really recall when Stephen was on my facebook (before it was deleted). I could only recall shooting questions at him when he posted a picture of his worksite after the long weekend Easter holiday groaning about getting back at work. When he replied me and told me he works as a Brickie (Bricklayer) I became interested and exchanged more messages on whatsapp.

I don't know much about Steph. After all it was less than 2 weeks since we met. All I can say that he is one tough nut to crack. He really didn't have to come to Australia. Having a decent comfortable career in a prominent listed company (one of those who gives 6 months bonuses), he could have just glide along and live a decent life in Singapore. Instead he patted the dust off his itchy backside and embarked on his journey to the south with his wife. He told me it has always been his dream to live in Australia and decided it was 'now or never' when he turned the big 4.

He took a bricklaying course for 2 years, graduated and found work as a brickie. With a turn of the eye, 4 years passed. There he is, still laying brick after brick everyday, literally fortifying his life in Perth. Stephen is just yet another story that makes my migration look small. That is the purpose why I shared stories of other Singaporeans when I get to know them. Everyone has a unique story and most of them were braver and had it tougher than Jen and I did. I have been constantly inspired by these people as I came to know more of them. If there are readers who find the blog inspiring, they will already have realise I'm only a mere triviality among many incredible precedents. And I will continue to share stories of these people.

I wish you can see  Stephen and Joni's place in Como. Their apartment is served by an exclusive narrow staircase from the ground level. The staircase landing serves as a balcony as well as the doorway to their premise. It feels like a concrete treehouse to me. 

In this cosy abode, another legend lives on.


  1. Another good page in your migrant tales. Keep the pages coming, mate!
    Uncle Phil

  2. Great story... I read it with interest. Agree with Uncle Phil... keep those posts coming :)

    Take care,

  3. Interesting read!